iPhone App Approved, should go live Friday


Congrats, Mike :)

Really pleased to see all your hard work pay off, and that Apple didn't get in the way. Looks like you've made a lot of users very happy :D


I'm a virginal Pleco user. I bought the basic bundle this morning, and am enormously impressed by the utility of this app. Just brilliant.

I've not seen an obvious place to register bugs, so I'll mention it here: On my 3G (not 3GS), the handwriting recognition becomes laggy (and useless) after a few minutes. Restarting the app fixes it, so I suspect it's just a memory leak or something.

This is in no way a complaint, by the way. Given the sheer breadth of functions you managed to pack in on day one, frankly it's astounding that this is the only obvious issue so far.
Awesome, sucks on losing Oxford, but definitely worth upgrading. Now I don't have to carry around the otherwise useless Palm.

How does that educational discount work? Does that really just rely upon honesty? I don't think people can be trusted. I'm not a student. So can I hand the phone over to my fiancee who is a full-time student and have her purchase the add-ons for me? :)


Just wanted to add my congratulations on another product release. I am a Palm Plecodict user and I have been waiting to upgrade to an iPhone until I could get Plecodict as I can't live without it (I live in China). Already ordered my new iPhone and can't wait to test out the new Plecodict.

I also want to commend you on making it so simple for your existing customers to transfer their previous purchases to the new platform. It would have been easy for you to try to squeeze some revenue out of your existing customer base, but I'm glad to see you taking a long view in this regard. For what it's worth, I tell just about anyone who will listen that your software is a must have for anyone learning Chinese or living in China (its an easy sell, one demo and most people instantly recognise the value); in effect, your product and the way you treat your customers has created an enthusiastic global sales team.

Best regards,



I can see it in the US store (well sitting here in China...) This should be interesting...

OK - Well this all looks painless... Downloading all the transferred items. Not sure what server I am accessing, but it appears to be going very quickly compared to last time. Maybe 5 mins for all the "paid for" downloads. Great on the new platform licensing policies!! There are even some dicts I wanna buy so finally can buy them now that things have launched.

Congrats Mike!


Staff member
bodybag77 - you're very welcome! We were delighted to be able to offer that free platform transfer option.

ciaocibai - well the top purchase at the moment (not confidential, anybody can get this from iTunes) is the Complete Bundle w/ Educational Discount, but I'm hoping most of the people buying it are actual students.

sych - along with being nice, another reason for not charging to transfer platforms is because we would have had to charge a lot - basically, if we let people switch platforms for free our licensors are willing to go along with that, but once we start charging money everybody expects to be paid royalties. Those of you who've been here long enough to remember the early Palm-to-PPC switch might recall that initially we were charging 60% of the full price for those transfers, until we managed to switch things around to make them free-of-charge. So given the choice between charging a painful / excessive-seeming amount for platform transfers or not charging for them at all, it was even easier to decide to go with the latter option.

The free dictionary is actually a slightly-modified version of ACE - a not-as-nice derivative of that is also used by nciku, and given that that's free and iPhones are internet-enabled (and indeed several iPhone Chinese dictionaries include online search links) we didn't feel we'd be able to charge much for it anyway on iPhone. But between that and the easy downloadability of CC-CEDICT / HanDeDict / Adso we're hoping that our free app alone is enough to conquer most of the low-end iPhone Chinese dictionary market.

ipsi - thanks!

Vzzzbx - we had a couple of reports of that during the beta-test too, but weren't able to attribute it to a clear "bug" so much as the iPhone simply running low on memory in general; does this happen simply when you're handwriting a lot of characters, or does it only happen after you also shift around a lot to other tabs / functions? About how many times would you say you opened / exit the handwriting input screen before it happens?

mariachimike - you're very welcome!

tonyblum1343 - yep, at the moment the discount relies on honesty. But if people start abusing it we can easily hide / disable those purchase options for people who haven't specifically pre-registered with us as students; we thought we'd at least start off by trying to trust people.

