1. s219's Avatar
    esqlaw, your skepticism reminds me of how people reacted when the first automotive performance/dyno apps came out for the iPhone in 2008 -- apps like Dynolicious and gMeter. Nobody believed they would work. But within a few weeks, they were being written up in auto magazines, PCWorld, and MacWorld, and have even been on TV. In particular, I remember the host of one show tossing his dedicated test hardware (a gTech or gAnalyst most likely) into the trash can because the iPhone apps did it all and did it better.

    The apps were better than any of the dedicated portable units you could buy and mount in a car at that time. Back then, the dedicated units only had one- or two-axis accelerometers, limited sampling rate, and no computation capability. In contrast, the iPhone had a three-axis accelerometer capable of 100Hz sampling, a fairly powerful CPU for computations, and a screen to display numerical results and even graphs. So the apps brought new capabilities to the table and were better in almost every way than the dedicated hardware. They were significantly less expensive too. It's another case where the app on the device replaced the combination of a dedicated measurement unit and a laptop.

    As far as a theodolite, its usage comes down to technique and understanding its capabilities and limitations. That goes whether it's a traditional optical unit, or an app implemented on a mobile device. In both cases you are subject to a range of potential errors and must rely on good calibrations. Knowing what I do about the iPhone 4 sensors (as well as the PlayBook's), I see zero difference in using the Theodolite app on a mobile device versus using the disconnected combination of a handheld GPS unit, a compass, an inclinometer, and a traditional optical theodolite. If anything, the app benefits by combining the features together in software. So for instance, the GPS position can tell you about the local magnetic declination, which can be used to adjust the magnetometer to give you proper true bearings. The accelerometer/gyro can be used to tell the magnetometer which way is up to accurately turn magnetic field into a bearing. And so on. The combination of all the sensors in software takes it to the next level, in a way that dedicated hardware devices cannot do.

    As far as errors go, it doesn't matter if you have a MEMS magnetometer in a mobile device or a Brunton surveyor's compass if there is magnetic interference in the area. And it doesn't matter if you're using a MEMS gyro/accelerometer or traditional inclinometer to measure angle if you're holding it wrong, or it's out of calibration, etc. Same goes for GPS units -- if you don't have a clear line of sight to the sky, it doesn't matter how expensive your unit is.
    07-17-11 02:34 PM
  2. Foreverup's Avatar
    Dfg we get what you saying but you are going way too far and saying it is replacing dedicated equipment. While it maybe a good tool, surveying equipment to hold up to industry and federal requirements all that equipment needs to certified, that includes the software.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    07-17-11 02:56 PM
  3. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    esqlaw, your skepticism reminds me of how people reacted when the first automotive performance/dyno apps came out for the iPhone in 2008 -- apps like Dynolicious and gMeter. Nobody believed they would work. But within a few weeks, they were being written up in auto magazines, PCWorld, and MacWorld, and have even been on TV. In particular, I remember the host of one show tossing his dedicated test hardware (a gTech or gAnalyst most likely) into the trash can because the iPhone apps did it all and did it better..
    Wow - this began in 2008... Is it just me, or do other's detect an unfortunate difference in marketing strategies between RIM and Apple with respect to hardware.

    Apple went with a clearly inferior os but included functional sensors early-on. Then the gave developers all the tools they needed in order to express their creativity.

    RIM hyped their multi-tasking os but included GPS as an semi-functional afterthought and didn't even bother connecting the compass. They should have included api's for blutooth, usb host and sensors so that programmers would have exciting offerings at launch.

    I feel so let down by all of this and I quite understand why iThing developers are not in a big hurry to enter this market.
    07-17-11 03:19 PM
  4. Siiid's Avatar
    apps are important. they help you utilize your device and do many things the manufacturer cant think about during development.
    07-17-11 03:32 PM
  5. togardergrosse's Avatar
    Only one question to OP.
    Did that very app, available at the very month when iPhone/iPad came out?
    How long did you wait for an app like that?
    07-17-11 03:43 PM
  6. FF22's Avatar
    Only one question to OP.
    Did that very app, available at the very month when iPhone/iPad came out?
    How long did you wait for an app like that?
    To some extent it does not matter what was available when the ipad first launched. It can do it now. So the pb is competing with what an ipad DOES NOW. And what it may do later is merely a promise. A promise based on what appear to be two rather flaky CEO's speeches.

