Pleco for Android Beta 1+2 Feedback Thread

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
This thread is specifically for feedback, user interface suggestions, and other non-bug report feedback - please submit bug reports in the companion Bug Report Thread. Thanks!
 

Giraffe

举人
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

First let me say that I am pleased as punch to be beta testing the Pleco Android, especially since my trusty Palm Tungsten C is on its last legs (last weekend I had to put in a new digitizer).

I've installed it on a Samsung Captivate i896 and everything that's supposed to be working at this point seems to be working. I was a little bummed to find that I'm not yet able to load my old flashcards and get flashing but I can wait, if I have to.

The only thing that threw me slightly when I first opened the program was that I couldn't just start typing, I had to find the keyboard input button. A little later I found the setting to default to having the keyboard on program open. I would have thought that would be the default behavior.

Other than that, it looks gorgeous, runs smoothly, and has not, at least to this moment, turned my phone into a smoking puddle of plastic and toxic metals. What's not to like?
 
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

1st Feedback:
Pleco installed well. I run Android 2.3.4 on my old HTC HD2, which is actually a Windows 6.5 phone. Android is on the SD card and I can boot Android from Windows.
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

Giraffe said:
I've installed it on a Samsung Captivate i896 and everything that's supposed to be working at this point seems to be working. I was a little bummed to find that I'm not yet able to load my old flashcards and get flashing but I can wait, if I have to.
Yeah, we figured once we had everything else ready we ought to release it rather than make people wait - also a bit more efficient this way since the Android flashcard system can incorporate the flashcard UI changes we're making on iPhone from day 1.

Giraffe said:
The only thing that threw me slightly when I first opened the program was that I couldn't just start typing, I had to find the keyboard input button. A little later I found the setting to default to having the keyboard on program open. I would have thought that would be the default behavior.
That probably would be better, yeah - on iOS it's debatable since the keyboard covers up access to the menu button, but on Android you're not losing anything but additional search results.

Giraffe said:
Other than that, it looks gorgeous, runs smoothly, and has not, at least to this moment, turned my phone into a smoking puddle of plastic and toxic metals. What's not to like?
Thanks! (I probably should tone down those warnings just a wee bit...)
 

hejincong

秀才
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

Generally things are singing along - it's rough around the edges, but I'm just really psyched to have a working copy of Pleco on my phone. I've been waiting for this since the G1 :)

There is one suggestion I have. I initially put this in the bugs thread, but it's less a bug than a feature request...

There currently is no hardware "Search" button support. This is probably because there is none on iOS devices, but it would be nice if this put the focus on the text entry box, and popped up the keyboard.
 

benzhen

进士
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

if would be amazing to have volume key scroll for the reader (i dont have directional keys on my device are these supported?)

clipboard auto detect: there is this feature in Fora dictionary that will detect anything in the clipboard and open the app and look it up automatically.
 

knerz

Member
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

I just wanted to say "Thank you!" I got an Android phone since this year and I was quite disappointed that only came across pleco after having decided to get a HTC Desire - if I knew that this wonderful app was only working on iPhone and that there virtually is nothing comparable out there I would have bought an iPhone. And now you guys did it! It's working on my HTC Desire as far as I can tell now. For me the two most important features are working smoothly: OCR and HWR - both at an extraodinary speed.
Thanks again! Looking forward to the stable version including the flash cards.
 

bodybag77

秀才
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

Looks very promising on asus eee pad , for me it was love at first sight:-D
Is there a way to decreasefont size to avoid wasting reading space on a big tablet screen?
Thanks for this new app!!
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

hejincong said:
There currently is no hardware "Search" button support. This is probably because there is none on iOS devices, but it would be nice if this put the focus on the text entry box, and popped up the keyboard.
Quite right, have to make a note to add that - thanks.

benzhen said:
if would be amazing to have volume key scroll for the reader (i dont have directional keys on my device are these supported?)
The directional keys are indeed supported, but yes, we probably should add volume too (though it seems like an increasingly high percentage of new Android devices are button-less, or nearly so).

benzhen said:
clipboard auto detect: there is this feature in Fora dictionary that will detect anything in the clipboard and open the app and look it up automatically.
This is a bit of a hack but it looks theoretically doable - basically we just run in the background and pop up something when we detect that the clipboard has changed. I'm wondering whether it might raise some hackles with Android Market, though - people could theoretically be putting passwords and such on their clipboard and they don't necessarily want those passing through our app.

knerz said:
just wanted to say "Thank you!" I got an Android phone since this year and I was quite disappointed that only came across pleco after having decided to get a HTC Desire - if I knew that this wonderful app was only working on iPhone and that there virtually is nothing comparable out there I would have bought an iPhone. And now you guys did it! It's working on my HTC Desire as far as I can tell now. For me the two most important features are working smoothly: OCR and HWR - both at an extraodinary speed.
Thanks again! Looking forward to the stable version including the flash cards.
Thanks! Particularly glad to hear that OCR is working well since we put so much work into it - it's responsible for maybe 1/3 of the overall development time by itself.

bodybag77 said:
Looks very promising on asus eee pad , for me it was love at first sight:-D
Is there a way to decreasefont size to avoid wasting reading space on a big tablet screen?
Thanks for this new app!!
Sure, Settings / Dictionary / Definition screen interface / Body font size.
 

sfrrr

状元
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

I can't believe it. I now own a license for every mobile platform i've ever owned. (I want to keep pleco on my new ipad 2, so I bought a new license for android today.)

