Simple In/Out Beacons and Networks Gain New Features and Improvements
April 11, 2019
Among our most popular Simple In/Out features are the ability to update your status automatically. Carrying your phone equipped with the Simple In/Out app is all that’s necessary to keep your in/out board up to date. We support three methods for automatic phone updates, each with pros/cons depending on your use case. We do all these automatic updates while respecting both the user’s battery life as well as their privacy.
Last year, we sat down and discussed ways we could make automatic updates even better. We set out with two goals in mind: add requested features from our customers and improve reliability. We launched our first Public Beta earlier this year to test this new system. For the past three months, we’ve been gathering feedback and making adjustments.
Today we’re launching this improved system for two of the three methods we support: Beacons and Networks. Every part of Beacons and Networks is smarter than ever before.
Specific to Beacons, when your phone lost sight of the Beacon for as little as 20 seconds, we previously needed to check you out right away. Sometimes this would lead to users checking out/in a bunch throughout the day. Our new system overcomes this limitation, confirming for longer that you indeed left. This solution cuts down on rapid-fire out/ins (internally dubbed “bee-bopping”).
Overwrite Protection also receives a big boost in intelligence. We can now determine differences among devices for our users with multiple Simple In/Out apps. We’ve also improved our handling of multiple Beacons or Networks. Our goal here is to eliminate those times we need to alert you that we’ve ignored an automatic update to only those times when it’s necessary to avoid removing an important comment you left on the board.
We’re allowing more customization of Beacons and Networks than ever before. Administrators can now control both the status and the entire comment applied when an automatic update occurs. These settings allow for some advanced uses. By allowing a Beacon/Network to update your status to “in” when you exit a coverage area and customize the whole comment, it’s possible to create areas within larger areas (like Geofences) that can provide more targeted status information without checking the user out.
We’ve also added both Beacons and Network management to simpleinout.com. No longer are administrators relegated to finding an Android device to manage their Networks.
This new system is the result of months of planning and execution, as well as great feedback from both our customers and our beta testers. Thanks to everyone that helped us with this launch. As you have likely guessed, we’re hard at work bringing all these improvements to Simple In/Out’s Geofence system. Expect a new Public Beta soon.
PS: Unfortunately, we still are not able to enable Networks for our iPhone customers. Years after we shipped Networks for Android and even Windows Phone, we still do not have access to the necessary APIs from Apple to get this done.