Google Android

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
westmeadboy said:
How do you think that makes you come across?
The magazine citation was rather silly and I think my cynicism regarding that was appropriate - if all of these awards came with actual trophies Steve Jobs wouldn't be able to get his office door open :) As far as the Java comment, that was unprofessional but I'm no more a fan of Java now than I was then... this has evolved from a Few Guys Discussing Android thread into a Many People Watching For News On Android thread and I've had to clean it up a bit.

westmeadboy said:
Mike - this is silly. No one is saying being anti-Android makes one's opinion invalid. Where did you get that one from?
westmeadboy said:
Interesting for someone who doesn't actually use or like Android.
That seemed to be what you were implying... I don't really like it when any post here turns into a personal attack on any other member, however mild. If you disagree with what someone's saying then you shouldn't need anything more than a rational argument to make your point. For myself, in the last few months I've tried to avoid making negative comments about Android users as a whole as well, though I wasn't so good about that in the beginning unfortunately.

westmeadboy said:
Probably about the same amount of time numble has spent using an Android device. I did own an iPod Touch for almost a year, so it's not like I don't know anything about iOS. I wonder if numble has spent as long using Android as I have using iOS... He's definitely spent more time on Android discussions than I have in iOS discussions though.
Which I find somewhat reassuring, since at times I'm pretty much the only non-Android-fan here :)

westmeadboy said:
The big difference is, I don't spend all my time on iOS forums, rubbishing stuff I don't like. I find it negative and mean-spirited. I spend the vast majority of my time discrediting all the misinformation that goes on in this topic. It's all defensive. I don't come here and start introducing a load of negative things about iOS and I don't do it on other forums either.
numble in this case was specific and cited sources - if you don't agree with those sources you're welcome to provide counter-arguments, but his argument isn't really undermined by how much time he may or may not have spent using Android devices. Honestly neither of you is at anywhere near the level of the real crazy platform fans on reddit / Gizmodo / etc...

westmeadboy said:
I tried for a long time to keep this thread Android-only, but you rejected that approach so it's turned into a sad fanboy debate
As I recall you were pushing to make it positive-Android-comment only, which wouldn't have been very interesting - mostly just me finding new and original explanations for why we're not giving out release dates :) But I don't think it's anything like a "sad fanboy debate," in fact it's turned me onto a number of interesting developments.

And since people thinking about Pleco on Android have a pretty good chance of finding their way here (and there's not really a corresponding iOS thread) I think having both sides of the iOS/Android debate represented makes sense - misinformation goes both ways, that iPad-versus-Xoom article you linked was far from the most neutral comparison one could find.

westmeadboy said:
But on a positive note, I do think this topic (which I started 2.5 years ago) has been a major driving factor in getting you to develop an Android version - so I'm really pleased all the effort is paying off!

Looking forward to using Pleco on my Nexus One
It's certainly helped spur things on - we'd probably have started work on one by now simply due to all of the email traffic we've been getting (seriously, we're getting as much "when will it be ready" email on this as we did on OCR), but I don't think we would have done those successful NDK experiments last summer so we wouldn't be nearly as far along.

numble said:
You've put random links in here about Apple, including misinformation, Android being rated whatever, and all have nothing to do with Pleco, except praising Android or putting down Apple. They're not iOS forums or Android forums, they're Pleco forums. I'm not in the iOS threads talking about how great Apple is, or putting down Android, I'm talking about Pleco. I've made numerous suggestions about Pleco features, and there probably will be a ton more once iOS 5 comes along, and it's annoying to see Pleco iOS on hold while it's being rewritten.
Quite right, ultimately the overall topic here is Android as it relates to Pleco and the good and bad aspects of that need to be addressed.

And Pleco on iOS is certainly not on hold, just slowed down a bit (note the new features we still managed to get into 2.2.2)... actually the timing of a lot of new things has been largely unaffected, new dictionaries are mostly a function of how long it takes us to negotiate licenses so iOS users will be getting those at about the same time they would be if we hadn't done an Android port at all. And actually the fact that we're working on an Android version and will potentially be generating sales in two markets instead of one has made a few licenses possible that might not have been otherwise, so iOS users may even see some benefits.

