We have been busy. Digital Independence is getting closer. We have reached Beta 2 of indi and its been released into the wild. We have decided to invite everyone who signed up on the waiting list to get as broad a feedback as possible, so you all will be getting your invitations over the next few days. Remember, each of you can invite others. So lets spread the word (get indi baby!).
We have lots of new things added in this beta. In Beta 1 we had tagging of files in the File Manager, but that was it. Based on many good comments we decided to promote the tagging feature to be something indi-wide. You can now tag any object in indi including contacts, events, files or notes. You can tag items in the store that may interest you (if you view their details). When you are chatting with someone with indi's built-in IM utility you can even tag the conversations themselves. We will be doing some very cool things in the next release of indi with tagging and presence as well as group sharing using tags. Stay tuned for more on that.
Importing and exporting files now use the OS native file open/save dialog boxes which simplifies the process from Beta 1. Additionally, when you open files now from within indi they are unencrypted for your use on the USB drive, but before you exit indi it cleans the files up, importing them back in if they have changed and cleaning off the drive. This ensures if you lose the drive your data will not be compromised. Speaking of encryption, now all your IM traffic is encrypted point-to-point, so your privacy is maintained (even for multi-player games...we would not want your "Hearts" moves snagged by Carnivore ;-)
That brings us to another feature addition, indi database backups. Now when you select the option to sync with a computer, you can additionally select to back up to that computer. When you enable this indi backs up your user database automatically upon exit. If you lose your USB drive just get another one, re-download and install indi (from our site), and start it up from the computer you last backed up to. The indi will ask if you want to restore the database from the backup. Seven copies of your database are maintained to help in case database corruption occurs and you want to skip one.
The store still has lots of items in it which we plan to build, future plug-ins that will make the indi branch out in all kinds of directions. In Beta 2 you can still vote on these items and we ask you do so because those votes help us focus on what to build first. The store is also now active. We have a few plug-ins in the queue that we hope to release very soon which will be able to be "Purchased and Installed". Of course, you will not be charged in the beta but it will help us flush out this feature. We will be adding some new games, and hopefully some nifty new plugins (photos anyone?) that will be available in the store for download.
We added a patching service in Beta 2. If we identify bugs in this beta that can be resolved quickly we will deliver them as a patch. These patches will be encrypted for security reasons, and you will have to confirm to install them, but their download will be automatic. One of the nice things that "Web sites as software" deliver is continuous fixes as problems or features are identified. We want to leverage patches in the same way for the indi installed and executing from your USB drive.
The indi Helper has been rewritten too for both Windows and OS X. The indi Helper is the utility that you can (optionally) install on a host PC which helps autorun an indi-enabled USB drive when you plug it in. This is a handy tool and prevents you from having to browse down into the file system to launch indi. (If you are a Beta 1 user please remove the indi Helper that you already have installed. This one is way better. See our support page for how to uninstall it.)
In Beta 2 we have added sounds. They are custom and we think they are cool, but please let us know what you think. Lastly, the sync speed for iCal, Address Book and Outlook have very much improved with Beta 2. This makes indi a really great mobile personal information device that seamlessly works with what you have now.
Building cross-platform applications is difficult work, but the three main technologies that make indi possible (in addition to our coding efforts) are Berkeley DB, Flash and Ruby. Thank you Sleepycat (aka Oracle), thank you Macromedia (aka Adobe) and thank you Matz and the Rails team too! And thank everyone who has or will use indi. We hope you enjoy the experience, and let's make it better together. For those that are not in the Beta, ask around for an invitation, or peruse the Getting Started Guide from our support page. If you really want in convince us by joining the waiting list.