This page describes the changes made in each new release of Dictionary App Builder. You can download the latest or previous versions on the Download page.

Dictionary App Builder 5.6

Release date: 05 July 2019

New Features and Improvements:

  • Firebase configuration:
    • Improved configuration screen, App > Firebase, with a link to the Firebase console.
  • Fonts:
    • Awami Nastaliq font updated to version 2.000.

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • If you wanted a splash screen together with one of the restricted user security modes, the app would crash on start-up.

In the app builder:

  • Building the Android app failed with errors if including Firebase Crashlytics.
  • Right-click popup menus were missing from several tables, i.e. for Edit and Delete actions.
  • Allow use of Zulu OpenJDK from Azul Systems as the JDK.

Dictionary App Builder 5.5

Release date: 14 June 2019

New Features and Improvements:

  • 64-bit libraries
    • From August 2019, Google requires all apps submitted to Google Play to have 64-bit versions of native libraries. These have now been added for Crosswalk and Grandroid.
  • Amazon Corretto 8 for JDK
    • Since Oracle has changed its licensing agreement for the use of their JDK, we recommend you use Amazon Corretto 8 instead. Amazon Corretto is a no-cost, multiplatform, production-ready distribution of the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK).
    • Installation instructions can be found in the documentation.
  • View Project Folder
    • Show the current app project folder by right-clicking on the app name in the left panel and selecting ‘View Project Folder’, or ‘File’ > ‘View Project Folder’ on the main menu.
  • Updated Gradle compiler to the latest version 5.4.1.

Bugs Fixed:

In the iOS app:

In the app builder:

  • In the list of images, the thumbnail is now updated correctly if replacing a file with the same name that is only different by case (e.g. replacing wraB1.png with wrab1.png).
  • If an image file contained an ampersand character, it was not saved correctly in the app definition file.

Dictionary App Builder 5.4

Release date: 06 April 2019

New Features and Improvements:

  • Keyman keyboards are now specified using Keyman package files (.kmp), many of which can be downloaded from the Keyman website, without needing to use Keyman Developer.

Download this version

Dictionary App Builder 5.3

Release date: 20 March 2019

Bugs Fixed:

In the app builder:

  • Installing Android SDK packages from Settings did not work if there were spaces in the path.
  • The READ_PHONE_STATE permission should not included when building the app (unless you are using one of the restricted user security modes).
  • The choice of interface languages in Settings > Interface should just be English, French and Spanish.

Dictionary App Builder 5.2

Release date: 1 March 2019

New Features and Improvements:

  • More translations:
    • Added more Spanish translations to the App Builder interface.
  • Updated font:
    • Annapurna SIL version 1.204.
  • Separated out code for security modes requiring access to the device IMEI number into a separate library. The code will only be included in the app if it needs to be.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app builder:

  • If the list of interface languages was reordered, this order was not saved between sessions.

Dictionary App Builder 5.1

Release date: 22 January 2019

New Features and Improvements:

  • In-app Keyman keyboards (for beta testing)
    • You can now integrate Keyman keyboards within your app for use on the Search screen.
    • Add one or more keyboards in the builder at Fonts > Keyboards. You will need the compiled keyboard JavaScript file from Keyman Developer.
  • Relative font sizes for interface languages
    • For interface languages that need a slightly larger font size, you can specify a relative font size (e.g. 110%).
    • Currently supported: message boxes, progress boxes and Settings screen.
    • Go to the Interface > Languages tab, edit a language and select the Text Size.
  • Documentation
    • Added bookmarks to the PDF documents.

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • Message box buttons were not being displayed using the interface language font.
  • Some markdown links, such as empty links, were not handled correctly in the About box.

In the app builder:

  • The progress bar did not move when writing lexicon data for the app assets.