Still, for my part I'd certainly have been happier if we could have gotten away with supporting just one mobile OS :)
 
mikelove said:
I don't really like it when any post here turns into a personal attack on any other member, however mild.
I'm trying to gauge what sort of comments you deem acceptable... How about this response from numble to ogami_ito?

numble said:
ogami_ito said:
I don't believe that Apple's contracts makes things difficult for other manufactures. I believe that Apple's supplier contracts are actually a negative factor; its tied them up with the likes of Foxconn and Wintek (the bastards that poisoned workers in Suzhou where I live), while their competitors either have their own on-the-ground facilities in China (Samsung, Moto, HTC), or have more flexible OEM strategies. But this is neither here nor there.
You make silly claims about the other manufacturers. <snip>
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
westmeadboy said:
I'm trying to gauge what sort of comments you deem acceptable... How about this response from numble to ogami_ito?
He seems to have been describing the claims as silly, not the poster. And this isn't an "acceptable comment policy" thing, just a feeling that it's best if everybody respects everybody else's right to their opinions.
 

numble

状元
westmeadboy said:
mikelove said:
I don't really like it when any post here turns into a personal attack on any other member, however mild.
I'm trying to gauge what sort of comments you deem acceptable... How about this response from numble to ogami_ito?

numble said:
ogami_ito said:
I don't believe that Apple's contracts makes things difficult for other manufactures. I believe that Apple's supplier contracts are actually a negative factor; its tied them up with the likes of Foxconn and Wintek (the bastards that poisoned workers in Suzhou where I live), while their competitors either have their own on-the-ground facilities in China (Samsung, Moto, HTC), or have more flexible OEM strategies. But this is neither here nor there.
You make silly claims about the other manufacturers. <snip>
Why are you on this crusade against me? Do you even read the context of the quote? I believe the claims are silly--saying that Moto has more flexible OEM strategies compared to Apple when Apple places advance component contracts that are worth Moto's entire market cap. And implying that other manufacturers are not tied with labor abuses, when it was part of my job to read reports about those very manufacturers' labor problems (and I provided sources and links, again).

You talk about correcting misinformation, but think it is unacceptable for me to correct misinformation?
 

Zeldor

举人
mike:

Well, if you'd prefer to support just one OS later, it'd probably have to be Android. It should claim about 70-80% market if the trend continues. Apples has no chance [or desire] to control more than they have. Sure, they sell more and more, but their share is flat line at around 20%. Android moved from 8% to 36% in 2 years and it's just maturing.

I also wish there could be one good OS. But you don't have it on desktops either - just Windows with it's bugs or Linux with even more problem. Oh, some Mac OS too. I think that mobile OSes are developing much faster and Android has a good chance to be great system in 2-3 years. Google may be have realized by now that they have a chance to destroy Windows totally and expand Android to notebooks, PCs, fridges... of course it's quite long term [and assuming Microsoft does not wake up - we will see how Windows 8 performs].

About Java - I think that everyone likes most what he is most familiar with. I am Java programmer and it's natural for me to not look at other languages. Except for C for simple stuff. I do big web-based stuff though.

BTW, I think I will be ordering Optimus 2X. I may wait a while for Droid 3 specs, but I'm hesitant to buy another Motorola phone.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Zeldor said:
Well, if you'd prefer to support just one OS later, it'd probably have to be Android. It should claim about 70-80% market if the trend continues. Apples has no chance [or desire] to control more than they have. Sure, they sell more and more, but their share is flat line at around 20%. Android moved from 8% to 36% in 2 years and it's just maturing.
I continue to be uninterested in market share numbers - if I were then I'd be panicking about all of the time we'd wasted on developing Pleco for Symbian :) The important question is which platform is ultimately going to have the most profitable third-party software market, and even if Android ends up with 2-3x iOS' market share it's entirely possible that we'd still make more money selling iOS apps - Android users generally seem less inclined to pay for third-party software than iPhone users (witness all of the titles that were paid on iOS but went free on Android, from Angry Birds to eStroke), and now there's app store fragmentation appearing to confuse matters further.

