Development Update

targetSince a lot of questions about platforms and release plans have come up in the other blog posts, I thought I’d take a second to write a quick update. I hope this helps to answer some of your questions! Keep in mind that in many cases I won’t be able to give specifics, but I will do my best to tell you what I can.

So, if you want some insight into what’s happening at Ilium Software, read on after the jump!

Wait! What? Why no specifics?

A few reasons. The main one is that there is a lot of stuff I’m not allowed to tell you. We have NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) with a lot of people, and the work we’re doing is almost always covered under one of these. I’m just not allowed to tell you some of the things I’d like to.

Also, I recently compared this job to doing improv. The nature of our market means that everything is changing all the time these days. Trying to get specific about something that hasn’t happened just causes problems when circumstances change (and then I can’t explain why due to the first issue I mentioned!)

A Note on Etiquette

I know people have some strong feelings about our products, and sometimes that comes out in blog comments. If I feel that a comment really isn’t constructive or isn’t civil, I will remove it. For a long time I never did this, but I’ve found that there are a lot of people who want to talk about these things but get turned off by too much “passion” so I want this to be an environment where they can be heard.

That said, if you have a “passionate” comment you’d like to make – just email me personally and I’ll reply to you. Send it to info@iliumsoft.com and put Attn: Marc in the subject.

So without further ado, on with the show…

eWallet for Mac: Let’s jump right in shall we? Here is the status:

  • We’re still planning to release it!
  • We already gave a version to a high level beta team to play with.
  • I’m expecting a new build within the next couple weeks.
  • I personally think it rocks.

This is quite literally ALL I can tell you right now. Again – we’re not posting this to convince people to hold out for it – we’re just letting you know what’s up!

eWallet for iPhone: We’ve heard your requests and we’re working on it! As you know we added Copy & Paste recently, and just last week we released eWallet Lite.

eWallet for Windows, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry: All of these platforms are getting attention right now. I can’t say much more but we’re pretty excited about what is in store and we think you’ll like the results.

ListPro for iPhone: Here is the rundown:

  • It’s still in development.
  • A version exists that we’re using in-house.
  • Creating a good sync solution is still a VERY challenging issue.
  • We’ve set our sites farther than the “read only” solution we talked about a long time ago.

Like eWallet for Mac, this is ALL I can say about this right now.

Windows Mobile: We did a lot of behind the scenes work getting the Windows Mobile applications ready for Marketplace and we’re quite happy with how that is going. We have additional updates in the works and are very happy with the platform (from a developer and sales perspective.)

Android: Look, I like Android a lot but so far it hasn’t proven itself as a strong market for software development. We already have a lot on our plate and developing versions of our products for other platforms is a HUGE task. It eats up lots of time and lots of money. As a result we need confidence in the platform if we’re going to embrace it. So far, despite its good points, I still don’t have confidence in Android. That could change but I’m still in a wait-and-see mode.

Palm’s WebOS: Palm is a fighter – I’ll give them that. Unfortunately, none of the things I’ve talked about in the past regarding Palm have changed, and although they are seeing moderate success with their application market, it has a long way to go before it’s a strong competitor. Like Android, I’m watching this one close but so far we haven’t committed one way or another on WebOS.

NewsBreak for <InsertYourFavoriteDevice>: We don’t have plans for other versions of NewsBreak right now but the requests keep coming in so we’re leaving our options open!

ADDED 10-21-09 eWallet Web Companion: Yes, the EWC (as we’ve taken to calling it around here) is still in the works. We ended up delaying it for a number of reasons.  The main thing that happened was eWallet for Mac/ListPro for iPhone came back in-house. The resources only stretch so far. There are other reasons as well, inluding some work going on with the normal version of eWallet that could impact the EWC (in a good way!) So yes – we still want to make this a reality but it remains in Beta for now.

I’m sure I’ve skipped things people want to know about so feel free to post them below!

Thanks!

