What's the status of the feature requests

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    Andrew

    Couple of notes:

    1) First, part of the plan going forward is more overall. We've been growing/hiring rapidly recently, and I expect that to continue: https://blog.gaiagps.com/gaia-gps-welcomes-5-new-team-members/

    2) Product roadmaps change all the time, so while we do comment on our plans a bit, we try to limit public promises about what we plan to ship. 

    3) People's comments and feature requests on the forums are valuable, but are one of many inputs that influence the roadmap. So it really is true to say we're listening, and the feedback is great... it's crucial to get that into the mix when doing the product planning, and does influence decisions a lot. 

    3) I don't have an ETA on folder UX improvements, though it's something I want in the app for myself too.

    4) There are two main efforts underway right now.

    * a big project around search, which you'll start to see roll out over the next couple of months in bits and pieces - the first thing that will be evident is better autocomplete results (on iOS+Android+web) when you search, and then there's a a cooler related thing that's been in the works for quite a long time that - most of the team is working on this

    * general improvements on the Android app (one of the new devs, Andy, is heading this up - he's an extremely talented developer, previously working at Facebook and Amazon)

    5) There's also a half done project to update gaiagps.com/map to use a better mapping framework, which will cascade into new features on the web map. I think this will get totally done this summer... because speaking of hiring great developers, we were ale to hire one of the people who helped build he actual mapping framework we're now implementing on gaiagps.com. Other people at the company started this mapping project, but he'll finish it after he gets ramped up a bit!

     

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    sjmj3us

    Thanks for the response. 

    Glad to see we agree folders would benefit from some UX improvements. But I was wondering what that means. Specifically the concept of tagging, Is that something you think has merit or is it a non-starter? It would be nice if you were sharing what conceptually you were thinking, A lot of the suggestions are a year or more old. Doesn't it make sense that providing no specific feedback to popular requests for like a year might make people wonder if their inputs are being taken seriously?

    I'm glad to see there are general improvements coming to Android, while the functionality right now is great, there is a lot of opportunities for clean up.

    With regard to search, see this is an area where you could really explain what the user impact is. As it is I have no interest in the capability (I assume you mean searching the public tracks on the GAIA cloud). But at one point it sounded like you wanted your cloud to compete with All Trails/Every Trail. But that's not at all what you are currently providing. Right now it just allows people to share tracks and pictures. To compete with those services you'd need some kind of curated system and at least  a structure that doesn't currently exist: directions to the trail, parking information, difficulty, summary and comments section... I don't use the shared feature to be part of the community. I use share only to share my hike with specific people. Btw I love the slideshow/map mashup view, simply awesome. The only annoyance there is that sometimes other people on the hike send me non-geotagged images.

     

     

     

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    Andrew

    1) I think tagging would be useful.

     

    2) It'd be good to respond on the forums more too, but I do think we spend a lot of time already on the forums, reddit, email, phone, etc. The support staff includes 3 full-timers and a manager, but they do other things too, including programming, GIS, writing help docs, making videos, and writing. So, there's a balance between how much we can engage with the community, when the alternative is making Gaia GPS better.

    3) For search, I meant more "what you see when you type in the search box." Coming up, when you type "yos" you'll get Yosemite National Park and when you type "john" you'll get John Muir Trail. And those are just examples... basically people will get what they are looking for when they search more often, and searching is one of the main things people do. I think these changes will be widely appreciated.

    We also do have some work going on around letting you actually discover hikes using Gaia GPS, because we have a lot of unique but unorganized data. I think Gaia GPS can provide unique data other sites do not.

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    sjmj3us

    Thanks for the responses. You do have excellent support and I suppose that's the best kind of engagement you can have. I'm surprised to hear search is used a lot, I have to try the feature as they are rolled out. 

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    ggps4sx

    I have been submitting a lot of feature requests in the recent past. While I have got responses to a few questions, but not sure what is happening to feature requests. Could there be a way support staff could at least respond that they have read a feature request? 

