Forms on Apple Devices

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Forms on Apple Devices

The introduction of forms on Apple devices opened up a new set of options for iOS users. During AgTerra’s development phase of Apple forms, a few features had to be tweaked in order to fall within applications standards of the Apple Store. Those familiar with Android forms can expect a very similar form-filling experience, with a slightly different look and feel to the pages.

Form design can play a key role in user experience, so those who design and maintain forms for an account will want to be aware of the type of devices being used within an organization to fill out forms. In this post, we’ll go over some notable differences on the Apple device as well as recommendations for form designers.

No Separate Forms App – Those familiar with our original mobile apps know that MapItFast for Android requires a separate Strider app to use forms. This is not the case with Apple devices. When you install MapItFast from the Apple Store, the app will come with the forms feature built right into it.

How it Works: To attach a form, simply tap on a point, line, polygon, or photo, and select the Forms button in the detail window. This button looks like a piece of paper with a plus sign in the middle. When the button is tapped, MapItFast will display any forms currently attached to the object. If none are attached, a list of available forms will appear.

Stick to shorter form names for easier identification on the Apple device.

Naming Forms – When setting up forms for use on Apple devices, it’s important to be aware of the display limitations on an iOS device. When the list of available forms is displayed to the user, the window will show up to 20 characters. If the form name exceeds 20 characters, part of it will be hidden in the window.

Solution: Try to keep forms names within the 20 character limit so that users can easily identify and select the desired form.

Keyboards – It’s important to note that the text and number keyboards on Apple devices are more rigid than those on Android devices. For example, if a text field for additional comments is displayed toward the bottom of a page, an Android device will automatically “push” the text line up when the keyboard is displayed. An Apple device, on the other hand, will not do this. If the text line is toward the bottom of the page, users may have trouble filling it out because their keyboard covers the text box.

Solution: When designing forms, try to keep text and number entry fields toward the top of pages, or possibly put these questions on their own pages altogether.

Include a hint with autocomplete lists so that Apple users know to start typing in order to see list options.

Autocomplete appearance – Lists with the “autocomplete” appearance work somewhat differently in Apple forms. The page will initially display what looks like a blank text box instead of a list. As soon you being typing, a list of choices will appear.

Solution: Form designers can help users understand how the autocomplete list works by including a note in the “hint” section of the form.

Note Fields – Apple forms currently do not support the use of the data field reference (${dataField}) in question labels. If this is used in a form, users will see a blank space where the data field is referenced.

Solution: Instead of referencing the data field in the label, use a text, integer,or decimal field type and put the referenced field in the calculation column. The field will act as a read-only type because calculations are not editable.

Keep these tips in mind when designing forms and make the most of your next season with forms that work on any device!