SimplePool App for Android. A Review.

Kias

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 31, 2009
665
NW Ohio
----Update 4/27/2012----
Version 1.1 was released today. It adds the ability to sync between two or more devices, along with some bug fixes, and a tiny user interface update. It's the only pool app in it's class that has this new sync feature! Guess that puts it in a class by itself!

I haven't seen any documentation for this procedure to setup the syncing, but this is how I got it to sync up with my Kindle Fire. I'll get it corrected if any thing is wrong with it. :mrgreen:

From the home screen under settings/sync settings, you'll find this screen. On your "master" device, you'll just want to add a Sync Key and it appears that it needs to be eight characters. On your other devices, you'll need to put the Device ID of the "master" device in the Sync ID box, and you'll need to put the same eight characters in the Sync Key box, and of course check the Enable Sync box. Then just touch the Sync Now button! You're all set. It took my devices about a minute for the initial sync, and mere seconds thereafter. It synchronizes every time you start the app!

Now I can just grab whatever device is most convenient and take care of my pool!

Can it get any better than this? I do believe it will! Hang in there, I'm sure there's more to come!

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Here's two more links also.

SimplePool on Facebook Just hit the Like button!
Follow SimplePool on Twitter
----End Update----

Before we start, you MUST read this disclaimer, or your pool will be forever infested with algae and backswimmers.

I am in no way associated with SimplePool, or Ken Maritch (AKA: Kenmar). There is no monetary or other types of compensation for this review. I don't even know who Ken is. We aren't related, he did not marry my sister either. If he did, my sister has some 'splainin to do! I coulda sworn she married an Edward...

Hopefully, that's enough of a disclaimer.

SimplePool! An app for your Android device by Ken Maritch.

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There are two versions of SimplePool. SimplePool Lite, and SimplePool Pro.

SimplePool lite is free, and what I would personally call a trial version.
SimplePool Pro is $4.99, and completely worth the price.
The chart below explains the difference in the two versions. It was completely and utterly stolen from Ken's website without regards to his copyrights. I hope he doesn't mind. Of course, if he does, I'll take it down and make my own or I'll just claim it under the Fair Use Act of 2007, which allows me to use it for criticism and comment. :mrgreen:

chart.jpg

[edit: I forgot to criticize his chart!] Nice Chart Ken!

I had a problem finding the app in Google's Play Store at first. I kept searching for "Simple Pool" which came up with everything but this app. I finally searched for "Simplepool" and it's the first one that pops up. Here are the links to make it easier for you.

SimplePool Lite link to Play Store.
SimplePool Pro link to Play Store.
SimplePool Website

The first time you start the app, it appears to create the database, and then you're presented with this main screen.
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The first place you will want to go is the Defaults button. You can set up the type of pool you have. You'll need to set the type of pool, the surface type, the default type of chlorination you typically use, how much water you have, the chemical levels you'd like to have either defaults or custom levels can be used. If you have a swg, you'll want to enter the minimum and maximum amount of salt for your swg. If you use borates, you can set that up too. Now give your pool a name, and you're all set! You can also set up multiple pools here if you maintain more than one pool. I do not, so I will not focus on that.
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Hit back and touch the measure button and lets add your measurements! They're all there. TC, CC, pH, TA, CYA, CH, TDS, Salt, Borates, Temp, and a spot to add any notes. You can add as many or as little measurements as you want. You do not need to take every measurement, every time. You can change the date and time of your readings by touching the buttons at the top of this screen. When you're done entering your readings, hit the save button at the bottom.
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Now you can hit the Advice button from the main screen for some advice on what chemicals to add to adjust your pool to your default levels you set up previously. This advice is based upon the last readings (Measure button) you entered.
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If you have a level that's out of range, it will give you a recommendation on what to do.
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If you touch More Options, it gives you, well... More options!
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Now, from the main screen you can touch the Adjust button to keep track of the chemicals you add. Just enter what and how much you added, and it'll keep track of it for you. Don't forget to hit the save button!
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If you're still with me, this next part is the whole reason I love this app so much. History, and charting! Simply touch the Graphs button, and you'll be brought to this screen.
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Just choose the readings you want to see on the chart and hit the Show Chart button at the bottom. Over time this will be interesting, as you will be able to show the relation between the chemicals you added, and where the readings went after you added the chemicals!
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You can also see the data you selected by touching the Show Data button.
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If you made a mistake while entering your data, you can change it by going to the main screen and tapping on your Android's menu button and choosing "Edit Levels Log" or "Edit Adjustments Log". This took me a few minutes to figure out, so thought I might try and save somebody some time.

Overall, I love this app! My phone is always with me, so it's easy to enter the data right when I have them. No more going to find the laptop or head into my office to the desktop. The history and charts is what I love the most, as I'm a data freak.

Please realize this is version 1.0, and do hope Ken keeps at it! There's a couple things I wish were added or changed.

-The user interface isn't as clean as it could be. There's spots, like in the "Edit Log History" that the font seems to be a tad small for a touchscreen as you have to long touch on a date to bring up the menu to edit them. However, I have the feeling that this wasn't the main priority for this version. It seems to me that the priority was on getting the database working properly, and getting the calculations correct. That's perfectly fine with me.

-I also wish there was a unit of measurements with cups and quarts, as that is what I use to measure my chemicals. Not the most accurate way to do things, but this isn't rocket propulsion either. (Note: I just noticed the gallons UOM, so I'll have to look into that one more.)

-The last wish I had, was an in-app option to backup the database. My phone is unlocked and rooted, and I do all kinds of not normal things to my phone. Would hate to lose my pool data! I do not know, yet, where the actual data files are stored. I haven't looked too hard yet though. I just did a cursory glance at /sdcard to see if anything jumped out at me.

One other thing you should be aware of, you can start off with the Lite version to give it a try. If you like it, buy the Pro version, and the data you entered with the Lite version will automatically transfer to the Pro version. Once the Pro version is installed, you can uninstall the Lite version.

Is it worth five bucks?

Absolutely! Go get it!
 

kenmar

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2009
288
Schnecksville, PA
Rob,

Thanks so much for commenting on SimplePool.
You really made my day!

Your comments regarding UOM, the UI, and backing up data are all spot on.
I will be releasing an update in a few weeks. I don't want to sat too much about it now, but I think people will really like it.

Again, this app was inspired by the wonderful people here at TFP. I appreciate, and take their comments seriously.

Again, THANKS!

-Ken
 

Kias

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 31, 2009
665
NW Ohio
No, thank you! I've been waiting for an app like this for a long time!

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk
 

Bluegrassman

Well-known member
Jan 20, 2012
243
West KY
I downloaded the Pro version on day one. Have played with it a lot in preparation for the completion of our pool. Can't wait to use it this summer!


Sent From My Inspire 4G Using Tapatalk
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
64
Florida Panhandle
Have to agree that this is a great app to have if you like or use the poolcalculator and especially if you don't have an iphone as well if you use the BBB method.

I tried it out and was curious about the Pro features and if I would use them but once I read this review it was a no brainer for me and my analytical OCD :)

Thanks for making this app and look forward to any and all new features and functions in the future but it works great just how it is now.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the owner/author of the app I just wanted to share my experience as I just got into this BBB method and am ecstatic I can finally understand and accomplish maintaining my pool and love analyzing data.

Take care
 

Kias

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 31, 2009
665
NW Ohio
The original post has been updated to include the new synchronization between devices in version 1.1.
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
64
Florida Panhandle
Thanks for the frequent updates. This app is great and works perfect.

The only 3 things I would like to see or wishlist, if possible:

When you view the Graphs (either Chart or Data) and only select data from just the Levels or Adjustments log you would only see that that data vs. seeing either an extra entry of 0.0 or N/A for the corresponding data that is not selected. Ok, hard to explain but if you go to Graphs, select only TC and click Show Chart or Show Data you will see the FC data but you will still see every entry for the Adjustments log even though no data (either 0.0 or N/A) will show up.

Would like to be able to have an option to input a custom percentage amount for the Bleach % option. Main reason is I had some liquid chlorine that was higher than 12.5% and I needed to be able to change the % to figure out what % it actually was. No biggie as I just used the poolcalculator and figured it out.

Would also like the option to be able to export data in either .csv or a table format so I can use data on computer for other custom reporting.

Thanks again for the great app and giving us Android users a agreat option to keep track of our data.
 

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kenmar

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2009
288
Schnecksville, PA
Thanks ED-209!,

I have no problems with any of your requests. The next release will most likely contain cleanup and fixes. I will see if I can incorporate the issue you have with the data log screen at that time.

-Ken-
 

ED-209

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2012
64
Florida Panhandle
kenmar said:
Thanks ED-209!,

I have no problems with any of your requests. The next release will most likely contain cleanup and fixes. I will see if I can incorporate the issue you have with the data log screen at that time.

-Ken-

Thanks Ken, and hope it didn't come across as issues\complaining as that wasn't my intentions but those are the only things I could find that might enhance the app experience.

Thanks again, you are saving me a lot of paper and hassle of having to make sure my computer is with me when testing and logging results:)

Well done app my friend.
 

kenmar

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2009
288
Schnecksville, PA
hope it didn't come across as issues\complaining

Nope, not at all. Any feedback people are willing to offer is greatly appreciated.
I just wish I could do more... faster.
I have to try to group requests/updates in logical batches, so unfortunately, some updates wont be released until later releases.

-Ken-
 

Isaac-1

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
6,711
SW Louisiana
One or two more things for the wish list:

1, a what if section, this is the thing I miss the most, for example what are the effects of adding X amount of CYA (primary and secondary effects). For example lets say I know my CYA is near the low end of the range where I ike to keep it, but not so low that the suggestion to change is triggered, but my pH is on the high side and needs to be reduced some, I might want to then add CYA for its secondary effect of slightly lowering the pH.

2, A way to start from the TFP goal levels then adjust one or two target fields (like CYA) without having to fully customize the targets

Ike
 

kenmar

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2009
288
Schnecksville, PA
If I understand your question about the secondary effect of adding chemicals, I believe SimplePool does this now.
See the attached image.

-Ken-
 

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MattM

Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 14, 2011
303
San Diego, CA
The app is great for what it does. What would make it 100% awesome would be if it ever extends to:
a) have a place to record filter pressure for various rpms, and graph any increases of pressure for the same rpm
b) recorded maintenance events (such as cleaning filter, running vacuum) so that the app could be a single record notebook for the pool
c) configurable reminders for some common maintenance events
d) email reports (especially all current chem readings w/ csi)
e) record inventory for pool supplies as well as expiration dates/etc
 

kenmar

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2009
288
Schnecksville, PA
a) have a place to record filter pressure for various rpms, and graph any increases of pressure for the same rpm
b) recorded maintenance events (such as cleaning filter, running vacuum) so that the app could be a single record notebook for the pool
c) configurable reminders for some common maintenance events
d) email reports (especially all current chem readings w/ csi)
e) record inventory for pool supplies as well as expiration dates/etc

MattM,

I have plans for everything you mentioned (plus much more!)
Since it is just me developing SimplePool, I have to "batch" the updates into logical groups.
I am striving to release updates every 3-4 weeks.
The next update 1.3 will primairly contain enhancements to the "Advice" section and minor UI tweaks.
Update 1.4 will contain the filter pressure plus some tweaks to the "Levels" entry screen.
Update 1.5 will be big, I was planning to add a cost collection module (to track your pool costs over the season), but many people seem to want a method to track inventory (so I may do that instead.)
I have plans beyond what I mentioned above, but I am not ready to commit to them publicly yet.

Thanks again for your suggestions.

-Ken-
 

mhosborn

Well-known member
Jul 2, 2011
313
Broken Arrow, OK (Tulsa)
Ken,

Do you have any plans to port this app to the iOS platform?

(Asking because the company that bought the Pool Calculator app apparently has no interest in updating it, from what I can tell).
 

kenmar

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 13, 2009
288
Schnecksville, PA
mhosborn,

To be perfectly honest, there is almost no chance I will develop an iOS version of SimplePool.
I am writing SimplePool primarily as a labor of love. If I have to maintain two versions of the code, it would feel like... well... work.
Maybe at some point in the future things will change... maybe I will sell 100,000 copies of SimplePool, that would sure motivate me to develop for the iOS platform :)

-Ken-
 

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