Bullitt - thanks! Word-of-mouth is certainly another big benefit of offering free platform switches.

tonyblum1343 - yes, they're a bit cheaper. It's actually not so much an everything's-cheaper-on-iPhone thing as it is a demand curve thing.

Pleco on Palm/WM is priced on the assumption that many if not most of the people buying it are also buying a handheld/smartphone largely in order to run it, or at least basing their handheld/smartphone purchasing decision on whether or not that hardware can run Pleco. So our prices on that are built on the idea that since someone's already paying $200 or $300 for the hardware, charging $150 instead of $200 for our software isn't likely to affect their purchase decisions much; it's lowering their total expenditure by 10% but lowering our revenues by 25%.

On the other hand, on iPhone / iPod we're assuming that these are devices that people already own / want anyway, so the only money they're spending to run Pleco is the cost of buying the software; hence, that 25% reduction in our revenues is coming with a full 25% reduction in what the customer is paying.

radioman - great! It should indeed be faster thanks to our switch to CloudFront - dozen or so servers spread around the world for fast connections everywhere.
yes, the application is very good (and nice surprise for the student discount). As have one itunes account in Europe and Taiwan, the price difference is quite important ..... (+50%)

when i search by radicals it seems that there is only simplified characters no traditional (example of searching of Character 嗎)


sych - along with being nice, another reason for not charging to transfer platforms is because we would have had to charge a lot - basically, if we let people switch platforms for free our licensors are willing to go along with that, but once we start charging money everybody expects to be paid royalties.
Can't you charge something for the basic shell (which is currently free), like $10-20? That would in effect be the transfer charge for someone moving over from another platform.
Thanks mikelove.

I definitely don't recommend changing the pricing around, at least for a while. That tends to upset people.

Pleco for iPhone is awesome. Since I feel like I got such a good deal with the free transfer, I've used the opportunity to purchase another dictionary (and probably another in a few days), as well as the character strokes add-on.

Suggestion: You might want to think about having the CC-CEDICT by default installed. That would probably make it easier to beat out the other free / cheap packages out there. But, I can see it dissuading people from purchasing, so I can see why you did that.

Also, there should be a Pleco iPhone category in this forum (if there isn't already).

Again, this is fantastic.


With regard to the flashcard module when It is ready, If the full package is ultimately purchased, will that be included? I am wondering if it is practical and/or possible to have a true "one price gets you everything" option that allows full access to everything (or is that what the high tier package actually is?).

With that said, the upgrade transfer policy is (obviously) great so there are NO complaints on this side. I'm already checking out the demo dictionaries (so easy compared to the Palm days...) to see whats the next enhancement.


Not to "play games" but just an FYI that iTunes gift cards for the various Apple stores around the world can be purchased (ebay is one such resource). I bought one from Japan to access their Apple online store a while back.

As for my Pleco purchase I am in China and purchased through the US store.

zebigbos22 said:
yes, the application is very good (and nice surprise for the student discount). As have one itunes account in Europe and Taiwan, the price difference is quite important ..... (+50%)


Mike, this is really an unbelievably good program. I also use in on my Palm TX (and will until the flashcards are added to the iPhone), but the iPhone version is really a cut above. Part of that, of course, is just the better user experience on the iPhone (imo), but you've really done great things, e.g., with the reader. I haven't successfully used the live mode of the web browser, but copying and pasting blog posts works just great. And the ability to upload files to the iPhone is just fantastic. Great job!


Just want to say kudos on the reader, I've been able to use it without problems to read yahoo mobile news (tw.m.yahoo.com) in live mode. Really great for the commute to work here in Taiwan! Thanks again for all the great work!


