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iPhone Mobile App - general beta tester feedback
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By Nick Wilder
Site Landlord
From The Bubble
Jun 18, 2011
Personal Photo
This topic is primarily for those beta testing the iPhone mobile app. If you're one of those testers - tell us what you think!

Don't forget to review our official plans here:
mountainproject.com/mobileApps...

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By Indira Lower
Jun 19, 2011
I wanna test. Pick me pick me. How do I even know one of the administrators and didn't know about this? I'm gonna kick his butt.

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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Jun 19, 2011
Secret Crag
So far I love it! I've been playing with it for a couple of hours and it seems to work great. The two things I found so far that I would change are;

1) When you add areas to you're favorites it should put them in alphabetical order for ease of location.

2) You should integrate the accelerometer so the phone can be turned sideways for use. This would be really helpful for viewing beta photos that were taken in landscape mode.

I haven't taken it out climbing yet do to rain here in Utah. But should get out a couple of times this week.

I can see I'll need to get my A$$ in gear and add more local routes to the MP data base!

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By saxfiend
Administrator
From Decatur, GA
Jun 19, 2011
Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumblin...
My first reaction since downloading the app about a half-hour ago is that it's really nice! Adding new areas is easy, as is deleting unwanted ones. Navigation within areas is very intuitive. The old online version of Mountain project had its good points, but this is a vast improvement.

For those interested in download times for new areas, it's pretty quick with a wifi connection (I haven't tried it on 3G). The largest area I've added so far is the Gunks (a little over 8MB, as I recall); it took about a minute or so to download. Other smaller areas downloaded in seconds.

Not sure if it's an app glitch or a memory issue with my iPhone, but the first two or three times I tapped an area to open it, the app closed and sent me back to my home screen. It hasn't happened since though.

I'll have more feedback after I've spent more time putting the app through its paces, but so far it's dynamite!

JL

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By saxfiend
Administrator
From Decatur, GA
Jun 20, 2011
Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumblin...
More notes:

1. Download of a new area over 3G takes noticeably longer than over wifi (no surprise there), but not outrageous. This morning, I added Red River Gorge, which is comparable in size to the Gunks (~8MB); it took roughly three minutes, compared to the one-minute download of the Gunks on wifi. Not bad.

2. I'm finding some weird random dropping of apostrophes on some route descriptions; e.g., "there's" becomes "theres." I need to look at this more closely to see if there's/theres any pattern to it.

3. My biggest area download so far (Red Rock, >50MB) failed initially. With wifi connection, I initiated the process and the download progress bar completed in a minute or two. The next step in the process was importing the data; the progress bar moved steadily toward completion, then failed with the error message "An import error occurred. Tap to retry." See screenshot below.


Area download/import failure.
Area download/import failure.


I tried the tap to retry option and the same sequence occurred with the import process, ending in failure. Repeated tries were not successful.

Finally, I went back to the home screen, chose edit my areas, and deleted Red Rock. I then went through the download areas process again, and this time, Red Rock successfully downloaded.

4. The search function is very handy. I can put in a route name or just part of it and the app quickly lists all routes that include that name. Same goes for areas.

JL

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By Chas Walters
Jun 20, 2011
Kalymnos crushing
I have to say its awesome so far. My only things that I think could be improved would be using the accelerometer so it can be turned on its side to make viewing easier. Also, I dont how this happened but when I downloaded the Ten Sleep area it also downloaded the Grand Teton area too. I did not think I hit that area but somehow ended up on my phone. Have not taken it to the crag yet. Ill be heading out tomorrow.
Thanks,
Chas

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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Jun 20, 2011
Secret Crag
saxfiend wrote:
Not sure if it's an app glitch or a memory issue with my iPhone, but the first two or three times I tapped an area to open it, the app closed and sent me back to my home screen. JL



I've also experienced this. Once you get the area to open tho, no more issues encountered with that area.

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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Jun 20, 2011
Secret Crag
Chas Walters wrote:
Also, I dont how this happened but when I downloaded the Ten Sleep area it also downloaded the Grand Teton area too. Chas


Grand Teton was probable there from the initial app download.

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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Jun 20, 2011
Secret Crag
I do have a question about area updates. If more info is added to an area will I be able to update that area or will I have to delete the area and re-download it? There should be an option within an area to update it...........Just a thought. Still loving it!!

