RoamBi Data Display App Interesting Looking: But is it Useful?

roambi_syncstuck.png

CNET’s Jessica Dolcourt was really impressed by this new free iPhone app…

RoamBi iPhone app makes data uberpretty

So, I decided to take a look at…

RoamBi – Visualizer 2.1

It looked like I needed to set up a free account to really try out the app. So, I headed over to…

http://www.roambi.com/

…and created my free account. The confirmation process ran into a small snag because both my server-side spam filter and client-side spam filter in Thunderbird considered it spam. In fact, Thunderbird refused to let me move the email from the junk box to the inbox. It kept filtering it back out of my inbox. However, the email is readable from there, so I was able to complete my account activation.

I uploaded a small simple spreadsheet from my computer to the RoamBi Publisher. This process was relatively simple and painless. However, syncing this file to my iPhone (actually, I used my iPod touch for testing) was a mysterious process. It seemed like the sync took forever (see screenshot above). My iPod touch went to sleep during several attempts. The is no sync status to indicate what, if anything, is happening. However, at some point a minute or two after my initial sync attempts, I noted that a file was available to sync and was able to bring the test spreadsheet in for testing.

I had hoped RoamBi would let me do things like summarize data. But, if it does, it wasn’t able to do so with my data. I also found that I had to reimport, rebuild and resync if I wanted to view the spreadsheet using one of RoamBi’s other data views. This resulted in two separate files in the RoamBi library on my iPod touch.

I’m going to play with it a bit more. But, I’m not as impressed as CNET’s reviewer so far.