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Punakea is a little app trying to help you cope with the day-to-day struggle of managing your files. Designed to complement Spotlight, it allows you to tag your files and bookmarks, freeing you of the strict hierarchy of the Finder's folder structure.

A "tag" is like a keyword. Tags can help you to group files which have something in common. You can assign as many tags as you wish to each file.

With its sidebar, it's always accessible with just a flick of the mouse, just drag and drop without any hassle. The tag cloud gives you a perfect view of all your tags.

Additional features:

What's New

Version 1.3.1:
  • Fixed Open With menu when in thumbnail view
  • Fixed crash when clicking on menubar item


OS X 10.6.6 or later

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Punakea User Discussion

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Slarkin Member IconComment+24

I paid $12.95 on 2.2.2011 as a MacUpdate Promo. Now for a simple update from version 1.1.6 I must pay $14.99 at the Mac App Store. This is a rip off!

I will never do business with this software company again! There are better options.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.2.3

The Apple Mac App Store does not offer any updates or so for Software not purchased in the MAS store.

You should get your updates directly from the developer:

Or maybe the download link above will work for You.

If they let you down, well then ....
pls complain here in full details.

Pik80 Member IconReview+341

I don't think it is such a bad thing that the developer is charging again for this product at the MAS. The product was priced quite low to begin with and was even almost being given away in several bundle deals.

I do however take huge issue with the fact that the software has turned into vaporware. HoudahSpot is continually been adding welcome new features while Punakea has just been sitting there. Getting a powerful app is a much bigger deal to me then how much I pay for it.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.2.1
Carsten Langrock Member IconComment+13
Carsten Langrock

I agree with the people who commented on the switch to the App Store. That's a pretty shitty move by the developers, especially since the app hadn't seen any updates in a long time. No wonder they are lowering the price to $10. I would look at other OpenMeta taggers.

Somebody said that they could have called it version 2 and be done with it. Sure, if they had added any significant features. Only minor work has been done to get it to comply with the App Store rules, not more. The 1.2.1 version of the app is essentially the same as the 1.1.6 one, hence the similarity in version numbers. I paid for the app, but will not "upgrade", not even for $10. I'd rather spend extra cash on a new tagger.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.2.1
Bobembry Member IconComment+64

Beware of people who treat their customers and early adopters badly — not a good sign for the future.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.2.1
Mezz Member IconComment+30

Wow, paid for it this past August; now I have to pay for it again...with no upgrade path?!

Reply0 replies
Version 1.2.1
Sforf Member IconReview+50


Reply1 reply
Version 1.2.1

Here's how I see it:

I bought Punakea two years ago at $25, just like you. They could have called this new release v.2, and then done what other devs have done: Call the $10 an "upgrade" fee.

But that's pretty much semantics, right?

I do agree that the MAS mechanism's inability to allow upgrades and coupons is problematic, and hopefully it will change in the future. But on the other hand, the software that was $25 is now much, much cheaper!

F451 Member IconComment+393

When you go to update Punakea, the updater simply gives you this sole option:

VERSION 1.2.1 (BUILD 1786) - FEB 10, 2012

Punakea is now exclusively available on the Mac App Store.
Follow this link to proceed to the App Store. The update mechanism you are currently using is no longer supported.

Future Punakea versions are now MAS only, including v1.2.1.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.2.1
BlackMacX Member IconReview+68

I bought Punakea early after it came out of beta and was available for purchase. I'd used Leap and wanted a tool with similar functionality and wanted to support a startup company. Punakea was lightweight and I thought good initially. That said, I found quickly that it can't (for me) handle more then 2 or 3 tags attached to too many files and/or too many files of one tag (I would have it crash when trying to tag 40 or so PDFs or when I was removing tags, it would often crash). I did email the developers who were as helpful as was possible; but my issues continued. I have removed Punakea, all related files and re-installed it, no change. Also, there were numerous times where I would remove a tag, then quit the application and go back a week or two later to find the tag back. This and the fact that for my usage pattern, Punakea isn't want I wanted, has lead me to remove Punakea and continue to search for a potential replacement. Sofar, the best I have found, it the Finder's SmartSearchs; they aren't perfect and not as nuanced, though the Finder doesn't crash on me and I can find files faster then I could with Punakea (also, having to maintain the org structure of the tags was a pain).

It wasn't right for me; but might be for another.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.1.6

I recommend that you look at HoudahSpot. It is similar to the Finder's smart searches except that the search features are more up front rather then an after thought like with the Finder. I use it everyday and it works good. I do wish it had Punakea's tag cloud feature though. I told the developer about that feature and it said it was really interesting, maybe we will see a tag cloud in HoudahSpot sometime. Here's hoping.

Stike Member IconComment+34

This app is currently crashing right away when launching, when it says "updating tags folder" or somethingsomething.

I sent an eMail to support yesterday. Lets hope this bug is getting fixed soon.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.1.6
Sforf Member IconReview+50

While a nice idea, in practice it has flaws and limitations. Notice that it includes a "Rebuild Database" command in a pull down menu by itself. That is because Punakea does not play well with other taggers nor metadata in spotlight. Also notice the punakea folder it places within the Documents folder, it is filled with hundreds of aliases used to image the tag browser, not a good practice and depends too much on spotlight's indexing to update, and gives misleading results (like indicating tags that don't' work, not updating tag name changes and so on). It is quite primitive in my opinion with an elegant interface which does not update very well. Too many deficiences for $25!!

Reply1 reply
Version 1.1.6
Nudgenudge (Developer)

Regarding the issues you raised:
- It does play nice with other OpenMeta taggers, it will find all files tagged with any OpenMeta compliant tagger. The 'Rebuild Tag Database' command is just there to add names of tags added only with other taggers to the Punakea tag cloud.
- I'm not sure what you mean by "other metadata in Spotlight", Punakea reads and writes only the metadata using OpenMeta. Also, Spotlight is the fundamental technology all tagging applications until now are based on (including and especially OpenMeta), so all of them depend on Spotlight
- The Tag Folder is an optional feature that you don't need to enable if you do not like it. A lot of users find it convenient to have an automatically created folder structure resembling their tagged files, e.g. for browsing in an "Open Document" window. In any case, if you do not like it, disable it in the Preferences, and it will be gone. You are right, though, that the folder structure is not perfect, as it does indeed not reflect name changes of tags. You can however rebuild the folder at any point in time by switching it off and on in the preferences.

Sorry for the hassle you had with Punakea, we've tried to build it to suit many different uses. Unfortunately, sometimes a feature that is perfect for one user is annoying for another one.

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Version 1.1.6
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Version 1.1.6
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Version 1.1.6
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Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 27,840
Version Downloads 645
License Free
Date 22 May 2013
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / Intel 32
Price Free
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