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Scroll UP for iPhone; Blather about Funding

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:06 pm
by Max
I'm sure you've heard before that it would be really nice to have an easy way to scroll down to the very bottom of a database. Apple makes it easy to get to the top, but flicking the screen up countless times to reach the bottom gets old fast. I have to do this just slightly too often in my pilot logbook database, which currently has 1031 entries. (Tomorrow there will be 1032.) Even better, of course, would be a functioning scroll bar that could move the screen up or down any distance at will.

But maybe there already is such a feature and I've just missed it somehow.

I'm a long-time HanDBase user, by the way--since the Palm Pilot days. No other iOS app comes close to its features and flexibility and utility--so I certainly hope it will continue to work on iPhones, no matter how iOS evolves in the future.

I use two rather expensive aviation apps for flight planning and inflight navigation, Garmin Pilot and iFly GPS. Each is funded by subscription--about $70 a year, which is the going rate for most similar aviation apps. $70 is a lot of money for a subscription, but includes MANY features and also weather data (radar, winds, etc.), constantly-updated airport info, moving map navigation charts (each updated every 6 months), and many other features and data. The subscription fee is mainly to pay for the continual upgrades to charts and data, some of which costs the developers considerably. The rest is to support continued development to keep each app up with the competition--there are about 5 or 10 similar aviation apps. (iPad changed aviation immensely!) They're all evolving VERY fast, and the competition among them is fierce. (Free one-month trials of most of these apps.)

HanDBase is less complex--until one considers that it allows users to create their own databases. The aviation apps don't do that--although they do include about a zillion choices that users can customize to suit themselves. That would be comparable to having HanDBase come with a huge number of pre-made databases to cover almost any possible requirement or situation. That doesn't seem attainable. On the other hand, HanDBase could come with a larger selection of, say, 10 or 20 typical database types that would work right out of the box and that purchasers could copy and modify easily. That might include a shopping list, a password manager, an inventory manager, a payroll manager, a business expense record, a music/video/book/etc collection, a patient record database for medical purposes, etc.

Yes, zillions of fully developed databases are available on the website--but, frankly, finding and downloading them is not for the beginner who has never before used HanDBase--or any other database manager! (Sorry, but I've never found your site user-friendly, and in this age of self-driving cars and Suri, et alia, it seems rather techy.) Those are the potential users that need to be attracted to HanDBase when they browse through the App Store. They want an app that will work for them immediately. Later maybe they can figure out how to customize it for their own needs by modifying a database or creating one from scratch. The attraction of a basic HanDBase, I'd think, is that it does by itself what would take several other, single-purpose apps to do. It's like one-stop shopping. AND it's customizable.

IF that idea is correct (and it may be just hooey, for all I know), then maybe there could be two purchase levels: a buck or so for a basic version of the app containing several colorful, ready-to-use database types; and a higher fee for the ability to modify and create databases.

Anyway, what would I be comfortable paying to subscribe to HanDBase? There seem to be two answers to that.

1. To guarantee that the app will continue to work as it does now (no further development), no matter how iOS changes. This, I'd think, is the minimum acceptable support. Because I know how valuable HanDBase is to me, I'd gladly pay an iOS upgrade fee, as long as it didn't feel like extortion to me--maybe $5 for necessary upgrades when a new iOS breaks HanDBase, but not for iOS upgrades that don't break it. I'd probably be comfortable with a modest annual subscription that would eliminate any feeling of upgrade extortion. $5 would be easy, and $9.99 wouldn't bother me. (OK, i'd pay more, but only because of the agony of converting my pilot db to some other platform.)

2. To support future enhancements to the HanDBase app and its desktop counterparts. I'd pay a more hefty sum--maybe $10 or $20 annually IF there were clear evidence of continual development. It's a confidence thing, I think. I want to know that I can count on HanDBase's immortality.

So: no answers here. And sorry for the long-windedness, but reducing it to a few bullet points would mean staying on the ground this afternoon.

=Don Maxwell

Re: Scroll UP for iPhone; Blather about Funding

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:45 pm
by glenwf
I thin I complained about this and was given this advice:

In your database, select the wrench to get the "Database Properties"
Scroll down to "Startup"
I use the following:
"Starting View" = Recall Last View Selected"
"Choose Startup Option" = Show Last Record in List View.

I think I was doing calculations from one record to next, so I had to have the next new record be at the bottom for the calculations to work and if I wanted to see the last entered I had to scroll down. The above worked for me.

Re: Scroll UP for iPhone; Blather about Funding

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:13 pm
by ddhsoftwareadmin
Hi Don,

Thanks for writing. Good news - I have a better option than the one Glen provided- about a year ago I added a gesture to get to the bottom of any list view- it's a swipe up with two fingers. One finger scrolls the list so I figured doing it with two made sense as a way to go all the way to the bottom! This is an iPhone and iPad exclusive feature at this point ;)

re: your thoughts on a subscription/way to fund future development, I really appreciate them. I have some news on that front as well- been working the last two weeks on HanDBase iOS development and making some great improvements to the app. A very generous customer actually funded a month's worth of development as he, like yourself, wanted to see that the app continues to be developed and maintained. I was amazed and humbled by the gesture, for which you all will benefit!

I have thought about a 5.00/year charge for keeping the app up to date- maybe tying all new features to an in app purchase subscription so that in order to benefit from the new features, you'd have to be part of the membership. While the 5.00/year doesn't seem exorbitant, I frankly worry that there will only be a few dozen or even a few hundred takers and then I'd be obligated to keep updating the app indefinitely for what would turn out to be maybe 500 dollars a year income. I've also been thinking about other options like a one-time in-app purchase to unlock a few notable features permanently (not unlike the forms add-on). At least then there is no expectation beyond what is purchased. But that too troubles me- I don't like the idea of nickel-and-diming customers that have already paid good money for an app. I struggle so much with what I want to charge people vs what I'd need to charge them! Maybe I'm not cut out to be a businessman after all ;)

I thank you for your generosity and suggestions- I am strongly considering each point of view that has been offered, and hope and pray that I will eventually find an equitable arrangement that can help fund and keep HanDBase development going for years to come!