Saturday, October 15, 2011

Status Report: Flashcards for iPad

I just wanted to let you know that I am heavily working on Flashcards for iPad and that you can expect something usable at the end of this year. However I have bad news for everyone who is using Flashcards today:

Flashcards for iPad won't sync with Flashcards for Mac from day one.

Yeah. Its a simple as that and here is why:

In order to make Flashcards possible on the iPad I had to remove a lot of features from the original Flashcards application and replace them with something more or less equivalent. These minor and major differences make the data formats incompatible. Syncing would lead to corrupt data and or would be indefinitely complex to implement. Take rich text editing with inline images as an example. That is absolutely no problem on the Mac. On the iPad this is a major problem. Rich text editing is possible in theory - but not with inline images and not with that kind of layout I have in mind. You can't even read and convert RTFD with the iOS SDK with a reasonable amount of effort.

So what is the plan?

Here is comes: I will release Flashcards for iPad sometime next year. Then I will begin wot work on the next major version of Flashcards for Mac. The next major version will be stripped down and rearchitectured from the group up. At the same time this will enable iCloud syncing. You won't loose any data.

But here is something you may be interested in: With the release of Flashcards for iPad I will also release a minor update for Flashcards for Mac which will be able to export all of your cards and decks to your iPad - once. Then you have to live without syncing for a few months and then everything should be fine again.

Please let me know if you have any problems with this plan. I thought about many alternatives but if you think you have a better solution in mind please let me know.

Ah - and here are two screenshots that show the current status of Flashcards for iPad:

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