iOS App Update

Today we released an update to the iOS App, and it is version 1.5.19. This version of the app includes some notable new features:

Chat History

Chat rooms will start including old messages (messages sent from this version of the app and onward) and you will be able to pull down at the top of the list in a chatroom to make sure you have the latest messages sent through.

 

 

 

 

 

Chat Unread Badges

These badges display the number of unread messages. The number on the chat tab is the total count which adds together the individual counts from each of the chat rooms. Visiting a chat room will reset its number back to zero.

 

 

 

 

 

App Info View

The settings view now has a button in the top right corner which takes you to a view with some information about the current version of app that you are using. If you report issues to support, this is an easy spot to grab the version number and pass it on to them!

 

 

 

Continuous Re-paging Option

If this option in your settings is enabled, the app will repeatedly notify you (via a notification every 20 seconds) for an alarm until you respond or open the app. For those heavy sleepers out there, this should help wake you up!

 

Quick iOS release to fix bugs with a couple features

Today we are releasing another update to the App Store with a few more fixes and a couple of new features.

 

Features/Changes

One change we’ve made to address the issue of needing to wait to download a lot of alerts before you can access the latest one: calls now load from newest to oldest in the alerts list.

Also there’s another new feature in the alerts list view; with this release you can now manually pull to refresh if you ever need to make sure your list is fully up to date:

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We’ve also added a new option when sending an alert from the app for ‘non-emergency’ which can be used to send notifications with an alternative ringtone. With this initial version we’ve picked a default tone for these types of alerts (The ‘Hose Cart’ ringtone), but in the future we would like to make this fully customizable (being able to choose your ringtone for different types of alerts):

IMG_2220

 

 

Bugfixes

This release also includes a few bugfixes:

  • Fix for position reporting to keep stationary devices from disappearing off the map.
  • Fix for a fairly old bug that frequently caused the alerts view to become unresponsive/frozen.
  • UI fix for the ‘off but available’ duty status option.
  • Fix for a crash in the assignments view when the categories refresh due to reassignments.

Crushing bugs in the new iOS version, released today!

For this release we mainly focussed on bug fixes and internal updates for better compatibility with newer versions of iOS.

In order to move forward and make some essential changes/fixes we have had to increase the minimum version of iOS that we support with this release from 6.0 to 8.0. We will try our best to keep the existing version of the app working for you if you are stuck on 6 or 7 but it’s getting more difficult to support so it’s unlikely that we will provide any new builds with new features for these version of iOS.

One of the many benefits of this minimum version increase is that we were finally able to update to the latest version of Google maps which is more stable and more performant.

Also in this release we’ve added a few fixes:

  • Fixed a problem that started in iOS11 where stationary devices would stop reporting their position while using precise background position reporting.
  • Also we started getting reports of certain features (responses, position reporting, chat, etc.) not working on some T-Mobile cellular devices. We tracked it down to an issue with the underlying XMPP and sockets libraries having issues on IPv6 only networks and so we updated them and added a bugfix to address this problem.
  • Lastly in response to some feedback we received on the chat feature in the last release, we’ve included a way to enable/disable it via the website and that ties into some changes included in this release.

 

Is your Active911 app having issues since downloading iOS 11?

Recently, Apple had their large September event about all their new upcoming products (anyone else excited about iPhone X?) and the release of iOS 11. A new operating system is always exciting, but it generally takes Apple a couple of updates to iron out all the operating system issues. We do our best to confirm our app works on the newest operating systems, but this time we were caught flat footed and may have missed a couple of things. We have taken steps to further refine our testing of upcoming operating systems so we will be able to proactively fix problems instead of having them reported.

We’ve been getting reports about problems our users have experienced after updating to iOS 11. We are in the middle of preparing a new version for the store that has a re-paging option, an option to disable chat, some bug fixes and a few other things. While preparing the release, we are also digging into some of the issues that have been reported to get our app working smoothly in iOS 11. Apple can be counted on to push out updates to new operating systems for bug fixes once they hear about them. There have been fairly widespread reports amongst app developers of issues across many different apps in this latest OS. Apple’s OS updates over the next days/weeks should help to remedy the situation in addition to the work we are putting in.

A problem we are encountering with this particular OS update is an update to Apple’s development platform and its associated developer tools. Apple has cut off a lot of legacy support, telling us we need to make several widespread changes to things that hadn’t been broken, but Apple now considers broken. In order to rebuild and debug for iOS 11 we have several developers going through a long overdue process of modernizing a lot of the internals of our app to get it up to speed as quickly as we can for the next release.

