KanjiBox goes Universal…

When the iPad first came out, it was in theory possible to produce “universal” applications: apps that ran natively on both iPhone/iPod and iPad devices. However, Apple made it quite difficult to do so, by keeping versions of iOS between the two devices out of sync for over a year (3.2 on the iPad, 4.x on the iPhone): this meant a lot more work to support a universal application, in addition to the initial work of optimising iPhone layouts and code for iPad screens. Furthermore, iTunes Store’s slowass approval process made it a scary thought imposing yet another string of initial bug-fixing releases for both iPad and legacy iPhone users.

For all these reasons and the usual lack of time, I originally decided to develop and release the iPad version of KanjiBox separately. Although less than ideal, this choice allowed me to release an iPad-optimised version reasonably early instead of waiting for better development conditions.

A year later, Apple has finally cleaned up its line-up and brought iPad’s OS version up to speed with the iPhone. It was time to finally put in the time and effort necessary to merge the two versions.

The merge is finally over! You can now download a version of KanjiBox that will run natively on all iOS devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad, iToilet…)

This version replaces the formerly iPhone/iPod-only version in the Apple store, meaning it is a transparent upgrade for users of this version.

If you previously purchased the iPad version, things are unfortunately a little more complicated… Please:

Unfortunately, Apple does not provide any way to truly merge applications or freely upgrade users from one application to another. This means I had to choose one of the two apps (the iPhone version, due to its much larger userbase) to carry on as the new “universal” version of KanjiBox, while the iPad app will be slowly phased out. Any new user looking to purchase the iPad app are now redirected to the universal version instead.

Of course, it is out of the question to penalise current users who downloaded the iPad version before this merge. To this effect, a multi-pronged upgrade path is in the work:

  1. A minor release of KanjiBox (for all users) will soon bring the ability to sync learning stats with KanjiBox Online, thus making it possible to painlessly transfer your stats from KanjiBox for iPad to KanjiBox [Universal].
  2. A transitory period will be specially announced to users of the iPad app, during which the Universal app will be brought to the minimum possible price ($0.99 or equivalent for other countries) for users who want to upgrade. Apple doesn’t make it possible for me to distribute a paid app for free, even temporarily.
  3. All users who had previously purchased KanjiBox for iPad will receive a free unlock of all in-app purchases (KanjiDraw, KanaDraw…) on both the iPad and universal apps.
  4. For users who decide not to switch over to the Universal version of KanjiBox, there will still be at least one major release of KanjiBox for iPad: in practice identical to the Universal version (in that it will run on both iPhones and iPads) but not sharing the same Game Center leaderboards and other app-specific features. This will probably be the last update of KanjiBox for iPad (all subsequent upgrades will be released only for the Universal version).

Sorry for the extremely convoluted process and explanations.
Bottom line is: eventually, only KanjiBox will be supported (KanjiBox for iPad won’t). You are free to keep using the current version of KanjiBox for iPad as it is, but will need to repurchase KanjiBox (at a heavily discounted price), in order to get more upgrades in the future. I will try to make up for it by offering various advantages and goodies to legacy users of KanjiBox for iPad.

I really wished there was a better way to do such a merge, unfortunately, this is all in Apple’s hands…

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