Pleco Desktop

Discussion in 'Future Products' started by james, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. radioman

    radioman 状元

    Well maybe thats a good point... the issue is not "at some point" but at EVERY point taking a few shots. At least for me, one of the nice things about digital photography is that important pictures I will take multiple rapid shots (HDR is sorta along those lines, but getting a clear shot is yet another dynamic of getting the right picture).

    I am out walking around and there is a sign, not of 2 or 3 characters, but of 25 or more. And rather than try and focus, stand there, straighten and align the OCR (a process in and of itself is pretty cool to show, but not real practical for multiple characters when walking down the street, especially when I'm in a rush...), I could see taking 3 or 4 pictures of a document or sign (I do this all the time as one is typically going to be clear), and then OCR against the best one (or maybe some sort of interpolation of multiple snapshots).

    In this way, I can just take out the camera... bang bang bang, and get on my way...

     
  2. radioman

    radioman 状元

    Well maybe thats a good point... the issue is not "at some point" but at EVERY point taking a few shots. At least for me, one of the nice things about digital photography is that important pictures I will take multiple rapid shots (HDR is sorta along those lines, but getting a clear shot is yet another dynamic of getting the right picture).

    I am out walking around and there is a sign, not of 2 or 3 characters, but of 25 or more. And rather than try and focus, stand there, straighten and align the OCR (a process in and of itself is pretty cool to show, but not real practical for multiple characters when walking down the street, especially when I'm in a rush...), I could see taking 3 or 4 pictures of a document or sign (I do this all the time as one is typically going to be clear), and then OCR against the best one (or maybe some sort of interpolation of multiple snapshots).

    In this way, I can just take out the camera... bang bang bang, and get on my way...

     
  3. phyrex

    phyrex Member

    I am TOTALLY for an OS X desktop version of pleco. I'd definitely buy it, and I know many other people would as well!
     
  4. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    That certainly makes sense - live OCR is designed more for the indoor paper-in-front-of-you scenario, for which I still feel it's better-suited than still image capture. But as a learning tool I like it better than still image OCR regardless since it forces you to be extremely aware of the structure of Chinese text - it's not quite as easy to advance from one word to the next one as it is in our popup reader, but because of that you're almost forced to read the actual Chinese and only use OCR to fill in the gaps, which is what everybody ought to be doing anyway.

    It'd be a lot of fun to develop - given my fondness for Objective-C and hatred of Java it'd actually be much more fun for me than our current Android porting work :)
     
  5. phyrex

    phyrex Member

    Are there any news on this? I'd kill for a way to run Pleco on my OS X desktop!!
     
  6. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    After Android - personally I'd find this a lot more interesting to work on but we have to do Android first. Plus Android makes it possible for us to do a simple virtual-machine-based desktop version (something that wasn't possible on Palm/WM and certainly isn't on iOS but should work pretty well on Android).
     
  7. phyrex

    phyrex Member

    Thanks for your answer! I'm really looking forward to it!
     
  8. mongrel

    mongrel 举人

    I *just* built a new computer, and now have the virtualization extensions.
    Ready when you are.
     
  9. Raesu

    Raesu 秀才

    I know I would love a desktop version for windows. Im not entirely sure im accurate here, but using Silverlight would make it very easy to port over to Windows Phone 7 as well. I am excited to move from my iPhone to a Nokia made WP7 device when they appear. 3rd party research projects WP7 to have half of the mobile marketshare by 2015....something to consider please!
     
  10. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    WP7 will remain more-or-less impossible for us to support until they add official support for native code; my suspicion is that they're going to hold off on that until Windows 8, at which point WP7 will essentially just be a shell for running mobile-optimized Silverlight apps on top of that (lack of native code support = apps run beautifully on ARM and X86 processors) and we can write a regular old Windows app instead using whatever method we like. Microsoft's announcement of ARM processor support in Windows 8, coupled with their very very very long history of schizophrenia regarding programming interfaces, makes me very wary of betting on Microsoft sticking with WP7 long-term.

    Which is why I continue to feel like the best chances of getting Pleco on desktops in the near term will be from as a port from one of our current mobile apps - Android version recompiled for X86 and running in VirtualBox, or iPhone version ported via Chameleon.
     
  11. Yohmi

    Yohmi Member

    Mac OS X Lion Pleco port ?

    Hi :)

    First of all, I really wanted to thank you for this incredible app. It took me several months to convince myself to get into it, because the UI required many tweaks before matching my needs, but once it’s been done, now it’s such a help… especially because of the OCR add-on, but also for the simple fact you support ㄅㄆㄇㄈ, as I’m a French living in Taiwan :D

    Now, here’s the question… I know a desktop port has already been discussed here, two years ago. Now that the market and OS has evolved, I was wondering if you’ve been reconsidering this, aside from the Android port, which is obviously the biggest priority (and also the UI rebuild discussed elsewhere, which will, I hope, make this wonderful app more accessible to the average user). So I wondered, considering you may have learned a lot about making an app run into an OS X environment (as iOS is kind of its child), and the Mac getting more and more iOS-like (with Lion, the Mac Appstore, gesture enabling etc.), do you think it is feasible, or does it require way too much work (and financial investment), like building it all from the ground up ? In the thread I mentioned earlier, the main problem seemed to be customer market. I have no idea how this had evolved since, maybe not at all… however, it’s been months I’m looking for an app like Pleco on the Mac, to translate, look up for words definition and 注音符號 transcription, using OCR on still-image… and can’t find anything of that quality. I’m even compelled to send some messages from my Mac to my iPhone to have a proper translation and pronunciation informations ^^ Hard to believe, my phone is smarter than my laptop :lol:
    At least, if you’re ever considering it, I’ll be your first customer for sure ;)

