Any update on the Mac version?

Kukiko

Member
Hello. Is there any update on the Mac version? I saw a post from a year or two ago saying that porting stuff from iPhone to Mac had gotten easier, and so that I’ll be able to enjoy pleco on Mac. Any update on that?

If not, is it better to emulate an Android or an iPhone pleco app ? Assuming I can transfer all my purchases :)

as always thanks for the amazing app!
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
We’re still waiting for Apple to get it right, at the moment - their first attempt at “Project Catalyst” was pretty much universally agreed to be a disappointment and we’re hoping they do better in the 2020 or 2021 releases of macOS.

It’s not possible to emulate iOS on desktops at the moment so an Android emulator is pretty much your only choice on that front.
 

Gukeli

Member
I have been looking at Android emulators for Mac OS, and it is clear that these are mostly designed for game playing. Can anybody with relevant experience recommend an emulator that will run on High Sierra, does not cost an arm and a leg, and succeeds in the only task for which I need it - enabling the wonders of Pleco on my Mac?
 

Gukeli

Member
Many thanks! That is certainly some welcome progress from Apple's side! However, there is also this in the link:

"One important thing to note is that despite Apple’s announcement today, there aren’t yet any applications to offer support for universal purchases between Mac and iOS. This is because Apple has not yet made the Xcode 11.4 GM available to developers."

So am I right in thinking that we are not yet at the stage were we can start messaging our well-loved Pleco people to say "C'mon Pleco! Like, c'mon!! Make with the Mac App already!!!". It appears that we still need further action from Apple before that time comes.
 

LeonardoM

秀才
I wouldn’t be surprised if they released the new xcode version later today. At the latest it’ll be released in june in occasion of the WWDC
 

Shun

状元
Hi Gukeli and LeornardoM,

I'd love a Mac version, too, but we also have to keep in mind that Apple's Catalyst platform only makes it easier for developers to maintain apps both for iOS and Mac by porting many of the same APIs to the Mac, but it isn't automatic by any means. So you can't press a magic button, and presto your iOS app will turn into a Mac app. (Or only if it's a Hello world app and little more)

Personally, I'm quite sure a Mac version will come someday, but looking at the amount of work involved, it is still going to take some patience.

Cheers, Shun
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
This doesn't really impact us at all, to be honest; all it means is that developers with paid apps on iOS can now add a Mac version and let users who own the iOS version download that version from the macOS App Store for free. But Pleco is a free app with paid add-ons and those add-ons could have already been moved over to a putative Mac version via your Registration ID.

I'm hoping that summer brings improvements to Catalyst that make it less buggy / more viable for producing good iOS app ports; right now we can't really get results with it that we're happy with, at least not without rewriting large portions of the app (which then gets us into the whole 'how do we pay for that' problem). This update doesn't seem to have changed any of that.

All this really means is that consumers are now more likely to expect that they can move their iOS purchases over to Mac for free, which further complicates the business case for our developing a desktop version. And given that Windows seems to also be hanging on with lots of users, I'm a little reluctant to do even a straightforward Mac port for free because it'll make it all the harder to charge for a much more complicated Windows port down the line if users are already used to Pleco desktop being a free thing; better to wait and announce both at once with some sort of pricing / business model that could support either platform.

I'm actually considerably more interested in iPad finally getting mouse support, which based on my initial testing works really well (though it'll take some surgery to get it fully supported in Pleco e.g. with mouseover reader lookups) and will I hope go a long way towards reducing the demand for a Pleco desktop app; the Big Three of Apple/Google/Microsoft have all spectacularly bungled their tablet-replacing-desktop efforts the last few years, but they've finally tried so many bad ideas that they're starting to coalesce around some good ones, and meanwhile ARM is establishing a clear lead over X86 in processor performance.
 

LeonardoM

秀才
I’m sure you heard rumors about Apple switching to ARM in their Macs soon. Do you think this will make it easier for you to code Pleco for Mac, considering that iPhone and iPad already got that architecture?
 

mikelove

皇帝
Staff member
Wouldn't make a difference, to be honest - we already cross-compile Pleco into x86 to run on the iOS simulator for development. ARM versus x86 is mostly invisible on the developer side, both are 64-bit little-endian architectures and nowadays they also have fairly similar performance profiles.
 
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