UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

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UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby peterd » Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:36 pm

Wes -

First, great job porting ML to Android! (And thanks for developing such a first-rate app.) I use OML on my iPhone and iPad, and happy to see that the Android version is looking good.

I bought my Android tablet (probably the first of several) specifically to wall-mount as a dedicated touchscreen HA and media controller. Given the availability of low-cost Android tablets (some under $200 (under $150 on sale) - and I think the $99 price-point will be reached soon), I believe that this will be a popular approach to home control.

Once I have a touchscreen setup in a given room, I want to be able to do as much as possible to control the scenes/devices relevant to that particular area from a single screen (walk up, touch, done). I don't think I'm unique in wanting this type of UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller.

So, here's my wishlist for that screen:
  • Icons that can be placed in any order/position onscreen. Each would:
    • Be able to be linked to one of:
      • a scene
      • a device
      • a URL (brought up in the browser)
      • exec another app on the Android device (the latter 2 allowing a way to access media control from this main screen)
    • Be able (for scenes/devices) to either:
      • bring up the scene's/device's usual ML page, or
      • operate in a toggle mode, much like a physical Insteon dimmer
        • touch on/touch off
        • hold brighten/hold dim
        • double-tap fast-on/double-tap fast off
    • Have an image which is selectable (as currently in ML) or importable
    • Have a text description which can be entered, defaulting to any linked scene/device name
    • Have a choice of status display:
      • Explicit: Color-coded Text (as today) - "On", "Off", "xx%"
      • Implicit: Description Text is color-coded (to save screen space)
    • Have a configurable status color-code (as today)
  • Have a configurable header and footer with the ability to:
    • turn each on/off
    • enter text
    • select font size
    This would allow choosing to have a title for the page or not (again, to save screen space) and/or have some descriptive text (so visitors could be given hints on operation)
  • Ability to select this as the startup screen
  • Ability to disable navigation away from this screen (This would require a very inconspicuous way to access settings. Perhaps touching a particular (selectable?) screen corner could bring up a simple password prompt (with a cancel option, of course). Hopefully if an ordinary user stumbled upon this, they'd likely just cancel.)

Well, when I see this written out, it looks like a huge request. :) But, I hope that's just my development background showing - as I've tried to detail the "specs" for this. Anyway, I certainly hope you'll consider this addition to what is already an excellent product.

Thanks again for a great product and for being so open/responsive to user input.

Cheers,
Peter
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Re: UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby AdminWes » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:19 am

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your feedback and kind words!

The long term plan is to provide a different interface for tablets as they enter the market and gain a larger market share. The interface will be similar to the iPad interface. Thank you for your feature suggestions here and we'll definitely consider these as we enhance MobiLinc for the iPad and develop MobiLinc for Android tablets.

Wes
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Re: UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby Kid_Icarus » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:48 am

+1 on Peter's great suggestions for a tablet-specific interface.

I have two Kindle Fire units that I loaded with Android 4.0.4, and I am using them as wall-mounted touchscreen controllers for MobiLinc and Sonos audio. The above suggestions for a Android tablet interface are spot on.

Please let us know if you need any testers.
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Re: UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby AdminWes » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:56 am

Hi Kid_Icarus,

Thank you. We will keep this in mind, however, our plans for a tablet specific app are on hold. The market for Android tables is simply not competitive with the iPad. If the Android tablet space can become competitive with the iPad we will re-evaluate our plans.

Wes
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Re: UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby jeffdwaldron » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:25 am

Hi Wes,

Wanted to see if there is now a market for the Android Tablet Specific App... since I would say the Market share of Android to iPad is leaning now in Androids favor.
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Re: UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby mwareman » Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:08 pm

+1....
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Re: UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby AdminWes » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:17 pm

Hi Jeff,

When making this decision we look at tablet usage numbers, and the current stats from Q2 shows the iPad used 77% of the time compared to all other tablets. With these numbers, it's really hard for us to invest our limited resources into a platform (Android tablets) that have limited use.

http://chitika.com/insights/2014/q2-tablet-update

Wes
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Re: UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby mwareman » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:21 am

AdminWes wrote:Hi Jeff,

When making this decision we look at tablet usage numbers, and the current stats from Q2 shows the iPad used 77% of the time compared to all other tablets. With these numbers, it's really hard for us to invest our limited resources into a platform (Android tablets) that have limited use.

http://chitika.com/insights/2014/q2-tablet-update

Wes


Wes,

It is my opinion that getting your use data from an advertising provider is... suboptimal. My tablet is rooted, and ad networks are mostly blocked. My usage won't show up - and that's not uncommon. I also buy apps - I don't use ad supported ones.

