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Old 02-12-2008, 09:33 AM   #1
MarkRPenn
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Does iRex listen to feedback?

I'm just wondering if anyone knows how responsive iRex are when it comes to listening to feature requests etc?

The last update didn't really add anything significant feature wise, and you'd think with the advent of the Kindle they'd be doing everything possible to differentiate/catch up as appropriate, but from where I sit I don't really see it happening.

I bought the iLiad for business use (I think that's their target market) mainly, plus a bit of personal stuff, but because mine is only a small business, can't begin to think about having iRex customise the device for me. However, I'd expect the basic unit to be a killer business machine out of the box, yet it still feels, umm, unfinished to me.

I don't really have too many issues with the book reader (I can read books on it - what more do I need!?), and the pdf reader is adequate, but there are some UI issues, and the notes app sucks IMHO compared with other mobile note taking solutions. Sad because it could be almost perfect with just a little effort.

Without going into too much detail, the iLiad needs:

- Decent content delivery over wifi. Where are the promised Newspapers for example, and why does it have to be so difficult to get stuff from my PC (Mac actually)? RSS would also be good without having to rely on Mobipocket and hence have a Windows PC.

- A proper file browser so I can move things around and use folders to keep organised.

- Previews in notes so I don't have to open them to get an idea of content.

- Proper save as functions so I don't have to go back and re-name them. Take a look at Phatpad for the Pocket PC for an example of how this could and should be done.

- Templates, so I can use forms that have several pages.

- A VERY easy way to get notes I've created onto my desktop.

- A way to mark up a pdf while retaining the original (another form of template really).

- An on device way to merge scribbles into pdf's etc.

- Some way to use the iLiad in landscape, having calibrated the stylus for portrait. Some sketches are almost impossible to produce without turning the thing on it's side.

Basically, I get the impression that iRex consider the note taking functions secondary, even though it's their key differentiator from their competitors, and actually end up wondering who it really is aimed at?

Mark
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:54 AM   #2
Jaapjan
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To be sure, you might try and put your suggestions on their own forum, not here.

search for 'Irex Forums' using google.
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Old 02-12-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
MarkRPenn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaapjan View Post
To be sure, you might try and put your suggestions on their own forum, not here.

search for 'Irex Forums' using google.
Oh I've already sent them the suggestions, in a lot more detail than that. I was more after a discussion of who people thought the iLiad was aimed at, and whether or not the consensus is that it's there yet?

To me it's not a consumer product (too expensive, lack of easy content delivery etc), yet it's not a business machine either (weak business features).

I should probably have chosen a different title for the thread

I'll maybe put the suggestions up on their forum too though, just to see if I get a reply. I got none beyond "duly noted" before.

Mark

Last edited by MarkRPenn; 02-12-2008 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
rincewind
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Personally, I think the iLiad is the kind of product you get when you design by feature, not by goal. The hardware "has all the right stuff" in it, except for what really matters: sensible power usage and standard connectors. The software does "all the cool things" like scribbling on pdfs, except that it is not really usable. It is too slow, too half-assed and not user friendly at all.

I've criticized the iLiad for fighting it's display, in stead of working with it. Most of user/computer interaction happens through page refreshes (as they would on say a web-page), but that does not work very well with a 1hz display... If they had based interaction on scribbles and drag'n'drop it would be a lot easier to use. They also have a display that is extremely readable and quite large, but they put the least possible amount of information on each page. Like listing only 6 directories, with no extra info than the name, on the whole screen. In fact, the whole directory structure and how it maps to the buttons is pure hell, and even got messier when they allowed users to re-map the buttons to work on memory extensions...

So I basically just use my iLiad with my patched iPdf that gives me gestures and fullscreen operation. It lets me read books, papers and solve sudoku. And that's it. I don't ever use the wireless except when updating the software. I transfer content by putting an SD card into my laptop. I have to put the SD card into my laptop to rename a file, or create a new notes file (I don't use the horrible notes app, I use "blank" or lined PDF files).

The iLiad is a good idea gone bad. I don't ever think it will be a properly good device, at least until we get a community based port, based on the 2.6 kernel and with a community based content browser. It's basically shit - expensive shit.

But I still like it. It's just sad it's so very far from it's potential, and not likely going to get there.

/R
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:49 PM   #5
alanine
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With all the negatives heard and said, the most valuable thing iRex has done to iLiad is opening up its development platform.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:22 PM   #6
R2D2
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They do listen.

At the beginning - or let's better say before the beginning - there were some real pain in the ass mobilereaders who told them what to do and what not to do*. They became less of a pain in the ass, when they became Irex beta testers. And they will probably be very sad if they upgrade to the new ilIad casing by joining the battery replacement program, because they will loose some pretty low serial numbers. Hmmmm....looks like I am a bit too nostalgic today, I should really make a visit to the meditation thread....in case that it still exists... Om.

* If Irex did not respond to their favour they collectively or individually took things in their own hands. They disassembled the iliad, captured network update traffic, messed around in the ROM, brought organic color to the ilIad screen, pimped up their iLiads with flood lights and air conditioners, had at first problems finding the power switch, started sewing haute couture bags, created very custom avatars, started selling iLiads for fun and not much profit, took photographs of iLiads in underground fortresses, became friends with UPS van drivers, installed back doors which later became some kind of an offical patch and had some other fun and frustration I was too stupid to really understand.

These were the times, weren't they? Now where did I put my tracking number....

Last edited by R2D2; 02-22-2008 at 03:35 PM.
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