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Thread: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    After looking over the site I only found one thread that really looked in depth at any of the smartphone apps out there for BBB: SimplePool App for Android. A Review.

    I have the free version of that application and I've considered buying it but I also have an iPhone. That application is not available on the Apple iPhone so I wanted to offer up some reviews of the apps that I have been able to find and try and those that I have not tried and why.

    This thread is intended to be collaborative - feel free to offer your opinions and insights. My only request is that Android apps should be setup in their own thread like this one. I may do that thread myself if no one else jumps in.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    App Name: Pool Alchemist
    Published by: Tim Gostony
    Cost: FREE (Ad supported)

    Chemistry Covered:
    CL increase/decrease
    TA increase/decrease
    CH increase only
    CYA increase only

    Review:

    Very basic interface with clunky controls. However it works and the ads are not that obtrusive. Can be used in a pinch for basic calculations. Does not include pH at all and does not include many common concentrations of sodium hypochlorite which could prove to be a sticking point for anyone using anything other than 12%.

    My Rating (0-5):
    2 stars; if this had pH calculations it might rate 3.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    App Name: The Pool Monitor
    Published by: J.Ollman
    Cost: FREE (Ad supported), or $2.99 (no ads + Native iPad Support)

    Chemistry Covered:
    FC
    TC
    pH
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    Review:

    Well polished interface but a little confusing. Ads are not all that obtrusive. Does not support FC levels as high as most BBB users will need. Cannot input arbitrary goals - it has it's own goals and recommendations based on this. Does not give pH adjustment advice if TA is out of alignment with it's goals - it wants TA adjusted first! Does not ask what pool surface you have - so goals are set without any knowledge of this. Does not include an concentration of sodium hypochlorite which is the final nail in the coffin for this application for BBB.

    My Rating (0-5):
    0 Stars due to lack of freely adjustable goals, lack of support for pool surfaces, and lack of support for sodium hypochlorite.

    DISCLAIMER: As I understand it - there are no functional differences in the FREE and PAID versions of this app other than the native iPad support and lack of Ads in the paid version. I have not DIRECTLY tested the paid version due to the lack of functionality in the FREE one.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    App Name: Pool SNAP
    Published by: Lollygagger Software
    Cost: $2.99

    Chemistry Covered:
    FC
    CYA
    TA
    CH
    Salt
    pH
    Borates
    LSI

    Review:

    Clunky interface that needs work but is passable. This application works well on a single chemical at a time. It's a little hard to understand why you have to click the life ring each time to input your saved pool volume. The application supports inputing your own targets and saving them - but you have to remember to reload them on each chemical screen by clicking the "target".

    Does not support TA levels as high as some BBB users face (max is 120). Does not support CH levels higher than 340. Autotarget recommendations are pretty good - but sliding a value like CYA does not then adjust the ranges to match - if it did this would get higher marks. Supports liquid chlorine with 6%, 10% and 12% options - no options for arbitrary values here or the new 8.25%.

    Biggest issue is either the clunky interface or the cap on the chemistry values: TA Max is 120; CH Max is 340; FC max is 30; CYA max is 90; Salt Max is 4000. Another issue of note is that the Borates calculation did not seem to match Poolcalculator in the amount of compensating MA required. The values were vastly different - for my example pool the amount of Borates 795oz was spot on but the compensation via MA said a paltry 49oz would work vs. 380 required per Poolcalculator (31.45% MA).

    Overall this is a mixed bag. It's nice to have when you have no internet - but doesn't give enough data in some cases. You'd still need the CL/CYA chart with you to know what your goals should be if you didn't already know. For $3 - it might be worth it. Charting data and allowing all the values to be input at once would be a step in the right direction. Allowing multiple pools would also help.

    My Rating (0-5):
    3 Stars due to support for mostly adjustable goals (up to max), support for pool surface, support for sodium hypochlorite, and support for saving your own goals and pool sizes. Points off for not saving the goals and sizes in a rational way - continuously having to add them back on each chemical by tapping an icon is still less viable than just remembering them and prepopulating them without intervention. Points off for max caps on values. Points off for not autoadjusting the goal values as things like CYA are changed in the goals. Kudos for supporting a shock value - but only up to 30ppm.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    Thanks for taking the time to review those apps! It will be a great resource for anyone deciding which app to get. I think there are others at the app store as well, so I'm hoping others will chime in here with their reviews.
    16 x 31, Approx. 12,000 Gal Freeform IG pool; Flagstone coping; Quartzscapes Super Blue plaster finish; Tanning ledge w/2 bubblers; 1 HP Pentair Whisperflo pump, Pentair sand filter; (2) Pentair Intellibrite LEDs w/controller; Easytouch8 w/IC-40 SWG; Salt finish concrete decking.

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    Quote Originally Posted by mhosborn
    Thanks for taking the time to review those apps! It will be a great resource for anyone deciding which app to get. I think there are others at the app store as well, so I'm hoping others will chime in here with their reviews.
    Welcome! I'd welcome other reviews and input.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    Seems like there aren't many decent iphone apps out there...

    Heck, I'd be happy with one that would just keep a record of test results and corrective actions over time. Graphing them would be a bonus - I think I'll go look for an iphone data graphing app...
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    Quote Originally Posted by jamyers
    Seems like there aren't many decent iphone apps out there...

    Heck, I'd be happy with one that would just keep a record of test results and corrective actions over time. Graphing them would be a bonus - I think I'll go look for an iphone data graphing app...
    Pool SNAP could be great with an interface overhaul and recording of past history and graphing.

    The truth is you are not far off in saying that there isn't anything adequate out there.
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    Looking in the iphone store, looks like there are several spreadsheet apps that would work well with Excel...

    I think I'm going to end up using:

    * an iPhone spreadsheet one to log and track test results, uploading it to Excel on my desktop if/when I want to graph or take a detailed look at something, and then

    *The Pool Calculator webpage via iPhone Safari browser (that way my entries get saved each time, don't have to re-enter them).

    I suspect that using the spreadsheet / Excel is going to be the way to go, since I can add stuff like cost-comparisons, etc...
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    I use the Pool Calculator from http://www.poolcalculator.com that I believe is written by TFP's site administrator JasonLion. You can't get more BBB than that.
    Pool completed in the fall of 2008.
    Landmark's pool build

    Freeform 26' x 45' IG gunite, 4' to 8' deep, 29,500 gallons, WetEdge PearlMatrix Tropical Mystic, Freeform 8' X 11' Ultimate 16 jet spa, 38' moss rock weeping wall and 3 waterfalls,

    4 pumps (Intelliflo 4X160 filter pump, WhisperFlo 3HP spa pump, Pentair 2 1/2HP WaterFall pump, cleaner booster), EasyTouch 8 controls, Quad DE 100 filter, MasterTemp 400K heater, Pentair Legend Platinum cleaner, 995 sqft. Sundek.

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    Quote Originally Posted by landmark218
    I use the Pool Calculator from http://www.poolcalculator.com that I believe is written by TFP's site administrator JasonLion. You can't get more BBB than that.
    No argument there, I'm looking for a way to track results over time on something other than a piece of paper (that gets wet, wrinkled, lost, etc...)

    BTW, I settled on the iphone app "Spreadsheet". It's basically an iphone version of MS Excel, and can import/export with my desktop rather easily, so I'll be able to play with the data (graphing, etc).

    So my routine is going to be looking like this:
    * Test water
    * log results in iphone spreadsheet
    * when something looks out of whack, go to www.poolcalculator.com w/ either iphone or desktop.
    * whenever I feel the need, upload the spreadsheet from iphone to desktop and look for trends, etc.

    One thing I'm going to have to double-check on, though... if the health department wants a physical paper log of test results, or if an electronic log will do. From what I recall from the Texas rules, it doesn't specify what kind of log I keep - just that I keep one.
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    Quote Originally Posted by jamyers
    Quote Originally Posted by landmark218
    From what I recall from the Texas rules, it doesn't specify what kind of log I keep - just that I keep one.
    RULES???
    Helen
    Dallas Area, 16,000 gal IG, Easytouch 8 computer, Intelliflo 3HP Variable Speed pool pump, Pentair Smart Pump 4x160, Pentair 3/4 HP Booster Pump, FNS 60 DE 60, Mastertemp 400, Rainbow 320, Dual Timer w/ freeze protection, Intellichor SWG, TF100 Test Kit, POOL FILLED AUG 3, 2012, ORDER YOUR TF100 KIT FROM http://tftestkits.net
    http://www.troublefreepool.com/under...ie-t49936.html

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    Quote Originally Posted by imrodee
    Quote Originally Posted by jamyers
    Quote Originally Posted by landmark218
    From what I recall from the Texas rules, it doesn't specify what kind of log I keep - just that I keep one.
    RULES???
    Texas Department of State Health Services ("Dishes") rules for commercial or public pools, since this one is at a Church Camp and gets rented out during the summer.
    http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/rea ... sch=L&rl=Y

    I know... "Land of the free..." harrumph!
    In-ground Plaster 40' X 80' 144K gallon pool w/ 2 pumps (old Challenger bronze and newer Challenger II plastic) and 2 large sand filters (Pentair Triton 140's). Built in '85, in bee-yootiful shady Buffalo Gap, West Texas.

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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    It's been a year. Anything new in the way of apps? I have searched, could not find much.
    Dallas area, free form, quartz finish, flagstone, pentair cartridge, vs pump, swg

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    UnderWaterVanya's Avatar
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    Re: Smartphone App Reviews - iPhone Apps

    Not that I have seen.

    Sent via Tapatalk...
    Inlaws Pool Boy since June 14th 2012, Pool built ~ 2003, In-Ground, 16'x32'
    13500 gal, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass Slide, TF-100 Test Kit, Hayward 210T
    sand filter, A.O. Smith 1.5HP main pump motor (C48L2N134C1),
    Hayward SuperPump (model ?), Polaris 380 & PB4 Booster Pump

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