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Apex for Mobile Android

Discussion in 'Apex' started by FHA Steve, Feb 15, 2011.

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  1. FHA Steve

    FHA Steve Sophomore Member

    0
    Sep 29, 2008
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    California
    RG,

    Randall below is an article about running a Dual Boot PDA/Smartphone.

    Do you think it is true? It seems pretty sensible to me, because I have an Mac that dual boots to Vista and am on old fan of dual boot.

    Was the HTC HD2 a Slider Phone? I am leaning towards an HTC that has at least a 5 Megpixal Camera. I have heard that it is great for taking photos of Business Cards, digitizing them and putting them into the Outlook address book.

    I would have dropped a link, but they frown on that here. Thanks, Steve

    ---------------------------------------------
    If you have a Windows Mobile (6.1 or 6.5) smartphone and want to use Android on it, you can now do it easier than ever, as a new dual boot solution has been recently launched.

    It is Called Gen.Y DualBOOT, the application is free and has been published over at the xda-developers forum.

    Complete Guide to Enabling Dual boot with Android os on windows mobile phones

    – note that you still have to install Android yourself, before running the app, as this is just an application that lets you choose between Windows Mobile and Android when you start your phone.

    Reportedly, the Gen.Y DualBOOT app works with Windows Mobile smartphones that have WVGA, VGA and QVGA screen resolutions.

    Watch this video for a quick demo on How TO install Android OS and dual boot on windows mobile os.
    [​IMG]

     
  2. OSU Beavers

    OSU Beavers Elite Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Oregon
    I don't see sketching on a 4" screen. A 7"-10" Android pad/tablet is ideal.
     
  3. Randall Garrett

    Randall Garrett Senior Member

    8
    Mar 6, 2004
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    Texas
    OSUB,

    Personally, I agree with you on size/real estate, especially for sketching type things. Some people, however, really prefer the all-in-one aspect of a phone. The newer, higher resolutions on some devices are a real help, and I have been amazed by some sketches sent in which were done on an old 3.5" screen at 240 x 320. One or two were so large and complex, I am quite sure the Brand X DESKTOP sketchers would choke on. I still don't know how they did two files, in particular. Anyway, we just aim to address the needs and desires of the widest audience. I believe that the 4" - 5", high resolution phones are pretty usable for most tasks, but still a lot of users (including me) simply find that a 7" screen is just about the sweet spot on the smaller size of slates. I am more in favor of the 9.7" 4:3 aspect ratio screens like in an iPad vs. The more common 10.1 16:9 aspect ratio screens in most existing Win 7 and android slates, but the newer ones' higher resolution of 1280 x 800 largely mitigates the form factor's negative aspects IMHO. Hard to tell just on paper or pictures/video - you just have to fondle them yourself to get a real feel.

    I still think a rooted Nook Color makes a great device for those that are willing to accept the liabilities of rooting it to stock Android :). That said, I know of a worthy competitor to be announced very soon. The question is price and availability. I suspect Spring an $75 - $100 over the Nook Color. If so, I would recommend it over the Nook Color unless someone just absolutely HAD to have native B&N stuff. For me, I MUCH prefer the Kindle ecosystem and that was my primary reason for rooting my Nook Color. I was just pleasantly surprised how well it runs my Android sketcher software and most other apps. Another example of how "raw specs" can throw you off...

    -Randall Garrett-
    ..Apex Software..

    /end/
     
  4. OSU Beavers

    OSU Beavers Elite Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Oregon
    You just said the magic words "my Android sketcher software". Where can I get my own Android sketcher software, and will it sync with Apex 3?
     
  5. Randall Garrett

    Randall Garrett Senior Member

    8
    Mar 6, 2004
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    Texas
    OSUB,

    I should have been more precise in my earlier post. I should not have said "sketcher software"... Per some earlier posts, we have drawing and calculating type software that runs on Android and iOS, but it is closer to CAD than what the readers here would think of when the term "sketcher" is used with respect to appraisal needs. As an experiment, I took one of these and lobbed off some items, tweaked others to approximate the footprint of an appraisal type sketcher working similarly to the old MobileSketch on a Pocket PC. I was pleased with the performance, even on the lesser-spec'd Nook Color. To make a "new MobileSketch" for Android, supporting the various devices and resolutions would be feasible if the demand is there from users, Integration Partners, etc. There would be some work required to tweak it for appraisal/inspection type features & functionality, but it is not all that much.

    As far as making it sync with Apex 3, that is a no go. The old sync in Av3 was specific to the Pocket PC and ActiveSync. We would have to write a new, specific equiv. sync function for Android. The Apex 3 code has been closed for, what, 6 years or more (?). We would not open up old, dead code - we would do it in the current code, so you would need to upgrade to the newest version when it was added. There is the possibility that your Android device would be seen as a generic USB drive, so you might be able to navigate to a file on it via Explorer, but since the file formats have been elevated several times since Av3, you would need some sort of translator program to "downvert" it to a v3 format. With all the various hoops to jump through, you'd be better off just upgrading to a new Apex with all the busywork automated inside the box. It would simply be a smoother process and give you a greater ROI, not to mention new, enhanced Apex features, etc.

    Hope this helps!

