Ready for Launch?

Hi all, thanks for all your help in testing the app so far, we are really happy with how it’s going. We still have more members to share the app with and a list of tasks to do before launch (mostly administrative, marketing and back-end related things).

And of course, we are still ready to squash any bugs that might still come up and address other types of requests.

Overall, how are you feeling about the stability and usability of the app? Does it mostly feel ready to launch in its current state?

Thanks again for all your dedication and help, it has made a huge difference so far, since we would have taken months to discover and reproduce many of the bugs you’ve all been alerting us to :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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I use it every day and it is now bug free from my perspective
Well done chaps!
Mac

I’ve been using the app on my iPad Mini for the last two or three weeks most nights before I go to bed and it looks great. I haven’t seen any bugs to speak of so far; I experienced a couple of issues via the web site during that same time frame. I’d say you are definitely ready for launch. I’ve worked with software developers in the past who couldn’t get through a single demo without a crash or obvious bug. Excellent work!
Michael

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Mac, I’m thrilled to hear you say this since I remember its shortcomings earlier on had you switching regularly back to the web version. I’m championing for dynamic type support for you, but I’m afraid it may be a while since it’s not yet part of the framework we’re using (but is doable with some future workarounds). Thanks for your persistence and patience, this makes me feel a bit more confident about launching soon!

This perspective from a software developer is huge for me since I know you’ve got the discerning eye to know when something should be better. Thanks for chiming in and for your encouragement :slight_smile:

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No problem. I have appreciated greatly the advice that you give to new learners. My wife is fearless like you and has gone on to speak multiple languages fluentlly. I need to drop the desire for perfection that has been drilled into me during my years as a programmer. As they say, perfect is the enemy of the good. Thanks again!

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It all looks great @joelrendall. I use the app on an android tablet every day and all looks good to go :slight_smile:

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Sorry to be a party pooper but Istill have one permanent and two intermittent problems.

  1. I am still having problems with disappearing letters on fill in the missing word questions.

  2. Sometimes Translate will not translate Portuguese to English. It just shows n/a. Although strangely it will still translate to Spanish and Italian etc from Portuguese. I have to close down the app and reopen to clear this.

  3. I am sometimes taken to a page which should open to the Units. The little balls move about but no page opens. I have left this page open for over a minuit to see if it is just a lag but I eventuly have to close the page and restart from home.

I am using an android tablet with version 6 os.
This is quite an old os and it may be that this is causing the problem, but I have no wish to add a perfectly good tablet to the worlds growing tech junk pile.

I know about these problems and can get around them, but am just letting you know that for me anyway, the app is not working perfectly.

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Firstly congratulations on an excellent job. I can’t imagine the amount of work it must have taken to complete.
Secondly, I just wanted to add how great it is to have the Translaor on my phone. I am a big fan of DeepL but they do not seem to offer an app for iPhone. That said I am not convinced that using Formal and Informal makes any difference. Not a huge issue as if I am writing a formal letter I will tend to use my laptop.
I love how you have also included a link to Linguee (I think it was you guys that introduced me to Linguee) Iincidentally that link doesnt seem to appear the Translator page on your website…
Lastly I find it really handy to access the Smart Review via my phone giving me the freedom to revise content anywhere. I can see this coming a more prominent feature as we return to normality and can move about more.
In terms of bugs etc. despite a few minor ones at the start, it seems from my usage to be fairly bug free.I do experience similar issues with the Translator as David Cowling but I have seen the same problems on the DeepL website so I suspect the problem might be more their end.
As an aside, I have been a subscriber for the past 5 years (with a short break in between) and I have to say you have done an incredible job of developing and expanding the strucuture and the content of your course over the years. Your commitment and hardwork really shows, making Practice Portuguese without doubt the best resource on the internet! Well done!

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I volunteer if you are looking for more members to test it out before launch! If you’re not, I can wait until launch too. Thanks!

As I’m sure you already know, I’m a really huge fan of this platform, which is why I feel the need to be totally honest regarding the app. Quite frankly, I don’t think I would ever use it in its current state. It’s far too sluggish and it doesn’t feel like an app to me, and it really doesn’t do your hard work any justice, especially considering how great the website is. I think there have been a lot of improvements over the past few weeks which is nice to see, but it just isn’t enough. It feels like an app from ten years ago, and I find it incredibly awkward and uncomfortable to use. To answer your question, I really don’t think it’s ready for launch, and I think it would be a grave mistake to offer the current version of the app to the public, especially if you’re using it to try to expand and get more people to sign up. Of course this is just my opinion, and I’m sure others will read this and think it’s totally absurd (which is fair enough), but I just thought you would appreciate a more damning opinion, too, as I’m certain there are others who feel the same way.

