AWW app is ending. What should you do if you’re subscribed?

AWW app is ending. Its official. AWW was a popular online whiteboard tool, for visual collaboration. This tool was a former competitor to rivals Miro, Mural, and Lucid. You may have heard about it, or you may have received a notification if you are a subscriber. This is because AWW have recently been bought out by well- known competitor, Miro. But what does this mean for subscribers? 

Miro are attempting to transfer AWW users onto their app, but the feedback from this transition hasn’t been as positive as expected. So the question begs, it a wise decision for AWW subscribers to transfer to Miro? 

AWW app is ending. Why was it so popular?

AWW app has been an ongoing project for around ten years now. Many users had left positive reviews for the app, stating that the platform was easier to use than competitors, and that the value for money was also superior over competitors. Primarily, users reported that AWW was particularly the easiest platform to drag images and layout drawings and files. AWW was particularly popular with tutors and teachers for these reasons.

Considering the positive reviews from customers, no wonder the option of buying out appealed to Miro. The buyout sum is still undisclosed, however , supposed co-founder of AWW made the following statement on Hacker News; “Really excited for this, it’s a culmination of almost ten years of work on AWW and months-long acquisition process. […] For my part, I’m really happy we’re joining forces with Miro. Their product is excellent and the people are top notch. The transition is always annoying, but we’re doing our best to smooth it out as much as possible.”

However, since the start of switch over, reviews have proved to show that the transition between platforms has not been as smooth as planned…

The jump to Miro, is it worth it?

Miro, visual collaboration platform giant, has been around since 2011, with predictable increase in users during the course of the pandemic. Miro currently has an estimated 15 million users, so it goes without saying, they have done pretty well. 

Miro is popular, and may be so because of the range of features it holds. Miro list of features include; live video chat, organiser tools, and an extensive range of board templates to use. For an experienced board user, these elements are what makes Miro so enticing, bringing users back to the platform.

This being said, looking at the online forums (including those on Miro’s website itself) users transitioning from AWW seem to be disappointed. If you don’t believe us, take a look at a few below:

“The frames solution is pretty clunky for the tutoring context. Why did you merge Awwapp?? You were the best tutoring platform out there. This is a downgrade IMO.”

I chose AWW initially because none of the other “simplified” white boards would allow me to upload images as backgrounds for the students to work on.  MIRO is much more complicated, and I’m not sure it’s going to work for me and my students. I’m feeling pretty disappointed.”

Overall it seems that users are having trouble with Miro’s user interface. Most of the negative statements claimed that Miro was far more complicated to use than AWW, and that the new platform was void of features that made AWW popular in the first place. Tutors claim to be struggling to adapt to the transition, and have stated that teaching sessions have now been made slower due to the time taken to adapt to the Miro.

Tutors claim to be struggling to adapt to the transition, and have stated that teaching sessions have now been made slower due to the time taken to adapt to the Miro. 

AWW app users, if you're disappointed, here are some alternatives:

It seems to be the case that AWW app users enjoyed the platform because of the ease and simplicity. This app was perfect for teachers and pupils because no session time was wasted faffing around with a large range of product features. These users seemed to want a product that could be used immediately and that could be easily navigated. 

Miro has been stated to be a ‘one size fits all’ model, but seems to exclude some of the less experienced users with its complex layout.  If this crowd includes you, here are our go-to apps you can move to.

Our top 3 Virtual whiteboard and post-it note applications:

Summary
Miro is the market leader, it is a sophisticated product for a sophisticated user.

Cons
Miro is one of the most expensive applications on the market and is also quite difficult for new users who often join meetings and upset the initial flow of the meeting. If you are a service design agency this might be your preferred option but be prepared to pay and give some thought to how you find your user base reacting. For example, if you are working with Chief Exec’s etc then they might struggle the first time they use it.

Summary
If you are after something simple then this is the right choice for you. It is free for a basic plan.


Cons 
You will need to upgrade to g-suite to get the full suite of solutions and this is still quite basic compared to other applications on the market but at the free end it is quite compelling.

Summary
Remotings is the newest player to the market. They don’t offer the amount of functionality as Miro but do have a free plan and also offer a 50% discount for Education and NFP sectors.

Overall this is the best like for like in the market. Coming in much cheaper than the alternatives and offering simple user interfaces etc.

Open a board here to try Remotings out! No card or sign up required.

Cons
Remotings is a brand new company so they currently only have limited support and some features are still being refined. But the product is moving very quickly and is built on the latest technology meaning it will be in a good position to offer stability, security and better performance compared to some of the others.

Other virtual whiteboard tools we looked at

We looked at a range of tools, for example Mural and Microsoft. What we found was that the costs and products varied greatly. Products like Mural offer free entry plans but many users try and find an alternative once the free plan runs out due to its cost. Also the market is moving away from infinite boards. Although it sounds good initially, infinite boards mean new users get lost. If they are on a board and don’t know how to navigate then they have trouble finding the others or get lost as soon as they are summoned. Like Remotings, the latest products are offering unlimited boards so you can take users along with you and keep them focused on the immediate activities.

Summary

If you are looking for the top of the range product at a top of the range price point then we would recommend starting with Miro, it is feature packed and considered the industry leader. 

If your user base and clients aren’t going to be using the app regularly, then we recommend Remotings, it is simpler and cheaper and has most of the functionality to run virtual brainstorming, strategy, agile and virtual classroom sessions.  They are looking to bring fun and the human side back into virtual meetings, it is built on the latest secure technology and that should make for a great future partnership.

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