We are already at the end of this series. Though I have been using Spice-Up for quite some time now, I didn't expect that I could learn so much from writing about it. I have gone more in-depth than the features I myself use frequently.
We have learned, together I'd say, how committed the developer is, releasing very frequent updates. I have even got more excited than I was before for the version 2.0.0, that might be released at any time.
On this last post of the series, I will show you how can you get the software (spoiler: the best way is in the AppCenter). I will also explain a bit more, for the people that don't know, what is the AppCenter.
If you have got interested in the software, and you are already a Linux user, you are welcome to try it. If you try it and like it, I will also show here how can you contribute to the software. The project is not huge, at less than 3MB, but any help is welcome!
What Is Spice-Up
Spice up is an offline, free and open source slide editor and browser. Though free, it has most of the features I need for most of my presentations. The only thing it lacks is the support for other proprietary slideshow formats. Spice-Up has it's own file format and can only import and export in that format. Also, it does not allow multiple people to work on the same file at the same time, as it is completely offline.
In one hand, it is simple, light and has beautiful presets, the tech template for slides is my favorite:
It is my main editor because I can take my laptop with me wherever I go, and I can use my laptop in 80 to 90% of my presentations. When I have to present some slides and I am not 100% sure if I can use my laptop, I use Google Docs.
Google Docs is my secondary slide editor because it allows me to work with other people and export in
.pptx, the most popular presentation format. Google Docs is not my main editor because I feel like it is a bit overwhelming sometimes. While Google's editor has way too many tools and features, Spice-Up keep it simple.
This makes me recommend Spice-Up for anyone that likes simplicity, maybe students. Professionals that want to focus on the speech and don't want to waste time with the presentation can also benefit. I can't, however, recommend this if you are not 100% sure you can take your laptop with you. Spice-Up is the only program that opens its slide format.
How Can You Get It
If you use Elementary OS (a Linux system based on Ubuntu), you can open the AppCenter on your computer and search for "Spice-Up".
Alternatively, you can just follow this link.
Just notice that the AppCenter asks for $20 dollars. This request is a donation, and you are not forced to pay. The interface makes it look like it is a "price tag", but actually it is a donation suggestion. I will, later, explain more about how the AppCenter works and why they make the donation suggestions look like price tags. For now, just keep in mind it is free, and you can donate more or donate less than the suggested amount.
If you are a Linux user, but not an Elementary OS user specifically, you can also get Spice-Up. On their repository you can see more instructions on how to get it.
If you have
apt-get (Ubuntu bistros for example):
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:philip.scott/spice-up-daily sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install com.github.philip-scott.spice-up
If you have another operating system, however, like Windows or macOS, you can not, yet, get Spice-Up. The developer focuses on Linux only.
I must admit that this program alone is not a reason to switch to Linux. That said, if you have been thinking about switching to Linux, but wasn't sure if it had good software, I believe this proves:
Linux do have good software, and exclusive too!
Spice-Up is not a "killer app", but is a taste of how Linux only free and open-source software can be competitive.
What Is The AppCenter
Talking, now, specifically to Elementary OS users (my main operating system). Spice-Up was built for the AppCenter. The design language of the software reflects very well the design language of Elementary OS. Though it does run on other Linux distros, if you care about design, Elementary is the way to go.
AppCenter supports donations to the devs, and it has a different approach to donations. While most developers dedicate full pages to ask for donations, AppCenter does that on the most casual way possible.
This software distribution platform "asks" for $20 dollars when you try to get Spice-Up from there:
The way it asks for the $20 makes it look like it is the price of the app. In reality, 20 dollars is the donation the developer said he wanted to receive for his program. It is not a mandatory fee by any means. You can choose to donate a lower amount or get it for free. The trick is that the option to get it for free or donate less is hidden by a few extra clicks.
I can't blame AppCenter for that, it is a wise strategy, though bold. Many people are already used to casually pay for apps and services. All Elementary does is to take the same approach used by big companies, and apply that to open source projects.
We don't have the figures, at least yet, if that strategy improves revenue for developers. For that, I abstain from having a solid opinion of this approach is good or bad. I can only comment that phone app stores have been doing that for years already, and that seems to work for them.
The main place to do donations is on the AppCenter, but not everyone that uses Spice-Up is an Elementary OS user. On their GitHub, they also have a link that redirects you to make a donation through PayPal.
The e-mail provided by the developer to make donations is "email@example.com". Sadly, they don't support other donation platforms. It would be great if they could support cryptocurrency donations. I haven't read in depth the rules for the AppCenter but seems to be a pattern on their apps. I imagine there must be a rule that they must focus on receiving donations through the Elementary store.
Giving money is not the only way for you to help the project. You can help them by taking money from them, as weird as it sounds.
Spice-Up has a bounty page:
Currently, there is only one paid bounty for people to do. It is not unexpected, the project is small and the code takes less than 3MB. I imagine the bounties and bug fixes, if there is any, are relatively easy and fast to do.
Currently, the bounty that is active and paying offers $15 if you can add a snap guide. A snap guide is a sort of "grid" that helps images and texts to be "snapped" to a defined line. If you have edited music, video, or image you might have noticed that when some spaces have a "magnet" that attracts the elements to align them.
Feel free to follow the project to keep up to date.
Though not officially asked people, you can write about the project to spread the word. Just like what I am doing with this series, you can also talk to other people about it.
The project is free and open source, by having more users the developer can probably find more bugs and receive more reports. Having more people also increases the chances of the developer getting more help.
Even though the project is small, anyone can do a little bit. Stay tuned with the developer, I am excited to see what comes next for the version 2.0.0.
AppCenter page for Spice-Up:
Spice-Up bounties page:
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