by Caleb Jaffa

Lexin changes break Lexikon

Unfortunately Lexin has changed their site, discontinuing English completely, which is making looking up new words in Lexikon impossible. I’m scrambling to get a fix that will get the other languages working again, and though I preferred Lexin’s entries, I will integrate Folkets Lexikon for English/Swedish lookups.

Update: I received word on Tuesday that the update has been marked as a priority review for critical updates. Hopefully it will be approved later today or tomorrow.

Update 2: The update has been approved and is being processed for the App Store. It should appear within about an hour.

New Site Coming Soon

Things have been a bit crazy behind the scenes, and part of that is new branding and web presence for Clockwise. Here is a small crop of the new Lexikon product page that isn’t quite done:

New Site Crop

Lexikon 2.5

I’ve submitted an update to Lexikon. While the current version was working fine with all of the iOS 4 betas, there was a bug in my code that was exposed via crashing in the GM build. Hopefully the update will speed through the approval process and hit before or soon after iOS 4 is released later today.

Beyond iOS 4 support the biggest new feature is easier searching, the search bar is always on the screen instead of scrolling off. In addition Lexikon will now better inform you when Lexin is unavailable, some stray memory leaks have been fixed, removal of Pinch analytics, a better default screen to explain how to use Lexikon among other misc. fixes.

As to an offline app I don’t know that I will do one. I find the Folkets Lexikon data lacking, you basically get one word translation and little context, you also don’t get helpful things like the different forms of words, important for those learning the language. I also looked at Wiktionary which has some nice information, some words even have pronunciations for some words. However the overall number of words is lacking.

This site has sadly been a bit neglected as in addition to working on Lexikon, other projects and client work I’m also redoing this site to improve marketing and communication.

The Game Plan

I once read a report that sometimes telling the world what our plans are can satisfy that part of our brain saying we need to do something, without doing it. I think I can relate. However I don’t want to operate in complete radio silence. I am still in the transition stages from web development to iPhone, iPad and Mac development. Obviously the iPhone and iPad have been the most exciting for me, but if I find the right itch on the Mac I would like to scratch it as well.

I’m working on a 2.1 update to Lexikon. I can’t say for certain when this update will be ready to submit to Apple. The major feature will be to have the search bar always on screen as it is the main function of the app. There is also a crash to fix when your search term is non-latin and you try searching in the Swedish dictionary.

The next item in that arena will be to bring the Folkets Lexikon to the iPhone. This dictionary would be offline and contains 50% more words than Lexin. There is still some debate as to what the best way to deliver this is. Either as a separate application or an in-app purchase in Lexikon. I don’t want to have a bunch of products, but I also want to keep each application as simple as possible. It would’ve been easy to have a version of Lexikon for each language available, but at the same time the difference is very little. Folkets Lexikon on the other hand could be quite a different beast.

I am also going to look to make the Folkets Lexikon available as a plugin for the Mac OS X

I’m not certain what my plans are for the iPad at this time for Lexikon. The screen real estate is a lot and I’m not certain I’ll be able to improve on the interface elegantly to take advantage of it. I’m holding off until I have a device in my hands so I can experience it first hand.