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.

Overview

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

pc2

? ? ?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

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

DistanceRulerBar

DistanceMeasure

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

iPhoneEdit

 

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.

Introducing the Windows PC App

We have released an early build of Active911 for Windows PCs. All of the base functionality is in place which will give us a good foundation for future updates. There are still features that we plan on adding and there may be some strange bugs in these early stages. If you would like to give it a try, you can find all the information you need at: http://wiki.active911.com/wiki/index.php/Beta_Testing#Windows_PC_Beta_.28Windows_XP_through_Windows_10.29 under the Windows PC Beta heading.

There is also a PC App category on our forums for you to share your experiences with the PC App: http://community.active911.com/discussion/543/pc-app-beta#Item_1

PC App Alert List

PC App Alert Details

PC App Personnel

Developers Log: Takeaway from IAFC

In a previous post, one of my fellow developers spoke of his thoughts after attending APCO. Well, last month was my turn to get to help man the booth at IAFC in Atlanta. ?I would say that I am a somewhat introverted developer which had me pretty nervous about the trip, but once I arrived and started meeting all of the amazing people I found myself really enjoying the whole experience. One of the biggest takeaways for me was just getting the opportunity to meet so many people who use Active911 and to hear their thoughts.

A lot of you who attended just stopped by to show us that you were using our apps and that you were very happy with how it has enabled you. And some of you came by and spoke for a while about different issues that you were having or new features that you would like to see. Some features that were brought up that I think could really make life easier are better ways to manage location markers in bulk and better integration with more CAD systems.

As the Windows developer, there was one thing that really made my day. A few firefighters came up to the booth and one of them wanted to know why Active911 didn’t work on his phone. I asked what kind of phone he had, and out of his pocket came a Windows powered HTC M8. I jumped on the opportunity to introduce him to our Windows Phone app and help him get it all set up.

In all, it was a great experience to see Atlanta, a conference room full of apparatus, and to meet so many friendly people.

Active911

Me (Robert Olson) at the Active911 booth in Atlanta, GA.

Active911 iOS 1.5.1 update

We actually pushed this to Apple some time ago, but it got “stuck” in their process and we had to call them on the phone to get it kicked loose. ?They were very helpful, though, and now 1.5.1 is available for download. ?From the Apple App Store:

What’s New in Version 1.5.1

– Added easy links for Google and Apple external routing
– Makes notes selectable, enables hyperlinks in notes!
– Fixed issue creating alert where some phones were unable to set title or address.
– Fixed issue preventing app from launching directly to new alert when alert was swiped.?
– Fixed issue with missing text when alerts contain “&” character.
– Fixed name sorting on Personnel page
– Fixes bug with test messages when app is in foreground

The “easy links for Google and Apple external routing” are new little icons you’ll see below the address. ?One goes to Google Maps, the other to Apple Maps. The Google Maps link won’t work if you haven’t installed Google Maps (obviously).

We’re rich-texted the notes, so if your PSAP puts a phone number in there, it should get auto-detected and hyperlinked for one-touch calling. ?Same for URLs.

Everything else is pretty much bug fixes. ?We have assignable assignments working in beta, so the next update should have that as well.

ON ANOTHER NOTE, we’re consolidating the beta program somewhat. ?Those assignment features that the beta users are using? ?Yeah, it only works if you grant yourself “assignment” permissions in the Devices tab. ?Which you can only do if you have the Beta website. ?Which you can only do if you are a website Beta tester. ?Since this is getting too complicated, we are granting ALL beta testers access to the whole suite of beta products. ?Grant is working on this now and they should all be getting emails in the future with more details on this change.

Apple app notes – week in review

We pushed the iOS Active911 1.5 app update on Monday, enabling Assignments. ?Today is Friday, so we have had a week to get feedback and figure some things out.

In version 1.5.1

Selectable text in version 1.5.1

The bottom line is that some more updates are in store for Apple users. ?Here’s a list:

  1. The “External Link” on the bottom of the alert details page used to launch Apple Maps, and it doesn’t any more. ?Lots of people use this for navigation. This is being fixed.
  2. The address area launches a map within the Active911 app. ?Most people already know this, but for those who don’t, we’ve added a helpful icon.
  3. Test messages don’t pop up when the app is in the foreground. ?This has been fixed in beta and should be in your hands soon. ?Normal alerts seem to come through fine, as do alerts and test messages when the app is in the background.
  4. People asked us to make the text within the app selectable. ?This has been added to detail text for 1.5.1 beta. ?It also means you can have hyperlinks in the details section! ?See the image at right.
  5. The app update required a server update which in turn introduced a bug. ?The bug made it so late-model iOS devices didn’t get paged when messages were very looooong (many lines of notes). ?This was fixed today and does not require an app update (we had to update the server).
  6. We have one report of an iPhone 5 user (iOS 8.2 or iOS 8.3) who says the alert title is reset to “Alert” when he sends an alert from his phone.

All told, it’s been a busy and tiring week! ?On the radar also is making assignments assignable to anyone from within the app, and paging (Apple Notifications) to the assignees. ?:)

That’s it for now – have a good weekend, everyone!

Developer’s Log: Low hanging fruit anyone?

This week has been a busy one here at Active911. Currently, some of us are shaking hands in Baltimore for the Firehouse Expo.while those of us who have remained in the office are working on anything that is low hanging fruit. Low hanging fruit is how we are referring to any task that has been in our backlog and should be a quick and easy thing to do, but we just haven’t been able to get around to yet. Low hanging fruit is an important thing to make time for, so we have set our regularly scheduled features aside for one week only to make sure we are taking care of some of the smaller tasks that could be otherwise overlooked.

Between all of us, we have a smattering of easily accomplishable features and bug fixes to keep us busy before wrapping up this week. Some of the bug fixes range from tweaks to the types of data we are storing in the database to how certain drop down lists on the website are being presented. The features are a bit more exciting and include the ability to order your agencies within the apps and have a darker map view during the night.

It feels good to set aside some time to make sure that these kind of little things get done in the midst of larger features we want to roll out. Now that the assignment beta feature has been released, we could easily spend a lot more time working on improving it and bringing it out of beta. The plan is to add more features to assignments and scheduling in able to make it much more effective as a tool for every department. In fact, there have already been many suggestions rolling in on our forums as well as questions that highlight areas that need to be better explained, and development on new features like this will resume after this week has ended. In short, taking care of `low hanging fruit` tasks are like going back and making sure you have dotted all of your Is and crossed your Ts.