Pleco 4.0

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Yes, both of those are already implemented for 4.0. (that includes importing them from Anki, at least with image files)
 

LeonardoM

秀才
@mikelove
Since new Apple Silicon Macs will support iPhone/iPads natively, are you considering stop Mac Pleco developing entirely? I would understand that, from an economic perspective. But, I mean, it would just so much greater if there was an app developed specifically for the Mac.. :D
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
With iOS 14 you can kind of target both at the same time, so that’s what we’re doing (and were planning even without Apple Silicon).
 

The Tams

Member
With iOS 14 you can kind of target both at the same time, so that’s what we’re doing (and were planning even without Apple Silicon).
I am glad you are still supporting mac separately; I have an Android phone but a Mac laptop. I would love to be able to use Pleco with better posture.

1602293876414.png
 

alex_hk90

状元
I am glad you are still supporting mac separately; I have an Android phone but a Mac laptop. I would love to be able to use Pleco with better posture.

View attachment 3372
While not fully a substitute for a native desktop application, people have had success with using Pleco on desktops via Android emulators or controllers such as scrcpy:
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Honestly, we did need a bottom-up rewrite - lots of 20-year-old Palm code that we couldn't really do much with - but it probably would have been better in retrospect to devote a larger % of our time to ongoing improvements in our existing app and not even talked about a larger update. We could have kept quietly working on it for years, vaguely responding to feature suggestions that were coming in 4.0 but impractical in 3.x as something we might consider some day, and made some modest but meaningful improvements to 3.x in the meantime to satisfy a lot of the more pressing feature requests.

We actually have been backporting various bits of 4.0 to 3.x when we can - "New OCR" for example was originally a 4.0 thing, and there's actually quite a lot of new 4.0 code in the last few minor iOS updates where Apple+licensor requirements forced us to swap out some parts of our old document reader with new ones ahead of schedule. But if this were done not simply out of convenience / necessity but as part of the overall roadmap, and allowing for upgrades even to code that we were absolutely sure we would be throwing away altogether in 4.0, it would have probably improved quality of life for our users in the meantime.
 
Right now I have Pleco 3 on both my phone (3.2.57 on iOS 14) and on my elderly iPod (3.2.50 on iOS 9.3.5), and flashcards etc sync nicely between them.

Supposing I started using 4.0 on the phone and 3.x on the iPod, which of these would happen?

- Everything still syncs magically between iDevices
- Using 4.0 is fine but this screws up 3.x
- Using 3.x is fine but this screws up 4.0
- Nothing syncs automatically any more but differing versions don't interfere with each other
- Something else

Thanks.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Nothing would sync but they wouldn't interfere with each other.

However, we're planning to launch a "Pleco Legacy" version for new devices and to keep maintaining it for at least a couple of years in order to deal with this situation, but we're not sure if we'll add iCloud sync support to it - it would at least support the same data formats, though, so you could easily keep using the old app with the old flashcard system and manually transferring files etc until all of your devices (iOS and Android, for users who that applies to) are on 4.0.
 

Daniel C

秀才
Disappointing, but I completely understand your decision. Even Apple's Catalyst ports are pretty terrible (Apple News on macOS is a UI disaster!), so I can imagine you want to protect your reputation. I will just have to wait patiently then!
 

tomasilheu

Member
Hey there! Any way to clear the cache for the Pleco web reader? I clicked on the wrong button in a site and now i would like to relaunch that site as if it were the first time I’m opening it. I don’t want to reinstall the whole app just for that. Thanks
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Not at the moment - actually in 11 years of offering that feature I believe you’re the first person ever to ask for that. Will investigate how to add it in a future release.
 
Pleco sort of runs on Apple Silicon Macs (M1) (installing IPA from iOS), but there are still some crashes and problems. Hopefully, you can test it on the new Macs and have it run successfully. It would save time in making a Mac version, since the iOS version will just run. The invalid UDID error prevents restoring purchases:
27071008-9B55-4738-8768-B8F5ED8BD9D5.jpeg
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We have put in a lot of work optimizing 4.0 for new Macs via Catalyst, and are tentatively planning to offer a fully supported Mac version as some sort of paid upgrade / add-on, but have no plans to support Mac in our existing app.

To be honest, this IPA loading business is a bit of a hack and I wouldn’t bank on being able to run non-Mac-App-Store apps this way in the future; it seems extremely likely that Apple will severely curtail this in the future, or even block it altogether.

