UPDATE - July 2020: PAX & Storz & Bickel Launch Web Apps for iOS user (click to learn more)
In the wake of the recent vape crisis, Apple has removed all vaporizing apps from its store. The ban lumps all vape apps together, whether they are for e-cigs, concentrates or dry herbs, and over 180 apps have been removed so far. The move should be temporary, but no one knows how long a reversal will take, or how complete it will be. Here’s what it means for you and your dry herb vaporizer.
Previously installed apps are fine
If you’ve already downloaded the vape apps you want from the Apple store, you’re safe and can still use them like normal. There won’t be any updates to the apps, but you can use them to upgrade the firmware on your vaporizer, when those updates are available. Obviously, this doesn’t affect anyone using an Android phone - everything still works fine on that platform.
If you haven’t downloaded your vaporizer’s app from the Apple store yet, or if you’re close to buying a vape with an app, here’s what to expect with the vaporizers we sell.
PAX 3 loses a lot of tech
The PAX 3 loses a lot of high-tech features found only on the app, but still functions fine as a basic vaporizer. It has four on-board temperatures to choose from, along with the games and battery meter, that are unaffected. Unfortunately, the app is required to fine tune temperature settings, and to pick different heating profiles (Boost, Efficiency, Stealth, Flavor). If you like to use concentrates with your PAX 3, the highest on-board heat setting will still work fine.
Storz & Bickel vapes lose new features
The Storz & Bickel app works with the Volcano Hybrid, the Crafty, and the Crafty+. Each vaporizer is affected differently by Apple’s app ban. The Volcano Hybrid has full on-board controls and is fully functional without the app, but loses some custom settings and the new programming features called Workflows and Iterations. Not only can you no longer change things like the brightness and alerts, but without Workflows, we also can’t program the perfect bag.
Similar to the Hybrid, Crafty owners will lose a lot of tweaks and customizations, as well, such as brightness and alerts. The Crafty, which has been replaced by the Crafty+, has two on-board temperatures that top out at 383° F (195° C), and might be too low for some people. The Crafty+ adds a third temperature that maxes out at 410° F (210° C), which makes the loss of the app go down easier. The good news is, after a lot of testing with the Crafty+, it still works fine without the app for most people. The biggest losses here are the battery meter and auto-shutoff timer, both of which can only be seen on the app.
You need to learn the Firefly 2+ controls
The Firefly 2+ is ready to go out of the box, with seven on-board temperatures to choose from, including the highest for concentrates. The Firefly 2+’s controls are anything but intuitive, and most people opt for the app when it comes time to change temps. With Apple’s decision to ban, we need to learn the cumbersome controls. Luckily, they work well once you learn them, and the biggest losses here are the battery meter and calibration features, only available on the app.
DaVinci IQ doesn’t lose a lot
The DaVinci IQ was one of the first vapes to come out with an app, and one of its strengths was how well the app complemented the vape, without being necessary. Full digital temperature controls are still on the vape, as well as access to the four Smartpaths. What’s lost is a couple tweaks, like stealth mode and vibration alerts, and the ability to customize your own Smartpath.
Ghost MV1 loses convenience
The Ghost MV1’s app doesn’t augment the experience much, other than to customize two of the six on-board temperatures, and locking your vape. The biggest loss will be convenience, as a lot of users prefer to use the app to change temperatures instead of the awkward controls. The controls work fine once learned, so it’s time to break out the manual.
A bump in the road
It’s unfortunate that Apple has chosen such a broad course of action, without taking into account the different types of vaporizing. While we don’t know how long the ban will last, it’s hard to imagine it being permanent. Most dry herb vaporizers don’t have a smartphone app, but those that do, come with extra functionality that many come to depend on. Some apps are better than others, and we prefer designs that don’t require an app to fully function. Our favorite apps give you the option to change settings, and then disappear into the background, with a “set it and forget it” strategy. The latest selection of Arizer portables, like the ArGo, gives us options to change a lot of settings, without any app at all. Be sure to consider what features are important to you, and how you access them, when purchasing your next vaporizer.