Desktop version?

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#2
Not officially, but some users have had success running our Android app in various emulators on desktops, and newish Chromebooks support running Android apps officially through the Play Store so if you consider those to be 'desktops' that would be a desktop version.

Also, we are hoping to launch a macOS app later this year when Apple releases a macOS update with their new "Project Marzipan" allowing iPad apps to be easily recompiled to work on Mac.
 
#3
Cool, I'm looking forward to the macOS app then! I'm excited about the phone version of Pleco, would be really awesome if I could buy a version for my Mac on top of that.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#5
Initially, yes - it's way, way easier to port an iOS app to Mac than to port an iOS or Android app to Windows. (our understanding is that a basic Mac port with Marzipan will pretty much just involve checking a box in Xcode and rebuilding) In fact there's a pretty good chance that 4.0 will be out on Mac before it's even out on Android :)

We might consider a Windows port if the Mac app is a big success, the main question is how we pay for it - we aren't confident that enough people would buy our app on Windows to pay for the cost of that port. We've toyed with the idea of doing it as a Kickstarter, actually - that would be a good way to see if there was enough interest.
 
#6
We might consider a Windows port if the Mac app is a big success, the main question is how we pay for it - we aren't confident that enough people would buy our app on Windows to pay for the cost of that port. We've toyed with the idea of doing it as a Kickstarter, actually - that would be a good way to see if there was enough interest.
Any chance of a cross-platform (i.e. Windows, Mac, Linux) web version?
Or are there insurmountable licensing and/or performance issues?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#7
Or are there insurmountable licensing and/or performance issues?
We’d basically have to rewrite it in scratch, since most of our engine code is in C and that’s not really viable as a web programming language unless you’re an utter lunatic :)

We might consider doing a putative Windows port in a cross-platform framework that also supported Linux, though - the main question would be whether there were any Windows-specific features that would be complicated by that.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#9
Good for use cases like theirs - where you have performance-intensive native code that needs to run on the front end - but wouldn't do much for us since this is mostly backend code; our UI's are written in Objective-C and Java and a putative web-based one would presumably be written in JavaScript, but the Pleco backend is all in C and that's simply not safe enough to use on a server.
 
#10
Hey you looked into creaking a google chrome plug in? I use Perapera Chinese popup dictionary all the time which is basically your screen reader. I would love a pleco version of this though that can access the pleco dictionaries and use to add new flashcards.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#11
I don't believe it's possible to write a Chrome plugin that uses native C either, sadly.

It would not be too difficult for us to make a desktop app with an embedded web browser once we were developing a desktop app anyway, though - indeed I expect our Mac app will include one because it's something we already support on iOS.
 
#12
my laptop is a touchscreen type with a pen so would be awesome to use Pleco on it... fingers crossed but I might look into the android emulator thing... any pointers as to what one to use?
 
#13
Initially, yes - it's way, way easier to port an iOS app to Mac than to port an iOS or Android app to Windows. (our understanding is that a basic Mac port with Marzipan will pretty much just involve checking a box in Xcode and rebuilding) In fact there's a pretty good chance that 4.0 will be out on Mac before it's even out on Android :)

We might consider a Windows port if the Mac app is a big success, the main question is how we pay for it - we aren't confident that enough people would buy our app on Windows to pay for the cost of that port. We've toyed with the idea of doing it as a Kickstarter, actually - that would be a good way to see if there was enough interest.
A Kickstarter for a windows or web-based version is a great idea - I would certainly pay for it.

A little off topic, but just wondering if there is any information available on Pleco's business model or if there are any ways to get involved with the platform. I've been using Pleco since 2012 and would like to thank you all for such a wonderful resource. I really can't imagine learning Chinese without it (passed HSK5 a few years ago).
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#14
Well we'll see what the reaction to the Mac port is like. If we did do a Kickstarter I expect it would be a pretty big lift - a LOT of money and a very very far-off estimated delivery date - since there would likely be some substantial new licensing fees involved and since it's not worth giving up all of that development time for something people are only lukewarm about.

Business model: we're a regular old for-profit corporation, nothing complicated - we make software and sell software and generally try to earn more from selling than it costs us to make it :)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#16
Not really, no - Windows Mobile development in the 2000s was like desktop Windows development in the 1990s, the APIs we were using back then don’t really even exist in modern Windows.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#20
Probably, but possibly only as a beta for most of that - that’s not even a development timing thing, I’d very much like to adopt iOS 13 as a minimum system requirement and if past history is any guide it’ll take until Christmas for that to reach a sufficient % of users.
 
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