Dosecast CloudSync Disappoints
Since I posted on Managaing Medications in iOS three months ago, my choice of app in this category—Dosecast—has been updated to version 9. Do the latest changes to the app merit a bump in a major version number? Not in my book.
I already wasn’t excited by the design of Dosecast. Ever used a Mac app that has been ported from Windows and been disappointed that it just doesn’t feel right? That’s how I feel with Dosecast. It’s as if the developer doesn’t get the iOS design language—and now there’s even a glossy effect to its alerts that hearkens back to iOS 6. (And I still hate the “Updating” overlay that blocks the UI whenever changes are made.)
Version 9 gave me a feature that I’d asked for: that reminders would repeat every minute until the medication was taken or skipped. However, 9.0.4 removed this feature in favor of the previous behavior of a single secondary reminder. Although that secondary reminder period is now configurable (previously it was 15 minutes only), the loss of the continuous reminder is disappointing.
The biggest change in Dosecast, though, has been the addition of CloudSync: a “service which automatically keeps all your drug data up-to-date across an unlimited number of Apple [iOS] and Android devices and enables dose reminders to be delivered to all devices simultaneously.”
But CloudSync isn’t what I was hoping for and I find it hard to believe that the user base has been clamoring for this. Syncing between devices is not the same thing as syncing between users—and the latter is far more important. After all, do you really need to make sure that your reminders are showing up on both your iPhone and your iPad? Probably not. No, what you really want is the reminders for your child’s medications to show up on both your iPhone and your wife’s iPhone.
Now, to be clear, this does happen. But you also get every other medication and reminder shared between those devices, meaning you’ll be reminded of your wife’s meds and she’ll be reminded of yours. Thank you, no. Worse, bedtime settings (which allow you to suppress reminders during a set period) are synced, as well, and apply to all patients instead of individually. Other apps, like CareZone Meds or MediSafe allow for sharing of meds for only a specific patient or family member.
CloudSync is a subscription service for which you’ll pay $3 monthly through an in-app purchase of the Pro edition. Unfortunately, if you don’t want syncing but do want additional features—multiple drug types, dose history, quantity tracking, refill alerts, doctor/pharmacy tracking, drug database, custom drug photos, and multi-person support—that used to be included in the $4, one-time, in-app purchase of the Premium edition, well, you’ll also now need the Pro edition. (Existing Premium users apparently get Pro for free, but the Premium upgrade is no longer available within the app.)
In sum, Dosecast 9 is a disappointing upgrade and I am hard pressed to recommend anyone spend the money for the Pro edition.