App crashes are annoying and we work really hard to do what we can to avoid them happening in FormsFly. But every app crashes sometimes so it’s important to understand a little but about why and what to do if it happens to you. Most of this advice applies as much to other apps on your device as it does to FormsFly. Continue reading
This article is to help you generate the Android bug report to help us further investigate the issue that you have reported.
Please generate the bug report immediately after encountering the issue and note the date/time when the problem occurred, as this will assist us in accurately identifying the relevant event in the generated log.
Enable Device Developer Mode
On the device in question:
- Go to “Settings”, then tap “About device” or “About phone”.
- Scroll down, then tap “Build number” seven times.
Depending on your device and operating system, you may need to tap “Software Information”, and then tap “Build Number” seven times.
- Enter your pattern, PIN or password to enable the “Developer Options” menu.
- The “Developer Options” menu will now appear in your Settings menu.
Depending on your device, it may appear under Settings > General > Developer options.
Generate Bug Report
The report needs to be generated. After developer mode has been enabled, you can stay in developer options as this is where the function is to generate the bug report.
As seen in the screenshot (left) below, the second option is Bug Report. Click that option to generate the bug report. A popup will be shown, similar to the screenshot (right) below.
Make sure to select Full Report and then click the report button. This might take a few minutes and may differ from device to device, so please be patient while the report is generated.
A notification will be displayed on the device as soon as the report has been successfully generated.
Now that the report has been generated, it is time to share it with us. To do that, click on the notification. This will show the default share options. There are different options, we suggest uploading it to Google Drive in a folder that can be shared with us. We suggest this because the size of the report can differ each time, and emails have a size limit for attachments. If the file is too big, there will be no attachment, and we will not be able to access that report again as it is saved in the root folder of the device that you do not have access to.
After the Report has been uploaded to Google Drive, please share that folder with us so our developers can have a look at the report.
That is it. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
When a form entry is completed, the answer values are prioritised and uploaded first.
The size of the answers are also generally quite small and thus upload fast, even on slow network connections.
However media files such as photos, audio and video are each much larger in size and thus take longer to upload.
Video files are generally the largest files (and thus take the longest to upload), with audio and photos usually being smaller but still significant in size – e.g. in the region of 500 kilobytes.
Mobile devices also do not allow apps to run for long in the background before either killing or sleeping the apps.
This is because power conservation is a key aspect of a mobile operating system – the less apps running, the less battery life consumed.
So generally when the app is in the background or closed, your media file uploads may not have sufficient time to complete before the app is stopped.
In this case, the files will remain on the device waiting for the next time the app is opened before these can continue uploading.
Additionally if the app is forcibly closed by the user – e.g. by swiping the app off of the “open apps” view in iOS or Android – then the mobile operating system will kill the app, which in turn stops any background uploads the app was running.
What app users can do to ensure uploads are completed
When finished using the app, your users should not kill it – rather they should simply push the app to the background.
This is easily done by either switching to another app or by hitting the home button on the device.
Users should not swipe the app off the “open apps” view of their device, rather just they should leave it in the apps list even when not in use.
If uploads are slow or not successfully uploaded, mobile users can help by keeping the app open and “awake” in the foreground, or by re-opening the app when they are next on a faster network connection (e.g. an office Wi-fi connection).
This should assist the app with having more time to upload outstanding files.
Photos or images that are captured via Media fields in your Form will be automatically resized to a maximum height/width of 800 pixels.
This default ensures that captured images do not consume large amounts of the user’s mobile data during uploads, and maintains reasonable quality for printing and PDF outputs.
If you wish to change this default behaviour, you can do so at the individual Form level via the “RESIZE IMAGES TO” designer setting.
On the FormsFly Platform, browse to your Form design.
Click on the title bar of your Form preview to access this option.
Change the RESIZE IMAGES TO option as desired. Remember that every 1000 pixels increases image file size by a factor of 4.
After setting the desired resize pixels, be sure to save your changes!
Resizing to over 2000 pixels has been known to cause device/app stability issues especially with some Android devices due to the very large file size of images of this higher quality.
Increasing image quality in PDF and other outputs
When exporting a Form entry (through our Data Entries area on the web portal), you will notice we provide a “High Resolutions Images” checkbox.
Selecting this option will lift increase the image sizes in the PDF, from our default of 96ppi to 150ppi (pixels per inch).
This same “High Resolution Images” option is available on Form connectors:
By default, images are output at a resolution of 96ppi (pixels per inch).
This makes the generated size of output files smaller and thus faster to transfer.
Selecting this option increases image resolution to 150ppi, boosting picture quality at the cost of much larger output file size.
Folders with user access restrictions are useful for situations where different groups/teams are using the same app, but need to see different screens/docs when they log in.
The platform allows various levels of Screen or Document access or viewing.
a. You want to keep your Folders for organising Screens, but don’t want to enforce user security.
