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Help us bring knitCompanion to Android. Its already a popular DIY app for iDevices and people with Android want it too!

The History of knitCompanion

knitCompanion started about four years ago, born out of my personal frustration trying to follow knitting patterns the "old fashioned way": with paper, magnets, tape, scissors, etc.  I first tried to solve my problems with a better lap desk setup, in fact everyone in my knitting group wanted one of my "fancy" lap desks!  

But I knew I could create a better solution.  What I really needed was a digital platform that would give me electronic tools that mimicked my magnet boards and scissors, going well beyond the basic functionality available in commercially available readers for digital formats. When I saw the first modern tablet everything clicked and I started building the team that is in place today.  Fast forward a few years and there are now over 150,000 knitters using knitCompanion around the globe.  

knitCompanion boasts several US Patents for various innovations in digital publishing.  Not only does it replace paper and magnets, it does things that you can't do any other way such as dynamic reminders that popup automatically as you progress through the instructions. It is also highly portable.  In addition to fiber arts such as knitting, crochet, and needlepoint, it is a highly flexible platform that is useful for all sorts of DIY activities such as cooking, some assembly required activities, and more.

Click to see more! (Patent #8,529,263 & #8,506,303)
Click to see more! (Patent #8,529,263 & #8,506,303)

A New Goal!

BUT to use knitCompanion right now, you must have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch.  It isn't available on Android!  And we really want to bring the joy of knitCompanion to everyone.  Android is the most requested platform, and we know there are a lot of people with Android who really want knitCompanion.

The Challenge!

The total cost to redevelop knitCompanion for Android is approximately $200,000.  Our company is small.  And the costs for Android are high, in part due to the need to purchase additional hardware and licenses for capabilities that are included free in the iOS platform.  

Because we've had such success so far, we are able to provide more than half the funding ourselves.  But we can't get all the way there without a little boost.  And that is where you come in!  

Because knitCompanion is provided as a free app with optional in-app purchases for extended functionality, and because in-app purchases can't be gifted you will not see the app itself listed as a reward for backers. But I've created a wide range of other rewards including free training so you can make the most out of your knitCompanion as well as things like project bags and more.

Your support will allow us to purchase the required licenses, expand our hardware platform so we can develop and test, and hire additional resources to complete the project.  

Project Scope

For this project, knitCompanion will be made available via the GooglePlay store, for any Android device running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher that is designed to accept content from GooglePlay.    

This funding will enable us to create knitCompanion for Android. knitCompanion for Android will contain all the features and capabilities of knitCompanion for iOS. Projects and kCDesigns will be fully portable between different types of devices making the knitCompanion format a true cross platform digital publishing format.  To learn about the full features of knitCompanion, visit knitCompanion.com where we have screenshots and tutorial videos.  You can also find us on Ravelry where we have a very active user community and you can see first hand the level of support we provide our customers.

Project Timeline

With a fully funded campaign, we will be able to deliver knitCompanion for Android in 10-12 months.  We plan to begin the project the day our funds are delivered, and deliver knitCompanion in time for the Holiday season of 2014.

If we exceed our funding goal we will use the additional funds to accelerate project delivery and expand to additional platforms beyond Android including Windows and Mac.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

While our team at Create2Thrive have over 60 years combined professional software development experience at the enterprise level, and as a company have successfully delivered on our promises to our knitCompanion customers over the last 3 years, there are always challenges and risks to every project. Here are some of the things we face in bringing this project to successful completion:

1. Issues with PDF systems not supporting the broad set of PDF configurations needed. We have already faced this issue on our current platform, in several forms. It can be very difficult to predict, find, and fix certain types of issues. To mitigate this risk, we have done extensive research on our chosen PDF platform provider. The good news is we are now highly skilled in testing and recognizing pending issues and have been able to apply this knowledge to in-depth analysis in selecting our PDF platform provider. We believe we have made the best choice available. This risk has a medium chance of happening with an unpredictable delay depending on the root cause. That rates this a medium-high overall risk for this project.

