Pleco Desktop

Discussion in 'Future Products' started by james, Sep 6, 2005.

  1. mmmh... web based = annual fare almost always, it's not for me! I refused a lot of similar solutions...
    Better to buy a single app and continue to use it.
  2. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    @caesartg - cross-platform sync is a big part of the reason for this, yes. We're actually even looking into setting up a Chinese 分公司 just so that we can get an ICP号 and have an online Chinese dictionary that actually works well in China :) Dropbox at this point I'd be wary of even ignoring the China issues just because I'm not sure how long they'll stay in business - the recent fiasco with Facebook discontinuing Parse has me extremely wary of relying on any third party online service for any critical part of Pleco.

    How is Pleco not working well on your iPhone 4? Just generically slow performance thanks to Apple's putting iOS 7 on a device that probably should have stayed on 6?

    @Furio Petrossi - well it would all be strictly optional - we have no intention of forcing people to subscriptions like Microsoft and Adobe do - and at least on iOS we plan to keep offering the iCloud option and obviously not charging for that, but a monthly subscription fee lets us do a lot more than we could offering online sync for free.
  3. caesartg

    caesartg 榜眼

    Thanks Mike - I don't envy you the task ahead working out a legal China solution but I'm sure it will be an interesting challenge.

    Pleco worked on my iphone 4 but the performance was poor. I originally had a full Pleco installation on my 8GB 4 S but I was spending so much time managing the memory, I gave up. I might end up with a 16GB+ iphone soon, so maybe I'll go back to an iPhone/Ipad flashcarding combo.

    I'm okay with subscriptions if the service is compelling and the price is right. Workflowy was $5 a month when I used it. Lastpass is something like $12 a year. If I had a team using it, I'd be happily paying Quip $10 a month, rather than using the free offering. I had a 1TB $10/month Google subscription for a year before I moved to Baidu cloud and a Skype sub too. I think they were all worth it. Adobe though ask too much for something I would probably use 2 months in the year and then I would only use a small part of the whole offering.

    If your dictionary licences allow for a seat-based service offering, perhaps you could offer a cheap subscriber service and still offer the app and one-off dictionary licences payments for both offline/online use. If the licences don't have that flexibility, I'm guessing at some point, the offline apps and attached licences will have a final iteration. I've had a good 12 years with my trusty Pleco Oxford pocket dictionary licence, so I can't complain too much!
  4. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Yeah, we couldn't come up with a way to make it usefully fast on an iPhone 4 - about to drop support for them anyway once we start requiring iOS 9 in our next update.

    Not sure what the price would be like yet, depends on how much we're offering, what it costs, what it replaces, etc. Would like to keep it pretty cheap but it has to be enough to make it worth our while to run the thing (on a vastly vastly smaller scale than most of the other people running subscription web services). A lot of our dictionaries would theoretically be something we could offer as part of a subscription, but some aren't, and in any case I have no intention of dropping offline apps or one-time purchases of anything anytime soon - to be honest, I was skeptical of the everything-will-eventually-be-a-web-app lobby even in the Palm Pilot days, and now right around the time that it starts to seem like it might make sense from a performance perspective, we get wearables and VR and once again hardware is being pushed to the limit + native apps start to look like they've got some life in them yet.
    alex_hk90 likes this.
  5. A good idea to enlarge choice, don't restrictit it.
    Italy is the 1th european Country for mobile communication, but a lot of contracts are for 1 GB/month (and in mountain or in 400 years old houses the communication is sometime difficult ;-) ...), wifi access to the Internet is not present everywhere and in foreign countries (France, Spain, Germany, Great Britain...) there are roaming costs very expensive for Internet access.
    There are some interesting web based services (archchinese, yellowbridge, chine-informations, infocina...) to consider as competitors: it's a good idea to grow the market opportunities, but also to safeguard your treasure.
  6. x0vash0x

    x0vash0x Member

    One feature that might be relatively easy to support to begin with is SRS in a web-based form. Truthfully, this is really what I'm looking for as it's much easier to do online than with my iPad. Basically, I'm always using my computer during the day, and it's easier to multi-task on a desktop than iPad/iPhone.

    Something like this: might be a good way to start and then add features later?
  7. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Tricky thing there is that we still need the rights to all of the dictionaries that people are likely to want to link from flashcards online - if anything the need for that is higher with flashcards since people will miss them more there than in a document reader or some such.
  8. archimon

    archimon Member

    I just wanted to chime in and say that access to a desktop document reader would be extremely nice. Wenlin is terribly dated these days, and can't match Pleco's breadth of dictionaries.
  9. Beth Hays

    Beth Hays Member

    I'd really like to see a desktop version. My smartphone recently exploded and unfortunately I have only been able to use a dumb phone :(
    Pleco is by far my favorite dictionary and it's hard to use something else...

    Actually, a web-based one would probably be best. Has this been mentioned? I didn't read the entire thread hehe
  10. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Yeah, that's what we're thinking if we do a web version at all.
  11. andrewf

    andrewf Member

    So interesting to read this thread - there's a lot of computing history here! :)
    I'm a long-time user of Pleco on Android - I have a Nexus 7 tablet that I use only for Pleco at this point - but I've moved on to using Windows for mostly everything else. Even for phone: I'm rocking a Microsoft Lumia 950XL that I'm very pleased with, and I don't plan on changing mobile platforms any time soon, it's that good. Except for this little problem that I can't get Pleco on it... :'-(
    I understand that with the changes that have taken place over the last 10 years that developing your product has been a huge moving target, so I wonder if you've considered progressive web apps as a solution? Developing individual apps for each competing platform is probably very time- and resource-intensive (although you should check out the cross-platform development tools that Microsoft has available through Visual Studio & Xamarin - my impression is it's a lot easier than it has been in the past), but using a progressive web app will likely provide all the functionality your platform-specific apps include but also work better for those of us who are not on iOS or Android and also those who want a desktop version - and it will work for iOS and Android too. Win-win-win-win... ;-)
  12. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    We actually already develop the Pleco core cross-platform, in the first + still best cross-platform language, C :) It's clean and organized and obsessively-performance-optimized and after a decade and a half is also relatively low on bugs, and our iOS / Android UI layer code is likewise mature and well-optimized. Throwing all of that away for a progressive web app seems like a terrible waste that would leave us with a vastly inferior product compared to what we have now.

    We don't support mobile Windows because it's simply not a big enough market at the moment. We don't currently support desktop Windows because we don't have a good way to monetize a desktop app separately from a mobile app - there are not enough new customers to be gained from one, and existing customers would expect their dictionary etc purchases from us to transfer over to the desktop; charging a modest 'activation fee' or whatever for them would not nearly cover our porting costs, and making them buy all of their add-ons again at full price would leave us with few actual sales and a lot of ticked-off users. (a few enthusiastic forum users do not a successful product make - we'd need tens of thousands of people who'd already paid for Pleco on mobile to be willing to buy it again at full price to use it on Windows desktops, and I'm skeptical there are that many of them out there)

    We are however planning to continue optimizing our app for iPads and for Chromebooks - we're happy to support desktop users on the platforms we're already on, we just can't really justify the massive expense of porting to a brand new platform.
    alex_hk90 likes this.
  13. pdwalker

    pdwalker 进士

    andrewf, have you considered running pleco under an android emulator under windows? I believe there is a thread around here where some people are doing exactly that.

    Sure, it's not a web app, but it does give you the chance to run the application somewhere different than an old piece of hardware.

Share This Page