1 2 Previous Next 16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2017 6:57 AM by gofmp15

    Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes

    wfgclapp

      I'd appreciate hearing people's thoughts on this.

       

      My company's IT department has been exploring FileMaker for a couple of years now as a method of developing mobile iPad/iPhone apps for outside sales. This has gone very well and has been very well received by users and IT. Based on FileMaker alone we are looking seriously at developing a complete order entry system in FileMaker that would replace the 3rd party system we currently purchase on an annual basis and of which we have limited control.

       

      Out of CWP, Web Direct, and Go, we would develop for FMGo. We would have approx 100 - 200 users, with only 40-80 ever connected at once. This would be a hosted FMS app with local copies on the devices for offline capability.

       

      There are several other things to vet, but the one I'm interested in here is the device we would use. It is without a doubt, the 12" iPad Pro, with a keyboard. My concern is developing a very complex application customized for the screen real estate of a 12" iPad Pro, and then apple abandoning that size for the smaller models. Going larger wouldn't be a problem since the screens could scale up, but going down would be bad.
      Redesigning the layouts for smaller sizes isn't necessarily the problem, it's that the current 9" iPad screens are simply too small for all we need to have in the order entry system and well...they are simply too small for what we are looking to do. The ONLY thing that has made contemplating this project possible was the introduction of the 12" iPad.

       

      I know things change and I don't expect Apple to keep the same devices forever, but I'd like to get 10 years out of this system. This will be a big project for us and a relative disaster if Apple were to ditch their 12" pads in a year or two.

       

      Does anyone else struggle with this?

      What are your thoughts on the future of Apple's 12" (or larger) iPads?

      Any other angles I'm not considering?

       

      I love FileMaker. And we currently don't have the expertise to build this in a more robust technology. It's the usual saw I guess.

       

      Would love to hear your thoughts!

        • 1. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
          schamblee

          No one knows what is going to happen in the next 10 years.   I'm pretty sure Apple will still be around and have a comparable device.  Microsoft has a table PC (surface pro) which could be used with full version of FMP.    The more 12"  iPads  Apple sales the better chance they will keep it around.   Several companies sale used devices and refurbished devices so there is many options.

          • 2. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
            beverly

            true! what we need is CSS CONTROL of objects. If we could move/hide/resize on-the-fly based on viewport (not just the anchors we have now), then we could have one layout with multiple CSS and each CSS is for the particular screen type/size.

             

            Consider the same content with different looks on

            CSS Zen Garden: The Beauty of CSS Design

             

            The same principle applies when you have "responsive design" as most people think. The same content looks different on the various viewports. But in web design this is one "layout" with multiple css.

            just dreaming what the future should hold.

            beverly

            2 of 2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
              wfgclapp

              Well certainly, it holds true that "nobody knows" and "anything can happen".

               

              With the advent of the 12" iPad I'm wondering if anyone else out there in FM land is currently making decisions on designing major apps for it and if so, what conclusions are you reaching regarding longevity of the size? Is it a major concern? Minor? Why? Why not?

               

              From what Apple has been saying (of course, why woundn't they?), they seem to envision the large iPad to be a near replacement for a laptop. In other words, they seen to be invested in the large size, at least for a while. Lord, I hope so.

               

              This certainly isn't a scientific process. Shoot, I don't really know what I'm even asking exactly. But if anyone else is in the throes of this same delimma, I'd love to hear.

               

              ;-)  Magic 8 ball, here I come.

              • 4. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                schamblee

                Agreed.

                 

                I think FMI is trying to moving in the right direction. 

                 

                If I sit around for 10 years waiting to see if a product is going to be here or not, then my company most likely would not be around in 10 years because I'm going to be to far behind.  

                 

                The positives is the iPad is made by Apple and I don't see Apple going out of business anytime soon.  The new  12" iPad Pro has 4GB of memory, which is double the 9" iPad Pro and most all the other older iPads only have 1GB.  The Pro has the fastest tablet processor available today (when it was released) and it is 64 bit with 64 bit OS.   

