iPhone/iPad App ETA? Critical to my continued use of DEVONth

Let me start out by saying that I have been a loyal DEVONthink Pro Office user for years. DEVONthink is a truly amazing program and I have relied on it as the backbone of my paperless office for years.

I have patiently been waiting for the release of a DEVONthink iPhone app for about a year now, ever since I found out (probably last summer) that an alleged iPhone App was being beta tested. I even applied to be one of the beta testers but all of the available slots permitted by Apple had already been filled.

I know for a fact that even some of the most complex and elaborate iPhone apps out there don’t take anywhere close to a year to be built from the ground up, so that fact that the DEVONthink app has taken so long tells me that it’s not much of a priority to you at this point.

I need to know if you think the DEVONthink iPhone (or better yet, an iPad app) is likely to be released within the next couple months (like 3 months tops). If it’s not going to be, I would really appreciate being notified of this because having on the go access to all of my documents is being more and more critical in today’s mobile computing era, and there are several other very viable alternatives to DEVONthink that would allow me to access my documents ‘on the go’.

I have of course tried the Server built into DEVONthink, but the first time I tried accessing one of my documents that was larger than 2MB I was not permitted to do so because of the limitations of using the server feature (which is a bit annoying honestly, as about 99% of all of my documents are larger than 2MB).

Forgive the frankness of this inquiry, but patience has run thin, and I am done waiting and need to know once and for all an approximate release date.


I’ve seen it as a sign of limited resources (for a relatively small company already developing/supporting multiple non-trivial products), though hopefully not for much longer. From Eric’s recent blog article comment:

But, as you may have noticed on the blog, we have hired two new developers now from which one will be dedicated fully to the iPhone and iPad.

And it’s guaranteed people will gripe if Dtech happens to miss that date, regardless of reasons. That happened with DT 2.0 and I’d rather not see it happen again with the iPhone/iPad app.

Something Jamie Phelps of Agile Web Solutions posted in a recent discussion about the long anticipated/delayed MobileMe sync support for 1Password also seems fitting to the topic here:

I think this thread really represents why we don’t like to share timeframes quite well. It’s not that we want to be secretive or unhelpful to our users that are trying to make purchasing decisions or anything like that. I recognize how tough these decisions can be without some bits of information. Usually, all we can do is say that a feature is something we want to investigate for a future release or flat out deny any interest in the feature. (The latter is how we generally reply to things like new platforms until we’re ready to unveil something that’s at least usable like we have with Windows and Android.) The reason we don’t like to give targets or development roadmaps is because we practice agile development. Things can change quickly (We love it!) just like when the iPad was announced and when the Dropbox API became available. These things were great opportunities that we might have missed if we were committed to a roadmap that we’d published. But, the pain of missing those opportunities is nothing compared to the pain of disappointing our awesome users. So, we would rather surprise and delight our users than make promises or projections that could potentially result in disappointment.

So to make a long story short, basically I shouldn’t be hoping for a miracle because it’s not going to happen, and if it’s miracle that I need, then I should seek it elsewhere… sound about right?

Dang! Wish that weren’t the case, I really do… :frowning:

It doesn’t necessarily represent Dtech’s view, but this snip from Dave Teare’s post (Agile Founder) expresses the main point I’m trying to make (emphasized in bold):

When I said “Other developers” there I was mostly thinking about Dtech, DT 2.0, and negative customer reactions/tensions. Based on that experience I seriously doubt Dtech wants to go that route again by publicly guesstimating when they’ll release their iPhone/iPad app. I’d rather accept what news and status reports they’ve been posting about it (e.g. as Eric does on the blog), without instigating unnecessary pressure and distraction by “pestering” them for a possible release date. I can be patiently satisfied with it being ready when it’s ready. :slight_smile:

I understand other people’s circumstances and reasons for inquiring, like yours, can differ. But it doesn’t seem fair to make it Dtech’s problem if they’re unable/unwilling to provide the approximate release date you’re requesting. It can be reasonable to question why they won’t provide it and my posts attempt to offer some possible explanation, i.e. the DT 2.0 experience (which Agile’s similarly going through with MobileMe sync support).

Of course only Dtech can definitively answer that. If you have an exceptional requirement maybe they’d provide more details privately under some sort of NDA or other arrangement, but that’s purely speculation.

As I’m beta testing the mobile app on my iPad, I’d say your interpretation of sjk’s post is way, way too pessimistic. :slight_smile:

But I agree with sjk’s point and with the quote he included. It’s not a good idea to announce release dates of software in development.

Keep an eye on the Blog, as Eric periodically posts reports about what’s happening.

I concur, and apologize if I made it seem that way.

Of course there are exceptions when it can be done successfully, e.g. in certain open source projects. Still, I’ve noticed plenty of developers who, based on direct and/or indirect experience, would rather not risk negative consequences of going down that path (which, cliché to say, can easily become a slippery slope) and set/adjust their release (pre-)announcement policies accordingly.

I feel like I have to apologize, because before I made my initial post, I scoured the forums trying to find anything I could about the upcoming iPhone/iPad release, and I couldn’t really find much… so I followed your suggestions and made my way over to the blog, and when I noticed the second post down from June 30th, my mouth started watering…

My bad! You rock - I suck - and oh boy oh boy, I cannot wait to get my hands on that iPad app!!!

No worries. You’d already said “Forgive the frankness of this inquiry” in your original post, which could be considered sort of a pre-apology. :slight_smile:

Just to throw my two cents in on the development process…

I would like to humbly suggest that you guys focus on the iPad app first and the iPhone app second… you can’t even really read a PDF document on the iPhone (without struggling to do so), but on the iPad it could definitely be a game changer!

Thanks again!

Pictures of DEVONthink To Go running on the iPad have been posted on the DEVON blog here.

Just to be contrary I’ll disagree. :slight_smile:

It depends upon what you see as the primary use of such an app. I, personally, would use it mostly for taking quick notes and for access to documents and lists where zooming into the relevant section would be an acceptable inconvenience. I would probably rarely if ever try to do real work with it. I might also point out that there are many, many more iPhone users out there than iPad users.

Having said that, I do see your point of view and acknowledge that its not straight forward. In fact, if you put it to a vote I think I’d come out on the bottom. I would also admit that I plan to use it no matter the platform (I also have an iPad and I use it quite a lot).

Tom S.

I would have to agree with you that if it were put to a vote, my vote for making the iPad app the priority would certainly come out at the bottom… but if you had a 3G iPad as I do, your vote would likely be the same as mine

I’ll gladly admit to this as well… regardless of whichever platform sees the app first, the DEVONthink App will be on the first page of my homescreen!

My vote is for DEVONthink for iPad (not sure if anyone was asking, but thought I’d exercise my democratic right anyway).

I would use it for quick note taking and accessing documents on the move. I have a 3G iPad (as well as an iPhone).

Presumably there would be the ability to edit documents in the App. What would be most pleasing to me would be the ability to open documents in native Apps as well, e.g. the iWork Apps on the iPad. Other Apps such as GoodReader have this, so I am hoping this feature makes it into the DEVONthink App.

Presumably also syncing will be via MobileMe once this feature is implemented in DEVONthink.

Finally I am hoping that the Clip to DEVONthink bookmarklet would be included in the App.