2. Issues with handling the vast array (over 4000) physical devices that are classified as Android. While normally the goal is to test every device in every configuration, it is simply impossible to do so in the fragmented world of Android. To mitigate this risk, our investment plan includes additional money spent on an extended testbed to enable testing on the most popular hardware, utilization of manufacturer provided testing programs, and extended resources for testing and beta cycles. This risk has a medium chance of happening with a medium risk of delay. This risk will be device and/or OS specific and thereby limited in scope. That rates this a medium-low overall risk for this project.

3. Because we are only asking for part of the funding required to complete the project, this means that if our existing revenue from our existing business slows it potentially impacts our ability to meet this project's schedules. We are a small company, and dependent on ongoing revenue from our existing platforms to fund the full project. To mitigate this risk, we have taken a conservative estimate of our company earnings over the last 3 years. We have also recently added additional revenue streams which we anticipate will grow our fiscal outlook. This risk has a low chance of happening (barring significant external events), but a high risk of impacting this project's timeline. That rates this a medium overall risk for this project.

4. Our current goal is bring knitCompanion to devices running Android 2.3 or higher. At this time, all our selected third party systems support a minimum of 2.3. However, that is subject to change in ways out of our control. Such a change would not affect delivery of knitCompanion for Android, but it could affect the required version of Android for the app. This risk has a medium chance of happening and minimal impact on the project's timeline. However it could impact the devices that can run knitCompanion for Android so that rates this a medium overall risk for this project.

FAQ

  • Yes, knitCompanion is a free app and provides *optional* purchases for enhanced features.

    knitCompanion for Android will be just like it is today for iOS. As a free app it provides tools for your patterns like sliding row markers, counters, notes (typed and audio), you are here markers, page rotate, zoom, etc. You can use the free version with as many patterns as you like, and create as many projects as you'd like. This allows you to knit an unlimited number of projects and keep track of all of them.

    The free version will also come with built in projects AND will allow you to bring in kCDesigns, a new offering from Patternfish coming this spring. kCDesigns are patterns pre-formatted to use the enhanced knitCompanion features (see short list below and visit our website or ravelry group to learn more about the full range of knitCompanion features). Using the *free* app you can knit any of these designs using the enhanced features of kC.

    knitCompanion also includes the *option* to purchase enhanced features from inside the app so you can setup any pattern with our enhanced tools. These enhanced tools including inverted markers, assembling pattern pieces into logical parts, gluing charts together that are split across pages, smart counters, "at the same time"'instruction reminders and more. The purchase options range from .99 to 15.99 depending on if you purchase a subscription to the service or a lifetime license. These options can't be gifted, and are not part of any of the backer rewards specifically because they are not giftable.

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  • knitCompanion is a free app that provides tools for your patterns like sliding row markers, counters, notes (typed and audio), you are here markers, page rotate, zoom, etc. You can use the free version with as many patterns as you like, and create as many projects as you'd like. This allows you to knit an unlimited number of projects and keep track of all of them.

    The free version will also come with built in projects AND will allow you to bring in kCDesigns, a new offering from Patternfish coming this spring. kCDesigns are patterns pre-formatted to use the enhanced knitCompanion features (see short list below and visit our website or ravelry group to learn more about the full range of knitCompanion features). Using the *free* app you can knit any of these designs using the enhanced features of kC.

    knitCompanion also includes the *option* to purchase enhanced features from inside the app so you can setup any pattern with our enhanced tools. These enhanced tools including inverted markers, assembling pattern pieces into logical parts, gluing charts together that are split across pages, smart counters, "at the same time"'instruction reminders and more. The purchase options range from .99 to 15.99 depending on if you purchase a subscription to the service or a lifetime license. These options can't be gifted, and are not part of any of the backer rewards specifically because they are not giftable.

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  • Yes, really. It took us about 2 years to develop all the functionality that is available in knitCompanion today. Because we have done a lot of the research, design, and architecture work we are able to bring knitCompanion to Android in about half the time. Its important to realize that we can't share any code from our current knitCompanion on iOS with Android, and its a total re-write of the entire system. Quality assurance is very important here at kC Labs, and we have always focused hard on delivering high quality software with as few bugs as possible. We just can't bring ourselves to shortcut our proven processes and deliver a lower quality piece of software for the sake of speed. And, it was important to us to be up-front with all our potential backers on what it would really take to do this. It is no fun for anyone if we underestimated and then could not deliver on time.