Marc

37 thoughts on “Development Update

  1. J. Wagner

    No ListPro for Blackberry? That’s a big bummer. I switched from WinMo to BB about 9 months ago and still haven’t found anything remotely close to ListPro. Even without the desktop component and bi-directional syncing (which made this a must have tool), there’s nothing out there that’s comparable. Well, not that I’ve found at least.

    It’s the only app I haven’t been able to replace on my BB.

  2. Rodney

    Thanks Marc, it’s good to know things are still progressing. I’m soooo looking forward to eWallet for the Mac. I hope you can release it soon. I wish I could hear some more specifics, dates and schedules and such, but I realize the problems with NDA and such. Keep up the good work and here’s to hoping things go smoother than you hoped.

  3. JoeDr

    Thanks very much for the update Marc. I am still eagerly awaiting eWallet (and ListPro) for Mac and List Pro for iPhone and it feels good to know that progress is being made.

  4. Terry

    I’ve settled into a pattern of booting my Mac into Boot Camp with Windows 7 to run Quicken and eWallet. It’s not real convenient so I will either:

    1) Replace Quicken when I find something I like, or
    2) Buy a VM solution.

    The Mac version of eWallet will give me one less reason to boot into Windows. Keep up the good work and the teaser, er, informational blog posts.

  5. Chris G

    Thanks for the update Marc! Nice to see things are moving in the right direction.

    One item that wasn’t mentioned was the eWallet web/in-the-cloud service. It was open for beta a while back but wondered what happened to it? It would have been the perfect stop gap to eWallet for Mac and other platforms.

  6. Dewaine

    Thanks for the update, Marc. I am going to wait it out for the ListPro for the iPhone. I really appreciate your taking the time to periodically let me know how the development is coming.

    I had dinner last night with friends and I was telling them how good the eWallet software is. I told them I would send them your web info so they could order it. They were really excited and were going to buy. However I didn’t do my homework and assumed that they had a PC. They don’t, they have a Mac. So I told them to keep checking with your website to get eWallet for the Mac status.

  7. Joe McConnell

    Many moons back, ListPro took me hostage. It literally defines what kind of smart brick I carry around. A ListPro for the iPhone would let me join the 21st century. Looking forward to it with vast anticipation.

  8. Marc Post author

    @Everyone: Thanks for the feedback and support. We’ll keep working and I’ll try to tell you what I can when new information becomes available!

    @Chris G: Good catch! I updated the post to include news on the eWallet Web Companion!

  9. Salin Low

    My iPhone became much more integral to my functioning with eWallet. I await ListPro with eager anticipation.

  10. Crohns

    How’s the process of getting your iPhone apps approved going, have you done so yet? I hear it’s pretty tough to get anything approved for sale at the Apple store that would compete with apps that they’re working on themselves…

  11. Mark

    I am a Mac user. I purchased the iphone version of ewallet last year. At that time I was told by your very gracious staff that the mac version would be available by the end of 2008. I certainly understand that this timeline was not met for very good reasons. I do have one recommendation for you. Airline passengers and patients in doctor’s offices get very angry while waiting, not because of the delay but because too often no one gives them a best guess estimate of the delay. In my view you would be far better served making some estimate of the date of delivery,with every caveat of unforeseen circumstances, rather than stating that you can’t talk about it. Please do not publish this comment. Thank you

  12. Matt W

    I would LOVE to see List Pro be a Black Berry app as well. I have been using the desktop but I cannot find any thing like it for the BB. Please Consider for the BB!
    Thanks!

  13. Eugene

    Thanks for taking the time to update your users on the status of development.

    One thing I was looking for and didn’t see was ListPro for WinMobile… no, I am not even asking for any additional features… but how about getting rid of bugs ?

