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An Iconic Update – Previewing Soon

Our team has been working hard on a huge update over the festive break and we’re excited to announce that it’s hitting preview this week 🙂
The release goes live tomorrow (Tuesday 19 January) and will be available immediately via our Appenate branded app in Google Play. The IOS version will appear in a few days once Apple finally reviews it.

Its called the Iconic Update because there are a number of noticeable improvements around icons.
There’s also many other great enhancements, so we’ve posted an overview video below detailing the key bits. Grab a cup of coffee and have a watch!

For completeness, below is a full listing of all improvements and changes in this release.
NOTE: All changes below require the preview app version, they won’t work on older app versions.
As you can see, we’ve been busy!

New Icon Sets and Dynamic Custom Icon Support

Previously icons could only be customised through our white label app facility and changes were hard coded into the apps themselves.
We’ve now added icon customisation areas to the secure website that allow you to choose from 5 new built-in icon sets as well as replacing icons with your own custom images.
All changes are downloaded by the app on next synchronisation, so you can dynamically change icons on the fly.

Check out the “Manage Platform > Setup > Customise App” page to customise your icons for all users of your white label app.
To customise icons at an organisation account level, try the “App Builder > App Setup > Advanced” page.
You can even specify a default colour to tint the icons on a per organisation basis!

 

New Icon Badges

We’ve added support for displaying small circular “badges” next to icons on the app start screen as well as on Icon Board screen types.  These badges would generally be used to display a number as one would typically see in IOS apps.

A new “Show Draft Entry Badges” option has been added onto the App Builder > App Setup page.
When this option is enabled, the app will automatically show badges on Form screen icons when there are draft (incomplete) entries saved for that Form.

 

New Demo User Option for App as a Service customers

We’ve added a new demonstration capability which allows unregistered new users to sample your branded app offering.
Simply nominate a “Demo” user account under the Demonstration User section of the “Customise App” page.
Once configured, new users will then see a demo button on the app login screen.
When they tap on the button, the app will automatically log them in as the nominated “Demo” user account.
The platform allows up to 5 devices on this nominated “Demo” user account at any time, automatically removing the oldest registered device each time the “Demo” user is activated from a new device.

 

User Email Addresses Can Now Be Used Across Multiple Company Accounts

For a long time we have required that user email addresses be unique across the entire platform.
It took some doing, but we were able to re-engineer key parts of our system to remove this limitation.
Now email addresses only need to be unique within a single company account.
If a user logs in with an email that is found in multiple accounts, they will be prompted to choose which company they wish to log into.  This change extends to both the secure website and the new app version going forward.

 

Big Icon Board Upgrade

The Icon Board screen type has received awesome upgrades:

  • Icons can now be coloured
  • Icons can now be hidden via a Visibility formula
  • Icons can display badges (which have their own Visibility and other customisation options)
  • New “Automatically Generate Icons” option which allows you to specify that the app should generate the icons based on what the user has access to.
    This makes it easy to provide your own custom start screen with dynamic icons.

 

New “Title Left” button and Title Bar button upgrades

You can now add a button into the left hand side of the title bar on all Screen types except Forms.
This left button complements the existing ability to display up to two right hand side buttons in the title bar.

Additionally the title bar buttons now support icons, meaning you can choose to display purely icon buttons along with pure text and icon + text button combinations.
Background colouring of title bar buttons is now fully supported on IOS.

 

New App Data Sources

We’ve exposed three new built-in Data Sources for app specific data:

  • App: Entry Drafts – a listing of all in-progress draft Form entries on the user’s app session
  • App: Entry History – all completed Form entries currently stored in the user’s app’s history
  • App: Incomplete Tasks – all currently incomplete Tasks on the user’s app session

Using these Data Sources, you can build Listing screens that show the respective data rows in your own chosen styling, which should allow you new and interesting ways of overriding the app’s default History and Tasks listing screens.

These new Data Sources will appear in all organisation accounts for use in Screens when the Iconic release goes live.

 

New User Interaction Options

Related to the above new app Data Sources, we’ve added new User Interaction types:

  • Open Entry
  • Open Task

These interaction options allow you to specify the entry/task’s unique identifier as the parameter in order to open the app’s built-in Form Entry Capture or History Entry View screens.  The unique identifier is available from the app Data Sources above, making the new interaction types a perfect match for a Listing screen that shows rows from app Data Sources.

Additionally, we’ve added a new group of “Built-in Screens” to the Open Screen list of screen options.
This allows you to launch into any of the following standard app screens, from anywhere that you can specify an Open Screen interaction:

  • In-Progress (Draft) Form Entries
  • Completed Entry History
  • Oustanding Tasks
  • Settings

 

New DS Formula Functions for Querying Data Sources

In a big leap for app capabilities, we’ve added a host of new formula functions for getting aggregate results from Data Sources.
These new functions open up a whole new level of app customisations, since you can now access Data Sources from anywhere in the app that formulae are supported.
Below is a list of the new functions – all of which support row filtering as well!

  • DSCOUNT
  • DSSUM
  • DSAVERAGE
  • DSMAX
  • DSMIN
  • DSFIRST
  • DSLAST

We think these functions have a lot of potential for dynamically displaying/showing/hiding parts of your app – e.g. title bar buttons and badges on icons.
Take a look at them via the Formula Builder where-ever a formula can be defined.

For an example of these functions in action, try the new “Create a custom start screen” link found on the App Setup page.
This will create a new Icon Board screen that mimics the default app start screen, exposing a DS formula used to control the visibility of the History button.

 

Bug Fixes and Other Improvements

  • New Map Display Kind option on Media fields in the Form designer lets you choose the desired map type to display if the user taps on GPS co-ordinates captured with the image.  Only visible if you have enabled GPS capture on the Media field.
  • Added Full Name columns to Active Users data source, provides “Last, First” & “First Last” variants of common full name display
  • Screens in Test mode now display with a ” [TEST]” suffix instead of a “$” prefix – this is to address misunderstandings about the meaning of the $ prefix
  • Added new Icon data type to Data Source columns, adds support for icons referenced out of App data source types
  • Fixed bug in Android Tasks screen where overdue colour was applied to all rows incorrectly
  • Fixed bugs in Android that resulted in crashes after app was resumed from background
  • Reduced general Android app memory usage
  • Fixed back button behaviour on Android after logging out of app
  • Fixed bugs with NFC support and dynamic field values on Android
  • Fixed bug with formula filter functions containing or referencing values with single quote ( ‘ ) characters
  • Removed Google Play restriction that required devices to have NFC and onboard GPS chips.
    Now devices without these hardware elements can see and install the app from Google Play.
  • Various data template validation improvements to help detect invalid syntax in output templates
  • Fixes to platform’s Store function – ensure install/copy includes Screen files correctly