It’s about time we came out and said it: we are in fact working on Strip Desktop. Long requested by fans of our popular private data management app for iOS (and previously for Palm OS), Strip Desktop will provide a means for users to manage their Strip data on their desktop computer, in addition to the features we’ve already made available in Strip Sync.
As you can hopefully tell from the screen clip above (click to enlarge), we are working hard to maintain the same simple and elegant style used in Strip for iOS, by borrowing some of our design choices from Apple’s Address Book. We expect this interface to change and mature quite a bit over the next few months, but this is a reasonable approximation of our intended product. You can’t tell from that lone screenshot, but all the basic features of the data editor in Strip for Mac OS X are complete at this point.
Strip Desktop is a bit of a misnomer, as it actually describes two distinct, native applications: Strip for Windows, and Strip for Mac OS X. We’ve been making great progress recently on the Mac version, but we’ve fallen a bit behind on the Windows version and expect to pick up the slack soon. We are considering publishing Strip for Mac OS X in the new Mac App Store recently announced by Apple, and expect to have it ready for release by the time the Mac App Store opens for business, whether or not we decide to go that route (Apple estimates this will be around Jan 26th, 2011, so that’s our target).
We’ve reconsidered our previous stance on providing an online-backup feature. We’ve found that supporting Sync over local WiFi networks is particularly difficult. With so many different types of home networking hardware out there — with all the infinite variations of network configurations, combinations, pitfalls, and firewalls — it’s no wonder Apple does sync over the Dock cable. It’s time for us to find ways to make this easier, too.
We’re not getting rid of Sync over WiFi, but we are going to begin experimenting with an online backup & sync feature for Codebook, and if all goes well, we’ll port it back to Strip. The basic gist of the feature is that a copy of your encrypted db will be placed in your Dropbox account. When it’s time to sync, any one of your copies of Strip can download the master copy in your Dropbox, and sync against it locally. Your unencrypted data will never be stored on Dropbox, and your password/key will never be sent over the wire. This feature will have the happy side-effect of providing you with the same multi-device replication you get now with Strip Sync.
Relatedly, we have one maintenance update in the pipe for Strip Sync, and we plan to discontinue development of the application once Strip Desktop is released. Once we have Strip Desktop and the Online Backup feature in place, there won’t be a need for the software anymore — whether or not you choose to use Strip Desktop. The forthcoming maintenance update of Strip Sync will coincide with the release of Strip 1.5 for iOS, a rather handy set of small productivity enhancements and bug fixes. Users who upgrade to Strip 1.5 will need the latest version of Strip Sync, as well. We’ll publish a notice to the mailing list as soon as this next release is ready.
We really appreciate the requests you’ve been sending in for an Android port of Strip! At the moment we need to focus on the desktop applications. Once we’ve brought them to market, we will take another look at building a port for Android.