Everybody Out

It’s been a while since we’ve posted to the blog but rest assured that we are not dead.  We’ve been working feverishly on some new projects, one of which will see the light of day soon (and has been a big feature request).

Right now, we have just shipped a new feature that has the potential to make life better for a bunch of admin users.  It’s call Everybody Out, and it’s just that:   a simple way to change all the users in your company that are “in” to “out”.

Sounds easy, right?  We have some customers who would like to start fresh every so often, and this makes it super easy.  Simply navigate to your Settings, then Everybody Out (listed on the left).  Once there, you have two options:  Do It Now or Do It Everyday.

Do It Now allows you to move everyone to “out” immediately, with an optional comment.

Do It Everyday allows you to schedule this to happen once per day.  You can choose a time period (say, 1am – 2am), and within that time range Simple In/Out will move all your users “out” with a message that states “Automated Out”.  It’s a simple way to start fresh every morning.

We hope this makes life a little easier for some of our customers.

A New Board for Simple In/Out

Today, we’ve just released a project that’s been in the works for a little while.  We’ve completely redone the most used page on our website, the board that lists all of your users.

The new board on simpleinout.com features a responsive design that looks great on a mobile phone.  While the previous board also worked on mobile devices, we wanted to take that support a step further.  Now, the board takes up the whole display.  We’ve moved the status updates down to make room, which gives everything more space to breathe.

Another big change is the managing interface for Quick Picks (One Click Status Updates).  To help folks understand how it works, we’ve placed instructions right on the screen when you click to manage the list.  We’ve replaced the big, bulking links with buttons similar to our Windows 8 app.  

For our users who embed this via Public Link, this is even better.  Now, this will live a lot easier in smaller spaces, great for sidebars and frames.

We’ve also fixed the header at the top, so the menu is always present.  We’ve tinkered with the full screen view to make it adapt better.  Our 7 day history dialogs are also brand new and better than ever.

Also important, this new board lays the groundwork for the future.  We have several other requests from our users that we can’t wait to get to.  These changes give us room to do some other great things.

We hope you like what we’ve done.  We can’t wait to tell you about what’s coming next for Simple In/Out.

Simple In/Out Welcomes iOS 7

iOS 7 has finally landed and users around the world are downloading, upgrading, or buying brand new phones with iOS 7 installed. For those of you that have already upgraded or had a chance to use it already, you have probably noticed that this isn’t your normal iOS. iOS 7 is a huge shift compared to previous versions. As Apple stated during the WWDC Keynote and iOS 7 unveiling, the OS has “deference” and “clarity” in respect to the users content. Or in layman’s terms, get out of the way and give me what I want.

We have been working hard here at Simply Made Apps to make sure all of our apps (Simple In/Out and FrontDesk) were ready for iOS 7. We have updated Simple In/Out to 5.0 and FrontDesk to 2.0. Both apps are taking advantage of some of the visual aspects of iOS 7 as well as some new iOS 7 only features. We are very pleased to announce iBeacons for Simple In/Out and FrontDesk.

iBeacons are a new iOS 7 only feature. Think Bluetooth Geofences. You can use FrontDesk to create an iBeacon. The app (and device) act as the central point for a Bluetooth Geofence. The app is constantly broadcasting a signal that the iPhone app can listen for. All iOS 7 users of the iPhone app can enable these iBeacons and can be checked in or out when they get close enough to the Beacon. This really has a benefit for users that want to have several beacons in close proximity to one another (like a college campus, or office park). iBeacons are much smaller than normal Geofences. They are limited by the range of the Bluetooth chips broadcasting range. Indoors, you can expect about 30-50ft without any obstructions and 10-20ft with walls in the way. 

While this is pretty new technology, it is built on existing technology that has been around for years. Bluetooth works great on battery life. We know that once users start using iBeacons, they’ll find some great ways to use them. Give em a shot and let us know what you think. We are looking forward to continuing improving and expanding iBeacons. There is so much potential, we can’t wait.

We’ve also done a lot under the hood for both apps. We think both apps are in great shape for the future. So make sure you update today and let us know what you think. We are always open to suggestions, so don’t be bashful. Shoot us an email and let us know what you want. 


iOS Update to 4.2 Available Today

A big update is now available to our iOS users today. The biggest change in this update is that we are dropping support for iOS 5. iOS 7 will be available to almost every device made in the last 3 years, it has come time to drop support for the very oldest devices. We have been running analytics on the number of devices in use, and should only be about 2% of our existing user base. Fear not existing iOS 5 users, your existing app should continue to work fine for now, but future updates may require you to update to keep receiving the best Simple In/Out support.

Ok, now that we’ve dispensed with those unpleasantries, on to the good stuff. We did manage to squeeze in a few goodies into this update. We had to drop support for iOS 5, but we have some great new features in store for this fall. So stay tuned.

Here are some of the changes with our latest update:

– Timezone support. We have revamped the entire app to show all dates relative to when they actually are. So if you have users in Los Angeles, the users in New York will see the timestamps relative to their own timezone rather than being locked in to just the server timezone.

