Hi Paul c,
Thank you for this post and your condolences.
I am sorry for such a long delay in answering this post. I have to give you my apologies as I have not been accountable to the forum for about a year.
I am Stephanie, Evans sister.
There are issues with Spell Catcher Mac OS 10.11.5. and update is badly needed.
Redeveloping / updating Spell Catcher is challenging.
Spell Catcher is still, after all this time, one of the best writing software available in it's market, hands down.
The potential for Spell Catcher to grow and move to mobile and expand predictive text (and other possibilities) is there. You would be pressed to say that about most apps out there these days. The fact that Spell Cather survived for as long as it has is pretty amazing.
There have been several roadblocks to updating:
- Legal requirements meant sales had to stop due to third party license issues.
- The company providing the linguistic engine used for Spell Catcher changed their agreement when my brother passsed away, making it very difficult to continue to use the library without significant investment of capital. (if they are still even operating in US or Canada, at this point I am unsure).
- Financing and collaborators are lacking and will be required.
- An alternative third-party library may need to be sourced or contract renegotiated IF the company is still updating their library.
- The focus on mobile in the past few years and the sheer multitude of applications available with typing input may make it challenging to for Spell Catcher to work in virtually ALL applications (which Spell Catcher has been able to do in the past).
- The increased use of mobile computing with smart phones, tablets and electronic reading devices opens opportunities, however may require additional development for use on these devices.
- the iOS platform to allow apps to talk to eachother (starting in iOS 8 and fully in iOS 10 - from what I can understand) which may allow Spell Catcher to be developed as a mobile application, this was not possible with previous versions of iOS.
- The last version released of Spell Catcher was for Mountain Lion 10.8 and the references synced with mobileme.
- Care must be taken with redevelopment as resources are limited.
- Apple also introduced Swift and expanded it's own language and spelling capabilities in iOS and Mac OSX.
These roadblocks, the steep learning curve, in addition to my grief and my own financial situation required me to step back for the past year.
Before this last year, I spoke to quite a few people in industry meetups and through Spell Catcher network and there is so much support for the redevelopment of the app.
Some industry people, owners of development companies said I should outsource the developer work overseas as it will be less expensive than in North American and some have said that developers don't like to work on other developers code and that it is a very huge code base and would be expensive to update.
Many of the younger developers want to work with iOS and create iphone apps. It would likely take a senior developer to figure it out. I managed to source some who could do it but very expensive.
Apple's own version of predictive text and spelling correction is often a hinderance and not a help with spelling correction, automatic word completion and suggested words (and can be turned off). That is my experience, some people agree and some don't.
There simply is NO software that compares in it's category, if there is please tell me. In addition, Spell Catcher features were under utilized by most users, leading me to believe that the app pricing structure could change because Spell Catcher is powerful, like 5 apps in 1.
I have run the Spell Catcher in Xcode 6 but not 7, I logged error messages and wrote up requirements for developers.
I am going to step in again (after a year of stepping back) and try other avenues to push forwards, including an online funding campaign.
I am currently seeking a user experience mentorship/bootcamp/program for my own career and hoping that if I put myself out there to the right people I could find collaborators.
I am still using Spell Catcher and cannot believe how well it works considering the lack of updates. I am a big fan, as you can see, and I know people are using it because it's so good and they continue to use it, tolerating the lags and issues.
Please feel free to PM by email! Thanks so much again for your support and post.
If you have any idea, suggestions, comments please post!