My first real concern was accessing my massive set of embroidery files. I want to work with the files I have on my new device, the IPAD Pro tablet. To do that I have to get them onto the IPAD and somehow inside my embroidery app, AcuDesign.
My initial plan was connecting my Toshiba Wireless drive; accessing and editing the embroidery files on that drive and then saving to the SD card already installed in the Toshiba drive. I would then take the SD card put it in a thumb drive adapter and plug it into the USB port of my embroidery machine. It would be easier, I thought, to do than to describe.
Indeed, it was easy to wirelessly connect the Toshiba to the IPAD. I turned on the drive (I keep it powered off when not in use), downloaded Toshiba’s app from the Apple Store and launched the app. There are several ways to access the drive through a tablet. Since I don’t use the Toshiba every time I sit down with my tablet, I chose to open settings, WIFI and choose the drive from the list of networks. This was as easy and seamless as had been on the Android tablet for which Toshiba was originally purchased. The Toshiba app let me walk all over the drive using the IPAD. Open files, PDF’s and even make edits. Warning, Toshiba’s app is not very powerful, but it is enough for what I usually do.
Satisfied that IPAD and Toshiba were good buddies, I tried to access Toshiba through AcuDesign. The procedure should be
- Launch AcuDesign
- Click on the Import Icon (right side, near the top)
- Select type device (something wireless like the Toshiba).
- Navigate the drive to find desired file
- Double Click desired file to open.
No joy. Nope. It would appear AcuDesign has been hard-coded to access only
- SanDisk Flash
- iUSB port
I’m a babe when it comes to Apple and IOS. But I know that a well coded Windows or Android program will access a Device Manager app and display the devices connected to your tablet or pc. It’s dynamic i.e. it creates a new list every time of all the available devices you can use. I’ve not seen a hard-coded page like this in years, decades even. This hard-coded list of devices could be a fatal flaw and most certainly will be a headache for developers as it must be continually updated. It will be a source of frustration, annoyance, dissatisfaction for the end users and may even cost the company sales. As an end-user, your choices are to acquire one of the options above or not import any files (just buy, buy, buy from those same files you’ve already said you didn’t like). I do think that AcuDesign will continue to receive negative feed-back as long as this situation lasts.
To my sorrow, AcuDesign, never once acknowledged that my Toshiba Drive existed let alone hosted my valuable collection of embroidery files.
Perhaps I will get smarter in the future and find another solution, but for now I needed to find an alternative. I chose to go with Dropbox to have something immediately and free. (Sorry to be so cheap but for this project and the sole reason for purchasing an IPAD, I’ve already paid $850 for the device and another $50 for the app. How much more do I have to spend before I can edit designs on my IPAD?)
I went to my PC to create my Dropbox account. Not hard or time consuming process. They really didn’t ask many questions and I saw no mention of securing the account with my first-born. Just saying, some of these end-user agreements are pretty demanding.
While one of my subdirectories, Vintage, was uploading to my drop box, I installed the DropBox app onto my IPAD from the Apple Store. I’ve read I may get some extra storage space which motivated me to get the app. Oh and install at my PC first. (Confession: I am a data junkie. I can always use more storage space.) Once again, getting an app from the store is simplicity itself. Because I knew what I wanted, I did a search on the app name “DropBox” . Verified it was an IPAD version. Click Get. Twiddled my thumbs for 8 seconds and opened my app. Oh this is so good. I can remember so many years of installing programs/applications. So much wasted time. I’m pleased with how fast I can get needed software and how easy it is to install not to mention that most apps are priced very low or free.
Then I configured AcuDesign for DropBox. I’m glad to say, the programmers figured someone, like me, might not do this in the preferred order i.e. DropBox account first then install Dropbox app, then install AcuDesign app. In AcuDesign and up at the top towards the right side is a gear icon. Click that to make configure settings also setting you didn’t make or made incorrectly during installation.
- Icloud was enabled when installed AcuDesign.
- I enabled Dropbox adding the email and password associated with my Dropbox account.
- I left “restore” for Purchases figuring when hard drive space became an issue I’d figure it out.
- I changed the Measurement System to US. Just easier for me to wrap my head around. I even have a worksheet in which I’ve listed my hoops in metric and then converted to inches.
