Native App for iOS or Android?

Discussion about the OutBack OpticsRE system monitor

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Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby scarvxx on Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:38 am

Is it just me, or is anyone else out there really wishing there was a native app for the iPhone/iPad or Android? The web site is fine but it is tough to use in mobile situations. Also, a great app would really lend itself well to tablets for a portable monitoring screen. The web page just doesn't really do it.

Thanks,
scarvxx
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby jestercopperpot on Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:40 pm

I was just going to start a new thread on a similar topic.

I have a user who only seems to use an Ipad. She is having problems seeing any information using the ios native Safari.

now since this is my first OpticsRE system, i may have incorrectly granted dashboard access, but she is not able to see the "selling" or "buying" portions of the main screen on the dashboard.

any suggestions?

Thanks,
Also newbie and also first post!
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby scarvxx on Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:50 am

I use chrome exclusively on Windows 7, Windows 10, and iOS on iphone and ipad... and the OpticsRE site behaves very consistently regardless of platform. It works well with chrome for sure. I bet the dev team primarily tests against chrome. So as far as the browser UI, it's ok. The native app would add a whole different dimension. The web app has a lot of features built around someone supporting many systems, and wanting to navigate through the devices. But even just a basic status app for iOS and/or Android would be hugely helpful. Voltage, SOC, status.... start simple.
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby jestercopperpot on Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:12 am

I do think that a simple mobile app would be great. I am using this system in utility interactive mode so kWh in from the solar and battery kWh in/out would be great.

My customer is using Safari and having problems seeing anything. I have her monitoring only, then limited access to see if it made a difference but she is still unable to see any useful information other than the name of her site.

I was able to get it to work on chrome on my iphone so it functions there, albeit not a true mobile friendly site, but works in a pinch.
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby sodamo on Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:42 pm

I think a mobile app would be good. Limit it to single site, maybe a pro version for multiple sites. Perhaps allow 2 modes, a read only, observer mode and a password protected mode with full control. Would be a good opportunity to turn off the less than useful features, like the screen hogging map. Strange as it might seem my system has moved since it was installed. Might be useful in a limited way for someone with multiple sites.

I monitor my system via Safari, mostly on iPad, sometimes on iPhone, and to much lesser extent on my Mac. I have also set a monitor only account for others to view the system. I don't see why the other poster to have a problem.
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby scarvxx on Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:48 pm

Hey David.

Do you think Outback would consider something like this? I see you are "guru" so maybe you know how they work with their customers to roadmap their software plans?

Thanks!
Scott
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby sodamo on Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:33 pm

Would be nice, but I have no influence or insight.
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RTS
4 FM 80 charge controllers
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3
OpticsRE - Piha Kahuku
21 Aquion Aspen 48S (46.2 kw)
24Kw Yangdong Genset (Affordable Generators - Poor support)
10Kw MEP 803a
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby OffgridHiker on Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:33 am

I actually prefer a web application that has good support for mobile devices.

Imho, having native apps would not bring much value and would divert resources from improving the existing application.
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby David LeBow on Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:38 am

OffgridHiker wrote:I actually prefer a web application that has good support for mobile devices.

Imho, having native apps would not bring much value and would divert resources from improving the existing application.


That's more the direction we're investigating.

D.
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby scarvxx on Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:11 pm

That certainly is the trend, the last 4-5 years. I manage the customer facing digital tech of a large multinational company, and we established this direction as well a few years back. "Responsive vs native". Though we've moved many of our properties to responsive from native, will still find many use cases that work better on native.

So... That said, when can we get a (truly) responsive site for OpticsRE?? :grin:

The current platform is very cumbersome on mobile.

Thanks!!
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby David LeBow on Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:13 pm

scarvxx wrote:So... That said, when can we get a (truly) responsive site for OpticsRE?? :grin:


One guarantee: not 4Q 2017.

It's not yet scheduled, so I can't yet truly commit, I'm afraid. Right now we're hunkered down on Mate3 connectivity and data integrity issues.

D.
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby scarvxx on Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:20 pm

Wow, FAST reply David! Thank you

Got it. Yup, connectivity and data integrity issues MUCH bigger priority. But glad to hear this is on your backlog. And really appreciate a company that listens! IMHO You guys have massively improved the product in the last two years.

If you ever establish a "OpticsRE customer council" or something less fancy sounding, my hand is up already. But the forum is a great start.

Thanks again!
Scott
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby David LeBow on Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:36 pm

scarvxx wrote:If you ever establish a "OpticsRE customer council" or something less fancy sounding, my hand is up already. But the forum is a great start.


Thanks, Scott. In the meantime, new feature suggestions can be added using the Uservoice "widget" in the lower-left corner of the Optics application or you can PM me. I make sure that those get added to our internal ticketing system for consideration in future releases.