Now, on to the testing. Thanks, Mike.

Sandra
 

benzhen

进士
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

mikelove said:
The directional keys are indeed supported, but yes, we probably should add volume too (though it seems like an increasingly high percentage of new Android devices are button-less, or nearly so).
therefore adding scrolling buttons on screen somehow might also be a good idea? i'd be perfectly happy with just the volume key scroll.

mikelove said:
This is a bit of a hack but it looks theoretically doable - basically we just run in the background and pop up something when we detect that the clipboard has changed. I'm wondering whether it might raise some hackles with Android Market, though - people could theoretically be putting passwords and such on their clipboard and they don't necessarily want those passing through our app.
you should check out the app "Fora Dictionary." it is on the market and has a mode in which it sits in the background and waits for clipboard input. it shows up in the notification bar so the user knows whats going on and can switch it off easily as well.

that dictionary app also integrates with ereaders (Cool Reader being one) so that it will automatically pop-up when i select text in said ereader. that would be nice because of all the great ereader options i can have that you probably won't offer in pleco?

anyway, overall experience is WAY better than the early days of 2.0 on wm/palm!!!!
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

sfrrr said:
I can't believe it. I now own a license for every mobile platform i've ever owned. (I want to keep pleco on my new ipad 2, so I bought a new license for android today.)
Thanks! Good to have you back in the ranks of our regular early adopters... :)

benzhen said:
therefore adding scrolling buttons on screen somehow might also be a good idea? i'd be perfectly happy with just the volume key scroll.
Possibly, though at that point we should probably also consider doing what a lot of people have asked us to do and adding support for ebook-reader-esque page-flipping.

benzhen said:
you should check out the app "Fora Dictionary." it is on the market and has a mode in which it sits in the background and waits for clipboard input. it shows up in the notification bar so the user knows whats going on and can switch it off easily as well.
Have you found that that has any impact on battery life? I'd be worried about a background process constantly monitoring for clipboard changes...

benzhen said:
that dictionary app also integrates with ereaders (Cool Reader being one) so that it will automatically pop-up when i select text in said ereader. that would be nice because of all the great ereader options i can have that you probably won't offer in pleco?
Do you know if they're doing that by a standard system or something that's specific to Fora?

benzhen said:
anyway, overall experience is WAY better than the early days of 2.0 on wm/palm!!!!
Great! (helps that we're basically doing the same thing we were then but on hardware that's 5 years newer... much easier to get things stable when you're not pushing the envelope to the extent we were back then)
 
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

First, I'm really glad to see PlecoDict for Android being available with modest Androis OS requirements. That's great, after all the discussions. In the end, we now see the product coming along nicely and being deployable on recent devices. For me as a Galaxy Tab user an old dream has become true (albeit the tab may not be ideal for Beijing transport :D ). My old and dead Tungsten T has now a proper successor.

You are just at the beginning of the beta programme so I hope I'm allowed to ask nevertheless: what about a manual? What I would like to see is some context-sensitive manual which can optionally be installed side-by-side as an additional app. So it doesn't eat any space for those who do not require it.

From my own experience with an open source project where I did this I could offer the technology for free in the hope that it does not only benefit me but also others. You basically just need to include a small package (consisting of two classes implementing just a convenience manual launcher based on Intents). The manual itself is authored using an ordinary decent web browser in form of a self-contained single-file dynamic HTML wiki. For easy distribution you can pack this in a convenient (even multi-language) apk.


-- Harald
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

haraldalbrecht said:
First, I'm really glad to see PlecoDict for Android being available with modest Androis OS requirements. That's great, after all the discussions. In the end, we now see the product coming along nicely and being deployable on recent devices. For me as a Galaxy Tab user an old dream has become true (albeit the tab may not be ideal for Beijing transport ). My old and dead Tungsten T has now a proper successor.
Thanks!

haraldalbrecht said:
You are just at the beginning of the beta programme so I hope I'm allowed to ask nevertheless: what about a manual? What I would like to see is some context-sensitive manual which can optionally be installed side-by-side as an additional app. So it doesn't eat any space for those who do not require it.
Not until the finished version - the UI is likely to change significantly (incorporating the changes we're in the midst of designing / implementing on iOS, most importantly the new merged multi-dictionary search feature) and we'd rather not have to create it twice.

haraldalbrecht said:
From my own experience with an open source project where I did this I could offer the technology for free in the hope that it does not only benefit me but also others. You basically just need to include a small package (consisting of two classes implementing just a convenience manual launcher based on Intents). The manual itself is authored using an ordinary decent web browser in form of a self-contained single-file dynamic HTML wiki. For easy distribution you can pack this in a convenient (even multi-language) apk.
Thanks for the offer - is this an Open Intents thing? I'm certainly interested in hearing more, but in general I'm inclined to rely on external intents for critical functions like this as little as possible, basically because of the strong possibility that we'll eventually be running this in some decidedly non-standard environments (BlackBerry, virtual machine on Windows, etc) where it may not be feasible to install / access those external packages.
 
