Last week, we introduced our first apps for the iPhone and iPad. Although (with a minor exception), LabArchives is fully functional in Safari on these devices, the screen size for the iPhone made it somewhat difficult to navigate and use.
As for all of our software developments, it is the feedback of our customers that drives our priorities. In speaking to a number of our users, it turns out that many of them were already using iPhones to take photos in the laboratory to document their research. These included pictures of gels, samples, and even animal colonies. With our unique “Inbox” feature, these customers were already able to e-mail the photos to their LabArchives Notebooks, but felt it would be more convenient to be able to move them directly. Thus, the idea for Version 1 of our iOS App was born.
Now available on the Apple iTunes Store, our iPhone and iPad Apps can be quickly installed; for those with a local server, they can be configured in the device Settings menu to use your personal URL. With this release, users can log in with their normal credentials, choose a Notebook, and then browse through the Notebook Navigator and take photos (or choose from the photo library) and move them into the Page of their choice. One can also view existing photos in any Notebook.
We are extremely enthusiastic about the new mobile platforms for LabArchives users. Although most labs have a number of computers, they are often not right at the “point of entry”, so having a tablet or other mobile device that one can carry around is a major benefit to our customers. We plan for a number of important enhancements over the coming months, and welcome the suggestions of our users. Years of experience have taught us that it is usually best to get a useful version of an application in the hands of our clients; having a “starting point” makes it much easier to provide useful feedback, which is how we drive all of our development priorities.
Android users: don’t worry! We plan an Android version in the near future. Microsoft “Surface” users? Well, there aren’t any of you, yet, since it was just announced this week. Needless to say, we will be evaluating this platform as well in the near future.
7 thoughts on “LabArchives Introduces an iPhone / iPad App”
The iPad/iPhone App is very limited. It only shows images, but not any text entries, headers, etc. When will all the information stored in LabArchives be accessible from the iPad/iPhone App?
Thanks very much for the comment. The initial iOS App was a simple first version designed to get feedback from the market. We are extremely enthusiastic about the iPad and tablet devices in general, as they are really a near perfect medium for recording in the laboratory environment.
You will be pleased to know that we are working on an updated version of our App. While we don’t have an exact release date, the new version will display all entry types and include many other new features.
If you are using an iPad (or most other tablet devices), keep in mind that you can use all features of LabArchives (except for the LA Docs Editor) in the browser. This will really provide the full user experience.
I have to agree with Axel here. I’ve just started to test out LA to see if it might be worthwhile for our lab, and got the iPad app in parallel with testing out the web client. None of the data/entries I entered through the web client showed up in the iPad app. I navigated to a folder that containing text and a Prism file, but in the iPad app the folder came up as a black screen with nothing there except a camera icon. So at the moment, the iPad app appears to be functionless. I look forward to seeing this progress, but it’s not really ready for release yet. Thanks.
Thanks for the additional feedback. You will be glad to learn that we are now working on V2 which will, among other things, display all Notebook contents and allow editing. V1 was released in response to demand from users who often took photos in the lab and wanted an easy way to move them into their Notebooks. We are listening, and are very excited about the growth of tablets which are ideally suited for use in many laboratory environments. Stand by for new announcements!
Possibly the best tool I’ve encountered for my Science classroom. Can’t wait for the webinar tomorrow to learn more.
When is the android app becoming available???
We are currently working on the Android App as well as the upgraded version of the iOS App (they will be mostly identical). We don’t have an exact release date, but we are shooting for the end of July.