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    Nathan

    @ggps4sx
    Thanks for posting on the Gaia GPS Community Forums. Your feedback is important to us and we very much appreciate it.

    We keep tabs on all of the activity on the Community Forums and, as Andrew mentioned above, use the number of votes and comments per feature request to help plan future projects and new features.

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    k9education

    Gaia isn't listening and doesn't care what customers want.  The fact that they have ignored every single one of the most frequent feature requests for the last 5 years is proof of that.  My hiking club and I are all going to be jumping ship soon if Apple Health integration isn't implemented.  We've waited long enough and several other competitors have offered it for years.

     

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    sjmj3us

    Andrew's responses are nine months old, it seems like items 4b and 5 we would have seen some improvements. But I don't see changes in either the android app or on cloud. Perhaps an update is in order.

    The main change I've seen since his comment is the adding of hike search. A new feature that is something I didn't see any call for in the suggestions. What's odd is the feature hasn't been improved (at least on the cloud) and actually seems to be atrophying, for example you used to be able to find the beginning of the hike by running the mouse over the elevation profile and that no longer works.

    You'd have thought that given a big influx of talent you'd expect an increase in the pace of change and yet the opposite seems to have happened. Comments?

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    Andrew

    On both Android and gaiagps.com, new-feature-type work is held up because we're updating the "mapping framework" to work the same as on iOS. This project has been going on since December for Android, and since July on web. This is fundamental work that allows for vector maps, smaller/faster map downloads, and any new features map-screen we write against the old mapping framework would have to be rewritten. Once that lands, then the pace of features will greatly increase.

    1) On web, here's the current live look at new map: https://www.gaiagps.com/map2/

    We plan to replace https://www.gaiagps.com/map/ with that as soon as we're done re-implementing the route-maker. I'm hoping we'll finally get there in April, but it's always hard to tell with these things.

    2) On Android, I hope to see it land about June 1. @sjmj3us is correct that our Android plan involved first doing hike search, then going into the current vector maps project. I think that was the right way to go, though we debated doing that iOS/web only at first so the other Android work could proceed. We felt the hike search project was important, and that Android users wouldn't be happy to see our big feature launch iOS only. This feature gets a lot of use now, and the forum isn't the only indicator of what people want.

    3) Sometimes I think I shouldn't comment at all on timelines. It's just hard (for me/us at least) to know how long things will take us. I also think how much we're doing is especially hard to see right now, but people will get much more of their specific feature wishes after we finish this whole vector maps project.

    4) Getting new people hired and ramped up is a lot of work too... we have had 5 software engineers and 1 cartographer start since the beginning of the year, bringing Gaia GPS to 17 full-time people (who without exception have worked on the code). We also have had another engineer come back from maternity leave in recent weeks.

     

    p.s. We fixed the issue now with hovering on the elevation profile showing on the mini-map on hike pages.

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    sjmj3us

    Thanks I noticed you fixed the mini-map.

    With regard to a comment@k9education made. I'm curious what Gaia feels about other system/app interoperability. It seems so far that Gaia wants to have all capabilities in house but has branched out pretty far from the initial off-line maps capability. 

    There are of course a lot of fitness devices now that have sensors for heart rate, bioimpedence, temperature, blood oxygen, acceleromters (like for measuring steps etc.), gyroscopes... Does Gaia have an interest in incorporating fitness devices?

    There are other domains such as competition...

    Or working with apps like Google Fit or Samsung Health.

    What's Gaia's feeling about new areas?

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    Andrew

    There is some discussion about doing more with watches and fitness. Nothing we've committed too yet though. A bunch of us at the company do wear smart watches these days, and it's a little awkward when we find ourselves starting a workout on the watch and also recording a track separately with Gaia GPS. 

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    mushumax

    It's been 10 months since this last update on integration with Apple Health kit. Any further updates? It'd be really great to have this.

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