This past weekend I had the chance to use the Nook for the first time to run starts (3 stages) and finishes (1 stage). I found it challenging at times, and thought I would provide a bit of feedback.
My first problem was with durability. I think I managed to break the screen before the first stage started (bottom inch of the display quit working, and then the touch functions were horribly unreliable). As a result, I found that the touch screen wouldn't register a touch reliably. I ended up having to hand count down about a third of the cars on SS3. At one point, since I was repeatedly touching to try to get times logged, I accidentally took it back to the home/main screen and was forced to hold the start until I could at least get back to a screen with a clock. This did cause a minor three minute delay in the middle of the stage.
This brings up my first improvement: Every screen should have a current time clock on it. Especially the main screen. Even if we can't figure out how to use it, or if it stops recording touches, if it has a visible clock, we can use our backup paper logs.
Saturday, I got a replacement nook and was back at a start.
The first stage (SS8) went relatively smoothly for me. The nook worked well, and only a couple times did I have issues with it picking up touches, or touching too many times. For me, being relatively young (38), and in tech, the app does seem well designed and I can navigate around to make it do want I wanted at any of the start or ATC screens.
SS11, we had rain, so I had to add the ziploc over the nook. I filled it with air, but being that ziplocs are not really designed to be balloons, I found it lost air over time, and the second half of the stage was much more difficult with many more false touches.
The last stage of the weekend for us was SS13. Here we got the chance to work our first finish. Dave took the FTC, and I was at flying finish. Due to the narrow, high-speed finish, I had to stand on the edge of the road to see the cars approaching, then move up to countdown and mark the finish. Here, the touchscreen was really problematic, as I had to always look down to see where to press, while trying to watch the car and get my "mark" correct as they barreled across the line at 80+mph. Also, since at a finish you only have one chance to mark the correct time, you need 100% reliability in your stopwatch. I had a plastic bag over the nook again, for dust and rain, and ended up missing 3 cars out of 20...a pretty high failure rate. And this was a relatively easy finish, with two minute windows and no cars closer than a minute together. I'd think on a long stage where you get cars stacked up, the problems would be even worse.
My last issue with the finish application was the interface to edit numbers. I found, more than once, that I ended up in the wrong time entry, and sometimes even edited that number before I realized it (and I was just recording sequences, as I had no chance of catching bike or car numbers). I think an automatic sequence number or some other identifier on each entry would be helpful to make sure the time entry that pops up in the edit screen is the one you want. Also, having larger/fewer entries in the finish log for the active screen would reduce the chances of getting into the wrong time. If we had 4-5 entries on the main finish screen, and could tap the bottom (like at the start) to get a "full" log screen, that would be better.
Thanks, and I hope some of this is helpful in improving it for future rallies.