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Rakkup iPhone App-Thoughts?
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By Max Tepfer
From Bend, OR
Jul 5, 2013

www.rakkup.com/
Anybody actually used this? If so how well (or not) did it work?


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By Michael Schneiter
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Jul 5, 2013
Goofin' on the Grand after soloing the Upper Exum with my wife.

I've used it for a few days for the new Rifle guidebook and it's a cool app in many ways. Nice having beta and pictures for all the routes at your fingertips. Really nice being able to quickly sort through climbs and flip through climbs at a wall. The GPS doesn't work great for Rifle because of the canyon but the trail map gives great detail and beta on sun and shade. I played with the Red Rocks sample app and that seemed like it had some great value for the long routes in particular because the beta photos for the approach and location of the route were outstanding. I could see it being very helpful to locate a route, particularly if you're not familiar with an area. It still has some improvements to be made and I think the Rakkup guys are going to be making it better and better based on user feedback and because it's an app they can post updates to the app after you've purchased it.


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By Ryan N
From San Louis Obispo
Jul 5, 2013
RJN

It's bad ass. MP should take a few hints...


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By Dave Pegg
Jul 31, 2013

The thing I like most about the rakkup app is we can push updates instantly. I just added an update to Rifle Mountain Park. The rakkup app for Rifle now contains a whole new wall (Wall of Life) and 7 new climbs that aren't in the Rifle print guide -- which was published a mere 2 weeks ago. Pretty sweet.


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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Jul 31, 2013
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

A reminder that comparing the Rakkup App to the MP app is comparing apples to oranges.

The Rakkup App is awesome editorially generated and organized content.

The MP app is user generated and volunteer organized content.

Totally different beasts with totally different requirements from an design, user-interface, and maintenance perspective.


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By DrApnea
From Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 31, 2013

I accidentally updated the MP app today after avoiding doing so for the past few months. Unfortunately that means now I have to stare at advertisements every time I look up a climb unlike the Rakkup app.

Please get rid of this an just make it a splash screen advertisement at application startup like Rakkup is


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By Rob Price
From Seattle, WA
Aug 1, 2013

Andy Laakmann wrote:
A reminder that comparing the Rakkup App to the MP app is comparing apples to oranges. The Rakkup App is awesome editorially generated and organized content. The MP app is user generated and volunteer organized content. Totally different beasts with totally different requirements from an design, user-interface, and maintenance perspective.


Thanks, Andy. Well said, and we rakkup dudes couldn't agree more!
Mountain Project is an incredibly valuable resource, at the amazing price of free. There is also an important place in the world for climbing guidebooks prepared by local experts and offered for sale, and I think we'd all agree that the authors who spend time doing that (who are often the same people establishing the routes we climb) deserve renumeration for the time and quality of their labors.
I am glad to live in a world with both and we hope that you all have better climbing days because of each.
Thanks for the kind words everyone! Wish us luck and safe climbing.


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By Ryan Stott
From Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 17, 2013
Uintas

Not available on Android. In this day when more smartphones are running Android than iOS, I don't understand why developers wouldn't start with Android and then expand to iOS.


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By Rob Price
From Seattle, WA
Sep 24, 2013

Ryan Stott wrote:
Not available on Android. In this day when more smartphones are running Android than iOS, I don't understand why developers wouldn't start with Android and then expand to iOS.

We're working hard on the Android version, and I've got my Android phone here in my hands now. There's no doubt that Android is important and here to stay and we're excited to be part of the Android community. I look forward to being able to announce something for all of you Samsung/LG/Motorola/HTC (etc.) users!
(When we started this project three years ago, it was pretty clear from the numbers that iOS was the place to be first. There are still plenty of studies showing more app usage on iOS, even though there are fewer handsets sold every day -- but all those studies also show that Android is catching up fast on pretty much every interesting measure.)


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By Ryan Stott
From Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 24, 2013
Uintas

Rob Price wrote:
We're working hard on the Android version, and I've got my Android phone here in my hands now. There's no doubt that Android is important and here to stay and we're excited to be part of the Android community. I look forward to being able to announce something for all of you Samsung/LG/Motorola/HTC (etc.) users! (When we started this project three years ago, it was pretty clear from the numbers that iOS was the place to be first. There are still plenty of studies showing more app usage on iOS, even though there are fewer handsets sold every day -- but all those studies also show that Android is catching up fast on pretty much every interesting measure.)


Glad to hear it, Rob! Thanks


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By Ben Sachs
Sep 24, 2013

Yes please do an Android Rifle guide. I just checked the site again and would have dropped the coin if it was available.


