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Leica fotos, worst app ever used


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Wilson,

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. Since my iPhone connects seamlessly with hotspots anywhere in the world, I think your diagnosis of a faulty aerial or antenna may very well be the answer. When I return home from the mountains of New Mexico, I will hunt down the nearest Leica dealer to me and have them check it out. In the meantime I will just have to do the SD-card shuffle.

Allan

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Honestly, probably the worst app I have ever used! I really don’t understand Leica’s poor performance in this area, did they pick up a high school student with a month practice on swift to write the app?  the implementation is just disgraceful, and I’m not even talking about the subscription part of it. Forget the fact I paid $$$$$ to get this ridiculous app. here’s a suggestion, put it out on fiverr, Someone will build a better one for $500! (I’ll be happy to finance this)

Works just fine for me, no better or worse than equivalent apps from other brands. I never went for the subscription variant.

Fotos is not perfect I suppose... nevertheless, I'm happy with Fotos. For it comes in handy when I want to share a photo or two with my family or trigger my camera remotely.  It is not the worse app I've ever used. When I look at Apple's App Store and see the many, many Apps I have used over the years, I discover I have been disappointed often. Fotos is not even close to being the worse App I have ever used. In fact I think it is very useful. Just IMHO. 

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I’m sorry, but  this app seems to have been written by amateurs and the management seems not to have any grip on the situation.  Its functionality is fairly limited and, such as it is, while it may have a pretty interface, performs poorly. It cannot geotag reliably. It tries to scan the existing cards on the camera, which is hard to do over a limited bandwidth connection and 64 or 128gb cards. Why bother?  It is usable as a remote trigger, but only after a lengthy delay and no ability to switch to high res mode from the app, so far as I can see.  Leica need to hire someone that knows their way around Mac OS and iOS and Android and chrome, rather than letting the summer intern learn the ropes at our expense. These things are quite tricky, but that’s why you need a pro to design the apps for you. 😞

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I’m one of those “stupid” people who got the app to work.  With nothing to compare it to other than Phocus Mobile, I don’t think it is too bad, once you get the camera to connect.  That seems to be the main issue, and one where Phocus is way better.  Not sure why Leica makes this so hard.

One thing I’ve found, and mentioned before, is the cameras take some time to establish the WiFi network.  There’s a little green light which flashes on the back of the camera as the netwrok establishes.  If you wait til the light stops flashing, then try to connect the camera, and have patience, it will work.  It just takes more time than it should.

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I installed the app on my iPhone (11) and commissioned the former with no difficulty and - without reading any instructions - albeit with a sense of trepidation given some of the content of this thread. Decided to post something here more positive to ameliorate the apparent perception. I have no other connection with Leica nor any further experience with remote triggers.

Tried it on my old Q. After being told to update the firmware (from 3.0 to 3.1) the Q was then being remotely triggered without an issue. It promises geotagging and datetime sync but delivers neither. Not even sure my old Q is capable of geotagging. Its clock is still 20mins awry after a couple of uses of the app. I'm not going to complain or even file a bug. The remote trigger is fine. The connection delay is also fine ...actually it was quicker than I expected. 

Also tried it on my newer Q2M. One has to select the generic Q series and then there is a choice of a Q, Q2 and Q2M. All as above except I didn't test the datetime sync. Geotagging may or may not work on this newer camera but I have no wish to squander precious battery life on something I regard to be largely irrelevant. 

I do not use LR. The posited login to my Leica Account didn't work at all despite me testing the usern/passw on my workstation to ensure the correct parameters. Cellular connectivity is poor to non-existent in my granite cottage.

Summary: The app works out of the box, connects seamlessly and then remotely triggers my old Q and my newer Q2M without issue. I can commend its use to other Leica users.

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I’m all for accentuating the positive but even the remote trigger function is limited in usability. If you have pictures on your card, it will take a long time to scan them before you can remote shoot. Once you have shot, if you had the patience to get that far, the app will disconnect next time your camera or phone goes into lower power mode, forcing you to repeat the setup process.  This is understandable since Wi-fi consumes battery.  Wi-fi should not, however, be needed to set the gps or remote trigger. The Bluetooth connection should suffice for that. Designing the app so that it only used Wi-fi for transferring images to your phone would be clunky, but not as unusable as the current broken design. 