  14. Kevin

    I have been using Listpro and Ewallet for a few years now. I have had them on a number of smart phone/Pocket PCs. I recently switched to the Pre, and am very hopeful that you will add WebOS to your platforms supported.
    Thnaks for the great applications!
    Kevin

  15. NullState

    I’m a huge fan of ListPro and would readily pay for a new version on a new device. Soon, I’m planning on moving to an Android phone (HTC Hero or Samsung Moment). I have an old Dell Axim that I might have to keep around just so I can have my ListPro handy!
    I understand with v1.6 they’ve eased development for the various devices it will run on. And with adoption by T-Mobile, then Sprint and aggressive adoption by Verizon, it will be joining the top players in mobile OS’s. I think you can safely assume it is not going away any time soon. It will continue to evolve, but it’s here to stay. Please look closely at Android!
    Thanks,
    -john

  16. Marc Post author

    @NullState: Never said it’s going away. My question is whether or not Android is a good platform for software developers to make a living on. So far THAT issue remains in question. Also, consider this – one of the selling points of Android is the openness – OEMs can really make it what they want for each individual device which means – every single device is different.

    We experienced the same thing with Palm OS years ago where we literally had to own every palm device that existed, test on every one of them, and make changes to the software to address unique problems on unique devices. This makes for an extermely expensive and unstable development environment! I’m very concerned about that with Android.

  17. Adrian

    I am also much looking forward to List Pro for the iPhone. I do without it for now and find I generate the lists I need in a To Do application. Far from ideal. Once List Pro comes out the iPhone will have all I need to keep me away from the dreaded Windows Mobile.

  18. John

    Glad to hear Ewallet for Mac is coming… I too need one less reason to boot the Vista side of my Mac.

    Thank you

  19. Kimberly

    So glad for the update. I really hope that WebOS becomes one of your platforms. I am really missing ListPro on my Pre. I didn’t realize how integral a part of every day it was for me until it was gone. Nothing else compares.

  20. Dana

    Ah, at long last, news of ListPro for iPhone! Thank you for the update – it’s nice to at least have SOME status. We anxiously await The Release! :-)

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  23. PJMDS

    I’m a long time user of NewsBreak aka RSS Hub and I’m very sad that the software is getting behind the competition day by day, it does work very good most of the times but it should be improved further, you guys don’t really have to do much, just small improvements.

    I sent several suggestions to you guys, the worse thing that the software has is the freeze when switching from feeds to channels list, there are also times when some channels get “reseted” and all of their already marked as read feeds get marked as unread, there’s also bugs with the automatically download of podcasts because some times it does auto dowloads podcasts marked as read. You could also improve usability by changing channels text color to red when the last update couldn’t be done properly.

    Now I’m using RSS Hub and the status progress bar was removed, that sucks because now its difficult to sometimes find out what’s the software doing and if it will take long to have the work done.

    Please don’t let your newsbreak software be forgotten, you will regret for sure when SPB News or other catch up with newsbreak, I will switch to any software that can give me what newsbreak does because they are being developed every day while newsbreak’s not.

    Best regards to all ilium people :)

  24. Steve Ryan

    Thx for the update on ListPro for iPhone. There are options but I’ve decided to wait for it. It was a key app for me back in WM days but now I’ve moved to iPhone really need ListPro back!! Thx for working on it.

  25. john pilkington

    put me down for an android version of ewallet. i´ve moved over from windows mobile and am not thinking of moving back. i would happily pay you guys again for ewallet. its the last thing that i need to make the change complete.
    john.

  26. skeet

    List Pro and Android

    I have spent hours I don’t have searching for a replacement software for my Listpro dependence. nothing is doing it. I hear the android concerns from your end, and understand.

    Just don’t know what I am going to do when I kick the old IPAQ and go Droid.

  27. jane

    I am very sorry that you are not proceeding with any development for Android. I have been a WinMo user for a hundred years but, frankly, those devices cannot get online the way the Android do and Android has no difficulty in loading web pages that shut the HTC TouchPro 2 down.

    I have spent the better part of 6 months trying to figure out how to tweak any WM6.5 to keeping up and the breaking point had been the lack of availability of ListPro for Android. I figured that I could hold on. To discover that you have no plans to make any Android software means that I will have either to buy a phone I don’t want and keep it for 2 years or buy what I want and hope that you will come out with something.

