Friday, April 6, 2012

Range Buddy iOS App Review

Range Buddy Review and Comparison


Quick Review

Range Buddy stores firearm, target scoring, and reload information. It provides "stats" and reports as well.

It is my opinion that Range Buddy's primary function is to score targets and track the scoring based on the criteria of a training session versus a match.

Range Buddy associates the round count directly to the weapon. This facilitates the ability of Range Buddy to generate tasks and alert you based on round count and also on date.

In many ways Range Buddy is similar product to Gun Log SPC.

Range Buddy has a scoring UI where you tap a target and indicate the locations for target hits.

Range Buddy and similar apps by necessity store weapon and ammunition details. The level of detail varies.

Here is a comparison of the weapon details of Range Buddy and Gun Log SPC.



Here is a comparison of the ammunition details of Range Buddy and Gun Log SPC.



The core functionality of Range Buddy is storing range scores. Range Buddy calls those Sessions and Series. Gun Log SPC calls those Sessions and Sets. Here is a feature comparison matrix.






Range Buddy does what it advertises to do. It has a very graphical way of entering shots which is visually intuitive.

Range Buddy lacks the data tracking ability of Gun Log SPC.

Info from the App Store


Range Buddy
By Simone Grignola

$0.99
Category: Sports
Updated: Dec 11, 2011
Version: 1.3
Size: 4.3 MB
Language: English
Seller: Simone Grignola
© 2011-2012 Simone Grignola
Rated 4+
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Requires iOS 3.1 or later

Description
Range Buddy is the perfect app for gun enthusiasts to track both their collection of firearms and their performance at the range. This app allows you to maintain a detailed list of all your firearms including alerts for necessary maintenance on either a date or rounds-fired schedule. Track your success at the range quickly and easily and analyze results by exporting the details.

Features

• Firearms list can include details such as model, cartridge, rounds fired and notes
• Maintenance tasks such as replacing barrels and rotating magazines can be scheduled to alert you by date or number of rounds fired
• Record your shooting session and calculate your final score by using either the default target or by taking a photo of your target
• Mean score is automatically calculated
• All details of range results and firearms lists can be exported to a spreadsheet and emailed
• Keep track of your reloads and link them to the serie


Screen Shots


The "Firearms" area.


Adding a new firearm.



Hit done at top thought it would dismiss keyboard. Instead, that "Done" button has to do with saving the firearm record.


Tapped "empty" box which is how you add a photo.



Modified year...


Tapped "Rounds". You get this screen for entering rounds.


Tapped "+50".


After "Rounds" I tapped "New Task based on Rounds".





Now a "New task based on date".


Finished out the fields.


Back to "Firearms".


The "Target Scoring" area.


Adding a new session.

Picking a firearm.



Adding a series.


Double tap this target and red dots are added to correspond to hit locations.

First you choose the score or value. Your choices are 0 - 10. Then you double tap the target to place the value on the target. I didn't understand the relationship to the numeric scale and the target at first so I did not enter my values correctly.



I almost didn't notice there is another screen, so swipe over to it and you have details.



Going back to Series.


In session I tapped "Category". I select "Training".


Here you can see that Category now says "Training".



Back out to "Target Scoring".


The "Reloads" area.

I enter some of the data.




Back to the "Stats" area.

This interesting dialog comes up. I go back to my session. I was sure I set the category.



Don't know what happened, but category is not set. I may have hit "Done" or I may have navigated back by hitting "Target Scoring" and it didn't save, not sure. Whatever, I set the category.




Back to "Stats".



The "More" area.


Export.





The "Settings" in "More".



Cool, I can add a target.




Let's go back and use that target.




Look at that. Pretty slick.









Thoughts

Range Buddy does what it says it will do. It has reminders and a UI for scoring targets. You can export firearms, sessions, and "reloads" via CSV files attached to email.

Feature for feature Range Buddy does not match the logging abilities of Gun Log SPC.
Range Buddy does not have accessory information, ammunition inventory reporting, reports to show failures, or which ammo groups best at a given distance, all of which can be done by Gun Log SPC.

There are no iPad specific screens like Gun Log SPC.

I guess the best way to describe Range Buddy is it is a "good start".

If you are interested in the flow and use of Gun Log SPC compared to Range Buddy see below.

Screen Shots of Gun Log SPC

Entering a Weapon





Here is the Weapon view. The view scrolls a lot, so here are shots of the view being scrolled.





Back to the top. Enter your data. Buttons like "Make" bring up pickers, or you can type directly into the fields.

Notice the button bar below the title. You have "Configurations", "Maintenance", "Photo" and "Report".

Inside "Configuration".


You can setup as many configurations as you like. Each configuration can have a photo and lots of information. See the following screen shots showing all of the configuration data as I scroll down the screen and take screen shots.





You associate accessories to configurations.



Back to the weapon main screen.


You can enter maintenance data to create a log.


The round count is up to you to set and decide how to use. I use a relative round count, that is how many rounds since last maintenance. You could use a total round count if you wanted. The round count is not tied to the ammunition and changing this value does not change inventory. Firing sets is where you "use" ammunition.




Back to the weapon. The following screen shots show the pickers and such.










Add a photo.



All done.


Here is what you get on the home screen for weapons.

Tap the entry to go back and edit.



On to ammo.


Add a new entry and enter the data. Use pickers to help speed things up and keep data consistent.








Notice the richness of the data you can enter.




Here is the entry all finished and back at the Ammo home screen.


Let's do what Gun Log SPC is designed for, recording a firing session! If you don't shoot you guns you don't need Gun Log SPC.

Add a new session.




Each session can have multiple firing sets. Think of it like this, you are at the range and you shoot your 9mm and your .45 ACP, those are two different sets at the same session. Or you shoot some hardball and some jacket hallow points through through your .40 S&W, that could be two sets.


If you want to Gun Log SPC to track inventory and usage you should pick a weapon, weapon configuration, and ammo.





No you have a weapon, config, and ammo selected enter the details of the firing session. Notice that you can track failures, see the buttons at the top, you have a photo for your target, failures, drop table, and report.

Choose firing method and stance.




You should enter rounds fired, group size, and distance to target if you want to run reports on those values.



Enter data for group size, distance to target, score and possible score. You do not have to fill in all of the fields, so if you are not keeping track of group size or score or whatever, then do not worry about leaving the field blank.



Notice at the button bar below the "Firing Set" title. You can add a photo of the target and record failures.


Tapping the "Photo" button takes you to this screen.



I tapped the button next to the camera to pick a photo from my album. (I just picked one of many.)


Tapping the "Failures" button takes you to a screen where you can enter multiple failures for this firing set.







There is a lot of data you could enter. I will leave it blank for now, but here are some screen shots of the data you could enter.




Here is your set.


Here is your session.


Add an accessory in the Accessories area. You can then go to a weapon's configuration and associate the accessory to a weapon.












Here is the Reports area of Gun Log SPC.


Let's see the rounds fired report.



Now let's see the inventory, so go to the Rounds Count report.




There are many reports you can choose from.

Additional Thoughts

 Range Buddy and Gun Log came out withing a few weeks of each other. There have been many updates of Gun Log and the development and release of Gun Log SPC. Range Buddy has had a handful of updates.

I was going to call Gun Log "Shooting Buddy". I was shocked and dismayed at Range Buddy when it came out. The name was so close to what I wanted. The icon was very close too. I hadn't purchased Range Buddy until a now, almost a year after release, but I was curious to what its capabilities included.


Update with details of version 7.1.0

Main views of Gun Log SPC version 7.1.0

Here are some updated screen shots of Gun Log SPC and some comments.


Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Entering a new Firearm

Tap the "+" button at the top right.

Gun Log SPC

Tap the "Make" button...

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Entering more data...

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Back at the top use the buttons to go to Configurations, Maintenance, and other associated data.

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Notice that a Configuration can have multiple photos and associate accessories.

Gun Log SPC

Scrolling down through the Configuration fields...

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Maintenance details...

Gun Log SPC

Notice the "quick fields" for indicating common maintenance activities.

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Entering ammunition...

Gun Log SPC

Tap the "Make" button...

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Enter in more information...

Gun Log SPC

Round count, Price, and more information...

Gun Log SPC

For ballistics calculations make sure you enter muzzle velocity and ballistic coefficient. Often these values are on the ammo box.

Gun Log SPC

More ammo fields...

Gun Log SPC

Back to the top after entering data...

Gun Log SPC
Tap Increase/Decrease to go to this view...

Gun Log SPC

Entering a new Firing Session. Firing sessions are the heart of Gun Log SPC.

Gun Log SPC

Entering information...

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC
A Firing Session can have multiple Firing Sets. Tap "Go to Firing Sets..."

Gun Log SPC
Add a Firing Set...

Gun Log SPC

Pick the Firearm you are using, the configuration, and the ammunition.

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

The details thus far...

Gun Log SPC
Tap the "Camera" button to take a picture of the target or choose one from your photo album...

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC


Make sure you enter the rounds fired and group size...

Gun Log SPC

You can save many more details in a firing set...

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Going back to the list of Firing Sets...

Gun Log SPC

Go back into the firing set and enter "failure" details...

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Back out to Firing Sessions...

Gun Log SPC

Go to Reports to calculate a ballistics drop table.

Gun Log SPC

You can save the drop tables...

Gun Log SPC

Here is a newly created drop table, just enter your data...

Add caption
Pick a firearm, the configuration, and the ammo...

Gun Log SPC



Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

After you have picked the firearm, config, and ammo, scroll down further...

Gun Log SPC

After scrolling down tap the calculate button, the button on the left...

Gun Log SPC
Scroll through the drop table...

Gun Log SPC

Gun Log SPC

Firearms can have multiple photos too. These photos can be used in reports.

Gun Log SPC

Here is a firing set report using the firearm photo and the target photo.


Gun Log SPC



Here we are, back at the main view after entering some data.

Gun Log SPC

Reporting

Gun Log SPC excels in reporting. Almost every view can generate some type of report. You can generate expense reports, range reports, group size reports, failure reports, and many more.

Here are two real world reports from my own data. This is not "made up" data, but actual data from two years of range reports.

Here is a group size report for a CZ 85B.


Here is a failures report sorted by ammunition maker.





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