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Future Apex Mobile Sketch Apps?

Discussion in 'Apex' started by NWolvie, Oct 9, 2010.

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  1. NWolvie

    NWolvie Sophomore Member

    0
    Jul 14, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Washington
    I'm currently running WinMo 6.5, but will transitioning to Droid in a year or so.

    Couldn't help but notice - MobileSketch for WinMo has been effectively ignored as a product-which is understandable due to small market share. But, if that's the case, maybe you could/should reduce the price (ie 50% or more)-I'd be inclined to buy, but it's $99, while DaVinci is free and heavily supported?? If it was priced accordingly for a discontinued product, I would absolutely buy a copy to hold me over until the next Droid or iPhone version.

    What I don't get is no perceptable haste to introduce a mobile sketch for iPhone or Droid? Seriously, this is definitely the future and the mobile market share for those two devices is already huge.

    FYI-from a end user point of view, you guys are dropping the ball.

    I want to go mobile with my sketching, but the only viable solution is DaVinci? :( I'd hate to switch to WinTotal, but that looks like where it's heading.

    If you guys are developing-take a note from a la mode and leak some sneak peeks to develop some market excitement and to let us know we should hold off from getting DaVinci.

    My 2 cents.
     
  2. Wm. Hattaway

    Wm. Hattaway Senior Member

    0
    Mar 18, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    I currently use a Dell Axim PDA for Apex sketching in the field. That device is getting old. I too would like to go with the droid phone and would like to be able to sketch on the phone then sync it with my WinTotal. That would be 1 less device to carry around.
     
  3. Randall Garrett

    Randall Garrett Senior Member

    4
    Mar 6, 2004
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    Texas
    NW,

    I am told that our Robert Smoote sent you a PM regarding your post, so I did not respond. FWIW, though, I agree with you on most of your points. We just released an update to the old MobileSketch product to support the Disto D8 and some other minor under the hood tweaks. I am not involved with sales items at all, but will definitely look into the pricing tomorrow when I am back in the office.


    Mr. Hattaway,

    You remember our "No Vaporware" policy from years ago, right? We don't float info about unreleased products. At most, we may discuss it some in a generic manner or even show screen shots, etc., but only when the product is already in "Field Trial" status. That said, I would not recommend buying a new mobile device until after CES (early January) when we should know much more about what sort of devices will realistically be hitting the market by/before spring. FWIW, the core of MobileSketch is alive and well - it is just not exposed much here in the States. That may change depending on our typical customer having access (meaning ready availability to low prices and reliable service, etc. vs. some cheapo clone with no backing) to suitable, compelling devices. I expect a flood of devices before spring which should leave us with several good ones - much better suited to sketching than what has been available to date. Most of our mobile product line is used in a more "industrial" setting (vs. fee appraising) but it would be a (mostly) trivial matter to tweak it for fee appraisal specific needs IMHO. I'll discuss this with my staff the first week of January and see about releasing some info on mobile products now that it seems to be catching on here in the States. In the interim, what sort of things would you see as needing improving/modernizing in MobileSketch if I were to do an Android, iOS or other mobile OS product?

    Regards,

    -Randall Garrett-
    ..Apex Software..
     
  4. Wm. Hattaway

    Wm. Hattaway Senior Member

    0
    Mar 18, 2006
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Florida
    Nothing, I wouldn’t change anything. My Apex sketching program on my old Dell Axim works great. A friend recently purchased a Droid phone that had a bigger screen than my Dell, so I thought wouldn't it be great to be able to sketch on that phone and take field notes. I mention the Droid because I’m with Verizon and they don’t have the iPhone (yet).
     
  5. RNMOVR

    RNMOVR Sophomore Member

    0
    Jun 14, 2007
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Louisiana
    iphone, droid?

    Randall,

    Any chance of mobile sketch for iphone or droid in the near future? I have used pocket/mobile sketch for the last 7 years. I currently run it on a HTC Tilt 2 Windows 6.5. However, I am so over the crappy windows mobile platform. I am an ala mode user and I bought an ipad a couple of weeks ago and tried their davinci for i-pad. The field gathering portion is fine until you try to sketch a house. Angles and arcs are a nightmare. Heaven forbid that you need to delete several dimensions to square the house and then re-insert them (i.e. no insert function). I about kicked my i-pad over the neighbors fence and then got out my mobile sketch and proceeded to re-measure the house.

    Long point made short, what are ya'lls plans to make mobile sketch available for those wishing to ditch the dying windows mobile platform. I am very brand loyal and want to continue to use Apex products, but the mobile applications appear to have fallen behind the times in lieu of tablets. I would like to see something available obviously for the iphone/ipad, but am really interested in something for the Droid platform. I have been looking at the 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab. Bigger than a phone/handheld, but still small enough to shove in your back pocket. Ala mode is working on a Droid field gathering application with sketching due out the 1st quarter of 2011. However, I have a feeling it will be the same redonkulious junk as the iphone/ipad sketcher with commands that are so cumbersome that you have to be Stephen Hawking to figure them out. Maybe they need to have a cheat sheet like DOS.

    I am 32 years old and have been appraising for 7 years and feel like I am above average when it comes to technology. Especially when compared to my peers, who consider a clipboard with a storage compartment a technological advancement. So anyway, thanks for the time and hope ya'll have something in the works to free me from this quandary...

    On a side note, one feature that I feel is missing from mobile sketch is the ability to input dimensions as feet and inches versus decimal feet. Maybe that is something ya’ll could incorporate into the next version of mobile sketch..

    Thanks RNMOVR
     
  6. Randall Garrett

    Randall Garrett Senior Member

    4
    Mar 6, 2004
    Professional Status:
    IT Professional-Appraisal Related
    State:
    Texas
    RNMOVR,

    I understand your sentiments/observations on the Tilt2 and WinMo. I used that very phone myself for a while... ;-) I also have a couple of Galaxy Tabs and like them a lot. FWIW, I rooted my Nook Color and it seems slightly superior in terms of viewability and size/weight. Go by a store and fondle one...

    As far as an Android or iOS version of MobileSketch, that is technically easy enough. The issue for me is whether folks here in North America want it. We depend on the "forms vendors" (our traditional term for your full software companies) to package, distribute, integrate our stuff. To date, none of them but ALM have show an interest in mobility products, and of course, ALM went their own way a while back. They spoke of an integration type program early on, but I have seen no follow-up on that myself. The core of MobileSketch and Nexus continues in other areas and industries, so tweaking it for fee appraisal work is not a technical issue, just a minor time issue.

    I will monitor this thread to gauge the interest keeping in mind my statement on our "No Vaporware" policy. As I read your post, I take it that you'd like to see us push out another, more modern version of MobileSketch. Am I right? The multiple units of measure item is no problem - done long ago, just never put into an update here since MobileSketch here was largely dead. The current engine is considerably more robust... ;-)

    Feel free to write me here or by e-mail if you'd like to discuss further. Sorry if this feels "dry" - between items ATM, but mobility items are my passion...

    Regards,

    -Randall Garrett-
    ..Apex Software..
     
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