    We did explore bringing only part of knitCompanion to Android and ultimately determined that was not the best approach for our customers or partners.

    Its also important to realize that we have already done several months of research and study to ensure we know exactly HOW everything will port to android and that we will be able to provide a complete set of functionality. That includes significant research in third party products that must be added to our system because Android is lacking several key libraries that come by default with iOS. We need to provide our own or use a third party library to replace that functionality. A big part of preparing for this kickstarter was to do our homework to ensure we have a high degree of confidence that we can deliver on our commitments.

    I will also add that we have set our campaign up for the minimum amount of funding needed to complete this project. If we are able to exceed our funding goal, we can begin to explore options to shorten our delivery timelines because we can bring on more staff and do some things in parallel without sacrificing quality.

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    High-5 from Sami! Thanks so much for your support!

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    Get listed on our "Not Without You!" page on knitCompanion.com. Your name will be listed as you'd like it displayed (requests for anonymity are respected). Bragging rights to your friends that you helped build an app! You'll also get a Sami High-5.

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    For this pledge your reward is a free subscription to kCUniversity, the Complete Series (visit knitcompanion.com/kClub for details). This live online class series consists of 7 one-hour classes of knitCompanion training so you will be a kC expert in no time. Classes run in a quarterly format and you will be able to select the quarter of your choice anytime during 2014 or one of the first two quarters of 2015. You'll also be listed on our "Not Without You!" page, get bragging rights to your friends that you helped build an app and a High-5 from Sami.

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    Get a personal thank-you call from the creator of knitCompanion, Sally Holt. You'll also be listed on our "Not Without You!" page, get bragging rights to your friends that you helped build an app and a High-5 from Sami.

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    Get a personal thank-you call from the creator of knitCompanion, Sally Holt. AND you will also get a knitCompanion project bag. You'll also be listed in the Platinum Supporter section of our "Not Without You!" page, get bragging rights to your friends that you helped build and app and a High-5 from Sami.

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    Get a personal thank-you call from the creator of knitCompanion, Sally Holt. AND you'll get a free subscription to kCUniversity for the Complete Series (you can pick your chosen quarter). You'll also be listed in the Platinum Supporter section of our "Not Without You!" page, get bragging rights to your friends that you helped build and app and a High-5 from Sami.

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    Get a personal thank-you call from the creator of knitCompanion, Sally Holt. You'll also get a free subscription to kCUniversity for the Complete Series (you can pick your chosen quarter). AND you will also get a knitCompanion project bag. In addition you will be listed in the Platinum Supporter section of our "Not Without You!" page.

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    Be a Corporate sponsor! This reward provides a promotional placement for your company on the sidebar of the knitCompanion website. The sidebar promotion will run for six (6) months. It shows on most pages of the website including the heavy traffic Tutorials and Intro Webinar pages. We will provide you specifics for required graphics and web links you would like used. You can provide us updates to graphics and links once per month. We reserve the right to limit obscene or objectionable content.

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    Be a Corporate Sponsor! This reward provides a 15 second sponsorship spot in your choice of 2 of our Tutorial Videos (only one sponsor per video, video selection determined by pledge order). The promotional placement will run for a full year. You can provide us the graphics and script (or audio, or video clip) you would like used. You can provide updates to graphics and scripts once every 4 months during the year. We reserve the right to limit obscene or objectionable content.

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    Be a Corporate sponsor! This reward provides a promotional placement for your company on the sidebar of the knitCompanion website. The sidebar promotion will run for a full year. It shows on most pages of the website including the heavy traffic Tutorials and Intro Webinar pages. We will provide you specifics for required graphics and web links you would like used. You can provide us updates to graphics and links once per month. We reserve the right to limit obscene or objectionable content.

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    Be a Corporate sponsor! This reward provides BOTH a 15 second sponsorship spot in your choice of 2 of our Tutorial Videos (only one sponsor per video, video selection determined by pledge order) AND a promotional placement for your company on the sidebar of the knitCompanion website. The sidebar promotion will run for a full year.

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Funding period

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