Zeldor said:
I also wish there could be one good OS. But you don't have it on desktops either - just Windows with it's bugs or Linux with even more problem. Oh, some Mac OS too. I think that mobile OSes are developing much faster and Android has a good chance to be great system in 2-3 years. Google may be have realized by now that they have a chance to destroy Windows totally and expand Android to notebooks, PCs, fridges... of course it's quite long term [and assuming Microsoft does not wake up - we will see how Windows 8 performs].
The desktop market was actually kind of how I was hoping the mobile market would end up - a benevolent dictator with a closed-source (and hence non-vendor-screw-up-able) but open-development platform holding 90% of the market and another company with 5% of the market keeping them honest. Nobody actually had to develop for anything but Windows, but the continued existence of Mac OS kept Microsoft from getting entirely complacent.

Zeldor said:
About Java - I think that everyone likes most what he is most familiar with. I am Java programmer and it's natural for me to not look at other languages. Except for C for simple stuff. I do big web-based stuff though.
It's not even so much the language itself that bothers me, it's the restrictions of running in a VM: manipulating data is a whole lot slower and less flexible when you don't have direct access to memory.

Zeldor said:
BTW, I think I will be ordering Optimus 2X. I may wait a while for Droid 3 specs, but I'm hesitant to buy another Motorola phone.
Is that for bugginess or lockdown-related reasons? Given their history and carrier relationships it may be hard for anyone to displace them in the US at least, but if LG starts to overtake them in the rest of the world it could leave them with less money for their future product development... of course that might actually be a good thing if it gets them to move back closer to stock Android.
 

Zeldor

举人
mike:

Yeah, that may be true - you may be able to get more profit selling expensive apps on iOS per OS user. Latest data shows that Android users are 2-3x more likely to click on add and purchase stuff after checking them - but it's rather not something that helps your business model :)

And yep - I totally agree about your comment on OSes, no developer really needs open source system, just a freedom for write an app for it.

European market is totally different than US [US one may be quite unique here] - it's really not worth buying contract phones, you end up paying way more [unless you talk A LOT out of your network]. So here you just buy a phone directly from a retailer or online and stick your SIM card into it [with 6-24 mo plans or extremely popular prepaid].

And I had many bad issues with Motorola batteries. Not only me. And really badly designed phones [not smartphones]. Maybe I had just bad luck :)
 

gato

状元
Well, if you'd prefer to support just one OS later, it'd probably have to be Android. It should claim about 70-80% market if the trend continues.
I suspect that's probably counting lots of Android branches (like the one being developed by China Mobile) that won't be able to run Pleco.
 

numble

状元
gato said:
Well, if you'd prefer to support just one OS later, it'd probably have to be Android. It should claim about 70-80% market if the trend continues.
I suspect that's probably counting lots of Android branches (like the one being developed by China Mobile) that won't be able to run Pleco.
I wonder what share of Pleco sales go to iPod Touches or iPads, which are not included in smartphone marketshare numbers.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Zeldor said:
And yep - I totally agree about your comment on OSes, no developer really needs open source system, just a freedom for write an app for it.
Well I will say that it's helped to make up for Android's documentation flaws - there are a number of APIs that are basically incomprehensible without reading the sources. The ideal would almost be a read-only open-source OS; let us dive into the internals to figure out what's going on / raid their source code when building our own custom controls and interfaces / etc, but find a way to require that device manufacturers leave the OS mostly unmodified.

Zeldor said:
European market is totally different than US [US one may be quite unique here] - it's really not worth buying contract phones, you end up paying way more [unless you talk A LOT out of your network]. So here you just buy a phone directly from a retailer or online and stick your SIM card into it [with 6-24 mo plans or extremely popular prepaid].
I get the impression that Apple's brand appeal in Europe is a lot lower too; this chart for Mac OS is pretty dramatic, Australia and New Zealand are almost as enthusiastic about Macs as Americans (particularly notable given how obscenely expensive they are there) but Europe outside of a few snowy and lightly-populated countries seems to be considerably less enchanted by them.

But there've been a number of comments from Apple executives about reaching out to the non-contract / lower-end market, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if the annual sell-the-previous-generation-iPhone-at-a-lower-price game this year involves a more dramatic price drop than usual - this fall we could potentially see unlocked iPhone 4s in the $300-$400 range.

