Today I’m reviewing an app I’ve been using a lot recently, the CoilFactory app is available on iOS.
One of the first things you will notice on launching the app is going to be its very clean and attractive interface, there are two selections at the top for your coil material and how many coils your build will be, and then 6 coloured bars showing Wire Gauge, Inner Diameter, Wrap Count, Leg Length, Wrap Spacing and finally the Resistance.
With the various bars, you simply slide them left or right, and the resulting resistance is displayed at the bottom. Important to note that sadly you can’t target a specific resistance, instead the resistance bar will only ever show the result, it’s not a bar that you can slide, despite it looking just like the others.
Confusingly, the two selections at the top (wire material, and build configuration) are also controlled by sliding left or right, despite there not being a visible bar. In the wire material sections you can select from a huge range, there are 3 Kanthal, 5 Nichrome, 6 Stainless Steel, 2 Nickel, 2 Titanium, and even Gold and Silver. Happily you don’t need to scrub through all these possible selections, and if you press the gear icon in the top left, you can tick/untick the ones that you use. For me personally, I almost always use either SS316 or Ka A1, so the fact that you have to swipe to move between them feels especially odd when you only have two options. Either being able to open a drop down list by touching it, or a simple button that flicks between them would be better in my opinion. There’s a similar problem with the coil selection next door, there’s only two options, but again it’s switched by sliding one way or other, I think a radio button here would have made much more sense. There’s only the option of single or dual coil here, personally I’m absolutely fine with this, but I’m sure some more adventurous builders will regret not having the option of triple or quad coils.
It’s a universal app, so it’ll work on either iPhone or iPad. What’s even nicer, is that they’ve taken advantage of Split View and Slide Over on the iPad. This works really nicely and means that you can be working on other things, and then just swipe it in from the right of the screen to have it hover over what you’re working on, and then swipe it away just as easily. This doesn’t *always* work 100%, and occasionally if you’re switching between different views on the app, the bars may end up not being able to show the values. Happily, a quick force quit and reopen will clear this, and I think it’s probably more how iOS handles multi view than an issue with the app itself.
All in all, it’s by far the nicest coil building app I have found on iOS, maybe not the most powerful, but definitely the best looking. Aside from wishing they had a different selection process for the Wire Material and Build Number, the only other thing I wish is that there was a way of locking in a certain resistance, and allowing the other values to change. For example, I wish it were possible to lock everything apart from the coil number, put in a certain resistance, and have it show me the number of wraps that I would require.