Even in Edinburgh it’s finally beginning to get warmer, and we are planning the first update for Quirkos. This will be a minor release, but will add several features that users have been requesting.

The first of these is a batch import facility, you will be able to import a whole folder of text files, or just multiple files at once. This will be very useful for bringing in all your transcripts in one go, or for importing data from existing research projects.

Secondly, we are improving support for non-Latin based scripts, so that reports and other outputs will be able to show different languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew and Korean to name a few. Quirkos already allows you to work with all these languages in your project, but now generated reports will show all of these scripts properly.

We’ve also made a series of tweaks and alterations to the software, which will improve usability. These include fixing some small display issues with longer source properties, and scrolling on Windows 8 touchscreen devices. There should also be a few speed improvements, and better growth of quirks as text is added to them. This will make differences between emerging themes much more obvious.

Finally, we are really excited that this release will add two new platforms for Quirkos. First is our Android ‘app’, designed specifically for tablets. Unlike any other qualitative software for mobile platforms, the Android version of Quirkos has exactly the same feature set as the full desktop/laptop version. This means you can not only code on the go, on a great touchscreen interface, but also generate reports, run searches and add sources. Files are completely compatible across all platforms, so you can start work on your laptop, send your project to your tablet to do some coding on the train, and finish it off at home on your desktop.

Please note, that while there is technically nothing to stop you using this on your phone as well, it obviously becomes very fiddly on small screens! I’ve used Quirkos on a 4” phone, and while everything works, you’d need very small fingers and a lot of patience! Having said that, pair a Bluetooth mouse with a phone or tablet, and you quickly have a very flexible and portable coding tool.

Finally, I am thrilled to be able to release the first commercial qualitative software package for Linux! I’ve long been a user and advocate of Linux in all it’s different flavours, so supporting it is a great step to allow people to work on any platform they like. Again, the features and file compatibility will be identical, but with all the stability and security that Linux offers. While there are already two great open-source packages for Linux, the RQDA plugin for R is best for statistical analysis, and the lovely Weft QDA hasn’t been updated in nearly a decade. 

This update will be free for all existing users, and any new downloads will include the latest release. It doesn’t change the file structure at all, so there will be no compatibility problems. We hope to have this all ready and tested for you in March, so keep following this blog for the latest announcements!