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ParaPlan for iOS v 1.4.6

27 January

ParaPlan for iOS screenshot

Apple just approved version 1.4.6 of ParaPlan Mobile on the App Store.

This version is mostly bug fixes and performance improvements, but we’ve added some nice new touches as well.

Collecting signatures

The entire workflow around signature collection has been rebuilt. It is faster to get to the signature screen and signatures upload faster than ever. They also look much nicer.

Smarter comments

JPEG image 7FE16A6E3A8F 1

Client and trip comments now “bubble up” from the bottom of the screen when a driver arrives at a pick up location. The comments will automatically go away after 10 seconds, or if the driver manually dismisses them. This allows drivers to see critical information about a client without having to drill into the details.

Copays

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Drivers can now record collected copays. They can specify the amount of collection and the type of collection (cash, voucher, ticket). Partial payments and overpayments are also allowed. However, in the interest of simplicity, the driver just has to click on the copay field and it will assume payment was collected in full with the default payment type (set in Admin on ParaPlan Desktop). If there was a partial payment or overpayment or a different payment type, the driver can touch again to edit the payment. The most common action is the default allowing the driver to quickly get back to work.

Clients that require copays to be collected have the amount displayed sideways next to their name on the manifest. When the driver sees this, they should click into Trip Details and click the copay amount. This will record it as collected and the amount will not be displayed on the front screen. If the driver clicks again on the copay amount it will open a screen where they can edit the details.

Odometers

We spent a lot of time perfecting our odometer collection algorithms. I mean, A LOT OF TIME. We think we are pretty close to perfect, but drivers should still check in on the settings screen to make sure our calculated odometer matches the vehicle odometer. Newer iPhones and iPad with the motion coprocessor will see dramatic improvements and the calculated odometer should be dead-on, day after day.

Improvements to iPad

Bouncing around between screens is no good and can leave a driver feeling out of control. On the iPad version, we put the settings in a popover controller on the front screen instead of having it in its own separate tab.

Speaking of the settings screen, the connection information is smarter and only runs on demand. It also displays the type of cellular connection.

We are building up our mobile FAQs on Freshdesk. Now drivers can can view the FAQs from inside the app. Just click into settings to see the new button. Drivers can also submit tickets directly from the app.

 

How to get APN device token from ParaPlan iOS

01 June

2014 06 01 22 12 14

Every iOS device that runs ParaPlan has a device token that we use to directly communicate with that device. This is how we send out push notifications to a specific driver when they have changes to their manifest.

Sometimes, we need to be sure that a device is correctly configured, so we may ask you to send us the device token. To accomplish this, go to the Settings tab, then long press on the logout button. After a few seconds, the share sheet will be displayed and the device token can be emailed directly to EnGraph.

Update to ParaPlan iOS 1.4.5

23 March

We just updated our iOS version of ParaPlan to version 1.4.5. 

View trips for future dates:

Manifestdate

This allows drivers to view their scheduled trips for tomorrow (or any day for that matter). On the iPhone, touch settings, then touch on Manifest date change the manifest date. Drivers can also long-press on the date to toggle between Today and Tomorrow. On the iPad, there is a Change Date on the front screen. Touch that to select from a drop down calendar.

When viewing a date other than today, drivers cannot perform actions on any trips. The date is also displayed is the navigation bar. Drivers can leave the app and it will remember which date was selected for up to three hours. After three hours of not using the app, the date will reset to today.

See City and State of a stop by long pressing the stop:

Citystate

To quickly see the city and state of a stop, long press the stop and the popup action menu will display the city and state.

Support for Dynamic Type:

Dynamic Type is a new accessibility feature released with iOS 7 that allows text to be displayed in a larger font to make for easier reading. Go to Settings.app to select the desired font size. Switch back to ParaPlan and all text will be displayed in the new font.

Visual indication of wheelchair clients:

Wc

Clients that have a wheelchair or clients that require a wheelchair equipped van now have their names displayed in red. This makes it simple for drivers to take a quick glance at their eManifest to know what to expect when pulling up to a pick up location.

