Smart tech and app reliance

Discussion in 'General Tech & Gadget Forums' started by shango, Jul 6, 2018.

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  1. shango

    shango
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    Just wondering what others opinions are on the growing number of smart tech devices that are reliant partly or sometimes completely on a companion app?

    The reason I bring this up is I have a DJI mavic drone that cost me £1000 that I can't use because the DJI app immediately crashes upon loading it. on my previous phone I couldn't use it properly as it would load but had terrible video transmission and constantly crashed mid flight.

    Without the app the drone is next to useless.

    I also just clicked on an advertising link here on the forum for a table camera dolly, it's of no interest to me but it looks like a great bit of kit but it costs nearly 1k and again is completely reliant on an app to function.

    There are so many example of great pieces of hardware rendered useless or partly useable due to poor apps and bad software.

    Made me think what other device I have that rely partly on apps. I have quite a few that will be rendered unusable or with limited functionality or not being able to set them up should the app no longer work on a new device or doesn't get updated or an update breaks it.

    I think it's as important to look at the app page of any such device and see the reviews and feedback on the app before spending any money on a device.

    as an example, the DJI app has 8000 5 star and a whopping 10000 1 star reviews for the app.

    I guess this a bit of a rant but what the general opinions on the way this tech has gone/going?
     
  2. next010

    next010
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    Unfortunately the convenience of smartphones fuels that app tether so to speak. PWA's which stands for progressive web apps are a partial solution, these can run on any platform via a PWA capable browser or OS but they are very new and rare plus may not be suitable for all kinds of apps.

    There is a third party remote for DJI drones though so either someone reverse engineered the DJI commands or they provide a public API kit, I don't know which.
     
  3. AMc

    AMc
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    I hear you - unfortunately anything that interfaces with a phone or tablet as it's primary interface has the potential to be rendered useless by a phone update or the app disappearing or the manufacturer losing interest.

    My tale of woe... ;)
    I have a Pioneer touchscreen stereo in my car.
    It came with the ability to connect to my phone and drive music and apps off the phone using the touchscreen :thumbsup:.
    I bought it primarily as it allowed Google Maps to be driven from my iPhone 4 with a large, safe screen for driving :thumbsup: So up to date maps, live rerouting and traffic avoidance which won't need me to pay for ever for map updates.
    Skip forwards a few months and Apple and Google have a fight and Apple Maps is the new default mapping on the iPhone. Apple don't support the Pioneer in their maps - which is terrible anyway.
    Google don't add the AppRadio interface to their standalone iOS app and boom the headunit is hobbled :(

    So I move to Waze which works well for a while but eventually stops working reliably then as far as I can tell they drop support for the Pioneer - after I've updated the app to a version that doesn't work so I can't go back.

    Then on to NavFree which works for a while until just before a trans-Europe driving holiday when an update to the app makes it misbehave if the phone isn't in portrait orientation :rolleyes:
    It takes most of the 3 week holiday to work out that you need to start the app in portrait then it will be OK. Lots of frustrated journeys beginning with working out the voodoo you need to use to get the display to appear correctly.

    Skip forward and Apple change to a lightning connector. I buy an iPhone 6 as the 4 is dying. Pioneer eventually, grudgingly release an expensive adapter box - you also need an Apple lightning to VGA adapter and you have to also connect over bluetooth as well as physically. You also lose iPod connectivity and USB to make room for the connections.
    So >£100 later and a tear down of the dashboard to fit another box and run cables I'm back in business....

    Most recent update to either NavMii (latest name) or iOS has changed the default keyboard.
    So if you use the postcode search on the car display you can't make the keyboard disappear :facepalm: You have to set the navigation up on the phone before you connect it. Unplugging it in motion results in all sorts of hassles and you have to restart the car to get it all back working again.

    Needless to say I will never buy another expensive, phone reliant device again! :rolleyes:
     

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