07-18-11 10:23 PM
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  1. southlander's Avatar
    Wait... nevermind with the bridge browser the playbook would be more useful than a wifi only ipad.
    Yeah that's what I would hope. But recently I tried using the web version of Google Maps on my PlayBook via the bridge browser. I could not get a single page to load for some reason though.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-16-11 07:20 PM
  2. stubbornswiss's Avatar
    Wow......regardless of which side of the fence you're on, that Theodolite app is impressive.
    07-16-11 07:47 PM
  3. deloreancowboy's Avatar
    There's a youtube app on the PlayBook? WHY?!? I have full web, why would I need an app?

    I would love to see more non-web needed apps on the PB. But please, no fart apps, no apps that do nothing but stream a websites content (here's looking at you CrackBerry, lol). We need apps that actually do something and do it well.
    07-16-11 09:11 PM
  4. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    Oh god, now I know why apps are so important!

    They invented the digital compass! Technology like this thats been around for years NEEDS to come to the playbook otherwise stupid devs won't have low value apps to make!

    Nice gimmick though.

    No one said apps aren't important.
    Other nice gimmicks that are not needed:
    1. GPS (unnecessary - let me use dead reckoning and the astrolabe - been around for centuries!)
    2.Accelerometer (unnecessary - I already know my orientation in space and I can differentiate between up and down - why are stupid developers interested in this information?)
    3. Mouse, trackball, touch screens: (Dammit, I have a finger that I use to point at things - stupid developers don't need to know where I am pointing! That's just crazy!)
    wildkarde likes this.
    07-16-11 09:38 PM
  5. ekafara's Avatar
    I wouldn't trust that app as far as I could throw an iPad. Wait, I could(and just might) throw an iPad pretty far. Is there a tripod for it? How do you make sure that it is staying still. How accurate is it? If a surveyor brought that to site I would tell him to get off site and stop wasting my time and then find a real surveyor. Sure it may be handy if you want to mess around for fun. But in actual real work situation there are reasons the machines cost as much as they do.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-16-11 09:59 PM
  6. s219's Avatar
    I wouldn't trust that app as far as I could throw an iPad. Wait, I could(and just might) throw an iPad pretty far. Is there a tripod for it? How do you make sure that it is staying still. How accurate is it? If a surveyor brought that to site I would tell him to get off site and stop wasting my time and then find a real surveyor. Sure it may be handy if you want to mess around for fun. But in actual real work situation there are reasons the machines cost as much as they do.
    Please hold your opinions until you have actually used the app -- there really is no basis to say stuff like this without any experience/expertise.

    FWIW, the MEMS gyro in the iPad 2 has an angular accuracy better than 0.1 degree. The PlayBook's hardware is likely similar. I doubt anybody could read a traditional theodolite or transit (with optical scale) to that accuracy. And as far as mounting and positioning goes, the same issues apply whether you're using a traditional theodolite or a mobile app with the same functions. Hold it by hand for basic use, or stabilize/mount it for detailed use. It's not hard to figure out. People have worked it out for binoculars, telescopes, theodolites, and transits for centuries.

    I was going to invite the Theodolite developer to participate in the discussion here, since RIM was trying to get him to port the app. Based on some of the comments, I'd be embarrassed. The guy is a NASA engineer with serious credentials. With talk like this, you'll be driving good developers away.
    07-17-11 12:36 AM
  7. ekafara's Avatar
    Hold it by hand for basic use, or stabilize/mount it for detailed use. It's not hard to figure out. People have worked it out for binoculars, telescopes, theodolites, and transits for centuries.
    Using a theodolite and transit by hand eh? Sounds interesting.

    I was going to invite the Theodolite developer to participate in the discussion here, since RIM was trying to get him to port the app. Based on some of the comments, I'd be embarrassed. The guy is a NASA engineer with serious credentials. With talk like this, you'll be driving good developers away.
    You should invite him in here. Shouldn't he be trying to change my mind on this? If its as good as you say it is then he should be bragging about it everywhere. I went to the website and it didn't tell me much. Just told me what type of people were using it, but not for what type of application. Knowing what sort of applications it has been tested and used in would provide me more information then just saying it's been used by an engineer.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-17-11 01:45 AM
  8. bpdude's Avatar
    I see apps as a double edge sword. I often marvel at apps used in aviation, the medical field and so on. The big drawback I am starting to see is having to pay for content on the internet more and more which in some cases I don't mind as I have several subscriptions for various things. Apps are the perfect platform for slicing up content and serving it for a fee. Just a thought, I could be wrong. This could be just the normal progression of the internet.
    07-17-11 06:22 AM
  9. esqlaw's Avatar
    I can't tell if you're being condescending or you're just ignorant (or maybe both). That app can replace a $5K piece of surveying equipment (and then some). Obviously not everyone can appreciate/understand that, but it's a big deal for those of us who do. RIM courted that developer earlier in the year, so they seem to understand the value too. It would be a huge feather in the PlayBook's cap, especially amongst the pro crowd -- surveyors, architects, construction, first responders, military, etc. This is just one example though; there are many others.
    ROFL... like anyone is gonna use their iphone to replace surveying equipment... You stupify me. Are all devs thinking like you?