- I left Sound at its default but I’m glad to know I can come back here and shut it down if AcuDesign gets too noisy.
- To my delight Marathon Polyester was listed among the Thread Palettes. I left 2nd and 3rd choices at NONE.
- I changed my Name to sdBev that’s how I’m known on the internet.
- My Packages is something that AcuDesign auto-updates. They list all the packages you purchase from their store and also the category “Imported” No need for action on my part.
- Cellular Data I turned off. AcuDesign will always be in use on my WIFI.
- Also turned off Download all designs . I’m still antsy about the storage space I will need. I prefer to download my designs as I need them, at least for now.
- Under VIEW I turned on Show status bar. Not sure what that does, so for now it’s on until it proves to be an annoyance.
- Cutters I didn’t mess with. I have a cutter, the Cameo Silhouette. But it’s a few years old. Does not have WIFI and I haven’t connected it to the network. No use bogging down the embroidery app with useless information. Or so I thought.
Closed the Gear box ( just tap the icon a second time) and tried to access Dropbox through AcuDesign by
- Clicking the Import icon (looks like an arrow pointing to the lower corner of a box. Located near the top and next to the ? (help) icon.
- Click DropBox icon
Nothing. Or nearly so. A window opens encompassing about 2/3 of the right hand side and says at the top “Choose files” below that “Directories”. I had no directories. Check the internet. Vintage subdirectory and all it’s files are there. I switch to the IPAD desk top and open the DropBox app. Yep Vintage and all it’s files are on my IPAD. Nothing in the AcuDesign Import window. When in doubt always reboot. Right? I close all the apps (IPAD seems to save everything as-is unless I specifically close. ) Power off. Count to 30. Power On. Give it a few seconds and
- Launch AcuDesign
- Click Import
- Click Dropbox
Nothing there. I mean big blank screen just like woefully complained about in the Store reviews and BTW never answered.
I start searching the web for help. I used to be really good at locating information off the web. I think all the weighting and stuff they do has made it more difficult for me to find exactly the right word or phrase to give to the search engine. After about a half hour with Safari (IPAD’s default browser), I put my tablet down and go the PC where Chrome still resides. Despite my recent disgruntlement with Google, I still like Chrome. I seem to be better at asking Chrome to find me information. Yes really, because within 5 minutes I found and read a really nice web page that steps you through adding designs to AcuDesign from Dropbox..
Wish I’d read this page first. I won’t repeat the info from that page here. The author did a really good job both outlining what needs to be done and why. I will say I wish I had created my Dropbox account before installing AcuDesign and that AcuDesign appears to have once again taken the position of hard coding vs allowing a dynamic selection. AcuDesign will only see and display files saved in Dropbox\apps\Artistic Any files anywhere else are ignored. As in, you will see that blank screen when trying to import from DropBox.
I think this could be another fatal flaw. I’m fairly sure 2 of the negative ratings were due to the end-user not knowing where to store their files in DropBox. A second flaw would be not having this information easy to find. I don’t recall seeing it in the Webinar. Besides many people won’t want to watch a video everytime they need to do something in AcuDesign. They’ll want to find their files without any hassle. No matter how powerful a program may be, it’s useless if you don’t know exactly how to use it. Saying ‘use dropbox’ is not the same as the list of instructions posted on the above referenced webpage. I can understand why Janome doesn’t want to invest a lot into AcuDesign. Their other softwares are much more revenue generating. But I think they’re missing the boat. There is money to be made from this IPAD app. Money that would establish Janome as The Name for Embroidery Apps.
Sigh. I’ll get off my soap box, for now. Let me conclude by saying again, IMPORTING FILES is all about the hardware and software. My original choice, the Toshiba wireless drive didn’t work because AcuDesign is hard-coded to work with only the sources listed above. If you don’t have one of those sources exactly, you can’t import files. PERIOD.
Dropbox method is really good. Quick, free, reliable. The biggest gotcha is that your files must be stored in dropbox\apps\artistic Anywhere else and AcuDesign doesn’t know you have embroidery files in DropBox.
I haven’t edited, merged or saved files, yet. Along with working with the SanDisk Flash (when it arrives) I think I have a few more posts. Hope you are enjoying and even learning a little about AcuDesign. As it stands now, I’ll still give AcuDesign a Thumbs UP, just not 5 stars.