The Future of Simple In/Out Desktop
May 13, 2020
TLDR: It’s Bright!
This week we announced French support for Simple In/Out. In doing so, we added French to every app with the notable exception of Simple In/Out Desktop. While some may infer that we are abandoning desktop apps, the exact opposite is true. We’re doubling-down on desktop.
Rewind to 2013, a time when Simple In/Out is just 2 years old. Microsoft has just shipped Windows 8 with its polarizing user interface. We were called to a meeting at Microsoft’s offices to discuss building a desktop version of our Simple In/Out client. The timing for us wasn’t great, but we could see the potential. We set out to ship a first-class Windows 8 app with the help of Microsoft and a third-party design firm.
When we launched Simple In/Out for Windows, it was everything Microsoft wanted a Windows app to be. We built atop their latest APIs, their carousel interface, their look and feel, and their ideas for how to manage windows/preferences/etc.
The trouble began the moment Microsoft starting walking away from their Windows 8 decisions. Suddenly, the platform we built upon was deprecated, support waned, and things started breaking with no fixes in sight. The most famous example is a simple field picker that we had to build ourselves, from scratch, to avoid crashes on Windows Mobile. It was clear we were living on borrowed time and that a full rewrite was unavoidable.
While the legacy of Windows 8 was bearing down on us, we launched Simple In/Out Desktop for Mac. As Mac users ourselves, we were excited to ship an app that lived in our docks. While we had the best intentions, we started to fall behind the state of the art. We had too much code servicing workarounds within our desktop apps.
Throughout this time, the rise of App Stores on desktop computers added new wrinkles. In workplaces using device management, authenticating store accounts individually per computer for App Stores is a real pain. Worse yet, Apple’s draconian policies prevent free trials unless we both fork over 30% of our revenue and use their third-rate subscription management system.
With the need to rewrite the Windows app, dramatically update the Mac app, and leave the desktop App Stores, our direction was clear. We needed to start over. We set to work last year on a new desktop app.
Our aim is a modern desktop app for both Windows and Mac, built on a platform we can efficiently maintain in the future. We’ll support the latest OS features like Dark Mode. The new Simple In/Out Desktop will feature the best in/out board we’ve built to date, with an interface that’s more consistent and powerful. And, of course, we’ll support French immediately.
We will ship a Public Beta of Simple In/Out Desktop, for both Windows and Mac, via a free download from our website. We’ll gather feedback and suggestions as we add more features throughout the beta process. Our existing desktop apps will remain available until the new Simple In/Out Desktop reaches 1.0.
If you wish to give the new Simple In/Out Desktop a try, watch our Public Beta page. You can also subscribe to our mailing list. We can’t wait to share with everyone what we’ve been working on these past few months.