    In addition, as Buzz notes, rim has hampered development by not offering the proper tools. From discussions here, it sounds as if the proper tools may not be available till Fall. That's almost SIX (6) months after the release. So the pb continues to fall behind. The pb continues to have to compete with other platforms. And if some of the suggested REAL sales numbers are close to accurate, those numbers might not attract developers.

    So while the pb may hold promise, it really needs help and not vague suggestions that things will be better in the morning. Take two aspirin and tapping ruby slippers may not be what is needed.

    Based on what rim has offered so far, even their own apps are lacking. Seriously, where's the simple ability to reorder/rename bookmarks. I added two more apps last night - I want to add my own folders for those apps and reorder the way they show on the homepage. I want to hide apps. I want cut/paste cell/block in Sheets. I want to search for a word on webpage, in a pdf and in a word document. I want to change font size in email. These seem to be pretty basic functions but they are missing. April, May, June, July.....
    07-17-11 03:57 PM
  7. s219's Avatar
    Only one question to OP.
    Did that very app, available at the very month when iPhone/iPad came out?
    How long did you wait for an app like that?
    Looks like the HD version (for tablets) came out 4 days after the iPad 2 went on sale. Since it requires a camera to work, it wouldn't have been offered for the iPad 1. Why do you ask?
    07-17-11 05:25 PM
  8. s219's Avatar
    Dfg we get what you saying but you are going way too far and saying it is replacing dedicated equipment. While it maybe a good tool, surveying equipment to hold up to industry and federal requirements all that equipment needs to certified, that includes the software.
    It's possible equipment needs to be certified for certain applications, but in my experience it's more about the licensing/expertise of the person who submits the survey information. I surveyed the lot we built on in 2001 using a rental theodolite and my Brunton Pocket Transit. When submitting the plans, the part that mattered was my certification (I am a registered PE in my state). The county didn't want to know what equipment was used, or if I did hand calculations or used a spreadsheet. It's up to the surveyor to certify the results, meaning they take on responsibility for errors.
    07-17-11 05:45 PM
  9. esqlaw's Avatar
    The reality is that you cannot rely on apps.

    Mobile apps did not start in 2008. And to be more precise, digital distribution caused this avalanche of poor apps for cheap cash.

    I thought DD would be awesome. But it brought about this era of nickle and dime software... which is really a low point in the history of computing technology. Its like shopping at a novelty store.

    Even the useful apps are extremely limiting in actual usefulness.
    07-17-11 06:28 PM
  10. DJBS4LIFE's Avatar
    Sad that we judge a GOOD PRODUCT on apps now. I wonder how we lived and survived without them... HA!
    esqlaw likes this.
    07-17-11 07:10 PM
  11. sportline's Avatar
    good product with minimum functionality is not a good product. good product is what gives maximum functionality to customers, hence it sells well.
    pb is not a good product because it is not selling well. you can't blame the world for not buying it.
    howarmat likes this.
    07-17-11 07:17 PM
  12. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    Sad that we judge a GOOD PRODUCT on apps now. I wonder how we lived and survived without them... HA!
    At the basest level, it could be argued that the success of any single piece of mobile technology (read: smartphone) is a function of the applications available. This includes the built-in apps (like the browser... it is an app) and the third party apps.

    This is where I think it is superfluous to knock the proliferation of apps. They extend functionality... plain and simple. They promote convergence. Yes, I can get two or three devices, but why do that if I can own one device does each task reasonably well, and is quite likely to be in my possession most of the time?