A lot of developers (myself included) are extremely unhappy that after specifically opting out of offering their iOS apps on Mac, Mac users can run them anyway, and Apple has done nothing to prevent that. This could potentially run afoul of all sorts of license contracts (including a couple of ours if paid add-ons worked in our app on Mac, which thankfully they don’t), not to mention simply delivering an experience that they didn’t intend to offer. It would be a bit akin to somebody turning a book you’d written into a terrible movie without your approval - even if they pay you royalties, it’s still your book and you didn’t agree to have it used this way. It also seems to introduce some major copy protection problems for paid apps.

So I think it’s almost certain that Apple will block non-Mac-notarized IPAs in a future release of macOS on ARM, and I wouldn’t get too comfortable using any iOS apps like this in the meantime - running our Android app in an emulator is probably a safer bet if you really want a buggy non-desktop-optimized copy of Pleco on your Mac.
 

Shun

状元
I have to confess I was also going to try it on an M1 machine, but then stopped the undertaking when I saw I'd only be getting the 87 megabyte bare-bones app without any way to import data into it.
 
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Fernando

举人
So I think it’s almost certain that Apple will block non-Mac-notarized IPAs in a future release of macOS on ARM, and I wouldn’t get too comfortable using any iOS apps like this in the meantime
I get your gripe, but I'm already fed with the current level of privacy invasion and control over the hardware we purchase done in the name of IP protection. The Mac should be an open platform and run whatever is thrown at it if the user so wishes (and is willing to take the risks this entails). Of course I don't support piracy or violating end user agreements (if they are reasonable), but placing a cop in everyone's living room just in case someone might think of committing a crime is not the way forward.

I want Pleco on Mac as much as any other guy on this forum, Pleco is the only app currently holding me back from my dream of a simple, one-device, computing life. I figured long ago and without trying that Pleco would run on M1 Macs if only one could get hold of the IPA, but I also figured that it would not run satisfactory and that it would be nearly or plain impossible to install your purchases add-ons. So a non-starter anyway.

Mike, you have the right to support (or not support) any platform you like on your own terms, but please don't advocate for further artificial restrictions on our computers.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
The problem is that most developers created their iOS apps in the expectation that they would only run on iOS. So, for example, paid app developers who were willing to live with a small # of users pirating their apps on jailbroken devices might not have bothered putting in code to verify receipts or otherwise guard against piracy, and likewise developers of free-with-IAP apps might have left those systems trivially easy to hack (say, editing a preferences file) expecting that people would only be able to hack them if they jailbroke their phones.

Likewise, many developers - including myself! - have signed copyright licenses that specify that a piece of content is licensed for use on a particular set of platforms / form factors, a set which might not include Macs. So if our app had turned out to be able to run paid add-ons on Mac, we would have been violating our license agreements with those publishers through absolutely no fault of our own. (and would have probably had to take much more severe measures to prevent use on Mac in that case)

There's also the business model end of it. Say that you built a beautiful Mac-native version of your app that you charge $50 for, and then a beautiful iPad-native version of it that you charge $10 for. Those prices were perfectly reasonable given the number of users you expected each version to have, but now that Mac version you worked so hard on suddenly seems extremely overpriced because people can just buy your $10 iPad app and run that on their Mac, even if it doesn't work as well. There are other variations on this too, of course - it could even be that the Mac and iPad apps were more-or-less functionally identical, but this particular app happens to be much more useful on Mac than on iOS as a form factor, and so they were selling the iPad app as a companion of sorts, with the Mac version underwriting most of the cost.

You can argue that that that was a bad / unfair business model and that the developer should have been charging the same price for both apps from the beginning, but as of a year ago this was still a perfectly sensible thing for them to have done, and now their business is getting blown up just because Apple couldn't be bothered to apply even rudimentary copy protection to iOS apps on Mac. Moreover, Apple didn't even warn us that this particular problem was coming - they sent a couple of emails telling us to opt out of Mac App Store distribution if we didn't want our apps on iOS, but there was nothing about needing to add code to your app to detect that it's running on Mac and throw out an error / crash immediately / etc if we wanted to actually make sure our app couldn't run on Mac.

I don't agree with the idea of requiring all Mac software in general to be signed, but I do think that apps that were signed for / distributed through the iOS App Store should not be runnable on Mac without the developer's consent, and I support whatever technological measures are necessary to make that the case - it could be as simple as automatically blacklisting any App Store app that had not opted into Mac distribution, but they need to at least do *something*.
 
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