Peopler – Future availability

Whilst Peopler isn’t exactly being downloaded in the millions, I’ve received *actual* feedback from users, which shows they are a) using the app and b) interested enough to email me!

One feature, which I’ve wanted to add for a while, is the ability to view the future availability of your favourites. It’s all fine being able to see a person’s availability today, but what about tomorrow or the day after? To sort this, I’ve started building a Day Picker into Peopler. iOS Simulator Screen Shot 29 May 2015 12.12.03This was an early mockup I did,  so I could see how a horizontal date picker would work. I’ve seen this horizontal pickers and like the look of them. After some coding, I ended up with something like this.

iOS Simulator Screen Shot 29 May 2015 17.22.56

You can see five days in advance, scrolling right will show you up to thirty days. This is an iPhone 5 screen size and I suspect the iPhone 6 will probably show 6 or 7 days. I need to experiment with this a little to ensure the auto layout works. Anyway…I digress. You can see that I’m free for the Remainder of the day. When I select a day in the future, it goes a bit wrong 🙂

iOS Simulator Screen Shot 29 May 2015 16.59.49

My “availability” algorithm works off the current time and isn’t factoring in the fact that we’re dealing days in the future. This was actually a good thing as it made me realise that showing availability in this way is pointless for any date in the future. My initial feeling is that availability might be better expressed in number of appointments and actual free time.

I need to think on this a little as working hours will factor into this too. No point in telling you that somebody have seven hours free if that time is beween 5pm and midnight!

For the next release, version 1.2.0, I might just add the day picker into the schedule view. If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them!

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TestMDM now supports VPP

After a very kind request from a user, I decided to add basic VPP support to TestMDM.

As of 2 minutes ago, you can now:

  • Add your VPP token.
  • Register new user accounts within your VPP account.
  • Assign licenses to these accounts
  • Install apps from the VPP using the MDM functionality

Adding your VPP token

To get your VPP token, you must first visit https://vpp.itunes.apple.com/ You can then signup your organisation for VPP using a new or existing Apple ID. Once you’ve signed up, open the Account Summary page and download the token.

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Back in TestMDM, open your Account Details page and paste the token into the big text box called VPP Token. Then click Save. You’re good to go.

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Register New Accounts

Under the VPP section, you will now see a list of user accounts and licenses belonging to your VPP account. If it’s an account you’ve used in the past, you will likely see a lot of information here. I expect I’ll need to clean this up a lot, but for now I’m assuming it’s a new VPP account.

Hit the Register User button. All you need here is an email address to represent the user account. This doesn’t have to be an Apple ID. Imagine this account as an employee of your organisation. In my case, I’d use tomas@coldbear.co.uk as this is my organisation email address. Once you’ve registered the user account, you’ll be presented with a link to invite this user to be part of your VPP. When you open the link, you’ll be prompted to sign into iTunes and you then associate tomas@coldbear.co.uk with an Apple ID (in my case, this is a completely different address).

This does make sense, since people’s Apple ID typically isn’t their work email address.

Assign a License

Once you’ve registered a user account, you can then assign a license to them. A license represents one installation of an app. You purchase them via the Apple VPP page where you registered earlier. You select the app and purchase a certain quantity of licenses.

When purchasing, be sure to select Managed Distribution as the Distribution Type. This is the only mode TestMDM supports at this time. As best I can tell, you get a license for each installation allowed e.g. buy 10 apps and you get 10 licenses.

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I’ve purchased two copies of Roomr to illustrate the point.

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On the VPP page, you’ll see two licenses listed.

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I can then assign one of these licenses to the user account I created.

Install app from VPP

With an app now assigned to a user account, it’s possible to install it directly from the App Store using the MDM functionality. To simplify, there is an install option beside each assigned license.

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Clicking it will bring up the familiar “Install An App” dialog, with a small change. There is now a field for an AdamId (an iTunes Store Id for an App). Just choose the device and hit submit. You must be targeting a device that is signed into iTunes using the AppleID you associated with the VPP Account you created in step two. It’s confusing I know, but that’s the way it works!

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Once you hit submit, you should receive a notification on the device asking you to confirm installation. If the iTunes Account doesn’t have permission for this app, you’ll see a “CouldNotVerifyAppId” response on the Commands screen.

Next Steps

Once the app has been installed, you can perform the usual configuration.

It’s also possible to Unassign a license. This removes the license from the User Account and subsequently the iTunes Account. You might even get a notification from the iTunes Store once it has taken effect.

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The VPP functionality is only available to Unlimited users of TestMDM.

From Barcode to Passbook

My prototype app based on the MakeMeAPass website is up and running. You simply select the card type, use the camera to scan the barcode and hey-presto, you’ll have a passbook pass to add.

IMG_2904IMG_2903

The usual issues still apply, such as some scanners being unable to scan barcodes on Passbook.

I’m planning to add simple location awareness too, once I get version 1.0 into the store. It will be available to download for 99p.

Peopler now approved!

After more than one rejection by Apple, Peopler has now been approved for sale. If you want to check people’s calendars in MS Exchange without needing Outlook or messing with Shared Calendars, Peopler might be what you’re looking for! It’s free to download and can be upgraded using an In-App Purchase if you like it.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/peopler-check-availability/id950240458?ls=1&mt=8

Please send me any feedback you have and share it around if you do like it!

Somewhere Quiet is now available to download from the App Store

My latest app, Somewhere Quiet, has been approved by Apple in just under 5 days.

It’s my hope that this app will help developers, writers and other coffee shop entrepreneurs, find quiet places to work if they are out and about.

If you fit this category, download my app for free and start rating your favourites!

Download now https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/somewhere-quiet/id878080998?mt=8