    There will always be specialty equipment that will do the job better. I cannot speak for all consumers, but if I had limit resources, and had to pick between two devices, I would look at overall functionality. Now, I am sure that not everyone will need apps, but we need to understand that an increasing portion of consumers do.
    07-17-11 08:19 PM
  13. esqlaw's Avatar
    Success is achieving the goals you set out to achieve. If a device isn't built around digital distribution of software ("apps"), you can't valuate any degree of success based on your logic.

    I don't even understand why people call the software "apps" when its obviously just another label for software. When you get rid of superfluous labels and compare previous generations of software in terms of functionality and execution, they would get stomped by generally higher quality user experiences... which is sad considering the creative input options available to tablets.

    And if another guy tells me a star location utility is worth anything...lol. lol... lol.. Ok I'm done. lol... wow get real... lol.
    07-17-11 09:46 PM
  14. s219's Avatar
    Success is achieving the goals you set out to achieve. If a device isn't built around digital distribution of software ("apps"), you can't valuate any degree of success based on your logic.

    I don't even understand why people call the software "apps" when its obviously just another label for software. When you get rid of superfluous labels and compare previous generations of software in terms of functionality and execution, they would get stomped by generally higher quality user experiences... which is sad considering the creative input options available to tablets.

    And if another guy tells me a star location utility is worth anything...lol. lol... lol.. Ok I'm done. lol... wow get real... lol.

    What exactly is it that you use the PlayBook for? You don't have any hobbies, sports, business uses, or activities that would benefit by having supporting apps on the device? Even if you're not into astronomy, can't you see how astronomers and star watchers *would* like sky maps and charts on the device?

    BTW, "app" is an old time (at least as old as the 1970s) slang term for "computer application software". Back in the day, there was this notion of a "killer app", which was software so good it would motivate people to buy hardware to run it. The VisiCalc spreadsheet was the first killer app. Nothing has really changed. It just happens that "app" caught on again in the last decade with mobile devices. And killer app has the same meaning there.

    VisiCalc - the First Killer App of the Computer Era
    07-17-11 10:21 PM
  15. Foreverup's Avatar
    It's possible equipment needs to be certified for certain applications, but in my experience it's more about the licensing/expertise of the person who submits the survey information. I surveyed the lot we built on in 2001 using a rental theodolite and my Brunton Pocket Transit. When submitting the plans, the part that mattered was my certification (I am a registered PE in my state). The county didn't want to know what equipment was used, or if I did hand calculations or used a spreadsheet. It's up to the surveyor to certify the results, meaning they take on responsibility for errors.
    I'll try and explain this one more. One in your example you do not say you use the iphone app. Also, this is your personal property which ever device you feel comfortable you can use because being a professional engineer you were able to do the job yourself. If the state had come in and done the survey for you they would of had to use calibrated equipment. Also, on professional job sites they must use calibrated equipment, it is my job to make sure they are. I don't know why you refuse to accept that an iphone app would not be accept on the majority of job sites but trust me if a surveyor pulled out his iphone to preform his job on any site, he would be thrown off the site.
    07-17-11 10:49 PM
  16. Redbird1's Avatar
    I just don't understand why out of 500,000 or so iphone and android apps, 100,000 are menstrual cycle calenders.......
    07-17-11 11:08 PM
  17. Yung_Dilla's Avatar
    I agree the only apps I would need my banking app and a few others that's it tho!!
    07-17-11 11:14 PM
  18. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    What exactly is it that you use the PlayBook for? You don't have any hobbies, sports, business uses, or activities that would benefit by having supporting apps on the device? Even if you're not into astronomy, can't you see how astronomers and star watchers *would* like sky maps and charts on the device?

    BTW, "app" is an old time (at least as old as the 1970s) slang term for "computer application software". Back in the day, there was this notion of a "killer app", which was software so good it would motivate people to buy hardware to run it. The VisiCalc spreadsheet was the first killer app. Nothing has really changed. It just happens that "app" caught on again in the last decade with mobile devices. And killer app has the same meaning there.

