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

March 2016: iOS & Android updates, page groups, and more

We’ve made several upgrades to the Active911 system we thought you would like to know about. Here is the short list:

- New iOS update adds mapping options, map ruler, and more.  Read details or watch a 5 minute video.

- New Android update ( has additional fields for creating alerts, better handling of locations when creating alerts in the app, an alert edit view, and other changes.  Read details or watch a 90 second video

- ALSO, we accidentally leaked an Android feature that allows you to add map markers directly from the app.  We were going to release it later when iOS had the feature too, but instead Android users get it early.  Happy March!  See a 0:24 video here (silent).

- Page groups can now be “daisy chained” across agency lines. This means that you can now have automatic mutual aid activations in your department or in a neighboring department as a result of preconfigured parameters!   We’ve made a video explaining how this and the other new website features (including bulk map data editing) work.

- Finally, we have some overall mapping improvements: our new geocoder, Wiz, allows us to use your GIS data to better geolocate alarm locations before we send them to you! This optional feature replaces Google geocoding. We are encouraging agencies with access to local GIS in the form of ESRI Shapefiles to contact our support team with your shapefiles using the title “Shapefiles for Wiz, (insert agency name here)”.

Stay safe,

The Active911 Team


Introducing iOS New Features

This week we updated our iOS app and you probably already have the latest version on your iPhone or iPad. This update includes some really exciting new features that you may have missed in your day to day use of the app. Don’t worry, I’m here to walk through some of the most exciting features, where they can be found, and how to use them!

Top Level Map

In your use of Active911 for iOS, you know that to get to a map view, you need to tap on an alert, then tap on the address in the alert. Now we have included a top level map button on the navigation bar. This allows you to navigate straight into a map easily to view map locations, send a new alert, or use our next new feature: the distance ruler!

Top Level Map

Distance Ruler



Have you ever needed an easy way to measure the distance between one place and another? Perhaps to see how many feet of fire hose you need or how far someone needs to be carried? This can be done pretty easily with the new distance ruler in the latest update. Just hold on any location on the map screen and a bar with some options will show up.


Once you click on the Ruler button, you will then be able to draw any line on the map and the distance will show up at the top of the screen.

Edit Alerts

And the final feature I am going to introduce to you is the ability to edit alarms from your device! This varies somewhat from iPhone and iPad, so we will discuss each one separately.

On iPad, you can select an alert as you normally would. While you are viewing the details of the alert, you can select the PencilIcon as you would to create a new alert. You will be prompted with a pop out menu which will ask if you want to create a new alert or edit this alert. Select edit this alert. Then you can edit the alert in much the same way that you would create a new alert. When you hit send, everyone will receive the update to the existing alert.

Alert Popout Menu



On your iPhone you can select an alert as you normally would. While you are viewing the details of the alert, there will be a Edit button in the top right corner of the screen. Select this button and you can edit the alert in much the same way that you would create a new alert. When you hit send, everyone will receive the update to the existing alert.

Android version

We recently released a new version of the Android app with a few changes, most of them relating to alerts. We’ve cleaned up the create alert view: by default the only visible fields are ‘Title’, ‘Place’, ‘Address’, and ‘Notes’. The other fields are still accessible, but hidden by a ‘More’ button.


The geocoding behavior of the create alert view has been fixed to match iOS as well. Now when you’re creating an alert from a map point the app will use Google to look up the address for that place and fill out the ‘Address’, ‘City’, ‘State’ and ‘Country’ fields automatically. The ‘Place’ field will contain the GPS coordinates of the point. Creating an alert from the menu will follow the same behavior with the devices current location, except it’ll leave the ‘Place’ field blank.

We’ve also added the ability to delete and edit alerts from the app. To edit an alert, just view that alert and go to the ‘Edit Alert’ option in the hamburger menu. Once you’ve made your changes, you can re-send it to everyone who got it the first time. Your device must have the ‘Send Alert’ capability to edit alerts. To delete an alert simply press and hold that alert in the alerts list. A dialog box confirming the deletion will pop up.


Finally we’ve fixed a bug relating to GCM so alerting should be more reliable for some users, added Swedish, French, and Spanish translations, and made various other bugfixes and performance improvements.


New Web Console Features

We’ve added a few new features to the web console last week.

  • We’ve added a “Bulk Edit” button under the map data tab which allows you to change all map markers of one type/color to another type/color.  It also allows bulk deletion of the map data.
  • You can now specify a different device name for each agency the device is a part of.  Thus, when you change the name of a device in one agency, it will not affect its name in other agencies.
  • There is a new button next to each pagegroup which allows linking to another pagegroup.  This will forward all alerts sent to the pagegroup to all of its linked pagegroups.

Let us know how these features work for you!