Last month we canvassed your opinion on features for the next version of NXPowerLite - Desktop 8. I’m please to say that we had a great response and we’re ready to give you all an overview of the feedback we received.
Before I jump in, let me remind you of the scope of our initial plans:
- Adding the ability to replace the original files without creating a backup.
- Option to overwrite existing files rather than just adding a “(n)” to the filename.
- In-workflow options for JPEG optimization, allowing you to adjust settings on a file-by-file basis.
- Extend the “Add folder” feature to allow inclusion of files in sub-folders.
- Improved compression of newer Microsoft Office file formats.
- Adding PNG compression into the file mix.
Here’s what you all said about our plans….
The first points worth mentioning are the inevitable calls for increased speed and stability, rest assured these are areas we’re always looking to improve with each version.
Up next was the inclusion of an auto-update checker, so that as soon as a new version is available customers are notified.
There were also suggestions of a utility to track down unoptimized files on a hard drive and highlight them, so that all files that can possibly be optimized are, and an easier shortcut to NXPowerLite via the right click menu bar (with a keyboard shortcut if possible).
As is normally the case when we reach out for suggestions, most of you were pining for us to add new file types to the compression mix. PNG compression was by far the most well received addition from our original list and we’re working hard to bring this into the fold.
We also had requests to add GIF, PSD (including the a plug-in for the Adobe suite similar to the ones we have in Word and PowerPoint) and video (MP4) file compression to Desktop 8.
Video is a file type that we’ve been investigating for a little while and we’re confident of getting there in the not too distant future (though Desktop 8 will probably come too soon).
Finally, we had a few Mac users asking for Excel support to be added to the Desktop Mac version.
Settings & Customization
Moving away from file types, we had requests to add built in compression settings for certain situations. For example, when compressing a file for email you generally need attachments to be under 25MB, however when compressing an image for a website the file would need to be dramatically smaller. Along the same lines as this was the need to save custom compression settings in a library, so that you can build up a suite of custom settings and avoid constantly recalibrating settings manually. This is something that’s core to the new design so you’ll see it in Desktop 8.
We also received pleas to add a compression level slider to make adjusting the compression levels more straightforward, to split the options for MS Office out Word, Excel and PowerPoint can have separate compression settings and to compress internal images to more appropriate formats (e.g. JPEG to JPEG2000 or PNG).
Next up in our list of requests was being able to preview certain elements of the optimization process. Firstly, the ability to see how much a file will be compressed before optimizing the file, as well as the ability to preview a page in your document(s) to see effects of compression. Both really interesting ideas to allow you to adjust compression levels before optimizing one or more of your files.
We saw some really great ideas so thank you to everyone who took the time to help us shape the next version of Desktop 8. We’ve already started exploring which of these we can include in NXPowerLite Desktop 8 and by September / October we’ll should be in a position to give you a rundown of all of the features that will be making it into Desktop 8 - watch this space!