Be very careful with this company. Their products have been removed from the Apple iTunes Store. As a licensee of the product we are left in the lurch.
The following is an open letter that I have sent to Apple, Enfour and Oxford.
Oxford Dictionaries for iPad
I am having a problem with Encour products. A message box is appearing with the words "Upgrade Now" and an "OK" button - NO 'Cancel' button is present. This appears to be a recent problem and this message will continue to appear between 1st February and 31st May - see https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4773884?start=0&tstart=0 which outlines a similar problem with another product, the Longman dictionary from Encour. The first few times it appeared, clicking the message would make it disappear. Now it is persistent and even after 20, 30, 40, 50, 100 clicks -- I have tried them all -- the message remains persistent. The only way to remove it is to tap the search bar, very quickly, whilst the system is processing the response to the depression of the "OK" button - a matter of quick timing that often takes three, four or five attempts. Once the search bar depression has been accepted, the "Upgrade Now" message is cleared, provided the app remains active.
The persistence of the "Upgrade Now" message, and the solution to overcoming its persistence, severely disrupts the writing process. One cannot get the and is akin to NagWare - the difference being that I have paid a license for the use of the product.
Below I have listed the dictionary products that I have purchased and I have tested each of them to determine the likely cause of the problem. The product from Handmark and Macquarie is fine. Enfour's Roget's Thesaurus appears not to have the problem. I could not test the Enfour Australian Dictionary as it does not appear to be on my iPad. I am at odds to discover why it is not. Given the reference to the Apple support page above, my conclusion is that the issue is probably with the Enfour software.
I then went to the iTunes store in an attempt to download any later versions and to re-download Enfour's Australian Dictionary, only to find that their products are no longer in the store.
This experience leads to a the following questions:
For Apple: The consumer is encouraged to keep the faith with Apple and rely on the iTunes Store and the App Store. The concept of near seamless updates is appealing and I have often purchased OS X based products from the App Store at a higher price even though I price has been higher than direct purchase with coupons and the updates are slower in coming through. If the policy of Apple is to delete product from the stores when they have a problem with a software publisher, the security of the Apple stores disappears.
For Apple: It appears from the email quoted above that the error message is built into the software. I am a computer scientist and software engineer by profession and understand the difficulties of software testing and validation. If the case is as posited in the above mentioned entry on the Apple support site, has Apple incorporated into the application validation, a test for the demand for upgrades on of software after a fixed date.
For Apple: When there is a problem with a vendor, or one of their products, and the product is removed from the app stores, surely a message should be placed on the entry to state that a problem exists and, if it is not Apple, then who to contact for complaints.
For Oxford: The Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus is a core reference work for those writer's resident in the former British Empire. The iPad product is a great resource. To have it disrupted by the problem I have outlined above and to have it disappear from Apple's iTunes Store is almost beyond belief for such an august institution as Oxford University Press.
For Oxford: This is a problem that surely confronts many of your loyal disciples. I have searched the website, http://oxforddictionaries.com, and I can find no mention of the problems that iPad users are confronting. It would be comforting to know that Oxford University Press care about their clients.
For Oxford: What actions are you taking to assist or replace Enfour (Handmark?) as the distributor of your product on the iPad platform? If you appoint another distributor, will the purchaser of a license from Enfour be forced to purchase a complete new license?
Enfour: The apology letter on your website - http://www.enfour.com/OpenLetter.pdf - would, on the surface appear genuine. There are several detractions from this favourable view of your organisation. Why was the letter published with the copy and print capacity disabled? What has happened since 14th November, 2012 - several months have passed without another word? Was the content of your statement the truth? Had you followed this letter with additional information, and action, instead of silence, my view of this memo may have been supportive. I understand the challenges of being a small software developer. I have lived in your shoes.
Enfour: The questions - there are many. Are you still in business? What is the real reason for this problem? From the first reference above, it appears that your code has been hardwired for this message. What valid reason can be offered for such an action? My advice to you would be to act honestly and truthfully and let the consumers of Oxford and your North American focussed products know what is happening.
This issues is important to me, I am currently writing a thesis and have invested in the following Oxford Dictionary products via the following distributors:
Oxford Deluxe (ODE & OTE powered by UniDict) v3.9
Roget's II: New Thesaurus v3.9.6
Critical Theory - Oxford Dictionary v1.0.0
Education - Oxford Dictionary v1.0.0
English Etymology - Oxford Dictionary v1.0.1
English Idioms - v1.0.0
Philosophy - Oxford Dictionary v1.0.1
Proverbs - Oxford Dictionary v1.0.0
Rhymes - Oxford Dictionary v1.0.0
Sociology - Oxford Dictionary v2.0.0
In addition I have purchased the following from Enfour
Australian Dictionary v3.9
Companion Thesaurus - with Spelling Dictionary V3.9
I have purchased the following from Macquarie Dictionary [Australia]
Macquarie Aussie Slang Dictionary v1.11
All purchases were made on 21st May, 2012 with the exception of the Oxford Dictionary on Critical Theory (18th November, 2012) and the Macquarie Aussie Slang [8th June, 2012]
I outline the above to indicate that I have made a substantial investment, particularly in terms of time in setting up a writing environment to suit my method of work. The majority of the investment is with Oxford products.
I await your prompt response with eagerness.
Higher Degree by Research student
Perth, Western Australia
PS. This message requires a star rating. This is for the iPad version. If the app was not crippled, I would provide higher star ratings.