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

mikelove said:
Not until the finished version - the UI is likely to change significantly (incorporating the changes we're in the midst of designing / implementing on iOS, most importantly the new merged multi-dictionary search feature) and we'd rather not have to create it twice.
Perfectly understandable. Updating all the manual stuff while things are still in the process of settling is neither fun nor sensible unless one has unlimited resources. :mrgreen:

mikelove said:
Thanks for the offer - is this an Open Intents thing? I'm certainly interested in hearing more, but in general I'm inclined to rely on external intents for critical functions like this as little as possible, basically because of the strong possibility that we'll eventually be running this in some decidedly non-standard environments (BlackBerry, virtual machine on Windows, etc) where it may not be feasible to install / access those external packages.
As it is, my "app manual reader" uses the normal Intents mechanism you already need in order to switch between activities. The rationale is (or has been) as follows: users can optionally install the manual and at the same time choose their manual language. As Intents are a fundamental mechanism of Android my hope is that it will stay with us for a long time and also emulators and "Android virtual machines" will have to support it.

EDIT: Oh, in case no manual is installed you can specify a fallback URI in your app, so your users can then be redirected to whatever you deem suitable in this case. For instance, you can specify an Android market: URI or URL, or you can open your web site.

However, there is nothing going to stop you from just putting the manual app package classes into your app's apk. In fact, the manual reader invokes itself recursively when you are asking for the manual about the manual reader. 8) So you already have the case where the app package comes with (another) manual bundled. Putting all this into your apk should be no issue as I tried to keeps things clean and separate to cope with different use cases.

The two manuals I did are the English and German c:geo manuals available from the Android Market. Just search for "c:geo" and "manual". As a nice feature you can install manuals of different languages side-by-side and according to your locale settings the corresponding manual will come up, with a clear fallback mechanism in place to cope with locales set to languages where no manual is present but another one may fit nevertheless.

See also http://appmanualreader.sf.net for some explanationary stuff and the GIT repository.

Okay, enough shameless plugging for now, I need to hunt a few more boxes that are bugging me. :mrgreen:
 
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

Oh, another one: the self-contained wiki underlying the manual was developped first for the iPhone. That stuff is still in there, so you may even use the same mechanism on both iOS and Android for authoring, but with different chrome/framing depending on platform.

You could even use the same manual content :mrgreen:
 

Sarevok

进士
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

Thanks for making it happen!

Nothing is keeping me from buying a new device anymore, although I would still need to keep my current device for my regular flashcard sessions. But I don't mind using two devices for some time - I would probably need to buy another license anyway, since I also want to buy the Asus Transformer eventually (which is in short supply just about anywhere).

Hell, I want to go and get me a Samsung Galaxy S II right now :mrgreen: Originally, I promised myself to resist and wait until Samsung releases 2.3.4 which should iron out some bugs reported by early adopters. Now I am finding that promise quite difficult to keep :mrgreen:
 

llraper

Member
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

Your Beta release timing was perfect! My "more of a geek than me" son was visiting over Memorial Day weekend and we installed (Professional Bundle) on my Motorola Droid X uneventfully.

He had his Barnes & Noble NookColor rooted with CyanoghenMod 7 so we tried the free version on his Nook. Also uneventful. Of course, I had to run out and get a NookColor and root it as well. I had tried earlier and the rooting result was pretty clunky so I sold that one, (but it went to a good home). Behavior with CyanogenMod 7 is worlds better than earlier rooting.

Last night I successfully installed the free version of Pleco on my Nook as well. I'll probably put the Basic Bundle on it for now, but this is pretty exciting. The document reader feature is tremendously useful for me. For now I can get by with the clipboard implementation, but I'll be looking forward to the full implementation.

I've been using your products since Oxford™ Concise English & Chinese Dictionary 2.0 for Palm OS - every version along the way on Palm, then iPod. For my particular use, everything else falls far short. With HWR and "mini-reader" you're close enough that I may decide to retire my iPod - gotta work with it a bit more and be sure I'm not shooting myself in the foot by moving prematurely.

CONGRATULATIONS!!
 

kun4

举人
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

I've tried Pleco on various Android systems: an HTC phone and a few tablets. Nice. OK, still buggy in places but that's to be expected for a beta release.
One minor gripe: an option to switch to "macro" camera focus would be nice for OCR. (FOCUS_MODE_MACRO).
 
Re: Pleco for Android Beta 1 Feedback Thread

I'd love to see the volume button used for scrolling in the reader too, even more so, to have it move from character/compound to the next when the definition box is open.

Also, being able to dock the definition window at the bottom of the screen like in the iOS version would be good too.
 
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