Tag Archives: paraplan mobile

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

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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

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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.

Update for ParaPlan REST

17 June

ParaPlan REST is our web interface to the database for ParaPlan Mobile for iOS. We made quite a few internal improvements that makes the code much easier to maintain and much easier to add features.

We’ve changed how the devices talk to the server. Now when a device logs on, it will be handed a url that it will before its calls against. This will allow us to quickly change endpoints if need be and will also allow us to remove a database call that each request incurred when the request was searching for the correct database. This will speed up each call and gets rid of the cross-pollination issue we were seeing when the server was overloaded.

We are also pushing out updates to other products today:

ParaPlan Mobile is getting signature capture.

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 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