Desktop version

Fernando

探花
You could still install Monterey on a 2013 MacBook Air using this non in-memory, non-permanent hack
That's very interesting. But my mac is already barely usable as it is. It is very sluggish (even with 8gb RAM) and the battery is shot. It's fine as an offiline text editor, but not much else. Another reason I haven't replaced it is that my iPad covers most of my mobile needs (and Pleco!) and I also have a linux box for more computery stuff.

I'll upgrade my gear in the summer, so I'll see what will be available by then. If my old mac's still kicking by then I'll probably just install linux on it.
 

Fernando

探花
Adding to the speculation here… There’re some rumours online that Apple might give a “pro mode” to iPadOS 16 that should provide a raison d’etre for those iPads with the M1 chip and successors, as long as they’re paired with a keyboard+trackpad. That would include real multitasking and way better file handling. I have to say, if that happens I’ll be tempted to go full-on iPad for my next mobile device, cause it will be clear that MacOs is apple’s red-haired stepchild or some legacy of sorts they’d prefer to leave behind. And I’ll just keep my desktop on linux for everything that requires “freedom”.

I wonder, however, how that’d affect plans for Desktop Pleco, given that it’s going to be Mac only at first. Mike spoke of some “upgrade“ package that’d bump up iPad functionality while also enabling the Mac version. But with a “Pro Mode“ in iPadOS would the old, “barebones”, Pleco still work on iPad, or would it be dumped altogether?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I wonder, however, how that’d affect plans for Desktop Pleco, given that it’s going to be Mac only at first. Mike spoke of some “upgrade“ package that’d bump up iPad functionality while also enabling the Mac version. But with a “Pro Mode“ in iPadOS would the old, “barebones”, Pleco still work on iPad, or would it be dumped altogether?
Un-upgraded 4.0 would work on iPad, it would just have a blown-up phone UI.

We're already planning to offer a "legacy" version of Pleco (existing app with continuing fixes for major bugs) for at least the next few years; we need it both for flashcard compatibility (people with older and, initially, Android devices) and to ease migration (people don't want to learn a new app / want a way to keep the old one working the way they're used to). So anybody who was unhappy with our move to charging for the "pro" UI could maintain their current level of iPad UI optimization through that.

The other alternative would be for us to offer a sort of a franken-iPad UI which offered exactly the same iPad UI enhancements as in the current app and no others, but it's a lot cleaner/easier to just have the two UI's.
 

Fernando

探花
Un-upgraded 4.0 would work on iPad, it would just have a blown-up phone UI.
I asked cause this is precisely the sort of situation I guess you wanted to avoid by not letting the current app run on M1 macs. I mean, it *could* run and sort of work, but it wouldn’t have an optimised UI and perhaps some features would be missing.

As for people “unhappy“ with you charging for some extra feature, I think it’s negativity you don’t need in the decision process. I, for one, find it‘s right for developers to charge for substantial new releases and features, but I don’t like the subscription model. If you go that route for the Mac app or the enhanced UI, however, it’s your right as the developer, and I can simply choose not to subscribe. It’s not like you’d be taking away anything that I already had.

To what extent, however, would a blown-up 4.0 UI be inferior to the present iPad app? Maybe I’m missing something, but I think the only thing it has that the iPhone app doesn’t is split screen support.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I asked cause this is precisely the sort of situation I guess you wanted to avoid by not letting the current app run on M1 macs. I mean, it *could* run and sort of work, but it wouldn’t have an optimised UI and perhaps some features would be missing.
I'd rather it didn't run on iPad at all, but it's not possible to remove iPad support from an app that already has it, and even if we did, it would still run blown-up in iPhone emulation mode.

To what extent, however, would a blown-up 4.0 UI be inferior to the present iPad app? Maybe I’m missing something, but I think the only thing it has that the iPhone app doesn’t is split screen support.
Mostly that, yeah. Some minor UI optimizations like popup views / action sheets / etc not covering the whole screen might also go away. (mostly because it's easier to just have the two versions of the app to test rather than having a few iPad bits work and not others)

Also, we've switched to a tab bar navigation UI in 4.0, but have kept the sidebar menu (in its new Apple-approved format) on iPad, so this would adopt that tab bar navigation even on iPad.
 

Fernando

探花
I'd rather it didn't run on iPad at all, but it's not possible to remove iPad support from an app that already has it
That’s the thing isn’t it? The iPad started as a blown-up iPhone. If it eventually morphs into something more like a true desktop it will present some dilemmas for developers or leave them feeling like they were trapped, making desktop apps at mobile prices.

I’d buy that “big screen bundle”, or whatever you decide to call it, though i could survive with a phone app on the desktop as long as it “floats”.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
That’s the thing isn’t it? The iPad started as a blown-up iPhone. If it eventually morphs into something more like a true desktop it will present some dilemmas for developers or leave them feeling like they were trapped, making desktop apps at mobile prices.
They also tried to do the same thing with Catalyst, but thankfully offered an opt-out on that one. (I presume because a number of larger / more important developers than Pleco took offense at the idea of their apps being offered on desktops for free)
 

Gukeli

Member
I hope it is not out of place to ask how the preparations for the much-awaited Desktop version are going?

Is there yet any idea of a possible release date?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
No. But it'll be after the initial beta of 4.0, which will lack a fully iPad / desktop-optimized UI. (a good deal of the relationship between the iPhone and iPad/desktop versions is in flux, actually, basically because we want to charge for the desktop version but don't then feel like we can give the exact same UI + features [mouse/keyboard/windowing support, etc] away on increasingly desktop-like iPads for free)
 

Gukeli

Member
Thanks!

Now, if I had been reading this board regularly I would have some idea of when the initial beta of 4.0 might be expected, so I could extrapolate a bit, but as it is I hardly dare ask ...
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Heh, I think my original release date prediction for that was like 2017 so let's go with that, it'll be ready sometime in 2017 :)
 

Fernando

探花
Heh, I think my original release date prediction for that was like 2017 so let's go with that, it'll be ready sometime in 2017
Since we're talking about going retro, I wonder what happened to those guys over at Wenlin. I mean, apart from looking like it was made for Windows 3.11 their software was quite functional.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Since we're talking about going retro, I wonder what happened to those guys over at Wenlin. I mean, apart from looking like it was made for Windows 3.11 their software was quite functional.
They moved on to other stuff. They're still around, just not working on the desktop app much anymore.
 

Alexis

状元
FWIW, I'd pay extra for iPad optimization. I use Pleco all the time on iPad for the reader and also as a dictionary in 1/3 split screen view.
 
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