Fleksy? No? Fleksy VO!

Man, Fleksy’s been struggling like mad lately. It all seemed to start when an expiry date got accidentally leaked out from their beta version onto the real live version. They had to release an update quickly so people could actually use the damn thing again…

except…

It was bug bug buggilicious! Holy crap! When it’s faster to touch type, the program has problems.

Then they released another update that seemed to fix some of the bugs, but still did things in a weird way.

And then, this other thing showed up on the App Store, Fleksy VO. I was trying to figure out what this was for, or what the need for it was. At first, I thought they were apologizing to the blind users, since Fleksy was originally built to make touch typing easier for blind folks, and then sighted people liked it too, so it took off. So I thought they were sort of trying to rebuild relationships by giving us a version that worked like the old one until they could fix all the broken that was introduced when they had to rush out a release to make their product usable again.

Then Friday’s update came out, and was completely broken for Voiceover users. In fact, they knew it was broken, and put a message right in the app telling VO users to get Flexi VO.

This is a disturbing trend, and I really really hope it’s temporary. I get really nervous when a product releases a blind version and a sighted version. My fear is the blind version will never see updates, and will always be that one step behind.
I still want to have faith in Fleksy, but I’m nervous. Jonathan Mosen has ripped Fleksy out on principle. I’m not sure if I’m ready to do that yet, but I totally get what he’s saying. They say in the alert that this is a temporary thing. Pleasepleaseplease, let it be temporary. There should be one Fleksy for all of us. Please, Fleksy, please resume being awesome.

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1 comment
  1. I read Jonathan’s post, and he’s absolutely right. Whether they intended to or not, the Fleksy people have kind of slapped folks like you and I, the ones who initially supported them with our faith and money, square in the face. On the bright side the VO version has already been updated once since I installed it,but who’s to say that this will continue or that the updates will be meaningful? Selfishly I’m glad that the accessible version exists because I rely on it so heavily, but it needs to be developed with the same high priority that Fleksy original presumably is. Nice as it is for now, it’s still a little buggy. I heard from one person when I tweeted about it who said that most of her custom dictionary didn’t port over as promised. Initially I didn’t think that had happened to me since all the words I’d needed to that point had been there, but I’ve since discovered that no, it’s not all there. Plus, and I don’t know how widespread this is, it still has the tendency I noticed in regular Fleksy (since the downhill updates started) to eat text messages sent to favourites. I’d estimate that of all the messages I’ve tried to send to a favourite, around 3 quarters of them never make it. I don’t know where they go, but they’re not in the conversation thread as they should be and they never reach their intended target.

    All this to say that the Fleksy folk have a lot of work to do, and as a paying customer I hope I can trust them to do it.

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