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50 minutes ago, jrp said:

I’m all for accentuating the positive but even the remote trigger function is limited in usability. If you have pictures on your card, it will take a long time to scan them before you can remote shoot. Once you have shot, if you had the patience to get that far, the app will disconnect next time your camera or phone goes into lower power mode, forcing you to repeat the setup process.  This is understandable since Wi-fi consumes battery.  Wi-fi should not, however, be needed to set the gps or remote trigger. The Bluetooth connection should suffice for that. Designing the app so that it only used Wi-fi for transferring images to your phone would be clunky, but not as unusable as the current broken design. 

I don't think the M10 series have Bluetooth, so the app has to be WiFi based. I think the SL and CL initialise via Bluetooth, which is why they are virtually instant connect, whereas Fotos on my M10-R takes about 35 seconds before it fires up on the app. 

Wilson

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@jrp I accept your previous findings. Also that you found the app wanting. My initial basic use of the app was with few expectations (a remote trigger capability, straightforward installation and easy-to-understand settings) along with using minimally loaded media cards in my Q & Q2M (both 128GB). My Wi-Fi environment is not overly occupied. Both cameras 'connected' within 15sec in slightly different ways (I don't think the Q has Bluetooth but not sure).

This time around there certainly are existing images on both cards and cameras but their 'scan time' was irrelevant as I just pressed the REMOTE button which became immediately operational (ie before the scanning was complete).

From my POV my expectations were and indeed are satisfied. I understand your disappointment but again, from my POV, I did not find it to be the 'worst-app-ever-used' ...contrary to the thread title. <shrug>Different expectations</shrug> 😎

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2 minutes ago, wlaidlaw said:

The Q cameras do have Bluetooth, which is used to initialise Fotos. 

I have an original Q (aka Q1). The Q2M required Bluetooth to be turned on (I keep it off to save the battery). When the Q didn't ask me to turn on Bluetooth I assumed it was not available. You may be correct as both camera models fire up the remote trigger facility in about 15secs. Long ago I tried to Bluetooth connect to my laptop but nothing exciting happened so I gave up and returned to the age-old tried and tested sneaker-net (swapping media cards) which is both very much faster and totally reliable. 

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I can see how the design team for the SL2 discussions went: we don’t need to include a gps as everyone has that on their phones and we don’t need a rear tilting screen because everyone can just use their app for awkward previews. Unfortunately they seem to thinks that most users of the app want to be able to transfer photos from the camera to their phone to post them on Instagram. A design compromise was made, an intern hired, and the result is the current unsatisfactory experience (poor interaction with power management, broken functionality).  The pity of it is that Leica is betting the farm on getting their IP into silicon valley and thence to phones, etc. That is prudent diversification, but relies on having adequate capacity to deliver the goods in the soft / firmware space, which they have yet to demonstrate. 

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I think omitting GPS from the SL2 was a major error. Having to have a constant link to a phone is flaky and means that I would have to always carry a phone. As I often rely on a cellular Apple Watch for communications and don't carry a phone, that would mean no geolocation. That together with the dumbing down of the brilliant, if steep learning curve, of the SL1's customisable control system, convinced me not to get an SL2 and I bought an M10-R instead, which has GPS in the Visoflex. 

Wilson

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I don’t have a Leica camera with me, but I’ve never had to scan the photos on the SD card to use the remote - they’re separate options in Fotos …

I also prefer the SL over the SL2. The functionality of the TL2 is also better than the CL - I don’t need an APS-C camera to look like an M. I already have those …

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I gave up on Fotos long ago. 
Almost useless : connexion is too long to established. And photo review is too slow and photo transfer took too long too. 
Geotagging is a bad joke. 
 

Faster to take a photo of the back screen with your phone. 
 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/5/2021 at 9:00 PM, wlaidlaw said:

I think omitting GPS from the SL2 was a major error. Having to have a constant link to a phone is flaky and means that I would have to always carry a phone. As I often rely on a cellular Apple Watch for communications and don't carry a phone, that would mean no geolocation. 

They could release an Apple Watch app to solve this issue.

Or even better, Leica should open the SL2 protocol, so we could see third party apps like Camrote (Sony only) https://camrote.app

Edited by Simone_DF
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I've decided that it's a lot less aggravating to just pop out the SD card and upload photos to my laptop. I hope the app gets sorted someday, but for me it's old school for now.

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Success seems to depend largely upon the camera's ability to communicate with the network/device. My D-Lux 109 is a legitimate pain to use with Fotos whereas the CL could hardly be easier. I find Fotos simple and easy, and certainly useful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree re "worst app.." That this is a Leica Product in totally disgusting to me and absolutely inconsistent with Leica's history of quality. WHAT THE HELL??  (And all this time I thought the Leica people were so smart....hahaha)

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