    Thanks again, hope you’ll answer that request (no matter if it’s bad news), and sorry if that requests is getting quite too frequent :? but since monday’s keynote, seeing again what Lion is made of, I saw again how iOS and OS X were merging on the UI topic ;)

    Guillaume / 吉翰

    [edit] Since I missed this topic, probably because as usual, the more obvious seems invisible to the human mind :p (but a nice moderator kindly moved my message here), it looks like it evolved quite a bit, like the OS X port could be the next Pleco’s software site… I can’t wait :) I hope we’ll get some news soon :D
     
  12. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Well the recent announcement that the Mac App Store will support In-App Purchases certainly might help matters... we wouldn't even consider this until we finish our Android version and our iOS UI revamp / new dictionary launches / etc, though, we can't add anything else to our to-do list right now :)
     
  13. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Re: Mac OS X Lion Pleco port ?

    Didn't notice this line - could you possibly elaborate on the tweaks you needed to make it useful? As we're in the midst of redesigning the UI this would be very helpful to know...
     
  14. Yohmi

    Yohmi Member

    Do you want me to take screenshot of my settings panel ?
    In fact, for me the problem is that there is way too much things we can tweak, and we can’t see immediate result (and because there is too much things, you must try two different settings and going back and forth to see what it changes). The best would probably to make an interactive setting panel, showing the dictionary screen, and making a long pressure of the finger into an element would let appear a popover with the related options, and tweaking would update it on the fly (WYSIWYG). But I suppose it requires a lot of work (it may not even be possible, I have no idea ^^). But for example, I’ve activated something about flashcards in the settings, but I still haven’t found where I can display them once it’s been added, the setting section where this can be made doesn’t show the related option, then you must go in every section looking for it, and it’s not friendly.
    I know for some people a lot of settings mean you can have exactly what you want… but in the other hand, I think most users don’t want to tweak every aspect, they just want something that just works… at least, Mac users usually do, so I suppose iOS users too :)
     
  15. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Oh no need for that, I just wanted to see if there was some particular place where the default option was proving problematic for you - part of improving our settings is improving the defaults to make it less likely that people would actually need to change them.

    You're quite right about the settings screens; the preview that you describe would be extremely difficult to get working correctly, but at the very least we need to find ways to hide the less-commonly-used options and add inline documentation (so you tap on an (i) button next to an option to instantly find out what it does).
     
  16. Giraffe

    Giraffe 举人

    I don't care so much about a Pleco desktop, except that I would dearly love some way of editing my flashcards other than using my phone. For example, if I found an interesting sentence while sitting at my desktop computer browsing the web, I could just copy and paste it somewhere (maybe into a personal account on pleco.com or into Dropbox) which would magically add it to the flashcard list on my phone. It would also be really nice to be able to drag and drop flashcards between categories using a keyboard and mouse. I guess what I'm really looking for is cloud-based flashcard management with the ability to edit from a desktop computer / web browser.
     
  17. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    A desktop app is actually a lot easier than a web-based one licensing-wise, and given the similarities between iOS and Mac OS programming it would probably be easier for us to program as well. But certainly flashcard data editing is a big part of the appeal.
     
  18. Please count me for desktop based flashcard management.
     
  19. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Oh yes, I know it's quite a popular feature, and we're no longer quite as worried about stepping on other companies' toes on desktops as we used to be, so it's really mostly just a question of finding the time in our schedule to develop it.
     
  20. Slim Smith

    Slim Smith 秀才

    Hi.

    I'm late to the party, but since it seems to still be going on, I thought I'd chime in.

    After reading some of the posts in this thread and reflecting on how I use Pleco, I've come to the realization that I'm in the "not interested in a desktop version" camp. I also don't see the need for my flashcards to be "in the cloud".

    I use Pleco on both my iPod touch and iPad. I study flashcards on my iPod when I'm out and about, and on my iPad when I'm at home.

    I've used other desktop flashcard programs and I think the most important thing I've learned is that I don't like studying flashcards on a desktop. Even when I'm at home I like to be mobile, studying on the couch, in bed, standing by the window, walking around, etc.

    With Pleco, transferring flashcards via wireless or Bluetooth between my devices is fast and easy. I've had syncing problems with Ankimobile, the desktop version and Anki Online. Over it. I've also recently stopped using Mental Case because I'm tired of having to start up my computer every time I want to sync. One of the great things about Pleco is that it's . . . it's just there. (That would be a great line for a Pleco TV commercial!) :D It's inside my iPod and iPad. I don't have to worry about clouds or desktops when I create flashcards or sync them between my portable devices.

    I use a wireless keyboard with my iPad to create sentence flashcards and I've been happy with the experience. If I didn't have a wireless keyboard, I could type up the cards on my computer and then transfer them to my mobile devices via iTunes, email or a web browser.

    So yeah. Pleco: it's just there. In my mobile device. And I like it like that.

    Regards,
    Slim
     

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