Page 7: Android: - Installation and Use

CreativityCorp has responded to the market dominance of the Android operating system for Smartphones, Tablets and other mobile devices by providing 'client side' software for Android that will run projects developed in Mobile Data Studio and communicate with the Mobile Data Studio server.

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Screenshot Important Upgrade: With the introduction of Mobile Data Studio 9.0 of November 2017, MobileData.apk Version 9.0.2 build 176 is the available download from this web site. This version and build continues to provide a fix for a bug in Android 7 operating system which interfered with the 'Synchronise' of sessions from Android 7 mobile device to Mobile Data Studio server. Mobile Data for Android Version 9.0.2 build 176 also adds: (1) modification to Camera point to align with Mobile Data for iOS, now when Camera point is actioned the pop up offers options of ‘Take Photo’ and ‘Choose from Library’. This is useful when there may be stock images/diagrams to be imported to Camera point for display and use in Sketch point; and (2) anchoring of the floating Session Menu associated with a bug in Android 7, which caused the Menu sometimes to be part off the screen and requiring a scroll within it.

Installation of Mobile Data for Android Software

  1. File: Android application or program files have the extension .apk, here being MobileData.apk. The current Mobile Data for Android is version 9.0 to align with Mobile Data Studio version 9.0.
  2. Download and Install Software: Click on links to either download directly to an Android device after browsing to either the Trial download or your Login web page after purchase, OR download software to a folder on desktop PC and email the MobileData.apk file to the Android device and install. Contact CreativityCorp if you have queries regarding download and install.
  3. Mobile Data in Programs: After installation of the MobileData.apk file 'Mobile Data' and its 'MDS' icon will appear in Applications (Programs).
  4. Settings in Mobile Data for Communications: Mobile Data for Android communicates with the Mobile Data Studio server using the wireless TCP/IP functions of Mobile Data Studio, see page 11 Wireless (TCP/IP) functions. The Settings menu will present when Mobile Data is first opened on the Android device. Communication from the Android device to the Mobile Data Studio server can either be via the mobile phone network or a WiFi connection. The Server Address of either or both a Local Area Network or an externally exposed Internet related Address will be shown in the Wireless Activity window of Mobile Data Studio. In the alternative to a numeric IP address a text DNS can be used; for example mds.creativitycorp.com . A screen shot of Listening on IP Address is shown below, presenting an external IP address (180.181.187.198) and address of a local WiFi network (10.0.0.1).
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    The TCP Port by default is 2001, but another may be specified, Password to match that on the Mobile Data Studio server, and Unit ID being the identification assigned to the mobile client device (without space). Options for client server relationship are: Require 256-bit AES encryption, providing a secure 256-bit AES encrypted connection between the mobile client and server (requiring a ten character password); Maintain a continuous connection which enables connection whenever Mobile Data is open and the Mobile Data Studio server is running; Receive new sessions upon connect enables receipt of sessions from the server and should be left on; Automatically submit new sessions enables automatic submission of sessions originating on the mobile device when they are closed; Submit old sessions relates to sessions which have originated on the Mobile Data Studio server, and when enabled submits them on closure of the session; Lock the settings page enables mobile deployment managers to control access to Settings, to un-lock the Settings page the TCP/IP Access Password must be entered; Prevent session duplication prevents duplication of sessions in the Session Folders.
  5. The Server Address, Port, Password, UnitID, Session managment and a Lock of the Settings page can all be set via a URL sent to a mobile device via either email or SMS. Download an example 'Configure mobile device Settings via URL'; and modify for your Settings requirements. Note, the explicit details of Settings in the example shown below would not normally be sent to users, only the URL.
  6. Note: CreativityCorp does not warranty nor support Mobile Data for Android installed to 'rooted' Android devices; a 'rooted' environment compromises security of data and can have unforeseen affects on software behaviour.
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Installation of Projects to Android Device

Projects developed in Mobile Data Studio are installed to Android devices via TCP/IP communication, not ActiveSync or other sync tools. Open a project in Mobile Data Studio and click on the 'Install' icon, and select a device to which the project will be installed via click on the Install button. In the example shown below, the four connected devices, the HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Lenovo Thinkpad, are Android devices. Another method to install a project is described on page 10 Wireless (TCP/IP) Functions; open the Wireless Activity monitor and make the connection from the Android device, which will then appear in the monitor. Open one or more projects in Mobile Data Studio. Select and click (right) on the icon for the Android device/s and 'Update Project' to install project to the Android device/s.

