Response Button Issues

We have been investigating slow response issues over the past several weeks. In the course of our investigation, we found several issues that we are resolving:
1. Our Android Client acts particularly slow when it is attached to multiple agencies and is starting up after being force closed. It is missing an optimization at startup that we are working on adding to the app. We will begin beta testing it as soon as it is complete and will be released shortly after we know it will not introduce any further problems.

In the meantime, if you are experiencing slow reactions when the app is first opened, leave it open in the background.

2. The other issue was in our server that communicates to the apps. We introduced a bug that could cause a delay of 10-30 seconds between when it received a request and when it would give it back to the app. We fixed this bug last night, so it is now working as we expect. We will be adding monitoring to the affected servers so we will be aware of any future slowdowns and be able to fix them much faster.

Android Rollback

We recently released an update to the Android app that, among other things, slightly changed how device responses are recorded. Unfortunately, this caused a bug for some of our users where the app crashed when responding to an alert. We pushed out an update to try and fix the bug, but it hasn’t worked for everyone. Since alert response is one of our core features, we’ve rolled back the Android app until a proper resolution is found. The update we rolled back had a couple of minor fixes aside from the responses change:

  • There was a bug where sometimes opening an alert from the cadpage-style popup would open the wrong alert data. This has been reintroduced. If you experience this bug you can re-open the app from the home screen, or switch to a different notification style.
  •  The map layers interface was polished. It has gone back to a separate screen instead of a pop-up drawer. This is a cosmetic change and shouldn’t affect anything else.

We’re currently beta testing a version of the app that fixes the response issue. If you experienced crashes when responding to alerts after the latest update (or ever), and would like to help test the fix, contact support.

New features for iOS


In this updated we’ve made several improvements to the map views.

Tapping the globe icon shows the following options for toggling layers and switching between map types. Tap the map type icon itself (next to “Aerial”) to rotate between Aerial, Hybrid, & Road.

If you select a marker on the map you will see a list of options on the toolbar. You can view the resources for the location (if available) and you can also edit the marker itself. Any map markers changes are now displayed in real-time, so try it out on a few different devices! Also shown in the bottom right corner of this picture is the new map-centering button. This feature has been included for both Apple and Google maps in this update.

Last but not least, this update contains a handful of bug fixes notably including: Responding using the buttons on either of the following screens (lock screen or banner notifications) should now work as expected.

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June 2016: New Icons, Windows Apps and more.

Hello everyone! We have some more Active911 updates for you.

- We’ve added icons from NFPA standard 170, tables 10.2.2 and 10.3.2 to the apps. These are symbols for emergency management mapping. We are planning on adding more icons in the upcoming months. This will help you keep your maps NFPA compliant.

- On that note, it is now possible to add markers directly from the apps! From the map, long press to get a context menu. From here you can pick an icon and type in details. The new marker will be visible to everyone in your agency.

- Speaking of apps, we have fully functional Windows Tablet and Windows PC apps. This is the result of lots of work and makes it possible to start adding Active911 to those Surfaces and Toughbooks that you love. We paid special attention to the GPS integration in the Toughbook, so your Toughbook equipped trucks now have functional AVL (automatic vehicle location).

- Finally, don’t forget that you can send us your ESRI “shapefiles” (map files) for us to use in geocoding your incidents. If Google mapping in your area is spotty, this is one way for us to make sure the map pin gets dropped in the right location every time.

Announcing Active911 for Windows Desktop and Tablet!

Today I have the pleasure of announcing the public release of our Active911 app for both Windows Desktop computers and Windows Tablets! These are two separate apps that are now available to you. The desktop version can be installed on Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10 while the Tablet version can be installed on Windows 8.1 and 10. The biggest difference to consider when choosing for your platform is that the desktop version is optimized for a mouse and keyboard while the tablet version is optimized for touch input.

Windows Desktop App Windows Tablet App
Download: Active911 Desktop App Download: From the Microsoft Store

You can download either one from the links listed above. Once you have entered a device code you will start receiving alerts and can use all of the features within the apps.

If you are interested in reading about all of the features in the Windows Desktop App, they have all been documented in previous blog posts:,,

Behind the Curtain: New Icons



New icons are something that have been requested from numerous agencies over the past couple of years.

In order to provide icons that will be useful to everyone, we started looking at some iconography standards in the fire industry.

One that stood out as being widely adopted with a large variety of icons is the set defined by the NFPA 170 standard.

We’ve begun the process of adding these icons to our system, and they will be available in the near future to all agencies.

Aside from allowing a wider variety of icons, we hope that this will foster more standards based iconography on map data, allowing agencies to be more inter-operable going forward.

If you have any other standards based iconography that your agency uses, please let us know so that we can evaluate them and possibly add them to our system.

New PC Beta Release

This week we have released an update for the PC Beta app. Much like the previous PC Beta updates, there have been many new features and changes. The most exciting of which is that the app will now communicate directly with any GPS unit on the computer it is running! This means that although you can use GPSDirect or GpsGate, it is not necessary; GPS reporting should just work out of the box.

We have also overhauled the startup process. This was in an effort to improve the overall performance of the app in addition to fixing the spinning green bar issue that some were experiencing.

