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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
FYI, back in September, Lionel released an update to the Lionchief app v2.6.20 which broke bluetooth on Android 11 which are phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20, S21 etc. I tracked down some upper management at Lionel and reported it last week and supposedly they fixed it. Now the entire app crashes and also is confirmed in the Google Playstore reviews. How can an app go 2 months which problems this large and not be fixed?

Here is a video capture of what happens on Android 11 phones:


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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
On a side note, I downloaded and installed an older version 2.6.05 of the .APK and installed it and everything works again. You will need to uninstall the existing buggy app first and enable installs from unknown sources.




Disable auto-updates for this app.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That is the generic Lionel contact info. I would think Lionel would want to control the customer interface for its product. It doesn't mean there are s/w coders as employees.
If you hire a third-party developer for an app, they are typically listed as the app developer in the Google play store, not the business.
 

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Lionel is not a large company. It's about 100 million per year or less, and has maybe 50 employees, most of whom are not in tech. Not an excuse but a possible explanation. The vast majority of customers likely use the remote included in the LionChief sets or the universal remote or the cab-1/cab-2. A small minority probably use the app, so I'm guessing it's not the highest priority.

On the other hand, MTH, when they used to make sets (no longer apparently), decided not to include any method of controlling their locos in sets except using their app. And who knows what its future is at this point.

Unless I am mistaken, any Lionel loco that can use the Bluetooth app also can use the LionChief controller, either the remote that came with the loco, or the $40 or so universal remote. For myself, I prefer the physical remote to the app. Get yourself the universal remote and save yourself some frustration. It's very reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Get yourself the universal remote and save yourself some frustration. It's very reliable.
I have a better idea. Terminate whoever is responsible for ignoring the dozens of negative reviews accumulating for months and replace them with someone reliable who knows what they are doing and does their job with excellence .
I work in technology and there is really no excuse for what's going on here other than poor leadership and people flat out not doing their job for months.
The vast majority of customers likely use the remote included in the LionChief sets
The android app has over 10,000 installs and multiple 1 star reviews posted today alone, so people use it.



 

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"Terminate whoever is responsible for ignoring the dozens of negative reviews accumulating for months and replace them with someone reliable who knows what they are doing and does their job with excellence ."

You are remarkably certain you know what's going on and how it could be fixed considering you are not someone inside Lionel or closely affiliated. Lots of assumptions that may or may not be true. Advocating firing people without knowing all the facts isn't heartwarming or rational. I'm sure your intent is good, but you're coming across as intemperate in my view.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
"Terminate whoever is responsible for ignoring the dozens of negative reviews accumulating for months and replace them with someone reliable who knows what they are doing and does their job with excellence ."

You are remarkably certain you know what's going on and how it could be fixed considering you are not someone inside Lionel or closely affiliated. Lots of assumptions that may or may not be true. Advocating firing people without knowing all the facts isn't heartwarming or rational. I'm sure your intent is good, but you're coming across as intemperate in my view.
Fact- The app has not worked in months and has accumulated countless negative reviews for months. I've owned a web development business for over 22 years and based upon that experience, I am telling you what is going on with the app is not normal or excusable. If the new verions didn't work, it should have never been released, period. There is absolutely no valid excuse or reasoning for what has happened. You can read the reviews and the dates of the reviews and see this problem has been going on for months, and months, and months.

Any business owner or manager should be furious at all the negative reviews that have been piling up for months after an app was released that didn't work properly.

No Excuse for this:

 

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Unless I am mistaken, any Lionel loco that can use the Bluetooth app also can use the LionChief controller, either the remote that came with the loco, or the $40 or so universal remote. For myself, I prefer the physical remote to the app. Get yourself the universal remote and save yourself some frustration. It's very reliable.
Correct, I tried the LC app on my new Legacy Reading Camelback, and no joy, couldn't even got off first base! It ran fine with the Orange LC Universal remote using BT. This was only an academic exercise for me, I run my stuff with TMCC/Legacy or the DCS system.
 

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Hi Folks,

I have been waiting for Hornby in the UK to update the Android version of their app (for the HM 6000) for several months and add the features that are only in the iOS version. Seems priority is given to the iOS apps. But I agree, not a way to do business and maintain the hobby. I am new to the Lionchief app (not new to Lionel trains, got my first in 1957), but I have a cheap LG Android phone ($36), about 2 years old and the app's features all work well. No way will I update the phone's operating system!!! LOL

Take care, and a Blessed Thanksgiving to Everyone!!! Joe.
 

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Fact- The app has not worked in months and has accumulated countless negative reviews for months. I've owned a web development business for over 22 years and based upon that experience, I am telling you what is going on with the app is not normal or excusable. If the new verions didn't work, it should have never been released, period. There is absolutely no valid excuse or reasoning for what has happened. You can read the reviews and the dates of the reviews and see this problem has been going on for months, and months, and months.

Any business owner or manager should be furious at all the negative reviews that have been piling up for months after an app was released that didn't work properly.

No Excuse for this:


contact Howard Hitchcock directly.
hhitchock
at

lionel.com
 

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So, here's another aspect on this.
It's Christmas. People will be buying starter sets, some people will be buying their first LC loco because of the the fanfare some reviewers have given the LC2+ locos.
What's going to happen with the new people that find out the app is a piece of crap? Especially with Lionel touting the new features in their catalog, and that is in the manual for the new sets?

Letting an app continue with these problems is not only bad customer service, it's going to be really bad business and PR. Great way to promote the hobby . . .Not.

Here's hoping they get off their arses, hire a developer if their people can't figure it out, and get it fixed.

Now here's a question I have, as the only LC loco I own is a Mickey Mouse Christmas loco, which I haven't pulled out yet (which the kids and my wife love). Is it only the versions with the new voice feature Lionel is marketing that are crashing?

My phone has Android 10, will find out this weekend if it crashes on 10 too. Probably, considering John's experience.

A special thanks to Mike for providing the download link to the older version!!!
 

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I have an old Galaxy Note 4 phone I kept for this purpose as well as for the MTH app. It has Android 6.01, and the app crashes as soon as I try to select an engine. Does the exact same thing with the same error message on my Galaxy S21 5G with Android 12.
 

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Jesus.

Roco, Märklin, PIKO, and others across the pond would have fired the person responsible on the spot had this happened. That is inexcusable for a manufacturer of Lionel's stature to allow this to happen, let alone for it to be released as a working product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have an old Galaxy Note 4 phone I kept for this purpose as well as for the MTH app. It has Android 6.01, and the app crashes as soon as I try to select an engine. Does the exact same thing with the same error message on my Galaxy S21 5G with Android 12.
I tested on A Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ Running Android 6 and it also crashes.
 
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