    Technology is pointless if its not reliable. No one who needs to buy survey equipment is gonna go... Hey do I want a professional piece of equipment that meets my industry standards or do I want an Iphone?????

    Like any professional landscaper, architect, ANYTHING is going to replace their professional equipment built specifically for their job with a stupid video overlay on a phone.

    You are just disconnected from the world if you think that an iphone replacement is even a possibility.
    Last edited by esqlaw; 07-17-11 at 08:43 AM.
    07-17-11 08:25 AM
  10. esqlaw's Avatar
    Please hold your opinions until you have actually used the app -- there really is no basis to say stuff like this without any experience/expertise.

    FWIW, the MEMS gyro in the iPad 2 has an angular accuracy better than 0.1 degree. The PlayBook's hardware is likely similar. I doubt anybody could read a traditional theodolite or transit (with optical scale) to that accuracy. And as far as mounting and positioning goes, the same issues apply whether you're using a traditional theodolite or a mobile app with the same functions. Hold it by hand for basic use, or stabilize/mount it for detailed use. It's not hard to figure out. People have worked it out for binoculars, telescopes, theodolites, and transits for centuries.

    I was going to invite the Theodolite developer to participate in the discussion here, since RIM was trying to get him to port the app. Based on some of the comments, I'd be embarrassed. The guy is a NASA engineer with serious credentials. With talk like this, you'll be driving good developers away.
    Good, because he is so uniquely positioned to deliver that app that no one else can achieve.
    07-17-11 08:27 AM
  11. esqlaw's Avatar
    Other nice gimmicks that are not needed:
    1. GPS (unnecessary - let me use dead reckoning and the astrolabe - been around for centuries!)
    2.Accelerometer (unnecessary - I already know my orientation in space and I can differentiate between up and down - why are stupid developers interested in this information?)
    3. Mouse, trackball, touch screens: (Dammit, I have a finger that I use to point at things - stupid developers don't need to know where I am pointing! That's just crazy!)
    ummm... are you on drugs? My post was about digital-ware, not hardware. Try again.
    07-17-11 08:32 AM
  12. Foreverup's Avatar

    I was going to invite the Theodolite developer to participate in the discussion here, since RIM was trying to get him to port the app. Based on some of the comments, I'd be embarrassed. The guy is a NASA engineer with serious credentials. With talk like this, you'll be driving good developers away.
    Your entitled to your opinion, but I have never seen anything but respect from people around here to developers.

    I asked you about network access because I have never seen any device's gps work without some sort of access to a network. If this is different for the iphone I was not aware of it.

    Also, you are being pretty premature with your argument, considering RIM has stated that the NDK will not be released until the end of summer or mid fall.
    07-17-11 09:47 AM
  13. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    I asked you about network access because I have never seen any device's gps work without some sort of access to a network. If this is different for the iphone I was not aware of it.
    GPS only needs to communicate with a sufficient number of satellites in order to get a fix. It does not require access to a network. The PB chip does not make use of assisted GPS, which uses the network to speed up the initial process of finding satellites. Note that you cannot use a mapping app like Bing to test this out. Bing needs a network connection in order to download map tiles from the server and will not try to use GPS unless the network is accessible.
    Foreverup likes this.
    07-17-11 10:37 AM
  14. Foreverup's Avatar
    GPS only needs to communicate with a sufficient number of satellites in order to get a fix. It does not require access to a network. The PB chip does not make use of assisted GPS, which uses the network to speed up the initial process of finding satellites. Note that you cannot use a mapping app like Bing to test this out. Bing needs a network connection in order to download map tiles from the server and will not try to use GPS unless the network is accessible.
    how about that learn something new everyday, I never felt the need to look at my location option in the setting of my phone, but sure enough explains exactly what you said.
    07-17-11 10:44 AM
  15. s219's Avatar
    You should invite him in here. Shouldn't he be trying to change my mind on this? If its as good as you say it is then he should be bragging about it everywhere. I went to the website and it didn't tell me much. Just told me what type of people were using it, but not for what type of application. Knowing what sort of applications it has been tested and used in would provide me more information then just saying it's been used by an engineer.
    I doubt he feels the need to give a sales pitch to anyone -- it sells like hotcakes on iOS. I assume people try the free version, decide for themselves, and then pay for the full version if they like it. Based on reviews and sales ranking, it's doing pretty good. Similar apps like Tactical Nav and Spyglass operate the same way (the former was developed by a US Army soldier and is impressive too -- would be another great app on the PlayBook). Most small developers operate solely on word of mouth and market acceptance, and don't go around giving sales pitches (not saying they shouldn't, but they usually don't).

