In short, it'll be done when it's ready, and not a moment before.
Yes, for you eager beavers, it's as frustrating as hell.
I know I am eager to see the next version, but I'll just have to wait.
In the meantime, you might want to read the documentation on the program. There are so many bloody settings I'm willing to bet you'll find something you didn't know about before. Probably several. (That's not a complaint Mike.)
The timing on that would pretty lousy given that iOS 11 beta is likely to debut in June. Also, candidly, we're just not getting that much pressure on this; we've been promising a Big Flashcard Update since 2011 or so and at this point most people have either resigned themselves to the current system's limitations or switched to another flashcard app (in which case they're unlikely to consider switching back to Pleco anyway until 4.0 is out). So the amount we'd gain through an intermediate release isn't really enough to justify what would actually be quite a lot of added effort.
Their AR text detection / optical flow code may be a bit better than what we're using in our prototype OCR revamp - haven't tested it yet - and there are some nice little UI refinements that fit with what we were planning anyway (lot more stuff moving to the bottom of the screen for easy reach), but the biggest thing in terms of Pleco future planning is that they're now including a PDF viewer (PDFKit) brought over from macOS, which means we can potentially drop the one we're using now (PSPDFKit) and free up a good 20MB or so of our precious ~90MB of app binary space which we can then devote to other stuff (other interesting code libraries, rewriting some parts of Pleco in Swift, etc). But that would probably happen post-4.0.
Im really excited about this release, when you are ready to release it of course Errmmm just wondering is it going to be possible to import a spreadsheet to the flashcards in order to link to existing Pleco entries and transfer what I'm currently studying in Anki? Could be a bit of a long road in order to re-add my current deck of 2000 characters
PS Christmas would be a great time for release ;-)
That's great to hear. I'm waiting for v4 to invest my time and transition nearly all my flashcard to training to Pleco, right now I'm sort of stuck using other systems, of which I've already invested a lot of time. :-(