D.
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Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby sodamo on Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:14 am

I don’t find the web interface particularly bad, especially on the iPad, just a bit cumbersome at times and info I don’t need, like the map - my installation hasn’t changed location since installation. Like the feel good green statement, no value for most of us and should be able to toggle off.

Glad to hear about the connectivity and data focus. Just a thought, David, but I suspect many rural users are likely like me in that we don’t have city quality internet. I say this based on comments from a couple of forums I visit where I have learned that I actually have much better internet service than many of my rural brethren. Don’t know how OB could incorporate that scenario on site.
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Posts: 390
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:55 am
Location: Ninole, Hi
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36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
4 FX3048T
RTS
4 FM 80 charge controllers
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3
OpticsRE - Piha Kahuku
21 Aquion Aspen 48S (46.2 kw)
24Kw Yangdong Genset (Affordable Generators - Poor support)
10Kw MEP 803a
2Kw Honda 2000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: http://www.weatherlink.com/user/sodamo/

Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby David LeBow on Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:19 am

sodamo wrote:I don’t find the web interface particularly bad, especially on the iPad, just a bit cumbersome at times and info I don’t need, like the map - my installation hasn’t changed location since installation. Like the feel good green statement, no value for most of us and should be able to toggle off.


I think the bigger problem is on the smaller devices - phones. The rendering on a bigger tablet can be ok. Re: map - we have a number of users with a distributed set of systems. I'm not clear on which feel-good green statement you're referring to.

sodamo wrote:Glad to hear about the connectivity and data focus. Just a thought, David, but I suspect many rural users are likely like me in that we don’t have city quality internet. I say this based on comments from a couple of forums I visit where I have learned that I actually have much better internet service than many of my rural brethren. Don’t know how OB could incorporate that scenario on site.


Our connectivity issues are of course worse where the internet quality is sketchy. We have a large number of customers with sites having solid internet where we have zero connectivity issues. I'm unclear on what you mean with "Don’t know how OB could incorporate that scenario on site"

D.
David LeBow
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Alpha Technologies Inc. / OutBack Power Technologies
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby sodamo on Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:55 pm

Great to hear from you David.

David LeBow wrote:
sodamo wrote:I don’t find the web interface particularly bad, especially on the iPad, just a bit cumbersome at times and info I don’t need, like the map - my installation hasn’t changed location since installation. Like the feel good green statement, no value for most of us and should be able to toggle off.


“I think the bigger problem is on the smaller devices - phones. The rendering on a bigger tablet can be ok. Re: map - we have a number of users with a distributed set of systems. I'm not clear on which feel-good green statement you're referring to.”

I agree about devices, I’m probably 90-95% ipad vs iPhone. I can see and understand the value of the map for those with distributed systems, but a wasted and extra step for those with a single system. Would prefer option that log in went directly to Dashboard. Can’t remember wording of the green statement, something relating system production to saving carbon or something. Besides being useless it also didn’t factor in use of my diesel generator.

sodamo wrote:Glad to hear about the connectivity and data focus. Just a thought, David, but I suspect many rural users are likely like me in that we don’t have city quality internet. I say this based on comments from a couple of forums I visit where I have learned that I actually have much better internet service than many of my rural brethren. Don’t know how OB could incorporate that scenario on site.


“Our connectivity issues are of course worse where the internet quality is sketchy. We have a large number of customers with sites having solid internet where we have zero connectivity issues. I'm unclear on what you mean with "Don’t know how OB could incorporate that scenario on site"”

I would guess OB has more robust, city type internet and would not be able to replicate a poorer, rural connection.

D.
sodamo
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Posts: 390
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:55 am
Location: Ninole, Hi
My RE system: Totally off grid
36 Trina 280 & 16 Phono 250 in 48 volt array (fixed) 14080w
4 FX3048T
RTS
4 FM 80 charge controllers
FNDC w/3 shunts
Mate 3
OpticsRE - Piha Kahuku
21 Aquion Aspen 48S (46.2 kw)
24Kw Yangdong Genset (Affordable Generators - Poor support)
10Kw MEP 803a
2Kw Honda 2000i

Davis VantagePro2 Wx Station
On line at: http://www.weatherlink.com/user/sodamo/

Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby David LeBow on Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:34 am

A brief write-up on where we stand: https://opticsre.uservoice.com/knowledg ... os-android

David
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Re: Native App for iOS or Android?

Postby Banakse on Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:47 pm

OffgridHiker wrote:I actually prefer a web application that has good support for mobile devices.

Imho, having native apps would not bring much value and would divert resources from improving the existing application.

I think so too, but it is so hard,having native apps for Andrid and iPhone, the first is whether the software is compatible, How to move Android to iPhone ?
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