    I first became acquainted with Theodolite when researchers from the Utah Avalanche Center began posting their avalanche reports and surveys using the app. In that scenario, I can see how a camera equipped device with GPS, compass, gyro, and maps could be pretty awesome. If it's a device like an iPhone or PlayBook that is small, light, and fairly tough for field use, it would actually be better than a traditional optical device in my opinion. It does everything in one shot, and they could even e-mail or upload reports from the device once they got in range of a network.
    07-17-11 10:48 AM
  16. s219's Avatar
    Like any professional landscaper, architect, ANYTHING is going to replace their professional equipment built specifically for their job with a stupid video overlay on a phone.
    Actually, my understanding is that these types of people are exactly the ones using the app, along with real estate agents, builders, etc. The benefit is that they can whip out their smartphone/tablet and get quick/easy measurements without having to pull in a surveyor or setup equipment. Just getting photos watermarked with the data is a big help for these people.

    Don't underestimate the capabilities of modern smartphone devices -- between the sensors and the software, they can do stuff that could never be accomplished with traditional equipment. Some of the calculations built into the Theodolite app formerly required a spreadsheet on a laptop to do in the field, and would have relied on manual data entry. Before that, it would have been done by hand on paper. I think it's pretty cool to be able to do them on the device itself.
    07-17-11 10:58 AM
  17. s219's Avatar
    I asked you about network access because I have never seen any device's gps work without some sort of access to a network. If this is different for the iphone I was not aware of it.
    Network access can be used to speed up GPS-lock, but is not required. It just takes longer to acquire a fix when operating solely on GPS. There's a good article here that describes how iOS devices use location services:

    How the iPhone knows where you are | Phones | Macworld

    This information is general, and is not unique to Apple devices. Other companies have been using the same procedures for years.

    In the absence of GPS, wi-fi and cell trilateration can also be used, but with much less accuracy.
    07-17-11 11:03 AM
  18. Foreverup's Avatar
    Actually, my understanding is that these types of people are exactly the ones using the app, along with real estate agents, builders, etc. The benefit is that they can whip out their smartphone/tablet and get quick/easy measurements without having to pull in a surveyor or setup equipment. Just getting photos watermarked with the data is a big help for these people.

    Don't underestimate the capabilities of modern smartphone devices -- between the sensors and the software, they can do stuff that could never be accomplished with traditional equipment. Some of the calculations built into the Theodolite app formerly required a spreadsheet on a laptop to do in the field, and would have relied on manual data entry. Before that, it would have been done by hand on paper. I think it's pretty cool to be able to do them on the device itself.
    For quick reference or not needing exact measurements I can see your point on how it would be a great tool. But esclaw's (sorry if i spelled it wrong) point anything needing exact measurement for builders, surveyors, etc. all their tools will need to calibrated and traceable to NIST in the USA.
    esqlaw likes this.
    07-17-11 11:04 AM
  19. Economist101's Avatar
    You are just disconnected from the world if you think that an iphone replacement is even a possibility.
    Different sets of circumstances often call for different degrees of precision. If a surveyor needed an uber-precise measurement, of course they'd favor professional-grade equipment. But if they just needed to quickly measure something in meters instead of micrometers, the phone-based system might be adequate.