    Since it seems that you have no interest in trying I simply want to be clear that I will find workarounds and other programs to fill the Illium void. Disappointing because I have liked your products and have urged their use to others, but I cannot be held hostage to a product which can’t meet my needs because of ListPro & eWallet. I will continue to use them on my laptop but there will be no need for me to keep up with your product development.

    I am sorry to see you go and I hope that with the release of the Droid and the Hero to Verizon your opinions will change fairly quickly. If they do and if I can Beta, I might still be able to be a customer. But as things stand now I am sad.

  28. jane

    BTW, I am finding that I can export lists to excel and drop them as google docs which then become accessible as HTML. Not the most elegant solution but for those dying from lack of List Pro this will work for small enough spreadsheets. You may need to break your lists down into small enough units.

  29. tom

    ListPro for Android

    As a long-time owner and enthusiast, I have recommended ListPro to many.

    And like Jane, I too would love to see ListPro for Android. Yes, you’d have to *significantly* change your pricing model, but run the numbers and I think it would make sense. Many thousands of folks adding a $2.99 ListPro app through the Market might work. Android is on the verge gaining huge market share; seems like this is definitely the time to get in.

    In the meantime, as I’ve happily abandoned the antiquated — and not likely to catch up, even with WM7 — Windows Mobile for Android (Sprint Hero), I’m using the export-to-CSV-and-import workaround in a couple of different apps (OI, Shopping List Plus at the moment).

    However, to Ilium’s advantage, there is nothing that can touch the functionality of ListPro. Yet.

  30. drosene

    I like many others have been waiting on Verizon to release, or at a minimum comment on their release date for the WinMo Samsung Omnia 2. I won’t be waiting much longer before jumping to Android. The only application holding me back now is ListPro.

    Its time you jumped off the fence on Android. You should be focused on the two platforms going forward with the greatest market share. They will be Android and Iphone unless Microsoft gets off its a** and quickly makes some huge advances with WinMo 7. Even then manufactures will question the cost of future WinMo products given Microsofts license fees.

    With Iphone and Android your apps will be available to both the casual consumer and the hardcore business and tech enthusiasts.

  31. Frank

    Go go go!!!
    I am still eagerly awaiting eWallet for Mac and would even be willing to participate in a beta program, if you need more users. :-)

    (How about an import function to get the data from my still used “Handy Safe Desktop” into eWallet? It is xml basically)

    Keep going!
    Best regards
    Frank

  32. John

    I am a long time WM and eWallet user migrating to Android via the Moto Droid. As noted above, I am VERY disappointed that you guys have not “jumped the fence”. I think you are missing a huge opportunity:
    1) There is no clear dominate (or polished) wallet app on the Android market; that is changing:
    2) Two competing long term WM developers (SBSH and SPB) are embracing Android and specifically working and Wallet apps as we speak! No doubt more WM developers making the move as well – check with your friends in Austin TX.
    3) Motorola Droid appears likely to pull many long time WM users; not a qualified statement, rather an assessment based on discussion on many discussion forums

  33. Marc Post author

    @Tom: Regarding $2.99 apps that works in theory but you REALLY need to sell a lot more AND you need to ALWAYS sell that much more. This is not a sure thing. Even if you can pull the big numbers at first, it doesn’t mean you can keep pulling those big numbers.

    @Frank: We’ll send you an email about a way to import!

    @Jane: Did you know ListPro exports to HTML format?

  34. Dave

    Add me to the list of satisfied customers you’re about to lose. I happily paid $20 for ListPro back in the 2.0 days, and it’s been keeping my 5-year-old PDA useful for a surprisingly long time. Unfortunately, I too am about to move on to Android and apparently I’ll have to look elsewhere.

  35. Fred Ora

    I’ve been an eWallet user for well over 5 years and over the last year switched to an iPhone from PPC and purchased the iPhone app which I love. When Snow Leopard was relesed I purchased a MacBook Pro. Now that it looks like eWallet for Mac will be released. Is there a beta I can sign up for?

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