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.
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?