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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Jun 20, 2011
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Robert 560 wrote:
I do have a question about area updates. If more info is added to an area will I be able to update that area or will I have to delete the area and re-download it? There should be an option within an area to update it...........Just a thought. Still loving it!!


Yes - you can just update an area. We are planning weekly rebuilds of the data, thus each week - if you wanted - you could do an update.

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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Jun 20, 2011
Secret Crag
Andy Laakmann wrote:
Yes - you can just update an area. We are planning weekly rebuilds of the data, thus each week - if you wanted - you could do an update.



Thanks Andy, Maybe I'm missing it tho? Don't see an option to update. Is this something that will be coming in the future?

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By Nick Wilder
Site Landlord
From The Bubble
Jun 20, 2011
Personal Photo
You update an area the same way you would download it initially. Instead of "Download", it now says "Update" the area. It takes about half the time (and 90% less bandwidth) to update are area versus downloading it again.

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By Craig Quincy
Jun 20, 2011
I would gladly pay $4.99 for it. Considering what guide books cost and the fact this would give you access to information you can't get elsewhere, that seems cheap as chips. You could even consider making it a free app and charging to download individual area guides, that's probably what a business would do. Ads tend to junk things up IMHO and I would pay to not have them most likely.

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By Sam Vanderhyden
Administrator
From Berkeley, CA
Jun 20, 2011
Thanks for all the feedback so far, it is really helpful to have people using and commenting on the app.

It looks like a couple of you have seen the app crash the first time you click on an area. I am wondering if you could send me the crash reports that are generated when this happens. Here is how you get the crash reports:

1) Connect your device and sync with iTunes.
2)Browse to the following folders. Note that DEVICE_NAME will be the name if your iPhone as shown in iTunes.

Mac OS X : /Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/DEVICE_NAME

Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\Application Data\Apple computer\Logs\CrashReporter\DEVICE_NAME

Windows Vista: C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Apple computer\Logs\CrashReporter\MobileDevice\DEVICE_NAME

3) The crash report files will be in the above folder and it will begin with the name of the app, in this case MoutnainProject, and end with .crash.

As an example, on my mac, there is a crash report in the following location:

/Users/sam/Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/Sam's phone/MountainProject_2011-06-05-154610_Sams-phone.crash

If you could send those to me, it would help in resolving this issue.

Thanks!

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By M.Morley
Administrator
From Sacramento, CA
Jun 20, 2011
8-21-09
Sam, you have done a GREAT job with this app! I love it. Here are a few initial suggestions:

1) Would like to see state and regional maps showing all child objects, e.g., if I select Tahoe Vicinity --> Show on Map, I'd like to see ALL the Tahoe Area crags displayed.

2) It would be nice to have a "Show areas close to me" for travel purposes.

3) On area maps, would be nice to tap on an area and have a "directions to here" option, which, when clicked, takes you to Google Maps.

4) Ability to view maps in satellite, map, or terrain views.

5) On route listings pages, it currently displays route name...star rating...YDS rating. You might consider allotting more characters for the route name, as most are truncated. Maybe increase to 15?

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By Hendrixson
Administrator
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 21, 2011
Enjoying 'Ground Affects'.
The beta version of the app is fantastic. In my opinion the killer features are offline access and the ability to view routes in order. It uses surprisingly little space considering holds all the photos.

I would like to see more integration with my user profile. For example "My Areas" could be synonymous with "Favorite Areas". "Favorite Areas" could also serve as a starting point for ares to download. I would like to see star ratings or whether I've ticked the route as I am always in search of the unclimbed moderate. The "Best Routes For You" feature would be nice on the mobile app. Many of these features appear to be under consideration already which is encouraging.

Another more general idea is to consider the interplay between the mobile app and the website. At present data is flowing from the website to the mobile app. Real-time information from mobile users to the website might be beneficial. For example access issues, crowd conditions, campsite usage, weather conditions, etc. It might be nice to know if a crag is smokey due to wildfires, crowded because of an outdoor school, and if walls are climbable due to weeping rock.

The "Show On Map" feature is nice but I would like driving directions from an address or my current location.

In summary...


Shut Up And Take My Money!
Shut Up And Take My Money!

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By Euan Cameron
Administrator
From Redlands and Mammoth Lakes
Jun 21, 2011
Keller Peak climb
I have only had limited time to test but here is my feedback so far:

In no particular order:

* The UI is simple uncluttered and easy to follow and navigate, however, depending on how an area is structured you can find yourself a long way down. Not a problem when at the crag, but clunky when you are browsing areas on the phone - yes I know there is a home button, but jumps me all the out.