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By Chris Kalman
Sep 24, 2013

Rakkup is a pretty revolutionary tool. In some interesting ways, it is actually more helpful than a guidebook, because you can have far more beta photos on a per-route basis than a guidebook allows, making it easier to find the start of particular routes, rather than just the wall they exist on. I bet we'll be seeing Rakkup start to explode in the near future.


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By Anfarwal
From Denver, CO
Mar 31, 2014
Approach to Whitney

Just used this app for the first time this trip to Red Rocks. Downloaded the supertopo for Red Rocks just the test it out. Overall, pretty positive experience, especially if you want to avoid getting lost. They should market this tool more

Pros: made hiking to the start of climbs a breeze. The GPS locator and trail map was invaluable. And when you get to the base of the climb it says 'You have arrived, Rakkup" in a sexy porn-star voice, which is pretty hilarious. Really helpful when if you're descending in the dark to find a trail if you get off route and into the bushes. Nice beta on sun and shade.

Cons: Topos of the climbs would be more useful with a pitch-by-pitch description like MP rather than a paragraph, and they just show a pic of a line going up the wall with no marks for belays etc. This means the app can't stand alone, unlike MP. They also don't mark parking lots, making it difficult to pick out the trails on the return. Should the ability to reverse your directions. Missing a few walls. No way to take notes.


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By Neyma
From LA or SD or Thailand..
Mar 31, 2014

Question, it said that some of the guides were for "3 years"
does this mean the guide will be eligible for updates for 3 years or after 3 years does it just go poof off my phone and I need to pay again?


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By Anfarwal
From Denver, CO
Apr 1, 2014
Approach to Whitney

I want to say that it goes 'poof' and you can't access it anymore. I just bought the red rocks guide that has no expiration.

Also, I just discovered the topos are there as pictures, and they're difficult to find (it's the last one). For some reason I don't get that menu on the right that they have on the website. Very annoying


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By Rob Price
From Seattle, WA
Apr 2, 2014

Hey, thanks for the feedback and suggestions. Super glad to hear that the navigation worked well for you, and yes we definitely plan to market it more. (Especially since the number of guidebooks we have over at rakkup.com has increased a ton in recent weeks.)
Topos are in there; some folks had trouble finding them where we had them before, so they appear at the end of the photos now. We'll investigate how we can make them even easier to find. Your suggestions definitely match up with things we have been working on and I appreciate your taking the time...
While I am here, if there's folks out there with Android phones who are interested in helping test our app, please let us know! Just hit www.rakkup.com/get-in-touch-with-rakkup/ and tell us which phone model and Android version you use, and if there's a climbing area near you that we have a guidebook for.


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By Anfarwal
From Denver, CO
Apr 2, 2014
Approach to Whitney

Hi Rob, thanks for replying! It's nice to know that we consumers are being heard and that you're still taking feedback. Finding the topo isn't very intuitive; the arrows disappear and it's hard to tell how many pics there are (those little balls at the bottom are hard to see). Maybe if there were a separate button for the topo under the 'go' button on the climb name?
Great to hear that you're working on the reversing the hiking directions--that would be incredible helpful on the hike out in the dark

Overall, great app! Thanks for putting it out there.


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By pokey
Apr 2, 2014

There is no way I will ever pay these prices for a time-limited "subscription", but I would consider it for a fraction of the cost. Rob, any chance there will be sales? I am specifically interested in the new New River guidebooks, but already have the previous editions on my phone (and they never expire).


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By Rob Price
From Seattle, WA
Apr 2, 2014

pokey wrote:
There is no way I will ever pay these prices for a time-limited "subscription", but I would consider it for a fraction of the cost. Rob, any chance there will be sales? I am specifically interested in the new New River guidebooks, but already have the previous editions on my phone (and they never expire).


I've sent you a private message on the site, but I wanted to add this:

Pricing is tricky, and what each person is willing to pay is different, of course. We've tried to strike a balance between making these guides affordable for climbers and making sure that the authors and publishers find the business worth their while so they keep making and updating guidebooks. Case in point, Wolverine Publishing found that they simply could not afford to keep adding updates to the older apps that never expired, hence the subscription plan. And there are a LOT of updates, and Wolverine's been awesome about doing rapid updates to their rakkup guidebooks as climbs change or get put up.
The author of the book, Mike Williams, did a great job addressing this and describing the advantages of digital vs. print on his blog this week, check it out:
mikesironcladbeta.blogspot.com/2014/03/nrg-guidebook-app-now>>>
We think the prices are fair for the quality of these books, and tried to provide options that are cheaper than print rather than more costly. The 60-day option seems to appeal to a lot of traveling climbers. Also note that you can buy all of the exact same subscription for around 25% less at rakkup.com than you can via buttons in the rakkup app, thanks to Apple's hefty surcharges!
Sales are technically possible, but please keep in mind that at the end of the day the prices are determined by the publisher of each book, not by us.
Thanks for taking a look, we love the feedback and it matters!


