Fulcrum for iPad and Some New Features

01 June 2012 by Coleman McCormick

Over the last few months, we’ve had a lot of inquiries about building an iPad version of Fulcrum, so that data collection teams can make efficient use of the larger form-factor displays for more involved mobile data collection projects, instead of being limited by the iPhone’s small size and interface.

data collection in Fulcrum for iPad

We’ve just released a universal app for Fulcrum, including the iPhone and iPad version in one install. If you have the current version of Fulcrum on your iPad and update the app, you’ll see a full-screen, iPad-optimized interface for creating new surveyed records, updating your existing data, and browsing around on the map interface – along with all the other great features from the iPhone version. Between about 9pm and midnight last night, we’ve already seen over 40 users updated, in places all over the world!

Using Fulcrum on the iPad is amazing (especially on the iPad 3’s retina display). With it’s expanded screen real estate, it makes adding and editing records a breeze. The use of popover menus rather than changing screens makes the interface flow much better for doing high-powered data entry from your device.

As an added benefit, there are a couple of other neat features to mention. First of all, we’ve refactored the form editor to be cleaner and faster than before. Detailed and powerful forms with lots of built-in conditional logic are much faster, allowing you to build complex “decision trees” into your Fulcrum apps, without any slowdown or loss in performance. We’ve also optimized the map interface to improve performance when viewing large datasets on the mobile app.

Even more useful is the added ability to adjust the location of records manually, after they’ve been geotagged to your current location. Since Fulcrum automatically uses your current location when creating a new data point, it can be handy to edit and manually adjust the point slightly if, say, the actual location is inaccessible (over a fence or barrier), or the device’s GPS isn’t returning the exact corner you’re standing on, like when you’re in between tall buildings or under tree cover. Being able to adjust the pin location gives you total control over the quality and accuracy of your data from the field.

In the quick video example below, we’re downloading existing data from a Fulcrum account to the iPad, switching to a custom offline map made from local aerial photography, adding a new record, and adjusting it’s position manually by positioning the pin on the map. Incredibly useful for mapping centers of buildings, or other features inaccessible from the location in which you’re standing.

Give the new version a try, and check out our plans if you’re an organization with a mobile team that needs a powerful app for doing surveying and mapping out in the field. After kicking the tires on it, drop by our support pages and let us know what you think! And as always, you can follow @fulcrumapp on Twitter for the latest news and updates.

About the author

Coleman is a geographer and our Executive VP, working every day with our customers to bring better data management capability to their operations.

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