iPhone Feature Requests

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#1
Thought I'd start a separate thread for this, since the current / possible / advisable features on iPhone are very different from those on Palm/WM. However, if you've got a very complicated suggestion / something you want to start a full discussion on, feel free to put that in a separate thread, this doesn't need to be the only place to discuss new features.
 
#3
Dragon Naturally has put out an app that is a bit fasinating for what it is. You just talk in English and it translates what you said. You can stop, edit, and keep going - and for now - its free.

But what I find most interesting about it is that they then prompt you to "send email" (many apps do this), but also prompt you to send SMS message or send to clipboard.

It seems that the program in fact still is missing "tight integration", but they do in fact do the following
1) copy the edited words to clipboard
2) bailout of the Dragon app
3) open the Messaging App.

So it eliminates (1) Copying text, (2) closing Dragon, (2) opening messages application.
You still have to paste and do a lookup on someone's phone number, but couple step reduction is not bad.

I am thinking a similar approach utilizing Pleco's reader/editor could lend some convenience to sending text messages.
 
#4
I love it! I've only used it on a friend's iPod Touch since I don't have my own just yet (Christmas present!). But to make the complete switch I need to wait for the flashcards anyway since that's 80% of what I do with Pleco.

An important feature for me in the document reader is some way to restrict internet access, whether a white/black list, or a way to stop internet access entirely without first entering a passcode or something like that. In my youth I developed some unhealthy web use habits, and I need to keep myself on a short leash to make sure I don't go back. Although I would get a lot of use out of the document reader, I'm not willing to even have a device in my possession that has completely unrestricted access.

I'm guessing I'm not the only Pleco user with this concern, just the only one talking about it. :oops:
 
#5
I know I'm *such* a nit-picker, but after Flashcards are done I'd like to see Pleco's UI, layout, colours, toolbar icons etc look a little more polished. (I think you've done a wonderful job already of adapting a complex program to the new UI, but I also think there's room for refinement!)

Also, would there be a way to see all of the definition (or close to it) directly from the search results screen? When I do a search the answer I want is usually in the first one or two entries, and if it was just right there on the screen it would be one less tap, and it'd be closer to the experience on the Palm / WinMob version.

I've tried increasing the number of lines for search results in the settings to get something similar, but that then applies to each and every result, meaning I get a screen full of blank lines a lot of the time, which seems a waste of space. Something that "right-sized" all the entries in the search results would be great.
 
#6
Would it be possible to reduce the font size of the search results so that you can see more entries per screen? Right now, you can only see 5 entries per screen on the iPhone version, whereas on Palm, it shows 11 entries, though Palm has a smaller screen.

See attached:
 

Attachments

#7
And referencing gato's pictures, not sure why I see headwords that have Traditional character added in a supplemental fashion when I have the program configured just for Simplified. Also, in these cases where multiple words/definitions are listed, it would also save space to stack the Hanzi and Pinyin on the same line. Maybe even start the definition on the first line of the definition as well (even more important when in landscape mode). "Neater" layouts could be afforded in the single entry dictionary view, but in the list mode, getting lots of great info I personally believe would be worth the sacrifice of format.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#8
numble - interesting, but fairly ambitious; we might be better off integrating RSS support by getting Live Mode to work well with Google Reader or something similar. But a newsinchinese-style feed would certainly be a cool addition.

radioman - interesting, but I'm not sure if that's worth adding a button for without the option to actually paste in the message once we're done with it - we can look into this further once get the editor more fully implemented, though, maybe there's some documented-API way we can send a block of text to SMS automatically (say a custom URL protocol).

ewlic773 - browser blocking was actually requested during the beta too, though I'm not sure if it was for the same reason - makes things more kid-friendly also, the only reason for our 17+ rating is because we have a built-in web browser. (which would get around a parent-imposed block on web browsing)

sych - where do you find them un-polished now? I was actually pretty happy with how the toolbars turned out, at least compared to our past efforts - anything in particular strike you as unpolished?

As far as seeing all of the definition, there's no way to do variable-sized list items without slowing things way down, but have you tried just rotating your iPhone into landscape orientation? You can get that same Palm-version-like behavior in portrait via the Main Screen Layout panel in Settings.

gato / radioman the search results are actually incredibly customizable, though nobody seems to have found their way to that part of the Settings screen yet. http://www.pleco.com/ipmanual/settings.html#entrylistce

From that screen, you can configure both the font size and the layout - that all-on-one-line approach radioman wants could be achieved with the "Head Pron Defn" List Layout option.

The two-character-sets issue seems to be a bug - should be easy to fix, anyway.
 
#9
Congratulations. It's amazingly fast and elegant: a joy to use. And your thorough documentation, ready on the product's launch, is fabulous, generous, and thoughtful.

Two small interface design suggestions:

1) The row of buttons below the search bar:

HWR Rad Key Full Wild

I wonder if there's a way to distinguish them a bit more (graphic clues? size or colour difference?) Especially the "Key" button, which I use the most, in conjunction with HWR. Can the Key button be made more prominent? Each time I have to delay a split second, hunt for it (in the middle, it's the third one) and tap it. I've been working for a day with the app, and I'm not getting faster at that hunt-and-tap. Which suggests that a) I have muscle memory problems or b) the interface design isn't giving me the intuitive clue I need.

2) To start a new search, does one always have to find and tap the x (clear) button to the right of the input field? It's a really small target, and thus a slightly awkward step each time I want to look something up. The double tap solution for HWR input clearing is fabulous: I wonder if something analogous can be done here?