Zeldor said:
And I had many bad issues with Motorola batteries. Not only me. And really badly designed phones [not smartphones]. Maybe I had just bad luck
A friend of mine has been carrying around the same StarTAC since the late 90s, though phones have evolved a lot since then... we'll have to see how the market responds to the 2011 launches. Aggressive marketing / carrier discounting might let the Xoom carve out a decent bit of market share, but given the so-so early reviews I suspect connoisseurs will find the second-generation Galaxy tablet a more refined product...

numble said:
I wonder what share of Pleco sales go to iPod Touches or iPads, which are not included in smartphone marketshare numbers.
Close to half... would probably be even higher if Apple had put a decent camera in the iPod, I don't expect the Galaxy Player to sell very well but I'm hoping Apple feels threatened enough by it to upgrade the camera in the 2011 edition.
 

gato

状元
But there've been a number of comments from Apple executives about reaching out to the non-contract / lower-end market, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if the annual sell-the-previous-generation-iPhone-at-a-lower-price game this year involves a more dramatic price drop than usual - this fall we could potentially see unlocked iPhone 4s in the $300-$400 range.
I wouldn't do that if I were them. iPhone 4 is already a great phone, the best on the market currently. If I were to introduce a lower-tier cheaper iPhone, I'd want it to be obviously of a lower quality than the flagship model so that the lower-tier model doesn't cannibalize the sale of your flagship.

Another issue is that iPhone 4's material cost is pretty high. I'm not sure that they can really squeeze it that much using the same components. Many of these components probably don't drop in price that quickly. While you might be able to buy better components next year at the same price as the old one, you might not be able to buy the old components at that heavy of a discount. There are fixed costs that can't really be squeezed out.
http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/P ... uppli.aspx
iPhone 4 Carries Bill of Materials of $187.51, According to iSuppli
June 28, 2010
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
gato said:
I wouldn't do that if I were them. iPhone 4 is already a great phone, the best on the market currently. If I were to introduce a lower-tier cheaper iPhone, I'd want it to be obviously of a lower quality than the flagship model so that the lower-tier model doesn't cannibalize the sale of your flagship.

Another issue is that iPhone 4's material cost is pretty high. I'm not sure that they can really squeeze it that much using the same components. Many of these components probably don't drop in price that quickly. While you might be able to buy better components next year at the same price as the old one, you might not be able to buy the old components at that heavy of a discount. There are fixed costs that can't really be squeezed out.
Both good points... maybe something in a 3G/3GS case (still a classic, and made of much cheaper stuff than the 4) but with a Retina Display / A4 / 512 MB RAM? Without Retina it'll seem in some ways like a weaker device than a $200 iPod, but the older case is enough to make it feel clearly "cheaper" than the 4 and lower the component / assembly costs a bit.
 

mandu

秀才
mikelove said:
gato said:
I wouldn't do that if I were them. iPhone 4 is already a great phone, the best on the market currently. If I were to introduce a lower-tier cheaper iPhone, I'd want it to be obviously of a lower quality than the flagship model so that the lower-tier model doesn't cannibalize the sale of your flagship.

Another issue is that iPhone 4's material cost is pretty high. I'm not sure that they can really squeeze it that much using the same components. Many of these components probably don't drop in price that quickly. While you might be able to buy better components next year at the same price as the old one, you might not be able to buy the old components at that heavy of a discount. There are fixed costs that can't really be squeezed out.
Both good points... maybe something in a 3G/3GS case (still a classic, and made of much cheaper stuff than the 4) but with a Retina Display / A4 / 512 MB RAM? Without Retina it'll seem in some ways like a weaker device than a $200 iPod, but the older case is enough to make it feel clearly "cheaper" than the 4 and lower the component / assembly costs a bit.

Regarding Android, it appears that 2011 devices are sporting i4 specs (1Ghz, 512MB, etc.) as almost a minimum standard (excluding resolution), so hopefully you will have less trouble with performance. Especially as these new phones are OS2.3 or higher.

Any word on RAM Pleco will require? I've hacked my X10 up to Gingerbread which might qualify me, but I've only got 384MB RAM.

For that matter, are any minimum specs coming into focus?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
mandu said:
Regarding Android, it appears that 2011 devices are sporting i4 specs (1Ghz, 512MB, etc.) as almost a minimum standard (excluding resolution), so hopefully you will have less trouble with performance. Especially as these new phones are OS2.3 or higher.
Performance is more a matter of Things Which Android Does Unbelievably Slowly than anything else - there are some things a 1 GHz Android 2.2 phone can do beautifully and some things it does more slowly than an iPhone 3G. So it's really a question of how much we manage to do with software optimizations and how tolerant Android users are of occasional choppiness (pretty tolerant, I'd think, given other Android apps...)

mandu said:
Any word on RAM Pleco will require? I've hacked my X10 up to Gingerbread which might qualify me, but I've only got 384MB RAM.

