Spectora Next Gen Review 4/10/2023

I decided to give Next Gen a try today as my inspection was looking to be a fairly easy one. I downloaded the latest version available and here is my review!

Phone: Motorola Moto G Power w/ 4gb RAM. Fairly clean phone with no excessive apps or pictures. I keep it clean cuz that’s what Spectora likes. No issues at all really with legacy app.

By far the biggest issue was with the lagging I experienced. After taking a single picture, the app would pause for about 5 seconds before bringing up the annotation window. When using the rapid fire camera and taking 4 pictures, the app would pause for about 15 seconds before bringing up the annotation window. This is way too long to wait!

It also lagged considerably when clearing the search area to begin typing the next search term, and also lagged in returning search results.

After returning search results, it always seemed like the “take picture” button was covered by my phone’s pop-up keyboard. Then you have to collapse the keyboard in order to select the picture button. This happens in the legacy app as well, but not nearly as often for some reason. :man_shrugging:

The search tool itself does not seem as robust as the legacy app. I had to switch to searching “titles and text” in order for my usual keywords to bring up the narratives I expected. This even though I have “search title only” set in the legacy app and my narratives come up just fine using the same keywords. The issue with searching “titles and text” is that the results return many more narratives than necessary (or more than I am accustomed to anyway).

Besides the items above, the app worked OK. But I didn’t really see anything that was much of an improvement over the legacy app. In other words, there was nothing to make me want to deal with the above issues just to use Next Gen.

The web-writer (desktop writer) is also different when using Next Gen. I finish and proof all of my reports on desktop before publishing. Actually, part of the reason I wanted to try Next Gen was because of the improvements reported for the desktop writer.

The new desktop writer also still needs some work unfortunately. The biggest thing I liked was that any checked narratives are now moved to the top of your narrative list. That is awesome and worked really good. Saves a person from a lot of scrolling.

However, the triple-split screen seemed a little clumsy in responding to the mouse scroll wheel, picture comments are truncated/covered-up making them hard to read/proof in edit mode, there is some lag when selecting a picture to add annotations, and the preview report function takes quite a while to load.

Not a huge deal in the desktop writer though. Just having all of your checked comments moved to the top is enough of a benefit to override the other quirks.

Overall, the Next Gen “experience” was just OK. I actually thought it would go much worse based on some of the comments on Facebook. But still too many issues in total for me to make the switch. I also sent all of my feedback to the bubble to help them address some of these things.

What has your experience been?


What’s YOUR experience been? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :shushing_face:


I haven’t tried it yet, and based on your review, I don’t think I will be.
I have a new s23 phone, and it has a "focus enhancer"on the photo app, but I hate using it on spectora because it delays the pic just a couple seconds, and I hate it! Haha


You might fare better than me. Many of the proponents on the Facebook state they are using the latest and greatest phones so you might not suffer from the lagging as I did.

When I asked the bubble, they said they are working on a fix to address the lagging issues experienced by some users. Had something to do with a feature that is currently installed that assures no data will ever be lost. Evidently that feature might be the cause of lagging for some people. Whatever they are working on will allow them to get rid of that feature evidently. Or something like that, lol.

I can’t say it’s improved over the several times I’ve tried it. Running a very clean s20 plus it lagged badly unless I changed a photo setting, using the native camera I think. Rapid fire camera just sucked. Much faster to double click the power button to open the Samsung camera app to take several pictures, then bounce back to spectora and add the photos to a comment from the camera gallery. The esthetics of the new app don’t really appeal to me, feels about 10 years older.

It is worrisome that Next Gen hasn’t improved much in a year.


I kinda agree with that. I’ve only used Next Gen this once, but the legacy app feels “cleaner” and more streamlined. I have a feeling they are falling into the trap of trying to be all things to all people. And that is causing the Next Gen app to become bloated and difficult to navigate.

It was supposed to be out of beta last January. And they still have a ways to go as of now, in my opinion.


Not that I use Spectora reporting software, but I concur, Daniel. Lost time on images is a pain in the posterior. Smooth zoom in, snip, cut, paste, lastly add annotations and publish the image into a reported component takes time. When you are slowed down by seconds it is annoying.

Any software delays are annoying. Add up all those lost seconds, including the lost time during your reporting rhythm. It all adds up.


I really appreciate this Ryan. I was going to try it last week & glad I didn’t after reading about the photo lagging issues you & others have talked about. I also wasn’t aware of the search and editor issues.
Time is my biggest issue onsite, and if the software isn’t keeping up with me & causing more frustration, then my decision is made.


Ryan: Thank you for that detailed description. I have not bit the bullet on trying it. And now will not waste my time. Thanks again, Dan
The Best Property Inspections LLC
O: 520-365-1000
by Dan Evans CMI, CCPIA, CPI, CRT
Certified Master Inspector®
Certified Commercial Property Inspector ® . CCPIA-000522
InterNACHI Certified Sewer Scope Inspector
InterNACHI Cert Prof Inspector #15082422
AZ HI Cert #62054
CRT-Certified Residential Thermographer

Proudly Serving Southeastern Arizona

I say give it a try. The more people that try it and help identify the shortcomings, the sooner they can be addressed. I should also note, many are using it evidently without the issues I experienced.

I use an S-21 Ultra, with all my apps which include ShowingTime, SentriKey, Nest, credit union, MyQ, Compass, MyRadar, tons of pictures, plus all the stuff it came with when I bought it, and with the exception of extreme zoom shots, the pics upload almost instantaneously into my software.

But I do use different software.

Sounds like your experience has been less than stellar Ryan.

1 Like

I wasn’t terribly impressed, no. Luckily they are not forcing anyone to use Next Gen yet (it is actually still in BETA). The “legacy” app works great on my phone so I will continue to use that I guess for now.

Many of the people that claim to have no issues with Next Gen are using higher end phones similar to yours. I suppose some of my trouble is due to my 2-3 year old Motorola, which wasn’t top-of-the-line even when new, lol.

1 Like

If ANY software pukes on a 2 year old device, it needs to be re-written.


I can’t disagree.

The software didn’t all out puke or anything. It just didn’t work as well as the legacy version, on my phone anyway.

Sounds like next generation wasn’t ready for prime time. That sounds very similar to the last home gauge switch to web writer. They were in such a hurry to get it out that they’d use home inspectors as guinea pigs to test it out and find all the issues.

1 Like

In my opinion, no it’s not. If they said right now we are shutting down legacy and going totally Next Gen, I would not be happy.

What is odd about this release, and I suppose most new app releases, is that there is such a wide variation of user experiences. I know there are a wide variety of devices and users out there, but there are only two mainstream operating systems for phones. Would seem like it would be relatively easy to get it done, but I’m no app developer, lol.

1 Like


22+ years ago…


Lot of old but familiar names in the thread.

1 Like

I didn’t read the whole thread, but things sure have come a long way!

1 Like

Yup… Palm Tech Software with a Palm Pilot PDA was my first and last attempt (2007-2009) at onsite reporting, (excluding using a laptop w/desktop software on commercial properties in later years).

1 Like