    VisiCalc - the First Killer App of the Computer Era
    I don't think there is any logic that will transcend his/her own.

    I hold what I have held for a while: it seems the only folks who actually complain about apps on other platforms are some BlackBerry users... and this comes from someone who believes RIM has enough useful apps to still be a formidable competitor in the smartphone wars.
    07-17-11 11:25 PM
  19. bembol's Avatar
    I'm happy to say I'm not an Apps Wh*re.

    I have over 50+ Apps on my iTunes, do I use them all on a daily basis? No.

    TBH, I only use ten and three of them are Angry Birds. LOL

    Even on my Samsung nexus S, I only have three and use only one. Again, Angry Bird Rio.
    chiefbroski likes this.
    07-17-11 11:26 PM
  20. Tre Lawrence's Avatar
    I just don't understand why out of 500,000 or so iphone and android apps, 100,000 are menstrual cycle calenders.......
    BB App World has about 10+, which works out to be the same percentage.

    I'm happy to say I'm not an Apps Wh*re.

    I have over 50+ Apps on my iTunes, do I use them all on a daily basis? No.

    TBH, I only use ten and three of them are Angry Birds. LOL

    Even on my Samsung nexus S, I only have three and use only one. Again, Angry Bird Rio.
    Now that is restrained!

    I wrote a review about app usage for a tech blog last week, and I had 90+. About 25 were stock apps I haven't bothered removing, 7 were apps I am reviewing, and the rest are apps I use at least once a week.

    Down to 70 well-used apps now. The built-in apps still skew that a bit.
    07-17-11 11:46 PM
  21. BuzzStarField's Avatar
    What exactly is it that you use the PlayBook for? You don't have any hobbies, sports, business uses, or activities that would benefit by having supporting apps on the device? Even if you're not into astronomy, can't you see how astronomers and star watchers *would* like sky maps and charts on the device?[/url]
    Nice try, but this guy is never going to agree to anything you suggest, no matter how valid your logic is. Why beat your head against a wall?
    07-17-11 11:54 PM
  22. s219's Avatar
    I'll try and explain this one more. One in your example you do not say you use the iphone app. Also, this is your personal property which ever device you feel comfortable you can use because being a professional engineer you were able to do the job yourself. If the state had come in and done the survey for you they would of had to use calibrated equipment. Also, on professional job sites they must use calibrated equipment, it is my job to make sure they are. I don't know why you refuse to accept that an iphone app would not be accept on the majority of job sites but trust me if a surveyor pulled out his iphone to preform his job on any site, he would be thrown off the site.
    Forget iPhone, god forbid I mention another platform here. So you're telling me if this software was on a PlayBook, and the gyro was calibrated for proper 0.05 degree accuracy in all axes, and it was performing the same exact calculations that a dedicated theodolite was doing, you wouldn't believe it? If you can calibrate a dedicated theodolite in three axes, you can calibrate the app running on a device. Heck, there are electronic theodolites available now that are using MEMS sensors like the PlayBook and iPhones -- would you throw them off the site too?

    I'm sorry, this all sounds too curmudgeonly to me. Open your mind a little. I suppose if you were in the hospital and the radiologist brought your X-rays in on an iPad, you'd throw him out and tell him to bring back the raw films and a light table...
    brucep1 and kirson like this.
    07-18-11 01:05 AM
  23. s219's Avatar
    Nice try, but this guy is never going to agree to anything you suggest, no matter how valid your logic is. Why beat your head against a wall?
    Perhaps you are right. Listen, if you want a more receptive audience for your hard work, head over to iOS. 15 billion app downloads in 3 years... Developers are welcome.
    Cozmik likes this.
    07-18-11 01:09 AM
  24. Foreverup's Avatar
    Forget iPhone, god forbid I mention another platform here. So you're telling me if this software was on a PlayBook, and the gyro was calibrated for proper 0.05 degree accuracy in all axes, and it was performing the same exact calculations that a dedicated theodolite was doing, you wouldn't believe it? If you can calibrate a dedicated theodolite in three axes, you can calibrate the app running on a device. Heck, there are electronic theodolites available now that are using MEMS sensors like the PlayBook and iPhones -- would you throw them off the site too?