Dictionary App Builder 5.0

Release date: 8 January 2019

New Features and Improvements:

  • Open Multiple App Projects
    • Allows you to open several previously created app projects from your App Projects folder.
    • See File > Open Multiple Apps…
  • App Project Groups
    • Allows you to group related apps together in the tree view on the left of the App Builder screen.
    • See ‘Project Group’ on the App > Project page, or the ‘Project’ page of the New App wizard.
    • Right-click on a project group folder and select ‘New App…’ to add a new app to that project group.
  • Zip files of Icon images
    • When adding icons on the Images > App Icon page, you can select a zip file of icon images (e.g. as downloaded from Android Asset Studio) rather than needing to unzip the file and add each of the images separately.
  • About page
    • There is a new ‘Viewer’ tab which allows you to visualise how the About page will look in the app after interpreting formatting codes and variables.
    • Documentation: a new section describing the About page has been added to the ‘Building Apps’ document. This includes a list of allowable formatting codes, such as how to add images, change styles and fonts.
  • Improved font handling in message dialogs
    • Message dialogs (such as asking whether or not to download audio) and progress dialogs (such as during file download) have been rewritten to use the chosen interface language font for titles, text, checkboxes and buttons.
    • These new dialogs can use the Crosswalk viewer component to display complex Graphite fonts.
  • Android compiler upgrade
    • Upgraded to compile with the latest version of Android, 9.0 (Pie) and the latest Google libraries.
    • The minimum Android version on which the app will run is now Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). It will no longer run on the older Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) phones.
    • Now using Gradle compiler version 4.10.3.
    • You will need to update your Android SDK libraries. Go to Tools > Settings > Android SDK and click ‘Install Packages…’
  • Runs on Windows with Java version 10, as well as versions 8 and 9.

  • Firebase integration

    • See the App > Firebase page.
    • You can enable Firebase Messaging for push notifications.
    • You can enable Firebase Crashlytics for crash reporting.
  • Allow user to opt out of sharing usage data (analytics)
    • See the Analytics page or Features > Settings.
  • More Color Schemes
    • Added Dark Orange, Chocolate, Asparagus Green, Dark Olive Green, India Green, Pakistan Green.
  • Additional documentation
    • Fonts: explanation of Crosswalk viewer.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app builder:

  • The app builder program would not start on Windows machines using the Java 10 runtime environment.
  • Changes in the app name Translations dialog were not reflected in the app name edit box after closing the dialog.
  • Corrected the link in Settings to the Android SDK Command Line Tools download website.
  • Handle images in About box with spaces in filenames.
  • If you use File > Open… to open an already open project, the builder should select this existing project rather than opening a second instance.
  • If all apps were removed from the builder, the title bar needed to be updated to remove the last app project name.

Dictionary App Builder 3.1

Release date: 15 March 2018

New Features and Improvements:

  • Search
    • Normalize lexicon data and search phrases (decompose composed characters) so that words with composed and decomposed accents are found.
    • Added ‘Match accents and tones’ checkbox to the Search page (unchecked by default).
  • Changes Gallery
    • Select from a set of frequently used changes.
    • Click ‘Add Change from Gallery…’ on the Changes page.
  • App Analytics
    • Added three more Analytics engines:
      • Firebase Analytics
      • Amplitude Analytics
      • S3 Digest Analytics
    • Please see the Analytics section of the Building Apps manual for more details.
  • About box code for inserting an image
    • Use the markdown code: !(alt text)[image.png]
  • Allow setting the Maximum Gradle Heap Size to increase or reduce memory use when building the app.
    • See Settings > Build Settings.

Bugs Fixed:

In the Android app:

  • When sharing files on Android 7.0 and above, the app crashed sometimes because of a Uri encoding problem.
  • Incorrect CSS was being generated for Graphite font features and language. Use font-language-override and font-feature-settings.

In the app builder:

  • Documents were missing in the Windows installer.
  • Some fonts were missing in the Windows installer.
  • Changes to the interface language order (by dragging rows) were not saved and not reflected in the Settings screen in the app.
  • The Browse button was not visible on the Files tab in the Settings dialog.
  • The iOS IPA filename was shown at the start of the batch file when building an Android app, and app version information was repeated.
  • The app builder toolbar could be detached by double-clicking, and it was not obvious how to get it back in position again.
  • Need to check that a valid JDK folder has been entered before trying to install Android SDK packages.
  • Font features were not always encoded properly for XML in the appDef file.
  • Update the tools used to get the list of iOS Simulators available to make it work on macOS High Sierra.

Dictionary App Builder 3.0.1

Release date: 18 December 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • Updated the following fonts: Annapurna (1.203), Awami Nastaliq (1.000), LateefGR (1.200), Padauk (3.003).

Bugs Fixed:

In the app builder:

  • The last audio clip filename was being replaced by a font filename (#52668).