Staff member
mariachimike - yeah, the prices do seem to be higher for Euro users - unfortunately there's no way for us to set them independently, we just pick a "price tier" and that automatically corresponds to a specific Apple-defined USD / CAD / EUR / AUD / NZD / JPY / etc price. But hopefully Apple will decide to adjust those exchange rates from time to time to keep things more even. (they'll need to give some advance notice, though, so that firms that get most of their sales in Euro can keep their prices from being spontaneously lowered)

zebigbos22 - we actually introduced that radical change in 2.0.3 on Palm/WM; basically the default behavior now is that if you tap on the simplified/traditional version of a radical that has both, it'll only show you characters in the matching set. You can disable that and show both character sets by going to Settings / Panels / Radical and disabling the "Character set filter" option.

numble - we haven't extended our Oxford license to iPhone yet; it's very expensive and we think we might be better off putting that money to some other new licenses. Could you expand a bit on your bundle purchases question? I'm not quite sure if I understand it - are you asking what happens if you buy a dictionary bundle on iPhone, then buy an additional dictionary on top of that?

gato - no, the way the agreements are worded that unfortunately wouldn't work - wouldn't technically be a "free platform transfer" in that case.

tonyblum1343 - Thanks!

We wouldn't be changing pricing, we'd just be hiding educational discounts unless people contacted us to request them / provide proof of educational affiliation. But given the number of people who've specifically thanked us for offering educational discounts (not something you're likely to do if you're lying about your educational status) I'm inclined to think we just have an extremely teacher/student-intensive customer base.

With CC-CEDICT, there are a couple of reasons we don't want to have that installed by default. One of them is that we think it's an excellent way to familiarize people with the registration / file download process; in order to download CC-CEDICT you need to a) find the Settings tab, b) register, c) find the Add-ons tab, d) see the list of Paid add-ons, and e) switch to the Free add-ons list, f) download CC-CEDICT, and g) see how smooth / easy that download is.

Besides that, though, we're probably going to be updating CC-CEDICT more often than we update the main software (since every time we do that we have to go through Apple's review process again), so making it a separate download means people start off with the latest version of CC-CEDICT. Related to that, if we embed CC-CEDICT in the application bundle then there's no way for us to delete it and free up that extra disk space when they replace it; we can disable the version in the application bundle in favor of an updated version, but the old version will still be sitting around taking up space.

Thanks for the iPhone category suggestion, I've now done exactly that. Though I'm wondering whether we now need a third forum for Pleco-wide things, feature suggestions and such... I suppose most of those are still going to be platform-specific, though, at least until we've got flashcards implemented on iPhone.

radioman - it'll almost certainly be a free upgrade for anyone who bought a bundle, yes; I can't make that an official policy yet since there's the small possibility we might end up licensing something for the flashcard system for which we'd have to pay per-copy royalties, but that's pretty unlikely, and if it did happen we'd probably make that another module alongside the basic flashcard one.

mphughes - thanks! We were really happy with how the reader turned out - in hindsight it might have been better to do flashcards first and the reader second, but then we wouldn't have had the embedded reader in dictionary entries either, and I think that singlehandedly makes the 21C / Guifan dictionaries accessible to a much larger number of people than they would be otherwise (the main reason why 21C is part of the iPhone Professional bundle but not the Palm/WM one).

kenianbei - great! Does Live Mode seem relatively stable (not too many crashes)? Are you on a 3G or a 3GS?


Oh well, to clarify: since I am a new Pleco user, I was just wondering how new dictionary licenses (ones that Pleco didn't have the license to previously) were handled in the past--for example, does the Complete bundle get a bump in price or stay the same, and do users who previously bought the Complete bundle either a) get the new dictionary as part of their pack, b) have to pay the difference between the old Complete price and new Complete price or c) pay the entire price of a new dictionary?


Staff member
Hmm, interesting question... any of those three options would be theoretically implementable with In-App Purchase, but b) and c) would take some extra coding to enable (and b) would take a LOT of extra coding). I think that'll depend on how we negotiate those licenses, but given the lower prices on iPhone it's unlikely we'll be able to shell out new per-copy royalties for everyone who previously bought the Complete bundle, so dictionaries licensed that way rather than for a flat annual fee will probably involve some sort of upgrade charge.