For that matter, are any minimum specs coming into focus?
Honestly at this point I'd rather wait for feedback from the public beta before talking about specs - better to let users provide a sense of what level of performance / crashiness they're comfortable with than to make guesses based on our much more limited experience.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
As a sign of hope / how close we're actually getting to a beta, here are a couple of screenshots. These were taken on an HTC Desire running 2.2, but please don't run out and buy a 2.2-equipped Desire on the expectation that it will run the finished version of Pleco as it very well may not. (seems pretty likely it'll work with the beta, though)

Pretty much the same as the iPhone UI, but with the OCR and voice input (standard feature on Android) buttons replacing Full/Wild - more interesting changes are on the definition screen which should hopefully be pretty enough to post soon.

Update (since this is already generating a lot of email): we're planning to make this a public beta test, so no need to ask to be included - when it's ready, anybody who's interested should be able to register + download it from our website.
 

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mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I should add that the clear button is currently the subject of considerable debate - it's not a standard Android UI feature, and in general we're happy with the more common Android convention of highlighting all of the text in the input field when it gains focus (allowing you to replace or append to it at your discretion) / clearing the entire field when the backspace key is held down, but we've had a clear button next to the search box for most of our history and it seems odd to give it up now.

As far as the design, since this isn't a standard Android UI feature we thought something more touchable and button-like would be better than a floating black X, though insistent beta feedback may compel us to go back to something more minimalist. (at the very least we're going to fix the border so it matches the lighting direction for the two other buttons).
 
Hi Mike

Awesome to see the screenshots of Pleco on android! The hope and anticipation they have inspired are of biblical proportions :)

Not too sure what you meant with the "clear" button, but my preference would be to have most buttons at the bottom of the screen. On larger phones its a stretch to hit buttons up the top of the phone during one-handed usage. Obviously unless there are benefits in removing it, there is no point removing it. People love options!

Looking at the time on the screenshots it seems like your sleeping patterns are totally shot, if not already non-existent. Don't kill yourself, waiting never hurt anyone... :D

Can't wait to get my hands on the beta and try it out. I am assuming you will be sending an email around. My only consolation is I have push email.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
micahboland said:
Awesome to see the screenshots of Pleco on android! The hope and anticipation they have inspired are of biblical proportions
Thanks!

micahboland said:
Not too sure what you meant with the "clear" button, but my preference would be to have most buttons at the bottom of the screen. On larger phones its a stretch to hit buttons up the top of the phone during one-handed usage. Obviously unless there are benefits in removing it, there is no point removing it. People love options!
The clear button is the X button to clear the input field - not a standard thing on Android like it is on iOS, but we're inclined to ignore Android convention on this since it's something we've been doing for a long time.

However, we're actually planning to get rid of the bottom toolbar - we don't really need most of the functions on it, the only frequently-accessed one is the dictionary switch button, and after our new merged multi-dictionary search feature appears (not in the first Android beta, but probably by the finished release) that's not going to be very important either. In the meantime the dictionary icon is probably going to live in the top-right corner all the time and the history button would then be concealed in the Android popup menu. We might map one of the keyboard buttons to the dictionary switch function, though, since on Android we can intercept / monitor individual key events.

micahboland said:
Looking at the time on the screenshots it seems like your sleeping patterns are totally shot, if not already non-existent. Don't kill yourself, waiting never hurt anyone...
Thanks, but actually that's the result of a screwy time-zone situation on account of my trip to New Zealand :)

micahboland said:
Can't wait to get my hands on the beta and try it out. I am assuming you will be sending an email around. My only consolation is I have push email.
Yes indeed, we'll be announcing it widely.
 
Is it just a coincidence that the time on the screenshots and the time of your last post differ by only 10 minutes?!?! (cue conspiracy theorists)

regarding the "clear button", it all sounds great, thanks for the explanation, i'm all for a clean interface.

on another note: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/29/andr ... s-are-now/
is this good news for pleco on android?

also, I am drumming up business for you with my students. I was wondering about the prospect of an eng>eng Advanced Learners Dictionary? (wrong place to ask, i know)

hope i'm not keeping you up with all these questions :p
 
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