Pleco Desktop


Staff member
Finally a ray of hope:

If this is true then there's a very good chance we could make a Mac app after all, since it would be essentially zero effort to do so.

@pdwalker - sorry I didn't respond to this earlier. Upgrades are tricky because you have to keep supporting the old app too - people bought stuff in it + expect it to keep working. So we end up stuck maintaining several different versions of Pleco in order to cover people who hadn't upgraded.

If I felt the need to charge for new features it would probably make more sense to gate off some new functionality in an IAP - 'enhanced flashcards' or whatever - but keep the core app the same for everyone. (that's not currently under consideration, don't worry)
Thanks, this would be wonderful indeed!

As long as Macs are based on the Intel microarchitecture, these apps would probably compile as „fat binaries“ and run natively on both platforms. It‘s great too that developers get full control over how their iOS apps work on a Mac. It was wise of Apple to have macOS and iOS share a lot of code.


Staff member
Yes - architecture's not much of an issue here anyway since virtually all iOS apps are already cross-compiled for x86 (both 32- and 64-bit) to run on the iOS Simulator.
Hi Adam,

Fair enough. Was hoping for Pleco in an AppImage or Flatpak package :)

It would be great, but let's keep in mind Linux is basically designed for free/open-source software. Any software that needs to charge money requires a mechanism to identify your unique hardware. On Mac/Windows, only Microsoft, Adobe and a few other major vendors can effectively enforce their licensing terms that way. With Linux, of course, any part of the OS, including the kernel, can be modified to make Pleco think you're the rightful owner of the software.

Was just going to call attention to this, it's easy to forget. ;)
Hey Shun :D . As a *nix user who started off on SunOS 5, not so sure that the layperson would be have the time and resources to compromise the licensing requirement of Pleco if done right. BricsCAD and Paragon Microsoft NTFS are two examples of well-regarded commercial apps which license by way of serials. But I get the gist of your commentary :) . I'm OK with emulators and VMs, though native will always be preferred ;)
How does that not apply to any other operating system?
In a non-jailbroken iOS device, any additional software is tied to your Apple ID, of course, and it’s similar with Google Play and Android. The system is quite complex, but safe, I think. Naturally, a jailbroken phone allows more freedom for hackers, but the risk is that you can‘t use the phone for anything afterwards because the jailbreak itself could be malware.
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hello, friends. I'm currently looking for a way to use Pleco on PC, laptop to be precise. i3 CPU forgot what type, weak I presume, 4gb of RAM, an a Nvidia GT600 something. overall weak. OS is Windows 7 64bit

so far I've Googled, I think the only way is through Android emulators? after researching and by many people's recommendation, I tried Bluestacks. but don't really like it too much. first, it's so big, after install and 1st launch its size has bloated to 2gb. so I use an 2gb emulator for a 83mb Pleco? then, it needs Google account login. I stopped using it when I stuck at the login screen on 1st launch, because I need to use Pleco offline, forever. this BS is obviously made towards gaming and play a lot of games, while I actually only need to run Pleco, just Pleco, this one program on my PC. I'd only looking into emulators because Pleco won't run without it in Win7, not using emulators to play smartphone games like most of my friends

so, friends, you have any other recommendation of alternative emulator? a better one, smaller size, lighter load on PC, simple, easy (install, usage), etc. I only want to use Pleco on Win7, that's it, really, nothing else

I did browse this forum, an ARCWelder from Chrome is mentioned? does that work? do I need to install Google Chrome browser to use it? for browser, I use Firefox only. but if I have to install Chrome just to use Pleco, I guess that can't be helped, might as well install it then. I'm sorry that I'm not a tech savvy, to be honest when I read the thread, I'm kinda overwhelmed :p

of course, it doesn't have to be ARCWelder, just recommend any (free) emulator you've used or currently using and deem best. doesn't have to be emulators even, if there's another way to use Pleco on Win7 x64 (if this is even plausible). I also browsed some more for other Android emulators, there are many choices and I'm confused by them, which one I should use. I thought I better consult fellow end users before trying to install any programs on my PC

thank you :)
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Hi 3island18,

I don't think I can give you step-by-step instructions because running Pleco on an emulator actually isn't officially supported. I suggest you start by searching for "pleco arc welder" and "pleco apk" on Google, this will quickly give you all the necessary information. You're on the right track about installing Chrome first. Google ARC Welder is certainly safer to install than Bluestacks (be careful to get it directly from Google, not some third-party site), though its memory requirements aren't that low, either. This is because an additional operating system needs to run on your machine for this to work.

But with a weak system as you describe, while this can be fun for trying out once, it may not be fit for everyday use because the Windows part of your system will then also be running more slowly. If you want an extra instance of Pleco that's always running, you might be better off with a cheap Android tablet or even the cheap version Apple iPad.

Hope this helps,

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Hey guys, new to the forum but have got a lot of useful information from here, so thanks!

Pleco is running on my new Xiaomi notebook pro Windows 10 via bluestacks.

It works quite well, but does take some time to load up and the text reader function only permits small amounts to be copied over - but its better than nothing.

Originally tried to get learning with texts, but I can't get it to work.

I LOVE Pleco but wish it would integrate with PC/Mac more seamlessly.


Staff member
Well per the article I referenced in my post from December, it does look like there's reason for hope on the Mac front at least; other journalists have backed up Gurman's rumor since then and nobody from Apple has come out to tamp it down (indeed the recent stories about Apple cutting features from iOS 12 specifically stated that this was not one of the features being cut). Combine with rumors of Apple announcing a Chromebook-competitor low-end MacBook next week and we may have a viable desktop solution for a lot of people come next fall.

Windows, however, is something we're unlikely to ever support; I don't see a way to make the numbers work porting to a totally new platform unless there are a large number of people using *only* that platform (for their smartphone too, in other words) who we can't reach without supporting it, and the odds of Microsoft ever achieving significant share in the smartphone market at this point are practically zero.
Hello Mike. I've used Macs for many years and I also hope the hybrid macOS/iOS scenario comes true. Meanwhile, I'm a very happy Pleco customer on Android and for what it's worth I'd gladly buy another license for running Pleco on my Surface Pro. Of course, I have no idea how many other users would be willing to do the same. Perhaps a Kickstarter campaign could provide the answer?


Staff member
Not just a question of money, there's also opportunity cost - would take a lot of work from existing staff (most importantly, me) to facilitate a Windows port even if we were hiring somebody else to ostensibly do it (supervising them, explaining how various confusing stuff works, etc), and that's time not being spent on other projects.

We'd also run into the same problem that Microsoft ran into offering developers large sums of money to port apps to Windows Phone: that's fine at first but how do you pay for maintenance? If our ongoing Windows sales were poor it would be very hard to justify continuing to keep our Windows app up-to-date.

So the Kickstarter raise would have to be absolutely staggering for this to be worth our while (and since we wouldn't do it otherwise we'd have to set the Kickstarter goal at that, not just hope for an unexpected windfall) - enough to not only pay for the Windows port, but also pay us for the stuff we're not doing instead of the port, and pay us for years of further maintenance - and I'm extremely skeptical we could raise that much (and reluctant to try, since asking for that much money will likely cause some people to attack us as greedy / unrealistic).