Route confirmation screen:

Summary

After logging in, the driver is greeted with a summary of their work date. It tells them the route (or routes) they are assigned to, the vehicle (or vehicles) that they will be driving, the first pick up time and the last drop off time and the number of stops they need to perform. The summary will countdown and automatically dismiss after 10 seconds. The driver can also click “View eManifest” to dismiss the summary. To stop the countdown, the driver can touch anywhere on the summary to stop the countdown timer. This is handy if the driver sees something in the summary that doesn’t look right.

Other Improvements:

When scrolling down on the stop list, the status bar and navigation bar are hidden to show more stops at a single time. Scroll all the way to the top to see the status and navigation bar.

The login screen has been improved. It is cleaner and faster.

Long client comments show up better and do not shrink so small that a magnifying glass is required.

When looking at routes, the vehicle number is displayed in parentheses – Blue AM (54)

We fixed a bug that caused permissions to not to take immediate impact. No more killing the app so the correct buttons are displayed. We are still not sure why people found that to be so annoying.

EnGraph announces partnership with REI

30 January

Rei

EnGraphMaster

 

EnGraph is pleased to announce a partnership with REI, a leader in the transportation industry for over 75 years. This partnership will allow us to incorporate their wide range of transportation products into our software solutions.

What is going to change?

Current users of ParaPlan Desktop or ParaPlan for iOS will start to see additional functionality as we add support for REI products. For example, our Client screen has a new video option as we begin the integration with REI’s on-board video recording devices.

Will I have to use a new version of ParaPlan?

ParaPlan Desktop and ParaPlan for iOS will continue to perform and look as they always have. As we add new features, they will contain the same powerful simplicity that is so important to us.

I saw Kyle at a trade show and he had an REI badge. Does he still work at EnGraph?

Kyle is still an owner and partner at EnGraph. Since REI has such a tremendous reputation in the industry, EnGraph is now able to have access to a much larger customer base. EnGraph completes the mobility offering of REI software and Kyle will occasionally represent REI to reach the potential clients where mobility is just a portion of an agency’s need.

So no changes at EnGraph?

No changes. Kyle and Tim are still owners and partners. Brett is still project manager and is coming up on three years with us. There will not be any employee nor assignment changes due to this partnership.

I’m excited. I spend too much time switching between software applications to manage my transit agency.

We are excited too! And we hear you regarding multiple applications. As computers become more useful in our industry, half of the battle can be figuring out your workflow and making sure you have all your needs met. One small missing piece means additional software to pay for, learn and maintain. Or worse yet, another Excel sheet to populate. REI and EnGraph are committed to making your life easier and look to solve these problems with tight integrations and smarter interfaces.

The full press release is below and can be downloaded here:

PRESS RELEASE


For Immediate Release

Lenexa, Kansas, January 29, 2014 – Tim Hibbard, CEO of EnGraph Software, announces the formation of a partnership between EnGraph and Radio Engineering Industries Inc. (REI) to provide a complete suite of intelligent transportation and mobile asset management solutions; including Fixed Route CAD/AVL, Automatic Passenger Counting (APC), Paratransit Scheduling and Billing software, Mobile Data Terminals (MDT), electronic manifests, traveler information websites, Passenger Information and Display Systems (PIDS), mobile video surveillance, vehicle monitoring and diagnostics, and more, to the transit industry.


Radio Engineering Industries (REI) provides a variety of safety solutions: mobile video surveillance, GPS/AVL tracking solutions, camera observation systems and audio/video equipment.  REI prides itself on designing, manufacturing, and servicing customer friendly electronic products for the school, transit, motor coach, shuttle and agriculture industries.  Founded in 1938, REI continues its history of service, quality and value every day.  EnGraph Software, founded in 1999, is a software development firm specializing in paratransit scheduling, reporting, billing and digital dispatching systems throughout the United States.


Darwin Rubeck, REI Vice President of Software and Business Services, called the partnership with EnGraph Software “a terrific opportunity to complete our intelligent transportation systems offering and to bring Paratransit expertise to our team.”  Tim Hibbard, EnGraph CEO, is “thrilled to join forces with a nearby midwestern technology company like REI and I know that our proven ParaPlan® demand-response management system is a perfect fit into REI’s A.R.M.O.R.® ITS software applications and component hardware” and further “this is a great step forward for both REI and EnGraph.”


