Today we are very excited to announce the release of Clear Books Mobile Beta 2 into our Labs testing environment. This release is the culmination of many months of hard work (and quite a few sleepless nights on my part), which brings a staggering array of new features, bug fixes and improvements to the existing beta version of the Clear Books mobile app, which is currently being tested by our users through the Clear Books Labs.
The new release brings us one giant leap closer to a full release candidate. Once we have collected feedback from our test users who have signed up for the Clear Books Mobile beta in Labs, and fixed any problems that may arise, we will announce our release candidate and begin the submission process to the various app stores, at which point the app will be available outside of Labs to all of our users.
So if you are fortunate enough to be a Labs tester, visit http://m.clearbooks.co.uk in your web browser on your mobile device to try out all of the exciting new features. Please remember though this is still a beta product, bugs are likely to exist! If you discover any bugs in the app, please report them by submitting a support ticket to help [at] clearbooks.co.uk or by clicking the help button which can be found in the top right hand corner of your Clear Books account (desktop version).
If you have not yet signed up for the beta testing programme, you can get involved by choosing Labs from the module drop down menu (located in the top right hand corner of Clear Books) and requesting an invite. Please note that the beta testing programme for the Clear Books mobile app is limited on the number of participants, and requires you to be an account admin. As we increase the number of participants, you will be automatically notified via e-mail when you have access. In order to be fair to all of our users, invites are sent out on a first come first served basis.
Beta 2 Release Overview
Create and Edit
Most notably the new release brings creation and editing functionality to the app, allowing users to create and edit customers, suppliers, sales, bills and quotes. We have spent quite some time trying to perfect this process so that it is tailored well for mobile devices. For example, to ensure that in the event of a network connection becoming unavailable (as is often the case with mobile devices) that no data is lost, we store data locally on the device and flag it as unsynced. The app then attempts to sync the data with the server, and if successful, returns the result and updates the data stored locally on the device. If the sync is unsuccessful, the data still remains on the device and the user can attempt to re-sync the data with the server again when a network connection becomes available.
We also use offline storage to minimise the number of requests the app has to make to the server to retrieve data, especially data which rarely changes – such as VAT rates, account codes and bank accounts. This enables us to speed up the loading times on the device and also enables the user to carry on working when no data connection is available.
Multicurrency and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) Support
We wanted to ensure that you could create any type of invoice on the mobile app as you can in Clear Books, this included multicurrency and CIS invoices. The beta 2 release fully supports adding and editing of multicurrency and CIS invoices, automatically doing all of the appropriate calculations as necessary.
User Interface Improvements
This release also brings a number of updates and improvements to the overall user interface of the app. We have polished up the assets we use in the app to support the newer retina displays found in the new iOS devices. In addition, we have also added support for fixed scrolling which gives the app a more native feel, so that the navigation bars stay in a fixed position on the screen and the content scrolls below them*.
Full Release Notes
The release of the Clear Books mobile beta 2 brings the following updates and improvements to the app:
- Improved user interface:
- Improvements to a number of user interface elements.
- Added fixed scrolling for a more native feel to the app.
- New icon set.
- Improved multicurrency formatting.
- Improved transitions.
- Added the ability to create/edit customers and suppliers.
- Added the ability to create/edit sales, bill and quotes.
- Support for Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) invoices.
- Support for multicurrency invoices.
- Support for custom VAT rates.
- Support for custom account codes.
- Added offline storage support and syncing for all create and edit operations.
- Added support for multiple asynchronous calls to the API.
- Improved speed when loading additional resources.
- Bug Fixes:
- Fixed incorrect invoice list totals.
- Fixed back navigation for Android devices.
- Fixed incorrect calculation of due days.
- Fixed empty result sets when no invoices or entities have been created on the account.
* Fixed position scrolling is supported on the following:
- Android 2.2 and 2.3
- Android 3.x tablets (Honeycomb)
- Android 4.x (ICS)
- BB Playbook 1-2
- Nook Color/Tablet
- Kindle Fire
- Kindle 3
- All modern desktop browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc.)