In the meantime, if you rely on Active911 & iOS devices, we definitely recommend holding off on updating to iOS 11 until we get all of this sorted out.

If you have already downloaded iOS 11, and are having issues try uninstalling the app and reinstalling it. That has been fixing some issues for our users. If that doesn’t work, then please contact our support team by phone or email. Our phone number is 541-223-7992 or support@active911.com. They just need to know what the issue is and what device model you are using.

 

 

 

 

Geocoder Service Update (“Wiz”)

Yesterday, we pushed an update to our geocoding service that extends its capabilities by handling another format of addresses. We’ve received a lot of geojson files containing grid addresses like the following: “W123N404 Main Street”; but the initial design of this service didn’t include ways of properly parsing and geocoding them. With this update they can be treated like the rest of the original set of supported address formats.

One interesting topic relevant to this update is how interpolated addresses are calculated. Here’s a simplified example to illustrate how it works:

Say you need to locate the following address:

202 Main Street

…but the geocoder is unable to find a match in its dataset.

If it extends its search and finds the following neighboring locations (address @ lat/long):

200 Main Street @ 124.0/50.0

204 Main Street @ 124.2/50.0

…Now rather than returning w/ “failure”, we can return an educated guess (the target address is likely in between the two addresses above):

So the interpolated result for 202 Main Street is: 124.1/50.0

And how does this pertains to this latest update? We needed to included the same feature for grid addresses, which was done by adding a dimension to the calculation for these cases. Now instead of finding the two nearest addresses, we will possibly be finding the four “nearest”, one in each cardinal direction (N, E, S, & W) from the unknown address which forms a bounding rectangle. The interpolated result is then located inside this rectangle.

Well that’s an inside look at one of the many algorithms that underlies our services. We are constantly working on a lot of exciting & interesting things here at Active911 and it’s always a pleasure to be able to share them with you.

Stay Safe!

New Colors and Chat Rooms in the New iOS Release!

iOS version 1.5.16 has been released! Below we have outlined the new features and bug fixes. You can download this new version in the the App Store today.

Features

Updated and extended colors for map markers

The existing set of colors for devices and locations has been refreshed across the app and a few new colors have been added to the mix as well.

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Agency Chat Rooms

The new chat tab contains a list of each agency that you are a part of. Each agency has it’s own chat room which you can use to send and receive messages to the whole agency.

Note:

You are only logged into these chat rooms while the app is open – any messages received while the app is backgrounded or closed will not be received. Also when you completely close the app o your phone, the chat history will be lost in the app. This is the first version of this feature, and we are looking to add more features to it. We would love to here feedback about what you want, so we can design it properly!

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Apple Maps Directions and Routing

One of our goals for this release was to get the features from Apple & Google Maps to be more in sync. We’ve added visual routing to alerts on the map and a list of turn by turn directions for when you are using Apple Maps now as well. We’ve also added an app setting for turning off the auto-routing that happens when you view the map from an alert that you can use if you’d like to revert back to the old behavior of Apple Maps.

Note:

There will be discrepancies for both the alert location shown on the map (if geocoding from an address) and the directions themselves between Google and Apple Maps. This is because in both cases we are using the associated provided services for these mapping features and it’s two entirely separate set of services for each map type.

Response Sorting

Now you can sort the responses list by either type or device name.

Minor Changes

  • The Alert Report/Log view has been simplified to save a step for some users workflows.
  • You can now use a new ‘Automatic’ assignment option for moving a device to assigned.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where some users were unable to edit alerts and it would instead default to creating a new alert.
  • Fixed a case with precise background GPS reporting where devices would drop off the map if stationary for more than 5 minutes.
  • Fixed a problem where reduced accuracy background GPS reporting wasn’t reporting any position updates.

New Update Now in iOS Beta

With this update we focussed on adding a couple of new feature as well as fixing some of the most common issues that you have brought to our attention. Here?s the complete list of things that have changed, added, or been fixed:

  • Added MODAT ringtone
  • Fix for infrequent crash related to assignments
  • Fix for cases where text in detail section (Description/Notes) could be cut off if it was too long
  • Change to screen timeout setting – now it won?t keep defaulting back to the ?never timeout? option
  • Changed the list of responders (in alert details) to keep the full list of everyone who has responded (previously they would disappear from the list as soon as they responded to a different alert)

Please let us know if you have any issues with the latest Beta. We appreciate all your feedback!

 

New features for iOS

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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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