Release Notes 12/05/2022 - Android Companion 5.4.9.0

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13 comments

  • Official comment
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    Tyler

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to briefly explain the sole purpose of this update. Play Store apps are all manually checked and verified on a regular basis, both during updates and between updates. We were told our folder structure needed to change to meet newer security guidelines, or the app would no longer show in the Play Store.

    This meant we had to make changes to where all HG data was stored on android devices if we wanted our app to remain live. Unfortunately in doing so, the old data folder that could be easily accessed via USB would no longer be allowed to be the data point of contact for the software. To make the transition easier, we built in functionality in the Companion app to export in-app data to a folder that is easily accessible via USB.

    As for communication leading to the update, we recognize that we could have done better and we sincerely apologize for the trouble our users have faced while dealing with the update. We have taken in a ton of feedback the past few days regarding prior communications, and it's clear we under-communicated the impact this update would have. Going forward, we will be better about communicating early and efficiently when releasing any update or change that will affect the recognized workflow of our users.

    If you are still having issues accessing previous companion data due to this update, don't hesitate to reach out to our support team.

    Edit 12/20/2022:
    We are going to disable comments for this post, as most of the recent comments aren't aligned with our posting standards. We appreciate the constructive feedback, and are happy to have discussions with our users about potential updates and their impact. You can reach us in the Product Feedback topic, or by emailing productfeedback@homegauge.com.

    If after the update you aren't able to access previous data or aren't able to get the new export method working successfully, please contact our support team and we'll be able to help you find the report data you are looking for or ensure the export steps are done correctly.



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    Steve LaCombe

    Well unfortunately for users that do not have HC Cloud services the Companion app is no longer useable. The data location is no longer accessible users.

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    Todd Thompson

    Why make it more difficult to transfer files via USB cable?    Makes me not want to update my Companion.

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    Kevin Weiss

    Even better was the complete lack of notice that this was happening.  Was a great start to the day to open things onsite for my morning inspection and not be able to use it.  Was late to me afternoon appointment, to stop by the office and subscribe to make it useable for now. 

    Absolutely unacceptable to not give some reasonable notice before a major change such as this! Unprofessional!  I have low expectations on HG customer service after many poor experiences over the years.  But this was unbelievable.  Clearly shows they have no respect or concern for their customers.

     Been thinking of dropping HG for years, but didn't have time.  Now I will make time.  Cannot wait to be done with this company!

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    Ryan Taylor

    It is like going back in time.  Making everything harder and more difficult and time consuming.  I got Companion app to make my life easier and now it is unusable.  

    I don't have HG services and I tried to manually upload my report and that didn't even work (No HG file was in the downloads file), tried the process numerous times.  IT (dev department) said you can revert to the old app, I tried that and that didn't even work correctly.  

    So at the end of the day I am spending more time doing reports and bought a program that can't even be used, my templates aren't on Companion, I can't manually upload to my computer per their instructions, and I can't even revert to the old Companion if I wanted to.  What a complete disaster.  

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    Kevin Weiss

    They want everyone to be on a monthly subscription.  I don't actually doubt that Android/Google is changing requirements and forcing this ultimately, but it works for HG too.  They get rid of the legacy types who didn't want to pay for their crappy subscription and the services that went with it or they force them to pay to be able to transfer the files.  The simple drag and drop goes to 15 steps.  But they failed to disclose that without a subscription, you cannot load your template to the companion - therefore it is worthless.  F them

    I get it.  But HG will not continue to get my business.  I have been looking at several alternatives, but was dragging my feet.  

    In the end, it is not the change or the money for the subscription.  It is the complete disregard for their customers and their customers' business.  HG, as they have proven repeatedly over the years, could not care less.  

     

    There is no work around.  Subscribe or move on. 

     

    I will be moving on.  Actually good timing, things will be slow around the holidays, so good time to switch to something else.  