And for some more visual features, the settings window has been packed full of options. Settings are divided up in to three tabs: General, Mapping, and Agencies. The General tab provides the common settings that pertain to the program. A new feature here is the addition of themes. Currently a Dark or Light Theme can be selected.



The Mapping tab includes all of the options relating to the map’s presentation of information. In addition to settings that you are probably familiar with from our other apps, there is the option to set a default map style and a default location. The default map style sets which map layer should be displayed when the app starts up. This can be Aerial, Aerial With Roads, and Roads. The default location let’s you specify a concrete location for the PC. This can be useful in case you either don’t have a GPS or the PC is always in one place.



And the Agencies tab lets you specify different options for each agency that you are a member of. Common settings from the other apps are present as well as choosing a ringtone.



To wrap things up, I will leave you with a preview of the different themes:


Updates to PC Beta!

This week we have an update to the PC Beta app that we have been building improvements into. This version should be more stable than previous versions and be considerably closer to a public release. There is still room for many features and improvements, but it has all of the most basic functionality built in already.

The first thing I will introduce you to is the right click menu since it will lead us in to many of the new features in this build. Whenever you right click on the map, you will get a context menu that pops up with some information and a few options. The first line is going to be the exact latitude and longitude position that you clicked on. Right clicking on the map also drops a target at those coordinates, and the last option is to remove that target if you don’t want it to display anymore.


In this build you can create and edit alerts. There are three different locations in the app where this option is present. The first place you may notice it is as the first button in the Active911 menu at the top of the screen. This button will always create a new alert, but if you would like to edit an existing alert, an Edit button will display in the top left area of an alert’s details. You can also create and edit an alert by right clicking on the map and using the alerting menu. If there is an alert drawn on the map, this will allow you to edit that alert. The following three images shows where to find these alerting options.


Note that if any of these options are greyed out or missing, your device may not have the Send Alerts capability enabled for your device. This capability can be enabled through the web console.

After you have select create or edit alert, you will see a window allowing you to input information, choose page groups, and complete the alert.




The Markers option in the right click menu is disabled right now, but the distance ruler is enabled. You can use the distance ruler to measure distances much as you would in the Android or iOS app. Just select distance ruler on the menu. Then the map will lock into place so that it cannot be moved around and you can draw a line with the mouse. The distance of the line will be displayed in the bottom of the screen. Note that if you want the line to show up in english or metric units, you can set your preference in the settings. Once you are done measuring with the ruler, just right click again and select End Ruler Mode.



The next neat addition is the ability to change the map type. Aerial, Aerial With Roads, and just Roads are the currently supported options.

And finally, the Overview and Personnel options in the View menu are enabled. You can switch between a view of your alerts and alert information to a view that contains all of your personnel. Personnel are organized by assignments and the distance to each member is displayed with their last response to a call. Note that distance and call information is only displayed on a member if they have reported their position or responded to a call in the last two hours.

That wraps up this PC Beta update. I look forward to your comments and to pushing more features in the future!

New Marker Feature in iOS Beta

We have been busy working here in the office lately! Today we get to share some of the fruits of all this hard work with you. We have released an update to the iOS Beta app that has some improvements and one exciting new feature. Mainly, we have added the ability to create map markers from within the iOS app!

If you are an iOS beta tester and you want to have access to the new create marker feature, then you will need the ‘Edit Map Markers’ capability enabled for your device. Find your device on the device tab of the web console, and edit it to enable this capability. You will need to restart the app on your phone in order for this change to take effect.


In order to support this new feature, we have had to make room on the secondary bar that shows up on the bottom of the map when the screen is held. Now, the Nearest Marker button and the Create Marker button are combined into one button that is labeled ‘Marker’. When you select this button, it will pop up a submenu that contains the two options.


Similarly, the Create Alert button has been labeled ‘Alert’ and will popup a submenu giving you a create alert option with an edit alert option.


After selecting a location on the map and navigating to the create marker option, you will be brought to a view that will ask for some basic information. You can provide a title and description for the new map marker. In addition you have the option to select the new markers color and icon. And just to make it easy to see what the marker will look like once it is created, there is a preview of the marker that will update as you select different colors and icons. Finalize the creation of a new marker by selecting Create in the upper right portion of the screen.


Now if there is a missing location in your area, you can add it just from your phone!

Updates On The Latest PC Beta

You may have heard already, but yesterday we released an update to our PC Beta app! This update is very exiting because it adds a lot of features that were not present yet in the initial PC Beta. Today, I want to give everyone a peek at what the current app looks like and what it is capable of, so let’s get started.

Interactive Map

This is the first PC app with an interactive map which allows you to bring exactly what is important in to view at the necessary zoom level. In addition, the interactive map displays location markers, routing, and other devices.


In the above image you can see one alert for the Active911 Test Agency with routing to the location. The PC that this screenshot was taken on does not have a GPS so the location accuracy leaves much to be desired (The giant blue circle represents the accuracy of the known location).

The Left Pane


     When we take a closer look at the top left corner of the app, you should see a drop down menu which will allow the selection of an agency. So if you are a member of more than one agency, you will be able to choose which one’s alerts to display here. Continue reading