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Wednesday, September 28th 2016 (over 2 years ago)

Now.app

Leo Lamprecht (@notquiteleo)

Today we're ecstatic to introduce Now.app, our desktop app and the new distribution model for our cloud toolchain. You can jump straight to the download page, the code or read on for a quick overview!

Why are we excited about it?

  • It's simple
  • It's always up to date
  • It's easy to use
  • It's open source

Simple

When you install Now.app you'll get a new icon on your menubar that allows you to deploy any folder in your filesystem (Deploy ⌘D) or share any file or folder statically (Share ⌘S).

This UI never gets in your way. The cloud is always present, one ▲ click away!

Always up to date

We wanted to make sure you never had to worry about versions, package managers, repositories and file permissions.

Now.app keeps itself up to date, but it also installs and updates the command-line now program automatically!

Furthermore, we are introducing precompiled binaries that we deliver automatically with the application. This way, you don't have to worry about installing npm or Node.js in order to start using now!

Head to the Download page to see a summary of all the available installation options.

Easy to use

This new application brings us one step closer to our mission of making the cloud accessible and easy to use to everyone in the world.

Deploying anything to the cloud is now as a easy as drag-and-drop! You can easily host any of the following:

  • Individual files
  • Lists of files (like photos or videos)
  • Static websites (we automatically serve index.html)
  • Directories with a package.json for npm / JavaScript deployments
  • Directories with a Dockerfile for any other kind of Linux-based deployment

Everything you deploy will then be served over HTTP/2 and SSL. You can deploy as many times as you want and share each intermediate state of your project with your team immediately.

Open source

By open sourcing Now.app we enable you to…

  • Learn about how the Now API works
  • Contribute improvements, bugfixes and suggestions
  • Use it as a base, guide or inspiration for new apps

The app is powered by Electron, which not only has provided us with an easy way to create cross-platform apps based on JavaScript, HTML and CSS, but also enabled a fascinating new distribution model.

Thanks to Electron's built-in auto-updater module, we don't have to worry about users missing out on critical new features or bug fixes. We also can now install and update the command line tool without any hiccups, permissions or $PATH complications.

What's more, the server that notifies Electron apps about new updates can be fired up with just one command, of course:

  ▲ git clone git@github.com:GitbookIO/nuts.git && cd nuts
▲ now -e GITHUB_REPO=your-org/your-electron-app

Check out an overview, download it now or read its source code.