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By Dan G0D5H411
From Colorado Springs, CO
Apr 2, 2014
Dan on Hurricane

Has a pricing model been contemplated for buying the current edition (no subscription/expiration) and subsequently paying for updates? I think this could satisfy a lot of different groups who have different needs. For example, a visiting climber may only want the base edition to tick off the classics and move on, whereas a local may have an interest in learning about new walls and routes as they are established.


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By Neyma
From LA or SD or Thailand..
Apr 2, 2014

very clearly here and my day job is in internet marketing so i have some reference.

it is ok to say give 3 years and then updates stop and if you want more updates then you pay more, but psychologically you will lose alot of people if the perception is that the info goes "poof" after 3 years..

people want to buy something and feel secure about it, that they own it. Its ok that my info is "outdated" after 3 years and I may pay again to update it, but I still want to "own" that original info.

so IMHO i would recommend continuing the time limited updates, however when the time is up, allow the original info (pre expiration) to stay there and just have a nag screen to get them to pay again to get the updates.

that way you retain better conversion on the front end and cover yourself on the back end. If that is how you already do it then you just need to change your wording to make it clear that it is 3 years of updates you are paying for, not access.

hope that helps.


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By Rob Price
From Seattle, WA
Apr 2, 2014

We have more ideas for innovating on different pricing models, and want to know more about what you think and how you'd feel about some of 'em. The issues are complicated because of the many parties involved.
But as guests on the MP forum, we also need to be respectful of what this space is for. Mountain Project is an amazing community and we don't want to wear out our welcome. I've created a blog post which is open for comments. (Because we've had the usual issues in the past with spammers, you have to register with our site to comment. SuperTopo also has a rakkup thread.)
We're happy to keep answering questions here and you're welcome to post anything you like of course, but if you want to "dive deeper" with us on a topic that's the place to do it.
Thanks for understanding! -RP


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By Anfarwal
From Denver, CO
Apr 3, 2014
Approach to Whitney

Thanks for answering our questions Rob. I don't have much to add except I agree 100% with Neyma regarding eliminating the 'poof' and paying for updates. While we're at it, can we have the choice of a sexy guy voice to tell us when we hit the bottom of the climb? Like Benedict Cumberbatch's voice? Thanks


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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Apr 3, 2014

One of the things I like about the Rakkup version of climbing guides is the ability to add more content than is viable with a print book where you are limited space-wise by how many pictures you can utlize. For areas that are still in the developmental phase it makes it much easier to keep an up to date guidebook out there instead of the 5 years that it takes to sell off a pallet of printed books. The guys at Rakkup are constantly adding new features to the apps, and I suspect the digital guides will evolve rapidly.


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By Rob Price
From Seattle, WA
Apr 13, 2014

Anfarwal I love the suggestion. Anyone who has that professional sounding voice, feel free to send us your voice clip of "You have arrived. Rakkup!" and we'll consider it for inclusion ;) (Last year, Ammon McNealy offered to do it in his signature pirate voice for us. I still think we should take him up in that!)


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By jonathan.lipkin
From Brooklyn, NY
Apr 15, 2014

Rob, thanks for responding to questions so thoroughly on thoughtfully online. I was very excited to see the guide come out as an app - I've been wondering why nobody has done so in the past.

I'm also glad to hear that you are concerned with making sure that authors get paid. I've written a few books, and am sympathetic to compensating people for their creative work. However, I think you may have a hard time convincing people to pay for a three year subscription to a book, and this might end up limiting your audience. These days people are simply used to getting information for nothing. As I think Jaron Lanier once put it, given a choice between quality and free, people will always choose free.

I do think the suggestion for paying a set price for a book, then charging for updates, may prove to be more appetizing to the general public. I know I would be more comfortable with that model myself. I suspect people are uncomfortable with having content removed (even if it simply expires)> Look at the flak Amazon got for removing books from people's Kindles in 2009:

arstechnica.com/gadgets/2009/07/amazon-sold-pirated-books-ra>>>


Just some friendly advice. I hope you are successful with the guides. As I said, it's a great idea.


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