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This should be a fairly easy iPhone app to code. It's inspired by a very simple app called counters which allows you to have a screen full of counters at once, and to have a single tier of folders to keep them in.

The iPhone/iTouch platform would make a good one for small business use for inventory taking.

I'm hoping that this thread will spark a thread discussing the features that this application would have, and if there is enough interest, Omni Management would release the developer ninjas loose.

Alternately, if anyone reads this and and says, "Been done." please send me a referenence.

Firstly: If you haven't done so, at least go look at the screen shots for counters.

I need something that will track HUNDREDS of counters. Got your interest?

I want to have an application that I can use to inventory trees. I have 80 species of trees in several sizes of containers. Each tree has a height.

I want to be able to walk down a row with my measuring stick in one hand, and my iPhone in the other, and click the counter corresponding to the height. While I'm in a species group, 1 click per tree.

I need these features:

0. I have to be able to use it without looking at it.

1. A hierarchy of counters: (I've removed MOST of it, leaving enough to give you the gist.
For each item there is a set of nested folders that gets you down to the level you are working at. So for me, at a given time, I'm tallying the size of my trees one by one. Other people may want to do it at a different level.
==> Conifers
==> ==> Spruce
==> ==> ==> White Spruce
==> ==> ==> ==> Seedling
==> ==> ==> ==> 1-1.5 feet
==> ==> ==> ==> 1.5 - 2 feet
==> ==> ==> ==> 2 - 2.5 feet
==> ==> ==> ==> 2.5 - 3 feet
==> ==> ==> ==> 3-4 feet
==> ==> ==> ==> 4-5 feet
==> ==> ==> ==> 5-6 feet
==> ==> ==> ==> 6-7 feet
==> ==> ==> ==> >7 feet
==> ==> ==> Black Spruce
==> ==> ==> ...
==> ==> ==> Serbian Spruce
==> ==> ==> Meyer's Spruce
==> ==> ==> Colorado Spruce
==> ==> Fir
==> ==> ==> Douglas Fir
==> ==> ==> Balsam Fir
==> ==> ==> Alpine Fir
==> ==> Pine
==> ==> ==> Ponderosa Pine
==> ==> ==> Jack Pine
==> ==> ==> Red Pine
==> ==> ==> Mugo Pine
==> Decidious
==> ==> Willows
==> ==> ==> Golden Willow
==> ==> ==> ==>< 2 feet
==> ==> ==> ==>2-3 feet
==> ==> ==> ==>3-4 feet
==> ==> ==> ==>4-5 feet
==> ==> ==> ==>5-6 feet
==> ==> ==> ==>6-7 feet
==> ==> ==> ==>>7 feet
==> ==> ==> Belgian Red Willow
==> ==> ==> ...
==> ==> ==> Black Maul Willow
==> ==> Oaks
==> ==> ==> White Oak
==> ==> ==> Burr Oak
==> ==> ==> Scarlet Oak

So I go out to the field to count golden willow
Click Trees -> Deciduous -> Willows -> Golden willows.
Now I'm set to do golden willows

Finish the willow. Walk over to the spruce.
Click back, back back Conifers -> Spruce -> Meyer's Spruce
Now I'm set to do Meyer's spruce.

Walk back to house, dump the file to my Mac as a CSV file I can use in a spreadsheet.
The CSV file could be structured like this:
F1,Conifers (F1 meaning it's a Top level folder.)
F2,Spruce, (F2, it's a seond level folder
F3,Meyers (It's a 3rd level folder, child of the most recent 2nd level folder.
C,Seedling,112 (It's a counter, child of the most recent folder.
C,1-2 feet,27

Having an option to do it as an xml file would work too.

Hey, LOTS of options for getting the file off the iPhone and into your computer.


On the counters themselves: You need to buy this app and play with it for the following to make sense.

1. Right now if you are displaying multiple counters in a folder, you can't re-arrange them in any order. Bad Puppy. No biscuit.

2. I'd like enough audio feedback so I don't have to look at it to know if I hit the right button.Associate a sound with each counter in a stack, and a second sound with each of + and -. The sound could be a bird call, a rthym of clicks, whatever. The sound for + and - could be a high or low pitch, or a rising or falling swoop, or pair of notes.

Additional feedback: The most recently hit button is highlighted, surrounded by a box, or the plus or - is glowing.

3. Each counter needs an option to add an arbitrary number to it. E.g. I have a block of colorado spruce 6 pots wide by 42 long that are all 18 inches high, I want to be able to
touch the word for the counter corresponding to that height of spruce and add arbitrary 6 x 42 and have counters figure out that 6 * 42 = 252, add that to the current value of the counter, and display, 'added 252'. It should also have an undo button.

4. I should be able to set my counters on my mac, then download the counter file to my iPhone.

These features would take counters from being a toy to being a serious tool.

5. Red and green may not be the best choices for the colours. About 8% of males are red/green colour blind. Better choice of colours would be something like a light yellow orange with a black symbol and black outline, and a medium dark blue with white symbol.

Ok. What do *other* people think that an inventory taking app needs to have?

(If this is the wrong forum, you are free to come to my tree farm, claim a 1 gallon anything as a prize, and have dinner. Beer and Pizza.)

Sherwood of Sherwood's Forests

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