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Use on Android Device

The MDS icons of installed projects are shown in the Project Window. Below are shown Example projects provided in C:\Program Files (X86)\Mobile Data Studio\Examples\ ; install the Examples to test the system, they can be deleted afterwards (tap and hold on project icon to Delete). Click on a project icon to 'Show Sessions Menu' displaying folders for Active Sessions, Sent Sessions and Deleted Sessions. The Sent folder provides reference access for users in the field to sessions that have been sent to Mobile Data Studio server. The Settings page provides a control for timing of 'purge' of sent and deleted sessions, from immediate out to 100 days. To avoid double entries in databases, sessions in the Sent folder cannot be re-sent to the Mobile Data Studio server. However, sent and deleted sessions can be duplicated and returned to the Active folder.

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When opening the Active Sessions folder initially the Session Window will be blank, tap the 'New Session' button to open a session. Open sessions for the example Courier, Drill Hole Log and Office Workstation projects are shown below.

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When sessions are finished or saved they appear in the Session Window awaiting further management, either via the Session Menu at the bottom of the screen (shown via device menu control), or by activation of Selection Mode which enables selection of a specific session and display of menu for managememt of the session. These controls apply both to sessions filled on the Android device and to sessions sent to the Android client device by the Mobile Data Studio server. Sessions that have arrived from the Mobile Data Studio server are shown in red. Marked sessions can be sent to the Mobile Data Studio server via TCP/IP either individually or in a batch; they are shown in green, which may appear as gold on some devices. Please review page 11 Wireless (TCP/IP) functions to understand their operation. The Duplicate function applies to individual selected sessions, providing a convenient duplicate of data, but as a unique new session.

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Session List Columns are resizable by dragging on the column heading, columns manual adjustment can be reset back to zero by double tapping on the session column heading, user adjustments to sessions widths are saved and restored when the project is opened and closed, and tap to top of columns sorts sessions alphanumerically.

Please NOTE that (1) not all of the points and point functions applying in Windows Mobile are supported in Android; exceptions are identified on pages describing Adding Point Functions; and (2) the database in the Android operating system has a limit of approximately 3 megabytes (3,000KB) of data per session of a project. This should not be limiting in most applications; however, care should be taken in regard to the file size and number of Camera point images collected in each session. It is always prudent to run test sessions under full load before deploying a project for operational use.

Translation of Menu Language

The Android client side controls can be translated (see example adjacent) and the translated file can be offered wirelessly to clients via an option in the server side wireless options to Offer language translation file (via Setup, see page 11 Wireless). This allows the language translation file, and any updates to it, to be distributed automatically. The ClientLanguage.ini file is found in C:\Program Files (x86)\Mobile Data Studio on the server and can be edited in Notepad. The INI file is organised in logical sections; for most purposes only the menus and text of buttons need to be translated. The INI text file can also be used to customise instructions to mobile users. When translating to Simplified Chinese the INI text file should be saved as Unicode format. Following translation of INI, maintain a copy outside of the Mobile Data Studio program folder as upgrades to Mobile Data Studio will replace the ClientLanguage.ini file with original. Copy translated ClientLanguage.ini back into Mobile Data Studio program folder after upgrade to Mobile Data Studio.

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Tethering and Hotspot in Android

While the standard Mobile Data Studio deployment using wireless TCP/IP is used for multiple mobile clients to connect to Mobile Data Studio server, a TCP/IP connection can be made using the 'Tethering' and 'Hotspot' functions in Android, see screenshot on right. These communications can be useful when Mobile Data Studio is deployed in remote areas away from mobile phone networks. Tethering is conducted using the USB cable provided with Android devices. The appropriate IP address will be shown in the wireless Activity Monitor. With use of the wireless Hotspot functions, the mobile device is providing the WiFi network to which is connected a laptop or notebook computer hosting Mobile Data Studio server. When using these functions, either USB or WiFi should be used, not both at the same time.

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