iPhone Timetable

Please rush your Pleco Dictionary to the iPhone! We all are starving for your product and checking your site daily! Get out your product fast. :D
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
I know, I know, but look, there are already other iPhone Chinese dictionaries available with handwriting recognition (every one, in fact), already other iPhone Chinese dicitonaries with audio, with stroke order, with toneless / spaceless Pinyin searches, with words-containing-a-character searches, with integrated flashcards, and even with the ABC dictionary. The reason you're going to want to choose Pleco over all of those is that it's a much (much!) higher quality piece of software - faster, better looking, more intuitive interface, and incorporating all sorts of clever little refinements, not to mention some really-hard-to-implement features like fullscreen handwriting recognition and a very slick non-clipboard-dependent built-in document reader. But quality like that takes time: rushing Pleco for iPhone out would result in a product that's only marginally better than the competition, while taking our time lets us release something that utterly obliterates everything in its path. (which our current development version most definitely does)

That being said, things are progressing very well (particularly after our decision in February to release the first iPhone version without flashcards), and there may be an announcement on the beta-testing front at least in the not too distant future.
 

anchan42

探花
The idea of having Iphone had never crossed my mind until I saw an Eng-Eng dictionary with human voice feature on it.
Having that and Pleco on the same machine would be a dream came true to me.

I agree with what Mike have said but it is almost definite that there are some people who decide to get what they can now and will not look back.
 

numble

状元
I agree a bit with anchan42, I rarely browse the App Store--I've browsed through it probably less than 10 times in the whole year I've had my iPhone. If I hadn't known about Pleco beforehand, I would've been happy with my constantly updating Chinese dictionary app and never looked back--it has audio playback, toneless / spaceless Pinyin searches, words-containing-a-character searches, word lists and an email export option. I'm sure many users may be doing the same without knowledge that Pleco is coming.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Well fortunately none of those dictionaries tend to be very expensive (and many of the best ones are actually free, or were free but recently switched to paid which doesn't affect the tens of thousands of people who'd already downloaded them) - I don't think owning one of them is going to dissuade someone from subsequently purchasing Pleco. There's not much in the way of lock-in when it comes to Chinese dictionaries - any decent product that lets you create your own flashcards / word lists is also going to provide a way to export them in an open / readable format.
 

character

状元
Pleco has something the other apps don't -- an existing base of users, albeit on other platforms. While Pleco may never be one of the top-listed education apps, it could certainly be the top C-E app due to word of mouth, reviews, etc.

That being said, things are progressing very well (particularly after our decision in February to release the first iPhone version without flashcards), and there may be an announcement on the beta-testing front at least in the not too distant future.
I'd really like to get in to this as 1) my WM phone is dying but my Touch is fine, 2) I'm using Pleco to make a vocabulary list from ~800 screen captures of a movie and would be able to give certain parts of Pleco a real workout.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Well I'd hope so, but if we're relying on momentum rather than product quality then I'm not sure how much staying power our iPhone version will have - those other apps have a base of users too, after all, some of them have been out for almost a year now.

Beta-test is probably going to involve some sort of lottery, since Apple limits us to 200 Ad-Hoc distribution slots and a lot of those are likely going to go to press / licensing partners / VIPs / etc. (and even if they didn't, we've already gotten well more than 200 inquiries about beta-testing) For vocabulary list making, though, since the first iPhone release isn't going to include flashcards it won't be much good for that. (flashcards are definitely coming, but we'd ideally like the iPhone version of them to include most of the simplification / redesign from 2.1)
 

character

状元
mikelove said:
For vocabulary list making, though, since the first iPhone release isn't going to include flashcards it won't be much good for that.
I'm putting the list in Wenlin, as my WM device is flaky. Still using Pleco for HW recognition of the characters as its recognition is much more forgiving/better than Wenlin's.
 
mikelove said:
...

Beta-test is probably going to involve some sort of lottery, since Apple limits us to 200 Ad-Hoc distribution slots and a lot of those are likely going to go to press / licensing partners / VIPs / etc. (and even if they didn't, we've already gotten well more than 200 inquiries about beta-testing) For vocabulary list making, though, since the first iPhone release isn't going to include flashcards it won't be much good for that. (flashcards are definitely coming, but we'd ideally like the iPhone version of them to include most of the simplification / redesign from 2.1)
I may be the only user who has never touched the flashcard feature, so I'd automatically qualify for a beta-test slot for V1 :)
 

Luhmann

举人
First off, I would very much like to be a beta tester.

Secondly, I'm sure that feature-wise Pleco will rock, but for me the killer feature are the high quality dictionaries. Nothing else comes close to what Pleco has to offer, which is why I too check constantly to see when Pleco will come out with an iPhone version :) I would personally be willing to do without any features that might significantly slow release in order to get access to the ABC dictionary on my iPhone ASAP. Although I'll admit that the document reader sounds fantastic.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
You already can get the ABC dictionary on iPhone, just look around - it's in at least one shipping app now and it's coming soon in another. (Wenlin seem to have been busy little beavers on the licensing front lately) Not that they're in any way comparable to Pleco, mind you, but if you really just want the ABC dictionary on your iPhone you can already have that - a good ABC dictionary for iPhone is what you're going to have to wait for :)
 

anchan42

探花
I am also interested in beta testing slot. I don't own iPhone or Ipod touch at the minute but I can get one easily...just for pleco :D
 

Luhmann

举人
I see. Yes, it seems that these applications are pretty rudimentary. Having taken a quick look I think you are doing the right thing to wait and release a superior product.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Not really, no - we've already been planning for a long time now to make Pleco 3.0-exclusive.
 
I think you guys should give out test samples of the iphone app. I need it now and I can't wait any longer. My palm is on its last life due from all the wear and tear my beijing 生活 gives it. I'm graduating from college this month and money is tight so I can't afford another palm. And I also don't want another palm. Palms suck. 快一点儿!
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We are hoping to do a beta-test pretty soon, but Apple only lets you distribute non-approved applications to a maximum of 200 people, so we're going to have to have a lottery for beta-testing slots. (though I guess we could give a few away by other means, e.g. a charity auction on eBay - not sure if we'd raise enough for it to be worthwhile, though)
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
There's a very cool feature we can only do on a device with 256 MB of RAM (developed a prototype of it but it ran into too many out-of-memory errors on a 128MB phone), but we're not going to even consider it until the 3GS has been out for a while. Processor helps a little in that it'll make everything smoother but it's not really a big deal.
 
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