For this case, turn off User Access Restrictions on the Folder(s) preventing your users from accessing the Screen/Doc in question.
- Go to the Screens or Docs page on the platform.
- One at a time, click on each Folder name that has a “lock” next to it and note how the Screen/Doc results change.
You are looking for a Folder which contains your target Screen/Doc, so it should still appear in the page results after filtering.
- Once you find a locked Folder containing the Screen/Doc, click on the “lock” icon next to the Folder name.
In the Folder Settings dialog, untick the “Restrict User Access” checkbox and save changes.
- Repeat for all other “locked” Folders as desired.
b. You want to gain Screen access while continuing to enforce user security on the existing Folders
Either add your desired Screens/Docs into a folder that your user has access to, or add a new Folder with no user restrictions and assign your Screen/Doc to that new Folder.
To add a Screen/Doc to a Folder:
- Go to the Screens/Docs page (Apps -> Screens/Docs)
- Tick the checkboxes next to the desired Screens/Docs listed in the All folder
- Click the Organise button to assign your selections to the folder
- Click the “+” icons next to the chosen folders to assign folders to your Screen/Doc selections.
Once you have done this, ensure that the Folder in question has the “Restrict User Access” checkbox turned off.
Otherwise give your user access to the Folder:
- Go to Apps -> Screens, and hover over the folder name on the right hand side
- A little “lock” icon is on each folder; click on this icon to open the Folder Settings
- In the “Assign to Users” field, chose the users that you wish to have access to the folder.
Doing this will give them access to all Screens and Docs contained in the folder.
- Click the “Save” button to save your changes.
c. You don’t want/need Folders at all.
Remove all folders – this will switch the system back into “open access”, meaning all Screens/Docs are visible by all users.
- To do so, go to Apps-> Screens, and hover over the folder name on the right hand side
- A little “lock” icon is on each folder; click on this icon to open the Folder Settings
- In the Folder Settings popup, click the Delete button.
Don’t worry, your Screens/Docs in that folder are safe – deleting a Folder has no effect on its contents
After removing all folders using the steps above, you should now see all Screens and Docs on your device again.
Sometimes a form, job history or another item will seem like it’s stuck. This can be for many reasons.
- No data connection
- Incorrectly logged in
- Logged in as someone else
- Wrong information
- User hasn’t synced with the platform
The last one is the major reason for the majority of failed uploads, this in itself has many reasons, the majority of which can be fixed by the following steps.
An indication of this is checking the user’s phone activity on the platform. Many times if a user cannot sync, the activity says the user has not synced for a number of days.
NOTE: If there are pending uploads or data still on forms waiting to sync, then under no circumstance is the FormsFly app to be uninstalled.
If the FormsFly app is uninstalled and reinstalled then all data will be lost. There is nothing we can do to recover this after a reinstall.
- Either make sure the phone power is sufficient or plug into a power source.
- Confirm that the phone is connected to a good reliable data connection, either mobile data or Wi-Fi.
- Check phone OS. Update if available
- Check FormsFly App. Update if available.
- Confirm email/login credentials for App.
- Reboot phone.
- Open the FormsFly app
- Check data connection
- Login to app
- Go to settings
- Sync app
How to Synchronise the FormsFly app
This would be necessary after any new Form version and new or modified Template document.
If using a Form from a sent Task, any existing forms sent previously to a new form version or Template, would not reflect the changes.
In this case, the old Task would need to be cancelled and a new Task sent to the device. Whether this Task was sent from the Platform or via the API system like a Widget.
Click the cog in the top right of the app screen.
Then click on “Check For Updates” part way down the page.
You will then see the Updates Progress.
If the update lasts only a second, it is possible the device isn’t connected to a data network like 3g or WiFi at that moment so click the Update button again until the Progress popup lasts for a few seconds. There should be a notification icon appear to indicate the device is syncing.
Want to send all of today’s job sheet forms to your mobile workforce, without doing it one form at a time?
The new Task Import facility lets you import tasks (eg “Fill in form XYZ for Client ABC”) and optionally send those tasks to the mobile users too, all with a quick upload of an MS-Excel spreadsheet.
As well as creating tasks manually, you can create an Excel spreadsheet and upload them, either one at a time or en masse.
Install FormsFly. We provide trial and test versions of your branded app via a direct download of the Android APK file.
To Install FormsFly on your Android devices:
When you’re viewing a Task record, the Send button will send the Task to the assigned app user. They will receive it on their mobile device, to prompt them to do whatever you’ve specified.
You cannot send a Task until you specify one or more Activities for the Task.
Once you send a Task, the Task fields will be locked and no longer editable – though this may change in future versions.
The Delete button is always available and allows you to remove a Task at any time.
This will permanently delete the Task and its Activities, so take care when doing so.