Janome AcuDesign: Why?

I’ve purchased an IPAD and installed AcuDesign on it. Why?

I’m a long time machine embroideror and firmly in the Embird-Forever camp.  I had a Windows Surface Pro tablet with Embird installed.  Windows has a couple of problems. Most importantly, Windows does not work well with Touch. Touch is the pinch and tap etc motions that you make to initiate actions on a tablet.   Dig deep and you’ll find that Windows has always admitted to some incompatibility with Touch.  Touch was added to Windows afterwards. It was an addendum. Copied from elsewhere; plastered onto Windows (because people wanted Touch) rather than integrated into the core of Windows. Whenever I used Embird on my Windows tablets, I had problems. In fact I had problems everywhere including the internet because Windows didn’t always respond correctly to the Touch inputs. Despite the wonders of Surface Pro they show on TV, digitizing was never satisfactory. Setting points a real chore. Oh and that pen?  Required an expensive  new battery every month and was constantly ‘falling asleep’. I spent more time unscrewing the top and screwing it back down than digitizing. I could use many of Embird’s edit features and did so until my Surface Pro developed a pit in the screen. After that the Surface Pro no longer responded at all.

I liked being able to view and make minor edits like color changes or combining designs in the comfort of my easy chair.  So I replaced the expensive Surface Pro, with an aftermarket Windows 10 tablet. I planned to use the tablet for email, surfing the net with Chrome and editing via Embird. Windows 10 made that 32GB  tablet a dog. The day I set it up, Windows made massive updates.  The next day, same thing. Windows apparently doesn’t download only the updated files but the entire system every time it needed an update. How often does it need an update? Apparently once a week. Within days of receipt,  the tablet would not work until I made an emergency restore thumb drive and delete files. It took hours to make the backup before I could delete the excess files – all Windows files BTW.  Then more hours as Windows downloaded and installed the updates.  I was good for about a week. Then once again Windows wanted to download an update which it attempted for 2 days  before failing and telling me I had to make another emergency restore thumb drive and file delete. Was this to be a once a week activity?  An activity that consumed my tablet  for a few days at a time? An activity that made my table unavailable 3 days each week? Please don’t blame my network. I’m on fiber. When they installed fiber, my ISP made a deal for these honkin’ modems. We have commercial grade equipment. Equipment designed to support hundreds of devices. Not just the PC and tablet currently attached.

Adding to  the ‘fun’ of Window 10, was my favorite browser, Chrome. I made the mistake of telling Chrome to keep itself updated.  Google interpreted that to mean it should download every software Google creates and keep them all up to date and to track me everywhere.  Suddenly, Google was tracking my every trip to the bathroom.   I did not know this immediately. What I knew immediately was that Chrome ran at decent speeds on my PC (where it’s activities are limited) but made my whole tablet slow down to a crawl.  Chrome admits that there is some kind of conflict between Windows 10 and Chrome. But they’re working on it. Going to have that solved and patched any day.  Question, did Microsoft cripple Chrome so that their browser, Edge, would look good?  Because Edge ran OK (great compared to Chrome), it just didn’t have my favorites or usernames and passwords.

I was in the process of deleting everything Google and trying different browsers when one of my fav TV Shopping Channels announced a good deal on IPADs. Instead of the $1400, I thought I would have to pay, the package would contain an IPAD Pro (9.7″), keyboard, case, pen and an assortment of software for a mere $850. I thought back to our discussions on SG (there’s no single thread I can link) of the various embroidery apps available for IPAD and I bought. Said “Yes. Send me that thing and it’s bits and pieces.” Then I set about studying the available apps.

Just for the record, The Google Play Store lists 2 apps for machine embroidery on Androids.  (Of course you already know every major sewing machine brand offers its own very expensive embroider software).  One of the Play Store apps supposedly is going to teach you all about embroidery. It gets horrible reviews. The other app described itself as transferring files from PC to your Android tablet and from there to your embroidery machine. No editing available. I didn’t see the need to replace a thumb drive with my tablet but being curious decided to try it out.  What an error. Totally trashed my tablet.  I proved that the emergency recovery thumb drive really works and then spent hours and hours once again downloading and installing Windows updates. My advice, don’t try embroidery apps in the Google Play Store.

I’ve been able to find 3 apps/programs that will run on the IPAD.

Stitchbuddy View and Edit is available in the Apple Store for a nominal cost. $9.99 makes it an excellent deal however there isn’t much support. There is a quick demo which didn’t convince me Stitchbuddy had enough features for me. It does have some editing.   It does have a very small footprint and will run on your phone as well as the IPAD.  View would be useful on your phone. You’d have instant feed back on what your machine is doing! The programmer states he just can’t invest much time in a $9.99 app. Understandable, but I’m not paying even that until I think an app will do what I need. So Stitchbuddy is off my list until they produce a better intro and some lessons demonstrating it is powerful. May be off my list permanently if it is not a powerful embroidery app.

Embrillance is the 2nd program I checked out.   Like Embird it is a full featured program. Not an APP.  Whatever you want to do machine embroidery, Embrillance will do it. On your IPAD! Like Embird, it is sold in modules. So you buy what you need as you need it.  There is some advantage to this. Well yes, you’re not forking out $5,000 all at once.  (Total, all the modules,  Embriallance costs is much less than any branded embroidery program). But also it’s easier to learn when  you work with one module and master that module before moving onto the next. Making a purchase will slow you down. Make you get a grip on what you have before making the next purchase. (Or is it only I, this applies to?).  Embrillance runs various sales and offers. Think there may even be a coupon out there. When I was looking the base module was $200.  More than I paid for Embird and knowing myself, I thought that was the beginning of a chain of purchases.  I may be wrong about this. May have missed the verbiage, but I think I would need to purchase separate executables for my PC and for my IPAD if I wanted to use Embrillance on my PC. I understand why. It’s not simply adding a few lines of code and the program works in both environments. What happens is that the program has to be nearly rewritten to function on the other platform.  You are in effect, getting two programs. And pay for two programs.

So did I want to start with Embrillance?  Would I be satisfied with Embird on the PC and Embrillance on the IPAD? Which was why I was glad for a 3rd option: AcuDesign by Janome.

Janome put up a great help page that contains FAQS and videos. One (at the bottom of this page) is a fantastic Webinar. Over an hour long and covering most of AcuDesign’s feature, the Webinar convinced me AcuDesign would most likely do all the things I wanted to do in my easy chair.  The great price, $49.99, was the clincher.

I can still go back and purchase either of the other 2 programs. Also Embird keeps saying they are developing  IPAD and Android versions. So future possibilities there.

In the next few days, maybe weeks, I’ll be writing posts of my experiences with AcuDesign.   May even share a few tips.  Definitely share my disasters. After all, misery needs company. Along that line, the final Apple charge was $53.24.  Taxes, they said.


PSST…Please dont tell me of a better deal on IPADs.  I’m happy with what I’ve got. Don’t spoil my happiness.  Let Apple do that.