We have been hard at work on Sente for the iPad and I wanted to give everyone an update on progress.
Redesigning the user interface for the iPad has been an fascinating process. There will be a lot more discussion on this topic in the coming months, but I have to say that I have found the process to be both more challenging and more rewarding than I expected. You all will be the final judges of the success of our efforts, but I am personally pleased with overall feel of the iPad version of Sente. It is a much simpler, more direct interface than desktop Sente. Some of this comes from leaving out features, but much of it comes from the power of the touch interface. I think you are going to like it.
As I mentioned in my original post on this subject, there are a number of technical hurdles that we have to overcome to get Sente running on the iPad. I am pleased to report that some of the most important hurdles have been cleared. Here is some of what we have gotten working thus far:
- Opening Sente 6 libraries and displaying the contents (I regularly work with a library with 1,500 references in it and performance is very good. I have run tests on libraries with over 10,000 references successfully; things definitely slow down, but if it is a matter of having the library or not, it is definitely better than not working at all!)
- Built-in Smart Collections (All the standard ones, plus some new ones.)
- Sync. (Any number of desktop copies, any number of iPad copies, all kept in sync in near-real-time with minimal set-up. I will write more about this in a later post.)
- Targeted browsing. (Very similar to the desktop version and with support for most of the same sites.)
Some hard problems remain, but this is important progress.
So, when will Sente for the iPad be released? This is difficult to answer right now, but I will say that we are shooting for an early-summer release.
What I can say with greater confidence is that Sente for the iPad is going to address the most frequently voiced needs for on-the-go reference management. We have been listening very carefully to what people are saying they want in an iPad version of a reference manager, and we think we are addressing every one of the most common requests. It will not do everything that desktop Sente does (e.g., no word processor integration) but it will do what we think most people want to do from the iPad.