It’s been over eight months since Apple banned all vape apps from their web store. While some vapes were just less convenient to use, PAX and Storz & Bickel vaporizers lost a good bit of functionality. Luckily, the two biggest losers had the resources to come up with solid work-arounds. Their solutions aren’t perfect, and some are weaker than others, so let’s dive in and see what works and what still needs attention.
I was the only person I know to switch to Android in protest, and as a vaporist, it’s been great. All of my apps function perfectly, and I didn’t lose any vape features. I miss a few things from my iPhone days, but not much. I don’t expect people to make a change that big just for vapes, but for the few of us that would, it’s worth it.
You’re the real victims here. Without the apps, some vapes can’t update their firmware, while others can’t do complex programming features. If you had the app you needed before the ban, treasure it! You can still use it, but you can’t update it. If you bought your vape after the ban, chances are you won’t be able to find or download the app, or you’ll have to use one of the work-arounds built for computers.
Some users reported connecting to their vape using web apps on their iPhones with a bluetooth supported browser. We were unable to get them to work on multiple iPhones. This appears to be a glitchy work-around.
Windows computer users
Since a lot of people have iPhones and windows computers, this should be a good place to fix most problems. Storz & Bickel embraced that philosophy, and released a web app that is the most complete solution after Android. The only bugs we found were in the boost settings for the Crafty and Crafty+, and the boost still worked fine with the on-board controls. Storz & Bickel vapes took about ten seconds to connect to a Windows PC.
PAX, however, released a Windows web app that only controls the PAX Era Pro. For some reason, you can only control the PAX Era and the PAX 3 from phone apps, or the web app on a Mac with Chrome browser. Go figure. The good news if you can access your PAX vape from this platform, all features are available.
Mac computer users
You guys got the best computer work-arounds. We tested the Storz & Bickel app on Chrome and found full functionality, with the same bugginess around the boost temps for the Crafty and Crafty+. In addition, some pre-programmed Hybrid workflows were present, but there was no Play button to activate them. We expect these bugs to get worked out sooner than later.
If you want to control a PAX Era, PAX Era Pro, or PAX 3, you’re in luck. Other than Android, this is the only way to do it without access to the iPhone app before the ban. The PAX app worked flawlessly for us with all three vapes, and had full functionality.
Volcano Hybrid nerds with iPhones took a big hit from the app ban, because we no longer had access to the Workflows to create the perfect bag of vapor. Since we can’t customize or store our personal favorites through a web app, Storz & Bickel included four popular, yet distinct, permanent workflows, so you can use them anywhere. All the other Hybrid features are available on all app platforms.
Bottom line: If you have Android or the old iPhone app, you can do everything. If you’re limited to the web app, you can do it all except customize the Workflows (Iterations, a lesser used programming feature, are gone from web apps).
Crafty and Crafty+
Like the Volcano Hybrid, the Crafty and Crafty+ performed best with an Android, or an old iPhone app. The boost temperatures worked flawlessly, and all the custom features are present. I did have problems connecting the Crafty+ to the iPhone at times. The app is old, and the serial numbers don’t always register. It’s hit or miss with that combination.
I had no connection issues with a PC or Mac. The only problem here was the boost temperature. The boost works fine from the vape’s on-board controls, but gave weird temperature readings on the web apps. It’s a small bug that should get worked out.
Bottom line: For most people, the settings available in the app for the Crafty and Crafty+ were of the “set it and forget it” nature. Once I customized the brightness, shutoff timer, and temperatures, I never opened it up again. The Crafty+ has a third on-board temperature that makes it even easier to forego the app.
The original PAX Era has full functionality only on Android, the old iPhone app, and Mac OS with a Chrome browser. If you had the PAX app before the Apple ban, consider yourself lucky. The app lets you change the Era temperature down to a single degree, and you can still play the games and change the light color scheme.
Bottom line: If you want to customize your PAX Era, you better have an Android phone or a Mac computer with Chrome. Windows computers can’t connect to it, and iPhone users can only download the app if they purchased it before the ban.
PAX Era Pro
The Era Pro is PAX’s latest vape and, as you might expect, has full support across all available platforms. The app is available on Android, Windows, and Mac, but not iPhone. Without app access, you can only use the four preset on-board temperatures. With the app, you can tune the temperature to the degree, and even select the perfect temperature for your pod, as determined by the grower. If you found yourself manually looking up pod details with the old Era, you’ll love the Era Pro’s pod data integration.
Just like the Era, the PAX 3 doesn’t connect to an iPhone, unless you had the app prior to the ban. Both Android users and Mac users with Chrome can access full functionality via apps. Windows users are out of luck, however. If you can access the app controls, you can change the brightness, vibrations, light color scheme, the dial in an exact temperature. Game selection is also available on the apps.
Bottom line: You’ll need an Android phone, a Mac with Chrome, or access to the old iPhone app to customize the PAX 3. Otherwise you’re stuck with the standard four temperatures and light scheme, and your PAX 3 will function more like a PAX 2.