Sorry that I haven’t been around the forum much for the past two months. Work and non-work have been a bit crazy, and I feel that between my absence here and the lack of mobile beta updates at least a few of you might be wondering what the heck is going on with old Inkren these days?!?
Things have certainly slowed down a bit since early summer when updates were dropping daily. Even the current beta version has some bugs that have annoying workarounds and frustrations. We’re all bummed that we haven’t been able to push out an update that fixes some of these issues, and we hope that we can do so shortly. Part of the reason we’ve been slow to push out new changes is due to Apple’s upcoming release of iOS 12 on September, 17th.
As some of you may know, the Skritter apps failed to launch on the iOS 12 beta when it was released to the public for beta testing. Sometimes this is an issue on Apple’s end, but this time it was on us. It took some time for our team to familiarize ourselves with the code and restore things to working order… for Chinese anyway.
The classic Chinese iOS app has been fixed and updated on the iTunes Store, but, as of the time of writing this post, the classic Japanese app is still not launching on iOS 12, and we don’t know if we will ever get it to run on iOS 12 at all. We haven’t given up hope, but it is possible that this is the end of the line for the classic Japanese iOS app. We’ve been working to fix it daily, but with no luck so far we’ve also accepted this as the current reality. We’ve already shifted gears and are doing what we can to meet the problem head-on and resolve it as quickly as possible.
The other reason for the recent lull is some recent changes to company structure and leadership. Effective August 6th, during an internal team meeting, I was named CEO of Inkren, and Nick, Scott, and George have relinquished their titles within the company and will instead be serving as our board of directors from here on out. I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to help lead this company into the future, and I’m spending a good deal of time at the moment doing what is necessary to take on the title and role officially (turns out there is a bit of paperwork for this kinda stuff!). Unfortunately, some of the necessary things I’m doing have nothing to do with the mobile beta app that our team is working so hard to deliver and it has impacted the amount of time that I have been able to devote to the project.
I write the above because I want you all to know that despite not being able to spend as much time personally focused on releasing the next version of the app, you’re all in fantastic hands. Josh, Jeremy, and Gwilym have been hard at work focusing on our team’s #1 priority–getting a release-worthy version of Skritter: Write Japanese into the iTunes Store as quickly as possible. While we have study alternatives, we still owe it to Japanese iOS subscribers to deliver the mobile experience they’ve come to expect as soon as possible.
However, we don’t wanna stop just there.
We have so much data/feedback about what currently works and doesn’t work in our iOS and Android applications. We have tons of suggestions about ways to improve Skritter-- forum posts, user feedback, user interviews, etc. and we’ve been taking notes the entire time. Planning ways that, if given a chance, we might do things differently. And, what better shot than right now do we have for something like that? So we’re going for it!
Bigger visions, however, mean more screens, more broken bits, and more things to discuss, plan, and build, and deploy. We’re sorry that we haven’t gotten an update out to you just yet, but we’re getting pretty darn close, and I just wanted to take some time to let you all know what the heck is going on these days.
I know I’ve been writing a lot about Japanese, which is probably a first for me. But, we’re working on Chinese updates as well. Any user facing releases we deploy shortly will include updates to both the Chinese and Japanese apps.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks for your patience as we roll these changes out. No screenshots to share just yet. Just a promise-- new stuff is coming soon, and we’re really excited for you to study with it.