Hey everyone, Ryan here with this week’s update. I’ll start by saying that with over 15,000 units in the field, we’re seeing some great shots taken #withArsenal. It’s been exciting to see how folks are using Arsenal and hear the success stories. While we know there are still some bugs to work out and improvements to make, we’re really encouraged by these results.
We’re a bit behind schedule on shipping over the last week and a half. We had hoped to send out 15,000 units from August 13 to August 26, but we ended up shipping 9,040. We ran into a few issues with German and Canadian shipments, and had to hold those until we could resolve the issues (we’ve since changed service providers for Canada and included more paperwork for shipments to Germany to help with customs; if you’re in Germany or the EU and having an issue with customs, see this article for help and documentation). Based on the support queue and some delays in the app release (more on that below), we also made a call mid last week to hold shipments for a few days. Now that the app release is pending again and we have some support improvements (more on that below as well), we’re back to shipping at fullsteam.
As a result, we’re extending the shipping schedule two weeks. Many of you will experience a delay smaller than that. We’ll complete shipping the week of September 10. This is the updated schedule for those that backed or ordered before April 1, 2018:
Week of June 18 - 211 units shipped
Week of June 25 - 338 units shipped
Week of July 16 - 578 units shipped
Week of July 23 - 4,098 units shipped
Week of July 30 - 7,166 units shipped
Week of August 6 - 7,680 units shipped
Week of August 13 - 6,012 units shipped
Week of August 20 - 3,028 units shipped
Week of August 27 - 6,000 units
Week of September 3 - 7,500 units
Week of September 10 - all remaining confirmed pre-orders
In addition to the Canada and Germany changes noted above, we’ve also experienced some delays when using the SwissPost for EU customers, particularly those in Great Britain. We’re working with them to speed up service going forward, as well as resolve any outstanding packages with long delivery durations.
For those of you that have received a shipping confirmation and tracking email, we understand that it can be frustrating if you have not seen movement on your package for a few days (or even a week). However, please allow the full 14 days (from your shipping date) for your package to make it to the final delivery destination before contacting support. Most issues can be resolved by calling the courier who is delivering the package in your country. If your package has not arrived 14 days after your ship date and the courier is not able to provide any additional information, please contact us so we can file a claim on your behalf or help track down the missing package. If you run into any other issues, please feel free to reach out.
My Arsenal Still Hasn’t Shipped!
We’ve had lots of folks write to us that their Arsenal hasn’t shipped yet and should have per the above schedule. If you’re a Kickstarter or Indiegogo backer and don’t think your Arsenal has shipped, greater than 90% of the time this means either A) the tracking email is in your Spam/Promotions/Update/other folder, (look for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org) or B) we didn’t have your order marked as confirmed based on the emails we sent out back in April/May. If after checking your email you still don’t have anything, send us an email (email@example.com) and we can help you confirm.
If you’re a withArsenal.com order and you can’t find an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, you should be shipping in the next two and a half weeks per the above schedule.
On the software side, our app release planned for last week had been delayed. We submitted the app to the app stores, but as we were waiting for its release, a few of our external testers found an issue with the WifiDirect drivers. While they were working well on the vast majority of phones/carriers, we had to resolve the issue for a more comprehensive solution that served everyone (to the extent that saying “everyone” is possible when there are 25,000 Android devices; given the nature of the fix, we feel pretty confident Android folks won’t run into any connection issues).
With that said, we’re really excited about this release; it is a really large release and it will have a big positive impact on user experience. The new app release (v0.9.10) was pushed to Apple and Android stores last night (August 27). It should hit the app stores in the the usual 1-3 day approval timeline.
The v0.9.10 release includes the WifiDirect support for Android phones, Sony camera support improvements, a new multipoint, whole scene, and focus stacking system, power management upgrade, handheld mode improvements, and additional reported bug fixes. If you want read the full app release notes for v0.9.10 and what’s coming next, you can access them here, but below is a quick snapshot of what’s included:
WifiDirect Support: The Android app will now be using WifiDirect to connect Arsenal to your smartphone; this will address connection issues reported by Android users for future firmware updates. To do the upgrade to v0.9.10, you’ll still need to either change some settings on your Android or update via a desktop app. We’ve included better workflow procedures in the app, and links to articles to help you with each step (if you’re having trouble performing a firmware update, see these instructions). Once done, you won’t have to do that again and the firmware updates will complete over Wifi, enabling a much better experience.
Sony Camera Improvements: Fixes for live view lag, speed improvements to exposure bracketing, triggering, and setting changes; also fixes for a number of Sony models (all of our supported Sony cameras should be functioning well, except the A77, A77 II and A99, which we’re still working on).
New Multipoint, Whole Scene, and Focus Stacking System: The new system is able to leverage the camera’s autofocus system to more quickly determine optimal focus positions
Power Management: 20% longer battery life
Handheld Mode Improvements: Added a blue LED animation to indicate when Arsenal is running in handheld mode
We still have a handful of the less frequently used cameras that we need to make improvements on. A few, like the X-T1, D3100, D3000, you’ll see a ‘camera not supported’ message in the app until we can get them up to par (the experience just wasn’t great on these, and we didn’t want folks trying to troubleshoot or to have a poor experience while we worked through it). We’re working on these as a very high priority, and we expect to work through these in the next 1-2 weeks.
A note on firmware updates: to use the desktop firmware update process, you still need to have the most recent version of the mobile app installed first. The mobile app and firmware versions must match. Our firmware download site will only update the Apple/Android versions once approved in the app stores.
We strongly recommend using the desktop firmware update process to get to v0.9.10. This process is much more straightforward than adjusting settings on your Android phone. You won’t have to do that again once you’re on v0.9.10 or later versions; future updates will be downloadable/installable via your phone.
The support queue is still quite backed up, but we are working to make improvements there. The quality of improvements in this release will be a huge help, but we’ve also done the following:
1) Added a chat bot to our website that will help customers self-serve solutions
2) Included a form for contacting tech support. The form asks for your camera model, app version, phone model, phone carrier, and phone operating system version. If you’re emailing our support team, including this info will speed up your response time, reduce extra emails, and improve your time to resolution.
3) Improved in-app messaging in v0.9.10
4) Updated quick start guide that is more specific given nuances for Android and Sony users
We are committed to responding to each inquiry we receive and are working hard to get back to a more manageable response time.
The Arsenal team is excited by the strides we’ve made so far in getting units into the hands of customers and working to optimize the Arsenal experience across the various camera models and smartphone devices. However, we know this isn’t the time for reflection. We are still focused and committed to giving our customers the best Arsenal experience possible and ensuring we deliver on the features our customers are excited to use in their photography workflows. Thank you to everyone for sticking with us and we can’t wait to hear your feedback on this latest app release in a few days.