Dictionary App Builder 3.0

Release date: 12 December 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • Initial release of Dictionary App Builder for Mac
    • With DAB for Mac you can build dictionary apps for both Android and iOS (iPhone and iPad).
    • Many of the features of the Android app are implemented in the iOS app, except for audio and search.
    • For more information, please see the document Installing and Building Apps on a Mac, available on the Resources page.
  • Navigation Drawer
    • The app bar menu has been replaced by a navigation drawer which slides in from the side of the screen.
    • To show the drawer, swipe in from the side of the screen or tap the hamburger icon (the three horizontal lines on the app bar).
    • At the top of the drawer is an image which you can customise in the app builder. See Images > Navigation Drawer.
  • Changing the app interface language
    • The user can now change the language of menus and messages within the app, via the Settings screen.
    • To define which interface languages the user can choose from, see the new Interface > Languages tab in the app builder. You can add additional languages here and enable/disable existing languages.
    • You can choose to set the default language to be the current language of the smartphone or tablet.
  • Graphite font rendering support
    • The lexicon entry views can be displayed using the Crosswalk viewer component, for Android 4.1 to 8.1.
  • Image Viewer
    • Double-click on a row in an image table (illustrations, icons, splash screen) to see a bigger image, which you can resize to see more clearly.
  • Default package name
    • You can set the default start of the package name for building new apps. See Settings > Defaults.
  • Other Android app design changes
    • The About box is now a full screen page rather than a popup window.
  • Compling for Android 8.0 Oreo
    • Android apps are now compiled using the Android SDK platform library for the latest version of Android (version 8.0 Oreo).
    • You will need to update your Android SDK installation. The Android 5.0/5.1 platform has been used up until now and can no longer be used for DAB 3.0+.
  • Documentation updates
    • The documents have been updated with new information for DAB 3.0.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Search was not working in the app for LIFT lexicons.

In the app builder:

  • In the New App Icon wizard page or the Icon Gallery dialog, the user should only be able to choose one icon, not multiple icons.
  • The OK button was not working in the Devices dialog box.
  • The Create New KeyStore feature uses new default key algorithm (RSA) and size (2048) to work with jar signing in JDK 1.8 u151+.
  • Thumbnails of images that were short and wide were cropped in the first column of the image tables.

Dictionary App Builder 2.0

Release date: 13 July 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • XHTML Lexicon import:
    • In addition to lexicons specified in LIFT format, DAB can now import XHTML files as exported from Fieldworks Language Explorer (FLEx).
    • This means the formatting of lexical entries can be defined using the configuration options within FLEx and then displayed in this way within the app, in a similar way to which entries are displayed using Webonary.
  • Crosswalk viewer component:
    • If the standard Android viewer component is not displaying your complex script correctly, there is now the option of bundling the replacement Crosswalk viewer with your app.
    • Note that this will mean an increase in app size of at least 20 MB, so do not enable Crosswalk unless you know you need it.
    • Three APK fies will be created: one for ARM devices (-arm.apk), one for Intel x86 devices (-x86.apk), and a universal APK for both (-universal.apk).
  • Fonts
    • Added Alkalami font, for Arabic-based writing systems in the Kano region of Nigeria and in Niger.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • App sharing text was not translatable (“I can recommend this app”, “Share App via”, etc.)

In the app builder:

  • Translations to app names not being saved between app builder sessions.
  • Minimum Build Tools version should now be increased to 25.0.0.
  • Android builds failed if the package name contained certain Windows reserved directory names in the package name (e.g. con, aux, nul).

Dictionary App Builder 1.5

Release date: 10 May 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • Android SDK installation changes:
    • The SDK Manager GUI is no longer distributed with the SDK command line tools. There is instead a command line installer, which is launched from the new Tools > Settings > Android SDK tab.
    • Updated installation documentation.
  • Updated Gradle Build compiler to version 3 to optimise building apps.

Dictionary App Builder 1.4

Release date: 8 March 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • Styles:
    • Added a CSS tab to the Styles edit dialog to allow adding/editing CSS properties directly.
  • App Install Location
    • Now configurable. See the APK tab.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Duplicate entries were shown in the index view if two or more senses from the same entry pointed to the same reversal index word.
  • If the reversal indexes contained more than two senses for the same index word, the third and subsequent senses would be ignored.