    I'm sorry, this all sounds too curmudgeonly to me. Open your mind a little. I suppose if you were in the hospital and the radiologist brought your X-rays in on an iPad, you'd throw him out and tell him to bring back the raw films and a light table...
    If they weren't traceable to NIST yes they would be thrown off. If they had a certificate providing traceablity to NIST for their iphone they can stay.

    Again I don't know why you want to argue this point. Also, I have had doctor friends of mine show me xrays on their iphones and ipad and they look great on the screen. But I would not let a doctor preform surgey on me using an iphone app.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Last edited by Foreverup; 07-18-11 at 01:16 AM.
    07-18-11 01:14 AM
  25. chiefbroski's Avatar
    I see a growing theme here, where people downplay the need for apps, often citing the web browser as a replacement. I think that's unfortunate, as there are a lot of things you cannot do in a web browser. As an example, here's an app (Theodolite) that I used on my iPhone today while hiking:



    There is an iPad version of the app too, but obviously it wouldn't make sense to carry an iPad around while hiking. A PlayBook would work great though, since it's an ideal size to slide in and out of a backpack pocket.

    This is a perfect example of an app that would never work in the web browser, since it uses the camera, compass, gyro, GPS, etc, with OpenGL rendering for graphics. But aside from the hardware requirements, it would be stupid to think about needing internet access in the middle of the wilderness in order to load an app in a web browser. Tablets shouldn't have to be online in order to be functional.

    I appreciate if people only use their PlayBook for lightweight stuff within wi-fi range and don't have a need for serious apps like Theodolite, but I think we will artificially be restricting the PlayBook to toy status if we don't acknowledge and demand real apps. It's important to understand that the web browser is *not* a general replacement for apps.
    Yes, apps are important. But:

    1) 99% of apps can be used in a browser
    2) Never say never about this app not working in a browser (It just doesn't work...yet )
    2) Don't give me that wifi-only B/S.....It's called tethering, and its free (for me at least)
    3) You had to pay for this one
    4) Internet apps are apps too! (plus many are free)
    5) I'm in 3G range 99.999% of the time so
    6) The web browser is an alternative for many apps, but not all

    Point is, I am downplaying the need for "apps" in the Apple-defined sense of the word. They are not necessary, nor are they useless (in general). Just because you download something from an online store that tells you only what it does, doesn't mean that everything else is not an app. Playing flash is an app, bridging to a bb is an app and the browser is the best app. The playbook has many apps I find useful, but it doesn't need 100,000 of them.

    Oh, and your example app is NOT important:
    The playbook has:
    a GPS (free)
    a Camera (with screenshots) (free)
    a Level (free)
    a Compass (free)
    Email (webmail or with a bb) (free)
    a Clock (free)
    Maps software (free)

    BAM, I didn't have to pay 2 or 4 bux(if its the pro one or not) to apple to get the functionality. Even that app needs access to 3G in order to use that maps function, lol, omg so revolutionary.

    Stop asking what app you can do with, start asking what apps you can do without paying for. Just because I'm not spoon-fed what Apple tells me what a device can do with an app, doesn't mean I cannot use another device to do the same. Use your brain.

    So don't try to dismiss the Playbook as a toy just because you paid money for an app the playbook didn't package for you. And don't call those other apps "serious" apps because I happen to think its funny you spent money on an app when the playbook could do it for free. If you want to use your money for convenience, fine, then go for it. But the rest of us didn't pay for an iphone + app money in order to get functionality.

    Your post accomplished the following: "Apple-type apps are important" and
    "I have all this info on one cool screen" and " I paid money for this".

    MY post stated: "How to get that info/functionality for free". I am trying to help the crackberry/playbook community.

    So yes, in summary apple-type apps are important, BUT not really, :P
    07-18-11 07:39 AM
108 12345
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD