Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Android

Discuss plans for a future version of HanDBase for the Google Android platform

Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby dhaupert » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:12 am

Hi there,

Thanks for your post. I'm sorry you're so disappointed. I can say that if you purchased the desktop in the last 30 days you can get a refund. Just email sales@ddhsoftware.com with your request and we'll give it to you. Unfortunately Google handles the market sales and refunds and they only give a refund in the first 15 minutes of a purchase, which is quite ridiculous. So it will be unlikely you can get that 9.99 back- sorry!

Regarding forms and reports- here's the deal.. I want HanDBase for Android to be wonderful and full featured. I know many of you do as well, so we're in agreement!! The issue is that despite the success the Android platform has had in marketshare, the software picture is not as optimistic. I continue to make a small fraction of sales than I do on iOS, as do most developers. This has been consistent for the entire year it's been out, long before the iPhone version had forms and such features. In fact, from when the iPhone version started shipping, it had less functionality than the Android one does now and still outsold it by a factor of 4:1 back then.

I have hope that things will get better in time on Android, and I do plan on adding features to it and am working on an update right now. But because of this inequity of actual sales, I have to temper these plans and really focus on where the income is coming in consistently. It's like having two water wells each the same distance from your house. If you walk two miles in one direction and get 2 gallons of water from the well but can walk two miles in the other direction and get 10 gallons, which are you more likely to spend the effort going to each day? So that is what factors into my time.

Will forms comes to HanDBase for Android? I hope so, but have not started on it at this point. Will reports (graphs/charts)? Same as forms. I am however working on some smaller feature increments and mainly preferences and options to make it more flexible for you. I think and trust it will get better over time just like all the other platforms have!
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Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby fabio » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:59 pm

sorry dave, but I disagree with your view of things. how do you think to increase your sales in android market if you do not make a version of HanDBase really actractive?
And another thing: have you noticed that in the apple store there are dozens of software like HanDBase? in Android market i find only one....
The market is still virgin and android is the os of the future.Think about it.
Ciao Fabio.
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Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby dhaupert » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:42 am

Hi Fabio,

Thanks for your post and for expressing your opinion. I understand where you are coming from. My opinion is based on 14 years of doing business in this very mobile space. I have built many apps besides HanDBase, both for DDH and for custom jobs over the years. The principle that works for me is to deliver a product that is useful and stable and then based on the response in terms of the number of sales and customer interest, add features and grow that product. It's known as the organic approach to running a software business.

The alternative is to get outside funding to hire more developers, or work for no income for a period of several years and perfect and create a product that is the ultimate vision of what that product can do. Then release it and hope that there is a market for it. If there is, you'll do quite well having a major lead on any copy cats and having great reviews all around. If it doesn't, you have lost a big bet.

The reality is that this doesn't always work- in the old days there was a popular saying 'there comes a time in every project where you have to shoot the engineer and release it'. Meaning, if you wait for the developer to be fully satisfied with the product, it will never get released. I suffered from that early on before starting DDH- I had a PC/Windows software product for managing lawn care companies and service call companies. I was going to call it Ground Control. Had 0 customers but a vision for a product that would be a complete tool to manage a business from scheduling to billing to collections to payroll. I worked on it for over a year and was still not happy with it, I kept going and refining and refining. Finally when it was done, I had something I was quite proud of. But I never did sell a single copy! If it were not from the learning experience, I would consider it a complete waste of time. The learning I had was that you can't assume that the main reason you have too few customers is that your product can be better. Sometimes it's from a lack of marketing, the ability to sell, or the lack of an interest from the possible customer base.

I have many contacts at other mobile software companies that I speak with and they all share the same results. The Android market despite being #1 overall in smartphone sales, is not a great place for paid software at this time. Too few people willing to pay for software and the only model making money is freemium and ad-supported.

I don't want to come off as saying that the Android market is poor for DDH. By no means is it as miserable as other developers have made it sound. And I am still optimistic about the future of Android. But as my example shows in my prior post- if you have two platforms and one is outselling the other by a factor of 5 or 10 times, it's easy to see why the more popular one will get the most attention from the developer.

Now I must get back to my Android development ;)
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Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby fabio » Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:01 am

hi dave, maybe you know i use an iphone and a samsug galaxy so i' m not a fan of a particular os.
But there is a thing i can't understand. For me (and i think for all your customers) handbase is a
professional tool that people use for business (database). So if a worker considers necessary and useful your tool,
why if is an android users don't buy it while if he is an iphone user, spend the money?
i would like to know your point of view.
Ciao Fabio
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Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby dhaupert » Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:17 am

Hi Fabio,

That's a great question, one I think about a lot. I do know that HanDBase is not just used for Business reasons. The people on this forum are mostly in that category, but are just a small subset of the customer base. When you are using it for a grocery list or to organize your DVD collection, you tend not to be as enthusiastic and vocal about the product in forums like this. So that may make the difference. I'm not 100% sure though. I do notice that the Android group on this forum is far busier than the sales would show. It would seem from the forums that the Android product is sold on par with the iPhone version, just based on activity alone. But I know that not to be the case. So this can mean one or more of several things:

- There are more business users on iOS than Android
- A higher number/percentage of users on iOS purchase apps than do Android users
- There are more purchases of HanDBase by casual/personal users on iOS than Android
- iOS users are more likely to purchase apps than Android users

Notice I don't include the possibility that forms and other features that iPhone version has over the Android version? That's because the iPhone version was launched with a small subset of features as well (even less than the Android version shipped with) and yet still outsold it. The features like forms came 2 years after launch and all the while it was selling consistently at a rate higher than the Android version ever was!

In fact, I would add that the iPhone version does not sell more now that it has forms- the rate has remained consistent the entire time. Of course there is the sale of the forms add-on to augment that from a business standpoint, but the rate of customer purchases of HanDBase has not changed since forms.
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Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby fabio » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:47 am

hi dave this could be interesting.
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11 ... droid.html
Ciao Fabio
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Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby curtterp » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:58 pm

Interesting article Fabio, but that is only a small sample of one companies product activation results.

Good Technologies does make a good Exchange product, but they do not account for the native exchange support built into the Android OS. At my company, we used to use Good for Enterprise, but they do not support Exchange 2010, so we went with a different company recently.

It does provide a small sample snapshot of one product. However, there are more than one product out there to sync to Exchange of all flavors, so you need to take this with a grain of salt. After all, the article is on a Pro Apple website :D
Have a good day

Curt
I am not a DDHSoftware employee, just a long time HanDBase user.... from Palm to Windows Mobile to Android, to iOS. Thanks to DDH, the database files transferred to each platform without a problem.
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Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby Marasri » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:35 pm

Hi

I am a Newbie but have come from The Apple Newton using a DB called Leverage which is really all I know but it has served me extraordinarily well (and yes I get all sort of comments about my antique device which predates Palm BUT I don't care.) I will put some ideas in the appropriate post but writing here allows me to be more chatty. I am sure that I can get lots of great use out of HandDBase and don't want to be labelled a whinger but what I notice is...

Screen use is not ideal. For example on my Samsung Note 2 opening a new record shows a lot of wasted space. I can alter the font size but the field height doesn't get smaller so I just see little writing in big fields. On my Samsung Note 2 I could comfortably get more fields onto the page. The same with the pop up lists, each entry is quite spaced out vertically. I also think that putting the name of the pop up list at the top is a waste of space (I've just opened the field, I don't need to be told again what field the drop down list belongs to). On my Samsung there is an empty field under the list name which obviously is wasted space. Also there is a field devoted to "Edit Popups", this should go somewhere else in database creation not present every time. At the bottom of the record are the okay, cancel, new commands, again these are in a small font in a big field. Delete and copy/duplicate could also fit on this line.

I would like a Date and time (combined) field type, again it saves space on a small screen.

In leverage I was used to selecting values from a drop down list which would populate the field and then open the next field - and it's pop up list if present. I found this option much improved efficiency...select, select, select....you could really move through fields very quickly. I think that this would be a popular improvement.

It would be nice to have an option of opening HanDBase straight into one's favourite DB

Thanks for considering
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Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby dhaupert » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:31 pm

Hi there,

Thanks for your post and suggestions. I appreciate them all! Back when DDH was bigger, we used to have a device museum where we all brought in and showcased our devices. There was indeed, a Newton, a Psion, and a bunch of devices that predated our company's existence (started in 1997), and we all were big fans of the devices that really pioneered this field that is now, finally- 15-20+ years later, reaching the mainstream!

One of the challenges we have with Android is dealing with the unlimited possibilities for screen resolutions, densities, etc. Your Note has much more screen real estate than, for example, a 320x480 screen Android phone, yet we have to support them and the even larger 10" tablets as well! So the app does its best to scale the same screen to each device with the few settings and options you have seen to make that a little more customized. Hopefully I can further improve on that in the future. You'll see on the site that this thread links to that many users ask for forms support- in the HanDBase world, that's where you can customize the space and layout of the Edit Record screen and it's available on our more popular ports of HanDBase (eg, iPhone, iPad, Palm, Windows Mobile). As you can see it's the top requested feature on the list, but it is a huge development project, so hopefully we can get to the critical mass of customers on the Android platform to start developing this add-on soon!

re: the popup list showing the field name, the reason it is there is context- I am probably showing my age, but I know from my own experience I will walk into a different room of my house to get something, and find myself forgetting why I am there. I then return to my desk or where ever I started and see the context of what I was doing before and instantly recall (and feel stupid in the process). Showing the field name on the popup list screen reminds you of what you're editing for that sort of reason! It's a UI practice that I try to follow on any screen I design.

re: Date and Time, the forms designer would help with that as you can put them next to each other, but the format of our database doesn't allow for a single date and time field. When we do a major update to a different format, we can definitely consider this but that's a long time away, so the forms is a more likely scenario!

I like the auto popup efficiency you describe and it's something I've not had requested. I will definitely consider adding that one day in the future!

The opening into a database is something on my todo list as well.

Have a great week!
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Re: Vote for the Features you want most in HanDBase for Andr

Postby Benji » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:33 am

forms, forms and more forms.
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