                 

                My question would be does the iPad Pro run all the software I need or do I need a tablet PC? 

                • 5. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                  intex

                  Hope and/or vote for this

                   

                  Tools for responsive layouts

                   

                  and designing for 12 or 9 or 11 inch or whatever wouldn´t be that much of a headache.

                  • 6. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                    intex

                    I would never base such a project on a single product of a single company, especially if the company is a diva like Apple ...

                     

                    Probably designing for WebDirect would be more future oriented - with that users could have iOS devices, Macs, Win PCs, Convertibles, Notebooks and Tablets. And the limitations are comparable to FM Go if you regard print preview for example.

                    • 7. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                      wfgclapp

                      intex wrote:

                       

                      I would never base such a project on a single product of a single company, especially if the company is a diva like Apple ...

                       

                      Yes, that's what my head says too. But I have such a pull for FM because it's a skill we have in house and it is such a flexible platform.

                       

                      unfortunately web direct won't work b/c I have to have offline capability. Same with CWP.

                      • 8. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                        Benjamin Fehr

                        Any other angles I'm not considering?

                        Some dedicated native functions with FM to deal with different display aspects:

                        - Zoom Level: I have 1 GUI for all kinds of iPhones AND iPad's and fix different displays with different Zoom-Levels

                        - Object-Anchors = dynamic Layouts: There's a lot to learn. We usually use fields and objects with default anchors set Top/Left. Below is a issue report with screenshots which demonstrate the effect of objects with anchors Left AND Right, Groups of objects OR SlideElements with no anchors at all, etc., …

                         

                        What are your thoughts on the future of Apple's 12" (or larger) iPads?

                        I have 1 GUI for Mac/PC AND one GUI for iOS-Devices. With iPad Pro's, you can start consider to lead users to the Mac/PC GUI instead of the iOS-GUI

                         

                         

                        Anchors / dynamic layout fail with iPhone 6

                         

                        iOS-Displays                                                MedicalBizz Zoom-Levels    

                        iPad                                                              not tested yet

                        iPad mini      7.9“           1536x2048             100% √

                        iPad Pro      12.9“           2048x2732            not tested yet

                         

                        iPhone 4         3.5“           640x960               50% √

                        iPhone 5S      4“              640x1136              50% √

                        iPhone 6        4.7“           750x1334              50% with gray bar x [ => 75%: 1152 1536 (960 1704]

                        iPhone 6 +     5.5“           1080x1920            not tested yet

                        iPhone 6S      4.7“           750x1334             50% with gray bar x

                        iPhone 6S +   5.5“           1080x1920           not tested yet

                         

                         

                        • 9. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                          schamblee

                          When you build a project with FM, it not dependent on one device.   It will run on multiple devices with very little to no modifications.  If you use FM then you are depending on FM / FMI to be around.   As long as FMI is around, I'm sure there will be an acceptable device to run the database.   Worst case you have to purchase a tablet PC.  So if FMI closes what would you do?   Anything is possible......There were many more different choices 20 years ago.  

                          • 10. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                            philmodjunk

                            Keep in mind that revamping a layout to adjust for larger/smaller layout sizes is something in FileMaker that can be done fairly rapidly.

                             

                            Good layout design techniques that don't overcrowd the layout and that group controls, fields, etc. into logical groups laid out to use verticality make producing such updated layouts easier as you are starting from a good design in the first place.

                             

                            And while a lesser iPAD may seem to be just too small, many organizations are using them quite successfully, even using the much smaller screen sizes of iPhones to drive their solutions so you may find that with some research and thought, those smaller iPads might not be as unacceptable as you might think.

                             

                            And a layout that works well for the 12" iPad is something that, I would think, be readily adapted for use with similar sized windows laptops with touch sensitive screens.