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    Hank Spinnler

    Kevin, if you are on any of the HG user groups on Facebook, please let us know what you decide on. I am not a Spectora fanboy because they have their own issues and are web based. Really just need a copycat company who doesn’t overly complicate things under the guise of complying with the tech and insurance industry overlords

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    Jennifer Gabbard

    I will sum up my feelings in 3 words: I miss Russell!!!
    He cared...it showed.

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    David Klein

    Thanks for the advanced warning about this update HG!?! Here I thought I did something wrong but I didn't. This update TRULY overcomplicates the process of expeditiously transferring reports via USB. I want EASIER, not more TEDIOUS! You guys need to fix this ASAP!

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    Kevin Weiss

    Their response was pretty laughable. But par for the course to me (even when Russell was there (didn't know he sold.)) Undercommunicated suggests SOME communication at all.  I guarantee this was a calculated move to get legacy folks who are hanging onto the fence to jump one way or the other.  I believe that Android was changing rules, it happens and Apple was already that way (I tried to change to an Iphone a few years ago and discovered there was no work around to use HG the way I had been, I would have to subscribe.)  Undercommunicate?  Nah, they simply decided it would be less hassle to make it quick and sudden than to announce and hear folks complain.  Great way to treat your customers!

    I get it, making things subscription based brings in more money.  I have used HG for 15 years or so.  In that time they have made perhaps 1500 or 2k from me.  Compare that to what they are charging per month now.  All the options are pretty much moving that way.  I knew this was coming.  There would be no way to update the old HG infrastructure to work like the online software's work.  It was a matter of time.  On the bright side, there are some advantages to the newer tech (I am looking forward to experiencing them.)

    For those asking HG to "fix" what they broke.  Forget it.  To them, they broke nothing.  It was intentional and planned.  If you want to continue the way you have been you will have to subscribe.  I subscribed on Tuesday.  They have a trial offer, so 9.99 per month for a couple months.  Cheap and enough time to research and decide what you want to do from here.  The site doesn't really tell you, but just sign up like you are new for the trial and then log back in on your desktop and companion.  

    I don't do much Facebook or social stuff (trying to get this tread to stop emailing me) but someone asked so....I honestly did not know HG had a web-based version of their software until I was scrambling on Tuesday to get my inspections done.  It might be great and the easiest transition, but my love/hate 15 year relationship with HG and then this last straw have eliminated them from me even investigating anything they offer or ever recommending them to younger folks who ask me.  I have been looking at Spectora casually for a while since seeing it somewhere a couple yeas ago.  Have spoken with them and played with it a little bit.  I think the change will be relatively easy.  It has features that I really like over the older HG desktop legacy stuff and I think it produces a nicer looking report.  I am going that route as it can pretty much replace what I use ISN for as well and be about a wash on cost.  Ask for Dave and give him my name if you call, he was easy to work with.  I don't have the time or desire to research a bunch more options.  So do your own due diligence, there may be other great options out there.  Who knows, maybe even with HG.

    Regardless, you will most likely have to move to the subscription based model unless you can somehow keep your companion app and desktop software from updating.

    For us old full-timers, there is another benefit to all of this.  It will be another cost of entry obstacle that will discourage at least some of the lowball part-time folks that mess things up, give us bad names and wreck the pricing structure. 

    Be safe out there and RAISE your prices!  Your costs are going up and everyone else is raising theirs.

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    Hank Spinnler

    Good analysis. The fact that you have been unaware of changes (referring to the sale of the company and the web-based software option), and just decided to poke your head out of the cave when the software stopped working, was amusing. I totally agree with raising prices. Inspectors are the lowest paid segment in the real estate transaction. Besides, everyone wants a portion of our money. 

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    Hossein Mirzaghafour

    What a mess! I transferred a template file through cable from my computer to my phone. Then showed up for inspection and opened HM Companion to start my inspection. Guess what! it was not there. When HG sells a product, they have to provide services for what they sold because customers consider services and ability of apps when they purchase an app or software. I bought HG about 2 - 3 years ago for ease of use; however, I am considering other softwares if this mess does not get fixed. 

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    Rick Blakeley

    Idiotic roll out with no communication.

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