Are you happy with iOS Blue Iris mobile app?

VladGur

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Hey folks!
This is the continuation of my research into viability of Blue Iris for my use case started here: 8 of Costco's Lorex E891AB and Synology Surveillance Station(and licenses) OR a windows pc + BlueIris
One important factor for me is ability to react/respond to events on the go, especially when im away from my house.
I have installed BI on the VM before i commit to buying a computer and a license, but havent installed the official(and only) mobile app for IOS ‎Blue Iris
One thing that was striking right away from just looking at the app info and the screenshots

1) It has not seen any updates for 1.5 years, which is a major concern, especially given there were major iOS releases since then, and a major BI release.
2) the interface does not seem to be well designed(based on the screenshot). Take this with a grain of salt as i havent yet downloaded or used it, might have to take a $10 plunge to research it.
3) The entire ecosystem, including the windows application, mobile apps as well as the marketing website seems like a product driven by a single developer, which may explain slow updates, but also makes me cautious about investing time and money into it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
 

IAmATeaf

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The product is developed by a single person but given that, the website and BI belies it being developed in such a manner so I’ve no idea how you’ve arrived at that conclusion.

As for the app, I think I’m correct in stating that the developer had the app commissioned, I reached out to him to report a few problems with and he told me that the IOS app certainly is due a bit update.
 

chaycock

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I would most definitely not try and use your NAS as an NVR even though it has the capability to do so. I don't think you will be happy with the performance.
I would buy a (used) dedicated machine and run BI on that machine.
I have had BI running for years and it is rock solid.
It is by far the most value for your money, but is not at all short on features.
At the price point, you really don't have much to lose even if you don't end up liking it.
 

spankdog

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What are your favorite and most used features of the app?
What are your major gripes with it?
I can quickly and easily access the alerts and cameras. There is obviously more that it can do but for me that is the most important part . My wife also has the app and she never has any issues with it so thats a plus.
 

IAmATeaf

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Which particular conclusion are you referring to?
Your conclusion re slow updates. The main BI app receives regular updates much quicker than any mainstream product would ever get. Does mean that on occasions there might be issues with an update but I love the dynamic nature of the app, you can even suggest features and if the developer likes the idea a few updates and it’s included.
 

VladGur

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I was referring to an iPhone app that hasn’t been updated in over a year and reading a few complaints in the reviews related to that.
In that year there was an iOS 13 release as well as a BI5 release. These releases happened over 6 months ago, but no updates in the BI iPhone app.
I think it’s a safe conclusion that iOS releases are slow
 

pozzello

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an alternative to the android/iphone apps (which are not updated as often as BI itself) is to use the built-in web UI (UI3).
quite usable on a decent-sized phone or tablet, always up-to-date, no extra cost...
 

chaycock

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Thanks chaycock. Do you use an iPhone app? What do you like/dislike about it?
I use the Android app, and while it is not "flashy" like more modern apps, it does what it is supposed to.
I also use the UI3 web interface which while originally developed by a third party, is now included in BI.
That shows me that the developer definitely listens to the community and is willing to do what he can to improve the software.
Given that it is a one-man show, it is really incredible what he has been able to do.

I have no complaints about the BI app. As you can see from my profile, I don't post often, so I can't be considered a cheerleader or fanboy....lol
 

fenderman

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Hey folks!
This is the continuation of my research into viability of Blue Iris for my use case started here: 8 of Costco's Lorex E891AB and Synology Surveillance Station(and licenses) OR a windows pc + BlueIris
One important factor for me is ability to react/respond to events on the go, especially when im away from my house.
I have installed BI on the VM before i commit to buying a computer and a license, but havent installed the official(and only) mobile app for IOS ‎Blue Iris
One thing that was striking right away from just looking at the app info and the screenshots

1) It has not seen any updates for 1.5 years, which is a major concern, especially given there were major iOS releases since then, and a major BI release.
2) the interface does not seem to be well designed(based on the screenshot). Take this with a grain of salt as i havent yet downloaded or used it, might have to take a $10 plunge to research it.
3) The entire ecosystem, including the windows application, mobile apps as well as the marketing website seems like a product driven by a single developer, which may explain slow updates, but also makes me cautious about investing time and money into it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
The app is reported to be overhauled this summer. Regardless, even if its not, it runs perfectly fine on the latest versions of IOS. If this is a concern for you, you should be VERY concerned that synology's last meaningful update to their app was in April 2019 and that was a minor update.
It IS developed by a single person. That is why its so cheap and so good. While the big guys wait 6 months between updates with new features he is pushing them out every few weeks. I suggest you buy the synology licenses, then when your are sick and tired of it, come back for the ultimate solution. I have over 20 users running the blue iris ios app with ZERO complaints, iphone 6, 7, 11 etc...
 