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                              miler24

                              Design your FMGo solution for an iPad Air screen size.  It'll scale down well to iPad Mini and will scale up well for iPad Pro.  Worrying about possible additional screen sizes or lack there of is not worth the time.  iPhone/iPod Touch layouts require a separate layout (but it doesn't sound like you care about that size anyway).  Don't try to mesh an iPad layout into an iPhone layout since you'll end up with a mediocre experience that impresses no one.  I strongly recommend not assuming all your users will have an iPad Pro even if they're issued by the company.  Furthermore, if you think you require a 12" screen size for order entry, you need to rethink your design.

                               

                              Eric Miller

                              DocuWrx

                              3 of 3 people found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                                wfgclapp

                                philmodjunk wrote:

                                 

                                And while a lesser iPAD may seem to be just too small, many organizations are using them quite successfully, even using the much smaller screen sizes of iPhones to drive their solutions so you may find that with some research and thought, those smaller iPads might not be as unacceptable as you might think.

                                 

                                That's a good word. I probably haven't given the idea of a smaller iPad a fair enough shake. Besides, as we are prototyping, I can certainly build some smaller iPad layouts alongside the 12" pro just so we can see.

                                 

                                And rebuilding the layouts wouldn't be that bad. The complexity of this app will be all in the database and backend communication.

                                • 13. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                                  wfgclapp

                                  Eric Miller wrote:

                                   

                                  Design your FMGo solution for an iPad Air screen size. It'll scale down well to iPad Mini and will scale up well for iPad Pro. Worrying about possible additional screen sizes or lack there of is not worth the time. iPhone/iPod Touch layouts require a separate layout (but it doesn't sound like you care about that size anyway). Don't try to mesh an iPad layout into an iPhone layout since you'll end up with a mediocre experience that impresses no one. I strongly recommend not assuming all your users will have an iPad Pro even if they're issued by the company. Furthermore, if you think you require a 12" screen size for order entry, you need to rethink your design.

                                   

                                  Eric Miller

                                  DocuWrx

                                  Good thoughts. thanks.

                                   

                                  The 12" is coming from a lot more than order entry too. But that's another story...   The 12" probably isn't absolute, but it is HIGHLY desired.

                                  • 14. Re: Danger of building FMGo apps for changing iPad screen sizes
                                    TonyWhite

                                    Here are my thoughts...

                                    In business you often have to make decisions on imperfect information...as, for example, you have described in your case. Since Apple stopped selling the 17 MacBook Pro it is reasonable to wonder if Apple will stop selling the iPad Pro... To proceed or NOT to proceed. Either way is a decision.

                                    I would proceed with the FileMaker, iPad Pro project based on the following probabilities.
                                    1. Apple is most likely going to continue selling the iPad Pro for quite some time, if only because it has competitive for market share on iOS.

                                    Even if this turns out not to be the case...

                                    2. Apple would announce that it is going to stop selling the iPad Pro and you will have a chance to buy lots of machines before they disappear from regular channels. This will buy you many years.

                                    Even if you miss that buying opportunity...

                                    3. There is a good market for used Apple equipment, therefore you will have a second chance to buy enough hardware to buy time to make other plans.

                                    4. Then, if after many years you are forced to make a change...keep in mind that the FileMaker platform is a great Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool. Therefore you would be able to take the software that you have and show it to a developer to have it reprogrammed for a different form factor. Because of FileMaker’s RAD advantage, the project will likely cost less than if you had not done it in FileMaker first. And you will have have benefited in the short term. It is even possible that FileMaker will 5 to 10 years from now ship a version of FileMaker Go for Android or what ever.

                                    Therefore, heads (the iPad Pro remains long term), you win big. Tails you come out ahead anyhow.

                                    Hope that helps.

                                    All the best,


                                    Tony White
                                    http://www.twdesigns.com
                                    http://FileMaker-Fanatics.com

                                    3 of 3 people found this helpful
                                    1 2 Previous Next