Eliminating the "no network connection" popups in Mac.

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  • Problem
  • Updated 5 years ago
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Is there a way to eliminate the CE popups on Mac that notify that there is no network connection? Whenever my Macbook goes to sleep, it turns off the WiFi, then turns it back on whenever it wakes. However, before it wakes I always get a popup from Covenant Eyes warning that there is no internet connection. Is there a way to turn this off?

Other than that, CE for Mac works great.
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Chance

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Posted 6 years ago

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Chad, Alum

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Hi Chance, thank you for asking this question,

Starting with Covenant Eyes version 2.2.0, the Covenant Eyes software is doing more diligent reporting of network errors rather than simply hanging the connection as it may have in the past. However, as you have already noticed, the timing of the system waking up and the network connection coming back online is not always consistent. Another possible cause is the computer wakes up briefly on its own to do maintenance, and the same problem occurs where the network is unavailable. When you wake it back up, you see an error, but it is actually from earlier when you were not there. For those cases especially, this new diligence can be a nuisance. At this point there is not an option to disable that message.

Unfortunately the Mac OS does not tell the Covenant Eyes software it is going to sleep (or waking back up). This means we have to be a bit creative to try to determine the difference between the network just being a little slower to wake up, and having an actual problem. With Covenant Eyes version 2.2.1 some changes were made to be more forgiving on the network errors that are very brief or follow specific patterns that would be consistent with sleep to try to limit those errors. In testing this has shown to significantly diminish that error pop-up, but has not eliminated it yet for everyone. We are still working on the logic there to find the best way to balance effectively notifying you if the connection is truly down without overstating it and being a nuisance.

Covenant Eyes version 2.2.1 is still in Beta at this point, but is available for download. If you have not done so already, I would recommend installing that and let us know if that helps to diminish the error frequency. You can download and install this beta version by logging in to your account on the Covenant Eyes home page and going to the 'Downloads' page.

Please let us know how this works out for you.

Thank you!
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matthew watkins

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The new behavior is not just a nuisance. I regularly give public presentations and a pop up saying "covenant eyes" is potentially very embarrassing.
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Logan

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This is a fair point, and one I've experienced in front of professional clients and my students as well. :(
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Chance

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Great. Thanks! It seemed like in the past the computer would take a while to respond after waking up from hibernation, and it looked like the WiFi was searching for a connection. It doesn't seem to do this anymore, but I didn't know if that was a new version of CE, or something with Mavericks.
Thanks again.
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Chad, Alum

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FYI for Mac users,

The beta version (2.2.1) of Covenant Eyes for Mac is now the default download. It can be found on the Downloads Page in My Account on the Covenant Eyes website. The version number is now 2.2.2.

Link: https://covenanteyes.com/myaccount/do...

Chad
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Chance

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I have noticed that the network connection popups are drastically reduced with the new version. Thanks!
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Chance

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I wanted to let you know that I reverted my Mac CE version to the legacy version. The 2.2(.3) kept hanging my internet connection. The eye would close on the toolbar and it wouldn't always open back up when I started using the internet again. I would sometimes try to re sign-in (it auto signs in), but it would still hang from time to time. I don't need the filtering capability right now, so the 1. version works fine for me.
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Brad Smith

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All of our Macs are facing the same issue. We've had to uninstall CE since the popups don't allow users to keep working and will come up incessantly and not in the background which does not allow any other software to operate. The latest version seems to be worse than the earlier versions. Please fix it soon.
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Mat Adams

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Amen. Fix please. No more popups! Just close the eye, we'll figure it out.
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Henry C

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Agree. I would really appreciate if there's at least a way to disable those popups. It does not help, and there are times where it pops up while I am giving a presentation, etc. I know that the number of popups have been reduced with the latest version, but I really need to have popups eliminated completely.

I've used Covenant Eyes for ~10 years now and very much appreciate the great work you have done. Would appreciate a way to disable these popups PLEASE.
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Ryan Sherrett, Official Rep

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Hey guys,

Thank you for all of the feedback on this.  The pop-up messages are certainly a topic that has generated a variety of different feedback, both in this forum and to Customer Service directly. One common theme is that they are rather intrusive. I'd like to take a minute to give some background on them, give you our idea for going forward and get your feedback on those ideas as well.

 First, the Mac client has become far more dependent on a reliable connection to our servers here at Covenant Eyes, and if that connection is "sketchy" the client performance degrades with it.  As some of you noticed with our recent outage at our Dallas data center, if the servers are unavailable it is pretty catastrophic for the Mac client.  However, even if your WiFi connection is spotty, it can cause intermittent issues.  The messages that pop up were intended to inform you that a problem existed rather than just silently closing the eye and leaving users wondering what is going on.  Many times the connection restores on its own, and had the message not told you there was an issue, you probably never would have noticed it.  The intention of these notifications was good....the implementation, however, leaves users a bit wanting.  This is not news to you, know.

