No sooner do I write about how I miss CandyBar then lo and behold it appears! CandyBar 3 was released today, available at Panic. It’s $29 for a license, and there’s a free 14 day trial if you want to take it for a spin first. A discount is available to registered users of either Pixadex 2 or CandyBar 2. Leopard only.
The new version is slick. Along with the usual icon swapping capabilities, there are two new features in CandyBar 3 – the ability to customize the dock, and direct integration of Pixadex. There are a number of new icon sets released at the IconFactory at the same time, all including dock mods. The dock to the right is from the icon set that comes preloaded, Float. It’s a fairly clean set, although I’m personally really liking the look of the dock in Amora. The understated black and red there is quite nice.
As a useful touch, the icons and the dock can be changed independently. CandyBar 3 also allows you to change system icons that it previously couldn’t, a nice feature given the number of strangely-bland system icons in Leopard.
Another nice feature is what seems to be the integration of QuickLook – a menu accessible by control-clicking on the icon thumbnails shows the ‘IconLook’ view, a comparison of the different sizes from 16×16 to 512×512 in a very QuickLook-like transparent black window. A nicely visible blue halo indicates icons that have changed from the default in the set.
The biggest benefit, though, is the combination of Pixadex and CandyBar, especially for people (like me) who tend to pick and choose single icons on top of a theme – this integration makes picking an icon as easy as choosing a song in iTunes. One click imports icons loose on your hard drive, although the trial version can only manage 250 loose icons. You can view, change, and use icons from this library as easily as those from iContainers. As before, you can also save your various choices as an iContainer for use later or on other machines.
Previously, I’d not been a particular fan of CandyBar, preferring the freeware LiteIcon (also recently updated for Leopard, but without dock-mod capabilities) and the not-free ShapeShifter. Still, Panic seems to have used the time before this release to make CandyBar 3 much more than just a compatibility update, with the new features making it an improvement over the solutions I’d tried in the past.