LiveScribe originally announced the first official Mac LiveScribe desktop 1.0 release for Feb 17th 2009. The day before the release, they said the needed a few more weeks to resolve some issues that had come up. Yes, there was the occasional snide remark in the forums about what sort of code quality controls do they have if they determined they are a few weeks behind only the day before the release. Well, at least “a few weeks” was right – the new release date is now March 3rd 2009.
I suspect LiveScribe could not win here no matter what. If they released with bugs, people would complain. If they delayed the release, people would complain. If they did not say the release date, people would complain. If they originally said the release was going to be later, people may complain but I bet some other last minute issue would have come up delaying the release anyway. (Hey! I write software too!)
Hopefully the 1.0 desktop release will make the Mac community happy. The current Mac beta release has a number of known problems, such as truncating audio recordings and missing functionality present in the Windows desktop.
Of course there is lots more missing functionality people are complaining about regardless (cannot delete content, cannot share content with others except via posting to web site outside corporate firewalls, cannot support third party applications etc). But it is a step forwards.
Now all they need to do is get the legal issues sorted out so they can release information about how application developers will be able to get penlets to interact with the real world. I am both looking forward to and dreading this. It will be great finally to work out what is going to be possible. I am however dreading that it won’t be what developers want. For example penlets you write in Java (J2ME), but LiveScribe have already said the desktop side will be exposed via a C++ API. Sounds like there will be Windows and Mac apps in the application store (C++ with GUIs is not that portable). Yuck. And developers will have to know two programming languages. Yuck. While not perfect, allowing Java to be used on the desktop would have solved both these problems. But details are not released yet, so we will see what transpires.
One background issue is that Livescribe has to work/negotiate with Anoto re how Anoto’s IP can be used. This adds a layer of business complexity that isn’t often seen by the public.
Yes, its an issue for all software where you include third party code. We have the same problem at work.
It was also mentioned in the forums by bhima (http://www.livescribe.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2276) that there may be added complexity due to other Anoto enterprise related agreements already in place.