VladGur

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Thanks for the news @fenderman -- Im glad to hear that the app will be updated soon and i will include it in my testing.

About Synology, the DS Cam app that is used with Surveillance Station was last updated 5 months ago, and then 4 months before that, so there is a continuous stream of updates which makes me feel like the app is continuously improving.

Some folks here suggested using the web app, thats not an option for my mobile usage because i do want to be able to get notifications and react to them and inspite of all the great effort put into evangelizing the PWAs, mobile notifications are not supported by mobile Safari on ios and will probably never be.
 

fenderman

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Thanks for the news @fenderman -- Im glad to hear that the app will be updated soon and i will include it in my testing.

About Synology, the DS Cam app that is used with Surveillance Station was last updated 5 months ago, and then 4 months before that, so there is a continuous stream of updates which makes me feel like the app is continuously improving.

Some folks here suggested using the web app, thats not an option for my mobile usage because i do want to be able to get notifications and react to them and inspite of all the great effort put into evangelizing the PWAs, mobile notifications are not supported by mobile Safari on ios and will probably never be.
Dont rely on that statement. It is based of a users comments that he says came from support. If you dont like the app as is, and pretty is more important than function, use something else.
Stick with synology, otherwise you will just be complaining in the future. Pay the 400 dollars in licensing and be done with it.
 

VladGur

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@fenderman i hope you understand that I am trying to make up my mind based on the info I gathered here and observed testing. I’m absolutely open to learning more about BI, in fact that’s the reason I posted here.
I got a lot of amazing and useful feedback and I’m not trying to convince anyone but myself.

Few points:

  • pretty is not as important as function in itself, but I think I would want to focus on usability and user experience rather than pretty. Feedback about usability of the app is all over the App Store and looking at the screenshot I can tell that whoever designed the interface is not a usability expert. That said, I understand that this feedback is shallow because I haven’t used the app myself yet
  • in my case $400 is the amount it will cost to buy additional licenses but it’s also the amount it will cost me to buy a computer+BI5 license, so it’s even steven
 

fenderman

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@fenderman i hope you understand that I am trying to make up my mind based on the info I gathered here and observed testing. I’m absolutely open to learning more about BI, in fact that’s the reason I posted here.
I got a lot of amazing and useful feedback and I’m not trying to convince anyone but myself.

Few points:

  • pretty is not as important as function in itself, but I think I would want to focus on usability and user experience rather than pretty. Feedback about usability of the app is all over the App Store and looking at the screenshot I can tell that whoever designed the interface is not a usability expert. That said, I understand that this feedback is shallow because I haven’t used the app myself yet
  • in my case $400 is the amount it will cost to buy additional licenses but it’s also the amount it will cost me to buy a computer+BI5 license, so it’s even steven
I can tell from your posts that you will be very disappointed with blue iris. Like I said, if you want pretty stick with synology. There is no usability issue with the blue iris mobile app, if you are not fluent with the app after a few days then something is wrong with you.
You also have to buy a much more powerful nas because your slow six year old nas will choke on just a few of those cams.
 
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cbell1611

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I have no issues with the App. And the fact that my wife who is non technical uses the app without a problem, I think that’s speaks volumes. I believe constant updates is a recipe for disaster. You risk Introducing bugs, stability, and any intuitiveness the app currently has. Forget upgrades just for the looks. Focus on Bug fixes and optimization.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

fenderman

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I have no issues with the App. And the fact that my wife who is non technical uses the app without a problem, I think that’s speaks volumes. I believe constant updates is a recipe for disaster. You risk Introducing bugs, stability, and any intuitiveness the app currently has. Forget upgrades just for the looks. Focus on Bug fixes and optimization.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Constant updates are great. The beauty is that they are optional. This only poses a problem to folks with OCD who cannot seem to resist the update button.
 

IAmATeaf

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My entire family uses the IOS app, even my wife and we have no complaints. We have updated IOS and haven’t had any issues. In fact I am in the beta testing program so am currently running 13.6.

Also don’t forget that from what I’ve seen the app is just a header for the backend. By this I mean that I reported a bug with the app which Ken acknowledged, told me that the mobile apps are due a refresh but in the meantime fixed the bug with a change to the backend.
 
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