Let's look at better data, actual recent, market share data:

Market share by manufacturer in Q1 2014
Apple: 32.5%
Samsung: 22.3%
Asus: 5%
Lenovo: 4.1%
Amazon: 1.9%
Others: 34.2%
(source: IDC, May 2014)

OS market share in name brand tablet* installed base at the end of 2013
iPad: 51%
Android: 40%
(*tablet devices from top manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and Amazon. source: ABI Research, Dec. 2013)

OS market share in global tablet unit shipments in Q4 2013
Android: 61.8%
iPad: 33.9%
Windows: 4.3%
(Source: Strategy Analytics, Jan. 2014)

OS market share in tablet unit sales in 2013 (Jan. to Nov.)
iPad/iOS: 59%
(Source: NPD Group, Dec. 2013)

OS market share in tablet unit sales in Q2 2013
Android: 53% (of which Samsung: 22%, Amazon: 5%; Lenovo: 4%; Acer: 4%; others: 23%)
Apple/iPad: 43%
(source: Canalys, August 2013)

OS market share in tablet unit sales to end users
2012: iOS 52.8%, Android 45.8%, Microsoft 1%, others 0.3
2013: Android 61.9%, iOS 36%, Microsoft 2.1%
(source: Gartner, March 2014)

OS market share in tablet unit sales
2012 (actual): Apple 58%, Android 40%, Microsoft 2%
2013 (estimate): Android 58%, Apple 38%, Microsoft 4%
2014 (forecast): Android 65%, Apple 30%, Microsoft 5%
2015 (forecast): Android 64%, Apple 29%, Microsoft 6%
2016 (forecast): Android 63%, Apple 28%, Microsoft 8%
2017 (forecast): Android 63%, Apple 27%, Microsoft 10%
(source: Canalys, November 2013)

OS market share in tablet unit sales
2012 (actual): Android 52%, iOS 45.6%, Microsoft 0.9%; Other: 1.4%
2013 (forecast): Android 60.8%, iOS 35%, Microsoft 3.4%; Other: 0.8%
2017 (forecast): Android 58.8%, iOS 30.6%, Microsoft 10.2%; Other: 0.4%
(source: IDC, December 2013)




( http://tabtimes.com/resources/the-state ... let-market)

By focusing on iPad, you are ignoring over 66% of the recent tablet market, and half-ish of all current tablet owners. Not a good practice I'd wager.

Also, taking the number you referenced at face value, saying 23% of your customers essentially don't matter is not great either.

Just my opinion.

Now that I've switched from IOS to Android I'm a little sorry I purchased MobiLinc again. I loved it on IOS, but on Android its bad. Slow, ugly and feature incomplete. The lack of variables forced be to use Tasker, as a result I now do most everything I need with Tasker - directly with the API, not thru MobiLinc Tasker. Simple stuff like variables shouldn't be different.

Rant off. Sorry - it just annoys me that a significant chunk of market gets summarily dismissed like that. I think your company is missing out.
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Re: UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby AdminWes » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:11 am

mwareman,

Thank you for the passionate response! I fully understand your need for a dedicated Android tablet app for home automation. If you'd like to fund our development directly, let's talk :)

All joking aside, yes, there are basically two ways to look at markets, the "shipped" number of units in a market and actual usage. We look at both. We've been doing this for 5+ years and what we've seen over those 5 years is the reports on how people actually use their devices is a much more accurate picture and predictability of ROI than just shipped units. I'm not an expert on the why, but my guess is that tablet platforms that get used more have a better chance at generating app revenue from engaged users.

To clarify your comment about the 23%, it's not that we don't care about that 23%, I deeply care about all our users or potential users. The problem we face as an independent software house whose revenue solely comes from app purchases is that 23% wouldn't even come close to covering our development costs to build a HD app for Android tablets. I'd personally love to build HD for Android tablets, but all of our 5+ years of experience and usage reports says that would be a negative ROI at this point in time.

If you want to take this conversation further, send me an email to support@mobilinc.com

Wes
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Re: UI for a dedicated touchscreen controller

Postby GuitarBuilder » Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:04 am

Good answer, Wes. As a business owner myself, this decision is obvious; most non-business owners tend to overlook issues like ROI and staying in business.
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