    -Randall Garrett-
    *Apex Software*

    Posted via rooted Nook Color, BTW. ;-)

    /end/
     
  6. OSU Beavers

    OSU Beavers Elite Member

    13
    Jan 10, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Licensed Appraiser
    State:
    Oregon
    Darn it. Apex 3 works fine for me I am still waiting for an advantage before upgrading to the latest. If you have a stand alone MobileSketch for Android I suggest putting it up on the Android Marketplace to test the demand. I'd pay $19.99 just to be able to tell the homeowner the square footage.
     
  7. SWright

    SWright Sophomore Member

    0
    Jul 11, 2010
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    New York
    I hope Randall doesn't mind my responding on this thread.

    The way we see it at PhoenixSuite; a mobile sketching product is ideal for collecting basic measurements in the field.

    PhoenixMobile (our iOS app for Appraisers) includes an embedded "lite" sketcher for exactly this purpose.

    Wall lengths and angles can easily be recorded in the field. Especially those "off-angles" (which you'd have to use rise-and-run or a miter-gauge for) - can now be collected easily using built-in sensors like a gyroscope.

    Ideally, these basic measurement sketches could be opened up back home on your desktop sketcher of choice for adding more complex details.

    If a reputable vendor releases a mobile sketching component which is at least as good as what already exists in the marketplace, we will be the first in line to ask for an integration. Until then, we will be including our own flavor of sketchers in our mobile products. And yes, we are already working on an Android version.
     
  8. Randall Garrett

    Randall Garrett Senior Member

    8
    Mar 6, 2004
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    Texas
    SWR,

    No, I don't "mind", LOL. Sharing info with the intent of helping others is what user forums are all about IMHO. Neither this thread, nor this site are "mine" so I have no control over what is posted here. I only post to try and offer whatever benefit readers can gather from my background and exposure to sketching (as just one form of data) and mobile hardware/software in general. I believe that public forums like this frown on posts designed for sales and promotional activities and that seems proper to me. Hence, I stay away from that slant, which suits me just fine since I am definitely not a sales type person. Probably has something to do with my appraiser DNA, LOL.

    I have gotten copies of your emails regarding Apex integration, but have not responded yet as the main issue at hand is at present is the business/sales type thing, which I am not involved with except peripherally - i.e. commenting on the technical barriers and level of effort to bring a solution to bear. Yes, I founded the company and have a considerable vote ;-) but I leave the daily business development and sales type items to others.

    FWIW, I agree that integration is a key factor in being able to deliver a solution to end users, but all that is for naught if that various "forms" companies to not employ it. That is a drum I have been beating since the mid-80's. We offer various low and high level methods for passing information in virtually all our products and many use one flavor or another. In the case of iOS, things get more convoluted IMHO since it involves use of "the cloud" at some point or another due to the basic paradigm and business policies of Apple. This resolves to a basic poor fit IMHO for most end users unless the integrator(s) have a considerable back end system in place. Thus, I find that a Win7 or Android solution is more viable for most appraiser ecosystems.

    As I perceive your offerings, there does not seem to be an easy fit at present as we have not released our iOS (nor Android) products in this market. Maybe I am just slow or thick and am missing something (?) so if you want to write me and explain it to me, I am happy to review the tech specs and put forth my recommendation(s) to the business team. At present, our Windows products (desktop and server) have a high level method (XML data + sketch image) that could be used at you end user's desktop if that is what you want/need. That has been there for years... Most, if not all, of the appraisal forms type companies use that basic technique, the only substantive difference being that the use an ActiveX or .NET assembly to pass the data... In every case I can think of, they are "passing" the sketch depiction as an image anyway. The only people who use lower level integration are larger, kore "Enterprise" type customers who have a more controlled ecosystem, generally revolving around security type items. So, if you want to do something quick and easy, like I think you are describing, just open up the XML and parse to get the calculation data. the sketch image can be any of several raster types and resolutions. These settings are controlled by user preferences in the configuration dialogs so that they can elect to save as XML and raster image individually on a case-by-case basis or as their defaults. If you want something lower level than that, we'd have to consider the effort required to do something custom for your particular ecosystem's idiosyncrasies vs the cost to development on ongoing efforts. As a businessman, I am sure you understand. Still, Apex is, at the core, a company that revolves around integrating their products with others, so Doing so with your products is not out of line for us. I just don't think our ActiveX or mainstream .NET stuff is particularly well suited for your iOS (or Web?) environment at present. Perhaps IF we mod our iOS and/or Android products for appraiser use, there would naturally be a better fit (?) ready at hand.

    Hope this helps!

    -Randall Garrett-
    *Apex Software*
     
  9. Randall Garrett

    Randall Garrett Senior Member

    8
    Mar 6, 2004
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    Texas
    Nook Color update

    OSUB et al,

    Got notice the other day that B&N was offering the Nook Color for under $200 in their official EBay store. New, not used, exclusive of any other deals offerings. Thought you might be interested. BTW, just upgraded my rooted one to Honeycomb and was pleased with the performance. For e-books, I much prefer the Kindle, but for $250 (now $199?), the Nook Color makes a great little mini-tablet IMHO.

    Hope this helps!

    -Randall Garrett-
    *Apex Software*
     
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