What’s taking us so long?

waiting for daedalus touch

Some may wonder why we haven’t updated the blog with info about Daedalus touch, or why we stil haven’t announced a release date yet.

The reason is simple: We’re aiming for very high ground. And we’re not just creating another Mail.app for writers here. There are no blueprints for what we do, no interface samples to draw from, no similar apps already in the AppStore.

A lot of what we’re doing involves lots and lots of research, user testing, trial and error. We’re charting new ground — which sometimes means leaving it again.

During the last couple of weeks we worked harder than we ever had to, all in order to implement concepts that didn’t work out, or stuff you won’t even notice was hard to pull off. iOS development is fun, but the restrictions are immense, especially when chosing to leave the throtten paths.

As an example, we wanted to go for the “less-buttoned interface”. We wanted to hide buttons as much as possible, creating an always-fullscreen writing experience. We had four buttons, one in each corner of the screen, and they would fade in and out based on certain actions of the user.

We implemented it, ran with it for some time.
Then we ditched it.

It just didn’t work, as we couldn’t create a consistent experience, and the usability troubles weren’t worth the benefits. So as much as we had loved to go for that ideal of a pure, blank, all-text interface — we’ll just use a standard top-of-the-screen button bar now.

Or Daedalus’ search system. You’ll just use it and take it for granted, and the countless hours that went into it, the cursing, the sweat, the sheer anger at that stubborn touchscreen device that wouldn’t do as we told it, the rewrites, the now-useless first, second, third version of code — you won’t see that.

That’s good and all, ’cause if you don’t notice that work, it means we managed to get it right. Just know that we’re working our asses off here to produce a great user experience, and to ensure the kind of quality you’ve come to expect from us and from iPad apps in general.

Bottom line: If you hoped for a November release, just in time for NaNoWriMo or such, you already know you’ve been out of luck. We’re done with the editor and basic file mangement/organization. We’re also done with search and settings. We’re missing sync, folder mangement, export and some bonus stuff I can’t talk abnout.

We hope to have a beta ready by year’s end.

6 Responses to “What’s taking us so long?”

  1. Timmy says:

    I hope you do not forget for each document to remember the view/edit position. As most apps don’t do this, and it’s always a pain flick-scrolling and finding your way back to where you were viewing or editing a text. Need the app to remember the view of each document upon switching between them. I just want to always continue at where I was on the iPad! SimpleNote for iOS does this, and the behavior is a joy compared to other apps that don’t.

    Also, think about a smart and easy way to go to the end of the text. If you have a long text, flicking to the end is no fun at all. Going to the top is thankfully already provided by the iOS via holding down the top bar. But no app that I know of has an easy way to go to the end!

    I trust that you’ll give us all quality, something that many iOS apps lack. Thanks.

  2. Chris says:

    Waiting patiently – I can’t wait to see what the final product looks/feels like!!

  3. Flex says: