Why Do The oob And SG Mobile Apps Look The Same?
By Kickntrue on 7/30/10
We have always prided ourselves on being as transparent with our work on oobgolf. We post known bugs and respond to problems immediately. We tell you what we're working on and where it's progressing. Heck- we tell you that oobgolf makes very little money but continue to pour time in it because we believe passionately in the project and its potential. Upon the release of our iPhone app some questions have been raised about a lack of transparency, so please, allow us to set the record straight.
So, why do the oob and SG Mobile app by SkyGolf look the same? As Kevin mentioned in the comments of a previous post- it's because he built them both. Last August SkyGolf acquired oobgolf and retained our services for the continued development of oobgolf and SkyGolf. We are given the freedom to work independently while remaining close with SkyGolf as we continue our mission to create the best golf experience on and off the golf course. Frankly, this isn't a big secret. We've talked about it on oobgolf before and there is certainly nobody in "the industry" that isn't aware of our ties with SkyGolf. Having SkyGolf as a partner has taken a lot of pressure off of us financially. It was very hard to keep oobgolf going and feeding our families with little revenue. As for concerns that oobgolf could go away, this happened a year ago so I think it's safe to say if SkyGolf was going to end oobgolf it would've happened by now. Sorry- you're stuck with us.
Is this why GolfCard quit working with oobgolf? GolfCard has been aware of our arrangement with SkyGolf since last year and before a couple weeks ago we thought everything was progressing nicely. GolfCard didn’t seem to mind continuing to partner with oobgolf or SkyGolf while selling thousands of apps of which oob and SkyGolf never received a dime of profits from. SkyGolf put absolutely no pressure on GolfCard (or any of oobgolf's mobile partners) to end their relationship. We do not know why GolfCard chose to terminate their partnership with us. All we do know it that it doesn't change the fact that they ambushed us and all of you guys at the same time.
There are nothing but plusses regarding our relationship with SkyGolf. By us working together, we have created the best database of courses in the GAME. They have been nothing but supportive in helping us to get an app out as fast as we did. After GolfCard pulled away, SkyGolf agreed immediately to let us base our new app on their scoring app and they have licensed it for use by Oob. It saved us a lot of time and development costs and made it possible to minimize the impact of GolfCard’s decision to leave. They’ve also very generously given us permission to continue building the app for our needs by adding GPS features, which should be available in the next couple of weeks. This is certainly not something they’d have to let us do if it was going to go away. Oobgolf is still Kevin and Andrew, but now we have more support. With your continued support, we plan to continue providing you with the things you like about Oobgolf for a long time.
Now, we hope this resolves your concerns because we need to get back to working on that GPS app you been wanting. Thanks again for all the kind remarks about our app. You have provided us with great feedback for improvements so we’re going to get those. We will keep making the app better and we do not plan of going to go anywhere.
Kevin and Andrew
[ comments ]
So the fact that GolfCard Pro's traced holes are mostly identical to the new SkyGolf SGX traced holes has nothing todo with the departure of GolfCard? Who do you think you are kidding? Do you really believe two companies that are now competitors could live together under the same roof? I dont blame you for selling out to make ends meet, but stop the kidding. Golfcard had no choice but to leave if they wanted to release their enhancement. If you wanted to be transparent, why not just tell people to go buy the SG app? If SG owns you, looks like they are now double dipping.
@zerch911- I'm sorry you feel this way, but I sat in the meetings. We were well aware of GolfCard's plans to release 2.0 and thought they were doing with us. Let's not overstate the competitiveness of SkyGolf and GolfCard (or any app built for a phone). It's like saying BMW competes with KIA. Both make good cars suited for their target audience, but that audience is not the same. That's why not only was SkyGolf okay with it- they were all for it.
Who really cares about this topic? If you want to be transparent and professional, you should have never released this app to the iPhone community first and instead released it on Android and iOS simultaneously. You have alienated half of your customer base with this horrible decision.
Oh, I know...but SkyGolf was only on iOS and you already had that worked out a while ago. Great *rolls eyes*
I have a tourney in one week. If the Android version isn't out by then, I'll have to take my business elsewhere. Great job.
So they left oobgolf so they could release their traced image support? How has that worked out for them? IMO, GC created their current situation by not understanding their users needs. Clearly the user base saw tremendous value in the oobgolf integration and GC didn't recognize it (or care).
Matt Otskey says:
Wow, get over it Brandon. You're not even an addict. So as far as Oobgolf is concerned, you aren't a customer to them.
p.s. that reminds me that I need to renew my addict membership =]
I don't have a pony in this race - other than being an OobAddict, so my opinion may mean little, since I'm not running the app (blackberry user.)
But I have to when I signed last August, my addict status wasn't activated. I emailed Andrew, and got back a very apologetic email back. (I still felt it was unnecessary to apologize, but appreciated it.) But I have to say that this is a great site and I think that Andrew and Kevin do a great job with it.
Anybody that works in the industry knows how tough it is to not only stay current with the technology, but also the maintenance that required to keep up the (Site, servers, databases, code, stats, etc, etc, etc!) That doesn't even include the article research and the rest of the business side.... I could go on, but long-short - Keep up the great Andrew and Kevin - Sign me up again!
*Apologize for the bad grammar ^^
Walked 18 in 90 degree heat and 90% humidity and just got back... but doesn't change my opinion - keep up the good work guys. LCGolfer64 - OobAddict
@matt- appreciate the kind words and totally get what you're trying to say. Will disagree that non addicts aren't customers we care about. I get where Brandon is coming from too. It sucks that we don't have an Android app ready. Unfortunately it's not quite as simple as pushing the "build app" button on the computer.
I give a big round of applause to the Andrew and Kevin....I don't use mobile to track my scores. I just play drive home, log in and upload my scores. I enjoy the site and the community, who btw is great!
So do you have full control of the source code for the app or will you be limited at all in making any changes? I'm sure the user community will come up with some great ideas.
As for Android - if it was a planned release there could be an argument made for a simultaneous release but with the circumstances the way they are it is absolutely the right move to get the different versions out there as soon as possible.
hmmm...not sure why "everyone" is so upset...Golfcard is a $10 app. I tried it and thought it was too much of a hassle switching from the scorecard to the rangefinder and back again...not sure if that's changed since I haven't used it in a while. I'm sure everyone that had it can easily find a replacement with all the apps out there...
I'll say one thing for the GC app: it had a terrific interface! Switching to/fro the rangefinder (which I don't do in real life anyway) is easy. From the scorecard, click on the hole you want the rangefinder data from and voila. Back-button brings you back to the scorecard and from there to entering the score. Score tracking was easy because they chose the right interface there: big buttons that + and -. Adding data afterwards was easy too.
I do hope the oobgolf app implements a similar interface. Can't check yet it since I'm on Android but if it does work in the field I'll certainly make the switch from yourgolf that I'm temporarily using to a (paid) oobgolf app and become an addict!
I too prefer the + and - buttons on GC. It made things quicker to input the scores/stats than the current oob app, however, I prefer the customisable stats of the oob app and eagerly await the rangefinder integration.
While I look forward to the android app, I completely understand (and support) oob's decision to release the iPhone version first. I wish we had some idea of when we (android users) might expect to see our version. On the other hand, I look at it this way. The iPhone users get to help work out all of the bugs and usability issues before we see it.
In the mean time I just use mobile.oob and freecaddie. With Android it's easy enough to switch between apps to check yardage if I have to. The mobile.oob interface isn't great but it is quite usable. As I continue to use it, it becomes easier.
Hi, new member here. From reading the post it sounds like you're working on developing the Rangefinder feature for the iphone app before you roll out the app for the Android or BBerry market. Speaking from a biased Android user perspective, it would be great to roll out the existing app to all markets then work on the rangefinder for all apps at the same time (if possible.) It seems as though there are a lot of people waiting for the app and it sounds as though they won't be getting it any time soon.
To all the disgruntled people above. Get over it! You all sound like my previous employer. I gave them a solid 6 and 1/2 years of my life, revamped the entire network and IT department, made workflow so fluid you could run the whole show from 1 computer and because i said I was looking elsewhere to expand my options they fired me on the spot and tried to slap a legal suit on me.
Andrew and Kevin give a lot to this site. A whole lot. I know, i tried to play a round of golf with 'drew and he was working through some fixes between shots! (instead of working on his driving) If they say they're working on other platforms, i believe them. Couple that with all the site maintenance, giveaway schmoozing (do you really thing that a set of premium clubs are just "handed" to them to give away on a free site?), coming up with new features and things to keep the site fresh and working smoothly - i'm actually amazed the iOS one came out as fast as it did and works as well as it does! it takes time to code, time to.....
... debug and time to go through the red tape. If waiting for a golf scoring app for a new OS and with GPS is making you that upset, then you should probably just write your own. It's obviously the only way you'll be happy. I think though, this just proves that you can satisfy some of the people all of the time, but never all of the people. Good job for trying though A + K. I know you've got things in the works to make the site even better. Don't let the boners get you down.
Great site. Great capabilities. Droid folks have other options until your app comes out.
I'm not surprised you guys were bought up, thats what happens to good ideas. Congrats.
As with everything in life, "No good deed goes unpunished"
@merlin - indeed
I have no problem with oob just the way it is. I keep my score with a pencil and a scorecard. I've also put a spreadsheet together (which I was using prior to finding oob) to keep all my stats/scores/etc. If they didn't come out with a mobile app at all, I'd be OK. I'm happy with oob, and the job they do. If they decide to make more stats for "addicts" only, I'd be OK with that too. Would I like them to open up more stats to "non-addicts"? Sure... but I get why they don't.
Keep up the good work, guys. The people that are going to complain would complain even if you managed to have a complete new set of top end clubs delivered to them Christmas day by a guy in a red suit. They'd probably send you a bill for the carpet cleaining because he tracked soot from the chimney through the house.
I am with Mjaber, i use pencil and scorecard and enter scores when i get home. I think you guys are doing a great job, i have been on this site almost everyday since i found it a year and a half ago. maybe post some more Tiger articles. HA!
Ixnay on the Igertay
@Kickntrue - Andrew, being one of the folks asking for an explanation in the other thread, I am glad you took some time from your busy schedule to write a comprehensive one. Much appreciated! I sure hope that SG will give and continue to give you as much leeway as you need to continue to improve oobgolf, and the mobile apps if that's the direction you want to take. I do get the BMW vs. KIA comparison but I think it may be more subtle than that... Time will tell.
Personally, even though I checked out your iPhone app, I am happy with Golfcard (I like the user interface much better), even if that means manually entering the data in oobgolf after my round. I think it would be great if an importer could be written that takes the CSV (or HTML) email that Golfcard produces, in order to upload a score into oobgolf.com... But that's probably very, very low in your horizon (eg after Droid), if at all.
yep, not sure if I understand what all the grumbling is about.
1. This is a stat tracking site, not a mobile gizmo site.
2. It's free unless you want extra goodies.
3. It's got to be a hell of a lot work to create and maintain this free site. I know, cause I have a very small and website and just making some minor changes to it is a pain and very time consuming. The income they generate from the SMALL amount of ads here must be chump change, so if some big outfit came in here and bought them, all I can say is AWESOME. That is the dream of anyone who puts up website. Don't be haters!
I'm really surprised by the vitriol by some of the Android users here. Do you really, truly think it would benefit anyone to delay the iOS app just because the Android is not ready? How? Writing the Android app is not a matter of just recompiling the iOS code for a new target, you've essentially got to start from scratch. As it stands, half (or more) of the community has access to the app, and the other half is no worse off than they'd be otherwise. In fact, you'll benefit because those of us with the iOS version have been reporting problems and suggestions, so I'm sure you'll get a more polished version when it comes around.
The app looks like a good start to me, but it's really not usable for me yet. The UI needs a lot of work, and for iPod Touch users it really doesn't have adequate support for detached scoring. For now I'm going to keep using the Scorecard app (having ditched GolfCard), but I look forward to having an automatic connection to OOB.
For those of us in the UK, the biggest disappointment of the divorce between GolfCard and oobgolf was the introduction of the US handicap system, and the sudden loss of the enormous database of courses. If a course had not already been downloaded, it could not he added without paying an additional fee. GolfCard annoyed many UK golfers at a stroke. I am not fussed about showing my scores to anyone else - who cares, anyway? - but GolfCard Mk1 & oobgolf was a brilliant combo.
In the meantime, I have only just learned that oobgolf is run by only two obviously deranged fanatics, who deserve a great deal of praise and no criticism for trying to keep the show on the road.
The old Gc Mk 1/ooh combo was so good that no doubt user demand will mean that it comes back in one form or another - so be patient. In the meantime, 3 cheers to A and K for all their hard work. Good on you, chaps.
zeg, I'm surprised that anybody would consider doing business any other way. It's truly a ridiculous decision from a business perspective. Market share shouldn't count for anything, but if it did, it would be an even more ridiculous decision based on the numbers released just today. What should matter is the relationships with your consumers. Think that's not important? Go ask the GolfCard devs if they learned any lessons about that.
Bottom line is this app was to replace GolfCard which served both communities equally. If they don't do the same, they are no better in my book. If people can't understand why or are "surprised" by it, then by all means be content with that. Just let's stop pretending that the process to develop for Android is some tenuous and painful ordeal. I've heard first-hand from several devs who prefer the opposite, and when developing for both platforms prioritize Android first because it's easier to work with their tools and then port over to iOS.
Let's see, I have (approximating/making up numbers here) 75% of my customers upset, and I can satisfy 50% of those immediately using something I already have. For this benefit, I risk totally alienating 5% of them. My recollection of business analysis says I come out 45% to the good.
"CJFP said 'I have only just learned that oobgolf is run by only two obviously deranged fanatics, who deserve a great deal of praise and no criticism for trying to keep the show on the road.'"
I wish I had said that. He's right.
Christ on a cracker... the conspiracy crowd and the hypersensitive crybabies need to get laid. Might help to assuage their unwarrented hostility, insecurity, and general nuttiness.
Brandon, get over it. They have not "alienated half their customer base with this decision", you ninny. You do not speak for the Droid community, only yourself. And so far, you are the only Droid user I've seen who can't appreciate why the guys are managing the development the way they are. You've "heard first hand"... i.e., you have second hand info that may or may not have any contextual relevance.
As for zerch911... Just as there is a toy in every box of Cracker Jacks, there's a loon on every forum. You, sir, are loon-tastic. I'm sure you're already way ahead of me, but just in case, you might find these instructions helpful: zapatopi.net/afdb/build.html
666 Iron says:
Everybody needs to quit bitching at oobgolf. This site is great and the new GPS app will be too.
Tee it up!
Brandon, it seems pretty clear that you don't have much business or development experience, and it really doesn't look like you comprehended anything that was written in this article. The iOS app was mostly written when the GolfCard bombshell was dropped. Regardless of the relative complexity of writing an Android app, the app that's mostly written will be completed faster and more easily. And before you try to bitch that it was foolish to have started the iOS app first (before the urgent need), remember that it was started last year---before Android was a solid market.
[continued] Remember also that it's one guy writing the code. Let's say it takes t1 development hours for the iOS version and t2 for the Android, with t1 < t2 (since they had the head start) and let's allow (graciously) an even split of the user population. WIth your scheme, 100% of the population suffers for t1+t2 until both apps are ready. Under theirs, it's t1+0.5*t2, or about one-half the average wait for the population. If they did the Android app first, it's t2+0.5*t1 which is a longer average wait.
Their choice minimizes the wait time for the average user. Really the only downside to their decision to complete the iOS app before the Android is that Android users with a persecution complex might take it personally. I'm sorry if you don't get it, but this is not about a preference for iOS users, it's simply a decision to satisfy as many users as possible as quickly as possible. No conspiracy here.
For those that want to gripe about the development of one platform before the other, try this... Go write a 5 page website. HTML is "easy". Now that you know a little HTML, add one more page to it.
Which took longer? As I've said I take no issue with A or K for pushing out an almost finished iPhone app before starting on the Droid version. In fact I applaud them for it. As for it being unfair... I thought it was unfair that my dad could have a beer after cutting the grass and I couldn't when I was 18, THAT'S LIFE!! No one said it would be fair!
You mean your dad didn't wait until you were old enough to have a beer before having his!?!!? **Mock Shock Face **
Kevin and Andrew,
Keep up the excellent work... Nevermind the very few negative comments, the vast majority of us really values oob golf website and the incredible on-line community you guys have created.
bplewis24... pity party for 1, your table is now available --- Chill out dude, you'd think someone stole your snack pack or box of Ho-Hos. Give them some time to sort all of this out... its really going to be ok.
oobgolf has helped me lose weight, have more sex, increase my salary, and improve the overall health of my life. thank you all!!!
I appreciate the fairly in depth explanation, and the fact that you decided to post it. Not many companies would be that open with their business practices, and I for one think you're better off for doing it.
I'm an Android user also, and I anxiously await our version. I agree with the poster above who mentioned letting the iPhone users deal with the initial bugs, but hopefully we won't have to wait too long!
I don't get all the fuss...maybe cause I use the site much differently than other oobers???
I play, use a standard golf card to track score, fairways hit, GIR and putts. Then load it in oob, sometimes a few days later. And it's free...
Senygma/GolfCard's argument regarding their breakup with Oobgolf found here...
Golfcard was obviously bullied by the big boy of the club. No way is skycaddie going to have GolfCard in the club house with them. Their plans were malicious and anyone in business can read between the lines that skycaddie had no intention of helping Golfcard after Oob was bought by them. Golfcard brought so much range finder data to Oob for free and all they could do was this? The new owners of Oob should be ashamed of themselves. Oob was a friendly place. It isn't any more and never if skycaddie is involved. So sad!
You should have notified the users (or at least the Addicts since we are actually paying for the service) when this change happened. I really don't care about Senygma at the moment but both companies seem to have trouble communicating to their paying customers in a timely fashion.
You expect people to pay 12 dollars a year + 99 cents for a mobile app + whatever fee is coming for the GPS app and now it turns out that you are owned by a commercial company with significant competitive interests in the whole rangefinder field.
Please don't make this out to be all for love and not for money because if you decide to price your full app (including GPS) at the same price that Golfcard was at (€ 7,99) and you sell it 50.000 times than it is a healthy € 400.000 in the bank for you (minus whatever Apple takes). Not bad for a couple of months work.
I read the response that Senygma finally posted on their site. Their explanation still has tons of holes in it. Why would they sign a contract with USGolf if they weren't getting some form of kickback? If their primary motivation was fear for long term support from OOb, why did they completly remove the functionality to dump the scorecard? They could just as easily left the scorecard dump in their new version as for long as OOb supported it. Like a child, they essentially took their toys and went home.
Senygma is definitely out of line. They shouldn't sell a product, and then change the core functionality of the product. It also seems they are unwilling to refund money to those who now find the app useless without OOb integration.
OOb is a great site, and it is FREE! I'm excited to see how the Android app turns out.
Thanks for the update Kevin and Andrew, and keep up the good work!
I just started using the APP a month ago, not sure what is going on in here but I love it. Me and my buddies can easily see each others scores and this sure beats writing it down on a score card.
Obviously I was using the other OOB app, and just started using the new one recently. I hate I can't add my friends scores on this new one but other than that it is worth the upgrade.
Come on folks, the beauty of OOB is the richness of the website. Comparativly, the USGolf site sucks. The iPhone app will get better as time goes on. It's only been available for a few days and they rushed it out because we (the OOB community) were screaming bloody murder. Now it's available and were upset because it's not perfect. Give me a break And oh by the way many of the features I see complaints about are available to Addicts which is only $15 a year. Instead of complaining you should stick a crowbar in you wallet and give the guys the 15 bucks.
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