In the app builder:

  • Build path was often too long if the package name was long. Use a shorter path.
  • Style edit dialog should allow editing of all the currently defined properties.
  • Problem saving app project if the lexicon filename contained an ‘&’ character.
  • If the About box font has been changed to a different font from the first font, make sure that the edit field is updated to use this font.

Dictionary App Builder 1.3

Release date: 24 January 2017

New Features and Improvements:

  • App Sharing
    • Added optional ‘Share App’ item in app menu.
    • Gives app user the choice of:
      1. Sharing a link to the app on Google Play, or
      2. Sending APK file to another phone via Bluetooth, Wifi transfer, email, etc.
    • See Features > Sharing to turn on this app sharing feature.
  • Build Multiple Apps:
    • New ‘Build Multiple Apps…’ added to toolbar.
    • Choose which apps you want to build and they will be queued to be compiled one after the other.
  • Translated Strings within the app
    • Added Import/Export, to allow you to share menu item translations between apps.
    • Added ‘Reset Translations’ to the popup menu in the Translated Strings table to allow reset to defaults.
  • Reset colors:
    • Added ‘Reset Color’ option to right-click menu to reset color to its default setting.
  • Regular Expression Changes :
    • Added enabled on/off checkbox for each change, to make it easier to test changes.
  • Icons:
    • Added ‘Choose from Icon Gallery’ button on Images > Android Icon tab.
    • Allow selection of multiple images when adding custom icon images.
  • Image sorting:
    • Sort images in size order when adding app icons.
    • Click on headers in image table to sort rows.
  • Gradle compiler – updated to version 2.14.1
    • Note: the first time you build an app, Gradle will need internet access to download an update of the Gradle Android plugin.
  • Documentation:
    • Updated Installation Instructions for installing the basic command line Android SDK tools.
    • Added a comment next to the Android Asset Studio link that it works better with the Chrome browser.
  • Fonts:
    • Updated regional font subsets with inclusion of Graphite support.
    • Updated Padauk to version 3.002.
    • Updated Annapurna to version 1.201.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Audio files in assets not found within app in some situations.
  • Web links in markdown format, e.g. [Display Text](www.mysite.org), were not recognised in the app about box.

In the app builder:

  • Require Android SDK Build-tools of version 23 or later. Otherwise inform the user that they need to upgrade.
  • Handle tag in LIFT for specifying example audio.

Dictionary App Builder 1.2

Release date: 31 August 2016

New Features and Improvements:

  • Updated documentation:
    • Installation Instructions: added a section on copying Android SDK files from another computer.
    • Distributing Apps: more information on Google Play store details.

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Search screen always shown in English, not reading translated strings.

In the app builder:

  • Characters tab for a language not showing any characters in some situations, and so the Validate Font feature could not be run.
  • Icons in more sizes.
  • Need to check for sufficient image sizes for Android icon when building app.
  • Explanatory text on Android Icon definition page needed to be clearer about which images sizes are required.

Dictionary App Builder 1.1

Release date: 03 August 2016

New Features and Improvements:

  • Color schemes:
    • Choice of Material Design color schemes added to New App wizard and Colors page.
  • Copy lexicon database file to data folder, and allow update from source file on Lexicon page.
  • Illustration resizing:
    • Resizes images to contain in app to reduce app size.
    • See Images > Illustrations page.
  • Fonts: Padauk font updated to version 3.0.
  • Attempt to use Gradle app compiler in offline mode if there is no internet connection
  • Hyperlinks in About box:
    • Allow use of markdown link formatting, where text to display is enclosed in square brackets [], followed by the link in normal parenthesis ().
    • Example: [Text to Display](http://www.example.com)
    • Example: [Email me](mailto:john@example.com)

Bugs Fixed:

In the app:

  • Entries were not being displayed if a <span> without an attribute was found in the data.
  • Failed to handle certain characters (<, >, “, ‘) found in glosses and definitions.
  • Certain configurations of sub-entry data caused the app to crash.

In the app builder:

  • Indexes not being sorted correctly when app is built a second time in the same session.
  • Custom Field styles not being defined for vernacular language.
  • Could not remove all input buttons, ignore characters or alphabet buttons.
  • Problem correctly identifying the language code.
  • Some text not visible on some screens using 150% text size.

Dictionary App Builder 1.0

Release date: 07 March 2016

First release.