– Cleaned up the pull-to-refresh controller to the built in system refresh controller.

– New font

– Resized the board view, this should make it a bit easier to see and read.

– Removed old backgrounds and pattern images. Cleaner view and background all around.

– Big update to the Geofence Settings page. Should be much easier to see which fences are on or off without having to open the detail page for each fence.

– Lots of bug fixes

We hope you enjoy this update. We’ve put a lot of hard work into this update. We are sorry if any iOS 5 users feel left out, but it was a necessary evil to get things prepared for iOS 7 this fall. We expect some more big changes, this is just the start. Thanks for understanding and continuing to support us as we make Simple In/Out even better.

**UPDATE** We have shipped a quick update to the App Store for this version. There is a bug that can cause a crash if you try adding too many geofences. It shouldn’t affect many users, but we have submitted the fix to the App Store and should be available in a few days.

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Place Simple In/Out on the Big Screen

One of the strengths of Simple In/Out is the ability to have a list of everyone in your organization, with their current statuses, right in the palm of your hand.  While that’s great, there are those times where you need that same list in a place for the world to see.  Whether that’s in your reception area, your war room or your television at home, Simple In/Out has you covered.  Here are a couple of different ways to get Simple In/Out displaying in eye-catching ways.

If you have an iPad, you have lots of choices for displaying Simple In/Out.  We recently released FrontDesk, an iPad app specifically designed for Simple In/Out to allow for users to quickly check in or out.  This is perfect for reception areas or mirrored to a TV via an AppleTV.  

Recently, we did an integration with Panic’s StatusBoard.  This app is built exclusively for the iPad and allows users to build sexy widgets for display on TVs and the like.  Simple In/Out is a first-class citizen, making it as easy as a tap or two to get started.  Check out the blog post for how.

If you don’t have an iPad, you can use our website.  We offer a great full screen mode built right into simpleinout.com.  Using this, you can place Simple In/Out on a spare computer or a computer/iPad hooked right up to a TV.  You can even bypass the computer altogether by following this advice from the great folks over at Atlassian.  They recommend using just a hacked AppleTV, which will run you just a bit over $100.

We hope to see your Simple In/Out boards while we’re out and about.  Send us pictures of your board in the wild, we’d love to see them (brandon [at] simplymadeapps [dot] com)

One Million Status Updates

Today, Simple In/Out crossed a significant milestone:  we’ve now handled over one million status updates.  That’s one million folks showing up, going home for the day, heading out to a meeting or taking vacation.

Thanks to all our loyal users, you mean the world to us.

FrontDesk by Simple In/Out Now Available

We have gotten lots of requests over the last couple of years, and we have always done our best to oblige every request. Today, we are happy to announce we have filled a very big, oft requested feature, FrontDesk.

FrontDesk is a dedicated iPad app for your reception area or common access areas. FrontDesk allows you to quickly check yourself in or out from the main app without needed to use your phone. Or for those smartphone-challenged users, a way to toggle yourself in or out as you go by.

We have made FrontDesk very easy to use with ease and speed in mind. While we have kept things simple, there are plenty of features packed into this first release.

  • Swipe to check in/out
  • Tap to select customizable messages
  • Multiple columns to quickly see who is in or out at a glance
  • Customizable Status Message, create your own list of status for users to choose from
  • Automatically refreshes so the board is always up to date.
  • User customizable settings (Quick Picks, Refresh Interval, Auto-Off, etc)

We know that it is impossible to make everyone happy (but we sure do try). If you see something amiss or missing, be sure to reach out and let us know. We tried to build FrontDesk with the most users in mind, but we can’t think of everything. That is where your suggestions come in. So be sure to keep them coming.

So go get it! FrontDesk by Simple In/Out

We couldn’t be happier to bring a new app to the Simple In/Out family. We hope you like it. Enjoy!

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Simple In/Out Integrates with Panic’s Status Board

Every once and a while, we get to do something small and wonderful that really has an impact for some of our customers.  Today was one of those days.  I’m proud to introduce Simple In/Out’s support for Panic’s Status Board.

Status Board is a wonderful product from the folks at Panic.  It’s an iPad app meant to display vital business information on your iPad, TV, you name it.  The app is seductively simple yet powerful, exactly what we at Simply Made Apps like to strive for. In fact, Panic has been an inspiration to me personally for some time.  Not a day goes by when I’m not using their wonderful Transmit app for the Mac for all my SFTP needs.  

To use Simple In/Out on your Status Board, we’ve created a new link right inline with our other Public Links.  If you’re on your iPad and have Status Board installed, you can simply tap this link (located under Settings -> Company Settings), and it will instantly launch Status Board and add it automatically.

Between Full Screen Mode, our new Windows 8 app and now Status Board integration, we have a lot of great options for seeing your Simple In/Out data on a display near you.  We have one more surprise up our sleeves very soon that will add even more to our Simple In/Out family.