For more information please contact Kyle Archer, Director of Sales, at 913-735-6651.

Display Program Billed amount in ParaPlan iOS

07 January

ParaPlan for iOS has a trip detail screen that shows extra information about a trip when the driver clicks a stop on their eManifest. A key piece of information is how much the rider needs to pay to get on the bus. Sometimes, the driver needs to know how much the program will be billed for this trip. Now that is possible.

In ParaPlan Desktop, click All Elements, then Admin to load system preferences. Check the box labeled “Display Program Billed and Co-Pay on eManifest.”

IOSProgramBilled 3

 

Now, when the drivers look at the detail screen, the will see the amount the rider needs to pay to get on the bus, and in parentheses, the amount that the program will be billed.

IPhoneProgramBilled

Salem County Goes Mobile!

19 November
Salem iPads for drivers

Setting up ParaPlan Mobile for SCST

Tim is in Salem, NJ right now upgrading Salem County Specialized Transportation to ParaPlan Mobile.

How to add a user for ParaPlan for iOS

14 October

ParaPlan Mobile for iOS is our complimentary mobile app for iPhones and iPads. Drivers log onto the mobile device and their trips are automatically downloaded. As they perform their trips, the timestamps and odometers are automatically uploaded to dispatch computers running ParaPlan Desktop.

Now with 3rd party access, funding source stakeholders and clients can view GPS locations of the vehicles performing their trips on their personal iPhones or iPads.

Here is how ParaPlan users are granted iOS permission.

  1. In ParaPlan, click All Elements > Users > New User.
  2. Fill out the name and username, then grant ParaPlan desktop permissions.
     Screen Shot 2013 10 14 at 8 31 42 AM
  3. Create password
    1. Leave existing password blank
    2. Enter new password twice
    3. Click Change password
      Screen Shot 2013 10 14 at 8 33 41 AM 
       
  4. Click Apply Changes (ParaPlan username should now be populated in title bar and Save button should be disabled)
     Screen Shot 2013 10 14 at 8 34 21 AM
  5. Expand Convert for iOS
    • To Add driver:
      1. Click Collect GPS if GPS data should be collected.
      2. Click Can view GPS tab if they can see other driver’s location.
      3. Enter REST endpoint provided by EnGraph.
      4. Select Driver name from drop down list.
      5. Click Can Schedule Trips if they can change a trips assigned route (including trips assigned to other drivers).
      6. Click Can Call clients if they can have easy access to directly contacting clients.
      7. Click Create Global account.
         Screen Shot 2013 10 14 at 8 40 46 AM
    • To add 3rd party program administrator
      1. Click Collect GPS if GPS data should be collected (usually not).
      2. Click Can view GPS tab if they can see driver’s locations (only for the programs they are allowed to see).
      3. Enter REST endpoint provided by EnGraph.
      4. Check all the programs they can see trip and GPS details for.
      5. Check can request trips if they can directly request a trip (coming soon).
      6. Check can view Client details if they can also see additional information about a client including their future trips (only for the programs they are allowed to see).
      7. Click Create Global Account.
         Screen Shot 2013 10 14 at 9 05 16 AM
    • To add 3rd party Client access
      1. Check Collect GPS if GPS data should be collected (usually not).
      2. Check Can view GPS tab if they can see the vehicle that is coming to perform their trip.
      3. Select the client’s name from the drop down list.
      4. Check Can request trips if they can directly request a trip (coming soon).
      5. Click Create Global Account.
         Screen Shot 2013 10 14 at 9 09 29 AM

ParaPlan Mobile for iOS version 1.2

14 June

ParaPlan Mobile for iOS has been updated to version 1.2. The highlights of this version are Signature Capture and smarter confirmations. We are holding this for release until Monday, June 17th to allow time for driver training.