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Thanks for this feedback, @ward.edan! While I hope most aren’t as disappointed by the current usefulness of the app, I can’t disagree about it feeling more sluggish than other apps. The framework we’re using allows us to have an app for many tens of thousands of euros less than what it would have cost otherwise (which would be definitely prohibitive for us).

That said, we’ve been doing some tests today, and it looks like we should be able to shave several seconds off the load time of key pages, which will hopefully make things feel snappier in the app and on the site in the days to come.

Thanks again, and I hope we can make it more usable for you in the near future!

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Thanks David! For this issue, can you share with me an example of a Portuguese word that doesn’t translate for you? Or I guess you are saying that it doesn’t happen for specific phrase, but rather the whole PT->EN translation stops working after a certain point?

The whole translation to english stops working. If I load a portuguese phrase and the english translation gives me n/a, I then revert to a simple olá and get hola (sp),ciao(it), and n/a for english. I am not able to easily replicate when this happens, it just seems to be random.
As michael.pearce mentioned, it may be a problem with DeepL which you would have no control over.

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My wife accuses me of lack of patience and yet I have not hitherto noticed a problem with the app and its claim by some that it is sluggish.
However having been alerted to sluggishness by Edan’s post, I did a test comparing the Web version via Google on my iPad…and yes the App is marginally slower but, hey, I can live with that…!
If I could respond to a question in Portuguese and move on as quickly as the App does then I would be a Happy Bunny!!!

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After reading the @ward.edan post I compared the app with the web version on my devices and found little to no difference in speed between the two, however, the PP app does suffer in comparison to the DuoLingo app for speed but your focus on European português (EP) is a crucial and unique selling point for me.

The slight loss of speed for someone of my age (60s) and learning abilities is not a problem, but for a younger mind it may well be frustrating enough to initially discourage them.

I find the app to be stable now and the overall appearance is as appropriate and pleasing as any of your contemporaries (Memrise duo etc)
Given the extra cost of a slicker, faster platform I think the product you have developed is certainly fit for purpose now that most of the glitches have been resolved.

If the others on this forum, like me, are committed users then we all wish you well in your launch and we are more likely to be positive in our reviews, (even @ward.edan :blush:) you might only discover the real issues when you go to market on the App Store and have complete strangers comparing it to others.

For my needs you are, at present, the market leader in online EP courses and your platform belongs in the App Store, I’m sure there are many that will agree with me when you launch.

te desejo muita sorte

JamesG

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I agree with JamesG - I see no real difference in the speed between the web version and the app.

The only speed/feel issue I’ve encountered so far is an occasional delay loading the video clips in the learning units. To be fair, I don’t have a high speed internet connection and my internet provider, NOS (Portugal), is not always the most reliable.

Michael

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It’s looking pretty good! Stable, although there are some remaining CSS things that are probably easy to fix (and one hard one). I know you want to hold off on this stuff, but some of it is pretty basic and could make a nice difference. I’ll put in a new forum message.

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I agree with everything you’ve said, and I was probably a little harsh with my words. I just don’t feel that the app is anywhere near as comfortable or easy on the eye as the web version. It all feels very square and it’s far more prone to lagging, whereas apps generally feel very smooth (or the good ones do, at least). Perhaps it isn’t as big of a problem for people from different generations, in which case I’d argue that my concerns should probably be more worrying if the app deters younger people from using the platform. I have deleted countless apps within a few minutes due to the feel of them (and I consider myself to be very patient compared to other people my age). There is nothing more frustrating for a young person than a piece of technology that doesn’t work properly (which is very sad, I know). We live in an instant world where apps are expected to run accordingly.

The content and the service provided by Practice Portuguese are second to none, which is why I feel that the app should also be second to none. I appreciate that it is a very costly thing to achieve, so it’s 100% understandable to take a more cost-effective approach. In spite of my criticism, from what I’ve seen the app is continuing to improve and I’m sure it’s on the right track. I just don’t think it’s quite there, yet. There is absolutely no doubt that this is the number one platform for learning European Portuguese.

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I thought your words were honest and frank Edan & not harsh :blush: we all experience things through different lenses and Joel did ask for our honest views of the app.

Like you I want the app to be as perfect as the content, where we differ is that through my lens I have virtually the same experience on the web as in the app, ie similar speed of loading and an equal number of glitches. The navigation is necessarily different for both platforms and here I find as many pros as I do cons when I compare them.

When I chose the course I was surprised that it was only browser based and felt that the lack of an app would hold back its success and growth. For me, this app solves this problem and is fit for that purpose (ie not perfect but perfectly adequate :blush:)

After launch I’m sure the developers will have a ton of new suggestions to sort out and improvements to implement and those will further enhance our experience.

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