I don't want to sound picky. Pleco is a joy to use on my Ipod Touch. I just would welcome even more joy :)


cheers

Shelly
 
#10
One more thing:

Might you consider a "Clear history" button too (as well as Entries, Searches, and Cancel), for the search history screen? Could be handy.


Shelly
 
#11
Yeah, I love asking for things that were already there in the first place! I'll check it out.

mikelove said:
gato / radioman the search results are actually incredibly customizable, though nobody seems to have found their way to that part of the Settings screen yet. http://www.pleco.com/ipmanual/settings.html#entrylistce

From that screen, you can configure both the font size and the layout - that all-on-one-line approach radioman wants could be achieved with the "Head Pron Defn" List Layout option.

The two-character-sets issue seems to be a bug - should be easy to fix, anyway.
 
#12
It's mentioned it the manual that the editor isn't fully integrated with apple's copy-and-paste functionality, but I just want to say that I hope it comes out soon. Being able to copy and paste into SMS messages is the reason I still have my treo with me after all these years.

Other than that though, everything is wonderful. Pleco flies on a 3GS.
 
#13
Hello Mike,
would it be possible to implement a function to use the HWR direct in the definition screen, similar to the Palm version? This was a really useful feature I'm missing a little bit in the iPhone version. But I have to say you did a really, really great job! I'm so glad I can finally use Pleco on my iPhone! Thank you very much!
Best wishes,
enimeni
 
#14
enimeni said:
would it be possible to implement a function to use the HWR direct in the definition screen, similar to the Palm version?
Not sure this is what you mean, but have you tried setting the HWR background to transparent?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#15
Beijingmac - thank you very much!

I agree with you that the HWR/Rad/Key buttons can be a bit unintuitive, but I'm not quite sure where else we could put that command - the ideal would be to build it into the keyboard, but we can only do that once we replace Apple's keyboard with our own. (which we're planning to do eventually, though we'll still offer the option to use the Apple one instead)

A multitouch gesture for reopening the input bar is an interesting idea - in theory we might actually be able to have that same gesture in the main screen, it'd just be a little tricky to keep it from interfering with list tapping / scrolling. And at the moment we're not quite satisfied with how fast the input bar opens (another item in the category of Things We Can Fix When We Roll Out Our Own Keyboard).

There is a "Clear History" button in Settings, but I suppose we could consider adding one to that History UI too to make it easier to get at.

scoff - you actually can copy-and-paste entire dictionary entries, just not individual words yet. That should indeed be coming soon, though.

enimeni - yes, per character's comment you can get that with the "Transparent" background option, though at the moment the input tends to be kind of slow / laggy on a non-3GS (due to some graphics compositing issues we haven't quite worked out yet).
 
#16
I have a similar problem with this. Maybe something like the input on the iPhone could be useful, where by pressing the language selection key, it changes the input calling. Would it be possible to toggle HWR and various keyboard inputs? So if I use keyboard input, the next time I am on the screen it will be keyboard input, unless I toggle to HWR, where then HWR would remain as the input of choose until toggled again. This would not be the same as calling HWR from iPhone's keyboard (I don't think), it would just be Pleco either calling up HWR or the Apple Keyboard. This would eliminate having to select from multiple keys for input as there would only be one dedicated for toggling.

Also, maybe a reflection of my bad learning approach, but I know that there are others as well that just do not use radicals for lookup - ever. Maybe an option/customization choice for what buttons appear. (hope this not another thing I missed that in fact already exists as a Pleco option... :) )

Beijingmac said:
I wonder if there's a way to distinguish them a bit more (graphic clues? size or colour difference?) Especially the "Key" button, which I use the most, in conjunction with HWR. Can the Key button be made more prominent? Each time I have to delay a split second, hunt for it (in the middle, it's the third one) and tap it. I've been working for a day with the app, and I'm not getting faster at that hunt-and-tap. Which suggests that a) I have muscle memory problems or b) the interface design isn't giving me the intuitive clue I need.
 
#17
Radioman's suggestions sound like what I was trying to imagine: I also hardly ever use the radical lookup method (I wonder if many other Pleco users are the same?) and a preference to hide the button would be most welcome.

Even, as a simple measure, an ability to tint each of the HWR Rad Key buttons slightly differently might help for slightly more instant recognition and tapping. Or a bit more space around Key?

Shelly
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
#18
radioman - an option to disable or at least bury radical input makes sense, yeah. Perhaps a graphical icon would be better than the text ones, particularly if combined with a different colored background. A toggle button could also work, certainly - it'd be better if embedded into a dedicated Pleco keyboard, though, and since in this scenario you're not using Apple's handwriting recognizer anyway there's not really any benefit to their alphabetic keyboard over what we could come up with.

Beijingmac - adding space around Key would actually be a little tricky, the particular control type we use for those three buttons doesn't allow for those sorts of gaps. But perhaps it would make more sense to get rid of the tabbed selection altogether and replace it with two pushbuttons, one for each of the panels you're not currently in. (with the option to disable Radical too and have even space for other buttons we might eventually add)
 
#19
I feel like the input area for the dictionary switching button in the reader is very small, and I often end up hitting the text (and losing the popup dictionary) instead of switching dictionaries.
 
#20
This has been mentioned before, but I thought I'd bring it up again here. I have two or three creative commons licensed dictionaries in stardict format, and hope I can use them in Pleco. Is there anyway the soon to come user dictionaries could support stardict format?

If not possible, would it be possible to get a Pleco version of the two or three Buddhist dictionaries added to the list of free dictionaries? If you need any help or more info on the dictionaries let me know.

Original post :http://www.plecoforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1922

Dictionaries:
Soothill-Hodous: "A Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms" (E-C)
丁福保:佛學大辭典 - (C-C)
 
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