“Bigger than bigger.”
When that phrase was bandied about yesterday at Apple’s Keynote broadcast across the world, we at iFormBuilder were on the edge of our seats. Why you may ask? If you didn’t know, Apple devices were the first mobile devices that we created the iForm app for. Apple’s dedication to advancement in communication has helped our partners and clients improve productivity and accountability in ways that seemed impossible just a few years ago.
Apple’s broadcast yesterday offered some very exciting new products and features, including two new iPhones, the Apple Watch, and a new system of payment using iOS called Apple Pay. We took this exciting news and dug deeper, considering how it can enhance iFormBuilder with Mobile Data Collection, ways it can improve our clients workflow and more. Here are 5 Facts that every iForm user should know – and what the future might hold:
[dropcap4]1[/dropcap4] WiFi Improvements makes ThunderPlug roar.
Apple’s new iPhones offer greatly improved Wi-Fi— 802.11ac Wi-Fi, with speeds of 433 megabits-per-second (Mbps). That is at 3 times faster than the current Wi-Fi speeds.
The phone will allow you to make phone calls over Wi-Fi, too. So if you are someplace where the cell signal is awful but the Wi-Fi is strong, the phone will switch you to the Wi-Fi network and make the call that way, at least with carriers like T-Mobile that support that feature.
This could be a big plus for data collection in the field, especially if you are using Zerion’s ThunderPlug mobile data hub. Collecting data on an mobile devices has it’s risks– what if the device is stolen or destroyed? The ThunderPlug allows the data to be collected on the device and synced to the ThunderPlug using the ThunderPlug network. Increased Wi-Fi means easier and faster upload to the ThunderPlug, where it can be taken to a connected area, and the data shared. That way if something does happen to a mobile device, all data previously synced to the ThunderPlug is not lost!
The Apple Watch offers many features that relate to pulse rate, health, and sharing of apps between devices. A few ways this could be beneficial to iForm users:
- Tracking members of the field team and being aware of their health in potentially dangerous areas
- Potential sharing of forms between phone and watch— this one may be a reach, but when the new developer kit for the Apple Watch is released, we will know more
- Additional GIS data collection, which enhances the iFormBuilder integration with Esri’s ArcGIS apps.
[dropcap4]3[/dropcap4] Touch ID will make data collection more secure.
Apple Pay will allow easier, safer payment options for users. But what really interested us is the verification methods that Apple Pay will entail. This includes fingerprint verification and NFC Technology. This technology could ensure more security for the iForm App (iForm ES and iForm Kiosk too) when forms are left open on the device, data sharing, and other ways to integrate the technology with data collection.
[dropcap4]4[/dropcap4]Your tools can talk to each other at home– and one day in the field.
As Forbes.com describes HomeKit is an “iOS-based protocol for hooking up connected gadgets in the home.” Basically allowing bluetooth sensors in any device to talk with each other, this technology might move out to the field, into the industrial kitchen, across the research lab and more. iFormBuilder is already designed to create a realtime data sharing experience and we think utilizing HomeKit in the different way is good business.
[dropcap4]5[/dropcap4] It all runs on iOS8 — and iFormBuilder is already there.
iOS8 promises even stronger security, new productivity features, better data and device management tools. Especially across the Enterprise, these features will ensure productivity while protecting valuable data and devices. The best part is that our team at Zerion Software, makers of iFormBuilder, have spent the last 6 months ensuring that the upcoming switch to iOS 8 will be seamless, and our latest update is designed to capitalize on iOS8’s new features, without the growing pains associated with software upgrades.
Whether you work in the hospitality industry, Biosafety, engineering, or are an M&E specialist for international development, iForm has your back. We will continue to capitalize on the advancements in mobile communications to bring a better, purer form of good data.
We can’t wait to see what happens next— stay tuned!