So, what are we doing about it?  Well the general existence of the messages is important, and we felt like it would not be a good user experience to just eliminate them and go back to silently failing. However, the client could certainly be a bit more relaxed about connection performance and not be so quick to flag it as a problem to begin with.  We made some adjustments in recent client releases toward this effort and for many people it did reduce the frequency of those messages.  There's probably room to go a bit farther on that though and reduce them even more.  Regardless of how often they appear, they're still disruptive.  To help with that we're looking at changing some dialogs (like the "Network down?" box) to be non-modal.  What does that mean? You may have seen those smaller pop-up "bubbles" that appear out of the menu bar for different applications?  This is a non-modal dialog.  They're a little "softer", require no user interaction, and do not take focus away from the current task.  There is still a message to inform you of a problem, but it will hopefully be less intrusive.

Our hope is that this will provide a good balance.  But, I'm interested in your opinion on it.  Please feel free to post replies here and let us know.

Thanks again for your feedback thus far and thank you for all you do to protect you and your families from the pitfalls of the Internet.  We're grateful to have such faithful partners in this battle!

-Ryan

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Chance

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I think non-modal is the way to go.
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Mat Adams

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I think non-modal is a good compromise. What if it was similar to the wifi icon in the top bar. If there was an issue, and exclamation point (or some other signal) could appear over the closed or open eye, giving indication of an issue, but if the user wants to examine it farther, to click the eye for the drop down and the message could be there in the menu?
Just a thought.
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Brad Smith

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I think non-modal would help a great deal. Mat's idea would be even better.
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Henry C

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I would really like for users to be given the option of how they want to be notified.

Just seeing the closed eye is more than sufficient for me. Even if it notifies me, there's nothing I can do about it to fix it. I use my Mac at work for presentations (sometimes not in presenter mode). I just don't want any notifications to show up.

Please, please give users the option. Thank you!
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Ryan Sherrett, Official Rep

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Thank you everyone for the great feedback! 
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Zach Sisk

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COuld it possibly be implemented in a fassion similar to iMessage where you get a "growl" type notification. Or even like the DayOne app where you get a notification bubble that doesn't act as a foreground application. And simply clicking elsewhere makes it disappear altogether?
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John, Official Rep

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Interesting idea, I will ping some of our Mac people on this and see what they think... no promises but I can tell you that we do want to fix this issue for you guys. Right now it is not the priority work (Mac client has some really cool under the hood changes in development right now) 

stay tuned
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Logan

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John, thank you for the progress update.  

Sorry that I didn't see this thread and created, essentially, a duplicate plea elsewhere on the board.

Form your users' perspective(s), elegant architecture/refactoring/feature-creep/under the hood changes aren't the same thing as the software "just working" (i.e., network failure-tolerant and quiet about it).

Again, thanks for the update and I will be happy to buy the dev a pizza who fixes this persistent irritation.  Maybe we can can crowd fund additional pizzas to help get this done soon?  
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Jonathan

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Echoing what Rob Tull said below, please, please use the built in mac notifications which allows the user to manage and/or pause notifications. It's truly the best of both worlds. 

John, it looks like your progress update was about a month ago, any updates on this? Logan hit the nail on the head when he said user's truly care about the software just working better (i.e. not interrupting presentations with a modal box alert that 'has to' be clicked in order to proceed).
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e f

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John,

I have had this problem for a while and my solution has been to simply remove CE when I am going on business trips.  This defeats the entire purpose of having the software.  But I cannot afford to have these pop ups in executive presentations.  I am VERY discouraged to see "Right now it is not the priority work".  

At this point I would be happy to see a simple checkbox that says "disable pop ups" in the preferences page.  That should not take long to do and would be functional interim solution while a more elegant one can be discussed, planned and built.  

This thread was started 11 months ago.  I think that is more than enough time to build functional solution to this problem.  

John can you provide us a date or a way to solve this problem?
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John, Official Rep

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E.F.

Work is in progress, and believe me when I say we are aware of the timeline. Check out this thread for more up to date answers and discussion. 

I will be closing this thread, just so that we can focus our conversations into one place for better communication. Thanks.
(Edited)
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Rob Tull

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Hi guys! I would like to add my voice to this discussion to suggest that you use the standard OS X Notifications structure for this - or at least make that an option. This would be the "iMessage type" notification Zach mentioned.

Notifications already have a good set of interfaces provided for you in the OS X dev frameworks and they have a good preference pane wrapped around them for the user to control how those notifications display. You get a lot of gain (including the ability for the user to control how those notices display) without a lot of pain, I would think.
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John, Official Rep

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Official Response
Thanks for all of the input everyone. 

Please visit this thread on the same topic to continue the discussion. 

I have closed this thread to help combine all of our discussions into one place.

Thanks again

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.