    As an analogy, I'm not a big fan of LexisNexis on a smartphone for legal research, yet it's fine for confirming statute text or finding actual case citations. The point is that the device need not be a replacement for all purposes to be useful.
    07-17-11 11:05 AM
  20. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    how about that learn something new everyday, I never felt the need to look at my location option in the setting of my phone, but sure enough explains exactly what you said.
    I was about to explain to esqlaw that the PlayBook's magnetometer is a hardware component that communicates to the firmware regarding the device's orientation relative to the earth's magnetic field. It is, in fact a digital compass because it communicates its data in the form of numbers corresponding to the user's compass heading. In astronomy we use the term "azimuth". If I had access to PB's compass, the user could simply point the device at a star and (with the help of the accelerometer to determine altitude) I could identify it. There are all sorts of possibilities for this technology and I really don't know why esqlaw feels the need to ridicule my desire to use it in my app.
    07-17-11 11:11 AM
  21. esqlaw's Avatar
    Different sets of circumstances often call for different degrees of precision. If a surveyor needed an uber-precise measurement, of course they'd favor professional-grade equipment. But if they just needed to quickly measure something in meters instead of micrometers, the phone-based system might be adequate.

    As an analogy, I'm not a big fan of LexisNexis on a smartphone for legal research, yet it's fine for confirming statute text or finding actual case citations. The point is that the device need not be a replacement for all purposes to be useful.
    Alright, the device/app doesn't need to replace all the uses of a primary device. But in terms of his argument (as I understand it) that you can buy an iphone app to in lieu of a real piece of survey equipment is absurd. So yes, you can replace some of the uses but not the device itself.

    edit: foreverup understood what I was trying to say well enough =p

    Replacement as opposed to supplement.
    Last edited by esqlaw; 07-17-11 at 11:19 AM.
    07-17-11 11:17 AM
  22. Foreverup's Avatar
    I was about to explain to esqlaw that the PlayBook's magnetometer is a hardware component that communicates to the firmware regarding the device's orientation relative to the earth's magnetic field. It is, in fact a digital compass because it communicates its data in the form of numbers corresponding to the user's compass heading. In astronomy we use the term "azimuth". If I had access to PB's compass, the user could simply point the device at a star and (with the help of the accelerometer to determine altitude) I could identify it. There are all sorts of possibilities for this technology and I really don't know why esqlaw feels the need to ridicule my desire to use it in my app.
    In his defense I believe he was making the point that it would not be able to replace professional equipment used by certain jobs like the OP claimed. And that is completely true, but just did it in a sarcastic way.

    But to your point I love the idea of the app, sitting outside on my porch would be pretty cool. Again like esqlaw stated no one is saying they are not needed but the ndk isn't released yet and when it is hopefully we will start seeing these kind of apps.
    07-17-11 11:23 AM
  23. FF22's Avatar
    I asked you about network access because I have never seen any device's gps work without some sort of access to a network. If this is different for the iphone I was not aware of it.
    Actually, standalone gps units (garmin, tomtom, etc) did not initially have access to networks other than the gps satellites themselves. Many still do not have "network" access - they have the maps internally in their storage space. So they get the signal which is basically, lat/long and then use that to pinpoint your location on their maps. They then use it also to find nearyby points-of-interest and routing info. Only recently have some of them used some kind of "network" connection to possibly get real-time traffic and weather.

    On my BB phone I've been using gpslogger for ages. In the backwoods getting/searching/holding a "network" signal can deplete the battery in short order. So I try to remember to turn off all connections but gpslogger continues to read satellites and track my movements. It has no maps, so my track is merely a squiggly line. But it will show distance and similar data. But when I get within "network" range I can email that track to myself and overlay it on googlemaps or garmin maps or other systems.

    No need for a network.

    Playbook is similar - it will show lat/long without a network. But to do other things, at the moment, no apps have internal maps or routing stuff. So it relies on networks.

    As a matter of fact, just yesterday, I loaded maps into my garmin hiking unit to prepare for an upcoming trip. No network required - just a usb cable and the map sets installed on my computer from dvd.
    07-17-11 11:30 AM
  24. esqlaw's Avatar
    Some of the calculations built into the Theodolite app formerly required a spreadsheet on a laptop to do in the field, and would have relied on manual data entry. Before that, it would have been done by hand on paper. I think it's pretty cool to be able to do them on the device itself.
    Generally, you'd still want the raw data as well as industry precision.

    But like I said, its cool that you got a detailed compass app.

    Apps are important but not that one...
    07-17-11 11:31 AM
  25. esqlaw's Avatar
    I really don't know why esqlaw feels the need to ridicule my desire to use it in my app.
    I wasn't directing the statements at anyone specifically so don't take it personally. I just don't think its a big deal and that is only my opinion.
    07-17-11 11:40 AM
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