Multi-Platform True Image Development

    You may already know that Acronis released True Image for Mac this summer. There were several publications ( one , two ) in our corporate blog about this, and today we would like to talk about multi-platform development features.

    When designing a product for MacWe primarily focused on existing True Image users. It was decided to make the interfaces of the two applications as similar as possible so that the person who had previously worked with True Image under Windows could quickly figure out the Mac version. At the same time, we had to take into account the features of the operating systems and the difference in the set of functionality of True Image itself (after all, we simply couldn’t physically realize all the features of the old product that it had been overgrown with for many years). We were fortunate that at that time Acronis True Image 2015 for Windows was also updating its interface, so the usability engineers designed a new interface for both platforms at once.

    Unified interface

    To start with, the Mac application received a pretty decent set of features from its older brother: disk backup and restore, scheduled backup, incremental backups, encryption, the creation of bootable media for recovery, file restore, as well as support for our Acronis Cloud. Accordingly, when making the layouts, we took into account that everything will be noticeably more complicated in the Windows version: there will also be utilities, synchronization, non-stop backup and many other scary words.

    If you put the two interfaces side by side, it’s easy to notice that they are very similar: on the left is a list of tasks for backup, in the center there is a couple with the source and location of the backup, the scheduler is sheltered in the lower left corner, and the treasured button “pysch” in the lower right. At the same time, a separately taken application for Mac looks native and self-sufficient and, if you do not know about the Windows version, you won’t say that the same interface can be tiled and flat.



    Uniform behavior

    At the architectural level, applications are very different, because a PC-computer and a Mac-computer are animals of different types. Yes, PCs are now massively migrating to UEFI and GPT , but the differences between them are still huge. For example, the PC does not have such things as Fusion Drive or Bootcamp, and the partitioning of the disk at the partition level is different for OS X and Windows. Fortunately, most users of apple technology live and do not know about all these details.

    The main feature of our product - a simple backup of all data on the computer - under Windows is called "Entire PC", and under Mac - "My Mac". Using it is easy: the first thing a person who launches an application sees is an offer to make a full backup. From the user point of view, the behavior of the products in this case is the same: True Image will make a backup copy of the computer with all the system bells and whistles, and then, if such a need arises, it will allow you to restore it in a couple of clicks. And in order to be able to recover from the necessary version, we implemented a scheduler in the poppy version similar to the one in our Windows version.

    There are also incremental backups and automatic removal of obsolete versions in the Mac, but, unlike the Windows version, this functionality is hidden under the hood and is not accessible to users.

    Acronis cloud

    Regardless of the platform that a person uses, we must be able to provide double protection for his data. That is why backup to the cloud has become one of the main features of the product.

    Both applications work with Acronis cloud storage service. To use it, just log in (or create a new account directly in the program interface). On the web, under his account, the user will see backups created by both products.


    Encryption has become another feature without which we could not imagine Acronis True Image. Both the PC and Mac versions support AES 256. Password protection for the archive was also implemented in both versions.

    Rescue disk

    One of the noticeable differences between the two products is the principle of creating bootable media: for Windows it is based on Linux (or, at the request of the user, on WinPE), and for Mac it is based on OS X. The functionality of the created boot disk or flash drive is also slightly different: The Windows version allows you to both create backups and restore them, and the "apple" version is intended only for recovery. We came to this implementation due to the fact that Mac users do not like to reboot, and if the functionality is not in demand (our backup under the live system also works fine), then why bother and invest resources in it?

    Fusion Drive, FileVault and All-All-All

    Another important difference between True Image for Mac is support for proprietary Mac technologies, which is necessary for full-fledged work on modern Apple computers. True Image for Windows never comes across Fusion Drive, FileVault 2, or Bootcamp. Their support at the lower level is a banal necessity, especially when it comes to recovery. True Image for Mac can work with all this. For us, it was a challenge that we successfully dealt with.

    General default settings

    Trying to load the user as little as possible by making decisions, we make a choice of everything that is possible for him. For both versions of Acronis True Image, they are similar: by default, we offer to backup the entire computer weekly, whether it be Windows or Mac. The user just needs to make sure that we have chosen everything exactly as he would have chosen.

    Instead of an epilogue

    Acronis tirelessly strives to make its products more reliable and easier to use. We do not always succeed, but we are always working on it. We believe that creating the perfect backup application is possible.

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