* Downloading areas works for the most part and didn't take long on my 3g connection.

* Unable to download Sierra Eastside - it always fails to download.

* The very first time I went to click on an area, while it was downloading other areas the app crashed. Recovered nicely since it remembered the areas it was downloading.

* I want to be able to sign in. Why? Because I want to post content. I want to tick and add comments to routes just climbed, post pictures as I take them, update coordinates when I am at the crag. Mountain Project is both a guidebook resource and a community, and without the community aspect the app is missing a huge part of MP.

More later as I test it more.

Euan

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By Robert 560
From The Land of the Lost
Jun 21, 2011
Secret Crag
Mike Morley wrote:
It would be nice to have a "Show areas close to me" for travel purposes. 3) On area maps, would be nice to tap on an area and have a "directions to here" option, which, when clicked, takes you to Google Maps.


This would be a great feature!

I'd also like to be able to tick routes, add pictures, beta and other info from the app.

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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Jun 21, 2011
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Euan,

V2 of the application will have more community features, particularly related to your user profile.

BUT....

We are very cautious about the ability to add comments and photos from the phone. Inevitibly, when we allow this, the quality of the content coming from the phones will be SIGNIFICANTLY lower. People will hastily type comments on the phone - much more so than online. And we'll get an endless stream of BAD photos.

Of course, there still will be good content... but some type of filtering mechanism must be utilized..

So while we intend to add these features eventually, it needs to be done very thoughtfully - probably with mechanisms on the website that hide the mobile content unless it is actually "good" - whatever that means :)

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By saxfiend
Administrator
From Decatur, GA
Jun 21, 2011
Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumblin...
Andy Laakmann wrote:
We are very cautious about the ability to add comments and photos from the phone. Inevitibly, when we allow this, the quality of the content coming from the phones will be SIGNIFICANTLY lower.

Andy, I would strongly favor keeping this app strictly as a guidebook (no forums even) and allow user input ONLY through the website. Aside from the technical hurdles, I think your assessment above is absolutely right: content on Mountain Project will be significantly degraded if you allow user input from the iPhone app.

JL

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By Euan Cameron
Administrator
From Redlands and Mammoth Lakes
Jun 22, 2011
Keller Peak climb
While I agree that not all content should be supported for entering via the app some content will be better. Take GPS coords for instance - I guarantee that someone standing below a cliff with their iPhone will get a better fix (assuming the assisted GPS is working) than someone using the google maps web interface.

Good design decisions will make for better apps. A blanket yes or no isn't the answer.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Jun 22, 2011
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
saxfiend wrote:
Andy, I would strongly favor keeping this app strictly as a guidebook (no forums even) and allow user input ONLY through the website. Aside from the technical hurdles, I think your assessment above is absolutely right: content on Mountain Project will be significantly degraded if you allow user input from the iPhone app. JL


Plus we will end up with people texting away on their phones at the crags even more than we do now, fights will brake out, and we will end up with piles of smashed electronics in the scree below.

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By Adam McFarren
From Boulder, Colorado
Jun 22, 2011
It would be nice if the location "bread crumbs" at the top of a route page were active navigation buttons (ie "Colorado" -> "Boulder" -> "Eldorado Canyon SP" -> etc). Especially when you select a route on the classics list for an area and want to quickly see what's nearby. Maybe just a quick button to take you to the parent area (ie, "Bastille - N Face") would be enough.

Would be really nice for some areas if the sub-areas were location sorted too (ie, Golden Cliffs/North Table) instead of listing each "Wall" there in alphabetical. But I can certainly see how that wouldn't be practical for all areas.

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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Jun 22, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!
Need an iPad1 tester?

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By freezeus
From Pittsfield, VT
Jun 22, 2011
I tested on ipad one over the weekend and on Tuesday at Rumney. Works great. I compared head to head with the new Rumney app from Alpinewerx.

I would like to see more routes..definitely stuff missing compared to the other app. Better maps and route photos....I understand that this is all user loaded content and we get what we load.

I 'll be at Red River with it next week.

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By Geoff Homan
From east greenville
Jun 24, 2011
Great job on this app love it.

I would love to see a map maybe even using the map already on the Iphone.

Maybe even a tick list?

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