Signature Capture

Many of our clients are funded by programs that require drivers to collect signatures from a passenger at the end of the trip. This can be a tedious process that required office staff to scan or fax these signatures to the funding source. Now the signatures are collected directly on the driver’s iPhone or iPad and are instantly available to the office staff where they can compile a report and electronically deliver the signatures. This saves time, saves paper and is another win in the battle against printers.

Arrive and Perform events

Version 1.1 only had a single event when performing a pick up or a drop off of a client. It is useful to know how long a driver had to wait from when they got to the pick up location and when they were able to get the client fully loaded on the vehicle. This helps tell a more complete story about the life cycle of a trip and also helps the office staff know which client might need a longer Dwell Time in ParaPlan. With that in mind, the life cycle of a trip from a driver’s perspective looks like this:

  • Driver arrives at pick up location. Driver swipes the stop on the iPad and clicks “I’ve arrived at pick up”. This sends an event back to the office that contains GPS point, odometer reading and timestamp. On the iPad, the trip turns blue.
  • The client is on the bus and ready to go. Driver swipes on the stop and clicks “Client is on board”. This sends another event and the stop turns grey.
  • Driver arrives at drop off location. Driver swipes on the drop off stop and clicks “I’ve arrived at drop off”. This sends another event to the office and the stop turns blue.
  • The passenger will signed on the iPad. The signature (along with an event) will be sent back to the office. The passenger will automatically be marked as dropped off and a drop off event will be sent to the office. The stop will turn grey.
  • If the passenger signature is not required, the driver will swipe on the stop and click “Client has been dropped off”.

Smarter Confirmations

Each time a driver performs an action, it provides an audio and visual confirmation. We found that requiring the driver to push “OK” on every confirmation message added too much friction to the experience. We changed it so the first 10 confirmations will display a visual dialog that will require the driver to push “OK” to dismiss it. After that, the status bar will change colors momentarily and display a confirmation. When a user has to push “OK” all the time, they get in the habit of dismissing all dialogs without reading them. They can miss important information because they get too many alerts. This will help prevent this from happening to our users.

Extended permissions

There is now a “Can call client” permission that prevents drivers from being able to directly call a client’s phone number. Also, the “View other vehicles” restriction applies to other driver’s manifests and other driver’s GPS locations.

Other improvements

We also added smarter background GPS mode and geofencing.

The badge icon is now smarter and will always display the number of stops a driver has yet to perform in a day.

Turn-by-turn directions have been added to the long press menu from the manifest screen. Press and hold on a stop to view the long press menu.

We hope you enjoy using version 1.2! 

Here are the changes from version 1.1.

We are also pushing out updates to other products today:

ParaPlan Desktop got a faster Scheduling Canvas and support for viewing signatures captured by our iOS app.

ParaPlan Server allows trips to be changed when in progress on Mentor Rangers and smarter Zonar connections.

ParaPlan REST had a bunch of code rewritten that is going to allow for huge speed improvements in the future.

iPhone users have fat fingers

24 May

Undo in ios

 

Boy it sure feels like that sometimes! I’m constantly hitting the wrong button on my iPhone. There are so many different ways to interact with the iPhone. All the pinch-to-zoom, double-tap and swipe-to-delete features are great, but it can be really frustrating when you accidentally push the wrong button.

We built ParaPlan Mobile with forgiveness in mind. Every screen has an Undo button that is easily within reach. If you swiped to perform a stop, swipe one more time and you will see an Undo button. Same thing goes for long-pressing on a stop as well as performing actions from the Stop Detail screen.

If you are not a ParaPlan Mobile user, please try it for free. Download it from the App Store and click “Use Demo Mode” when you see the login screen.

Signature capture in ParaPlan Mobile for iOS

23 May

Many of our clients have contracts that require drivers to capture a signature when the ride has been completed. Logisticare is one example of a broker that collects rider signatures. We have added this functionality to ParaPlan Mobile for iOS and drivers will be able to electronically collect signatures directly on their iPhones or iPads. The signature will be uploaded and be immediately available inside of ParaPlan Desktop. Here is a screenshot of the signature collection on the iPad.

Signature collection on iPad