This release is squarely focused on our iPad app — version 5.2.0 to be exact! This release brings some small improvements, and says good bye to iOS and iPad OS versions older than 15.5.
Forms filled via backup — now in your face™
We have a backup system for form filling within the iPad app. This system is useful for situations where someone's in the middle of filling a form and the iPad crashes (e.g. due to memory pressure).
When a form is backed up we store all pre-filled values from the patient record, along with the appointment ID and patient ID. On next launch, the backed-up form is loaded behind the scenes, and the passcode needs to be entered to continue filling of the form.
This was originally designed to be mostly seamless. But a recent situation was brought to our attention caused by someone filling out a form that no one knew was a backed up form.
Now, when a form is started, we display a little message at the top that does not go away unless it's swiped up. This is to make it obvious that the form was restored from backup:
Safety net fix
If you're not aware, we have a safety net inside Finger-Ink. This is present to prevent the "wrong" patient from filling out a form.
During our investigation into the aforementioned issue with backups — we became aware that the safety net wasn't being activated as it should be, in the event a form was filled via a backup. This isn't usually an issue, as the name screen is usually the first screen in a form, but it could cause an issue.
As such, this has been fixed. The safety net now activates whether a form is filled via an appointment directly, or via a backup.
Improved portal connection
While the last release already improved the connection somewhat — it was mostly focused on the speed of connecting to the portal. In this release, we address reliability.
Sometimes the Wifi goes down, or you're out of reception for a few seconds, minutes or hours. When you get regain a Wifi signal, the iPad should reconnect. Previously, if you were dropping in and out of Wifi multiple times over the space of a few sections, it was possible that the iPad would think it was connected, but it actually wasn't.
This release fixes that in two ways:
We've built a pipeline for connects and disconnects. Only one thing can be in the pipeline at any one time which greatly improves reliability.
We've added a redundant "offline checker". This is a bit of code which runs every few seconds to check whether or not we're connected and, if not, whether or not we can connect (i.e. we have a Wifi signal). If we're disconnected but we can connect, then it issues a command to the pipeline to connect.
The result of these two changes is a portal connection that's always on, as long as there's a Wifi signal.
Dropped support for older iOS & iPad OS
We've supported iOS 9 for as long as we possibly can. At this point it's 7 years old. Technology has moved on. More importantly, the libraries we rely upon to bring Finger-Ink to you all have also moved on.
Because we're making a break with the old, we made it a big one. Going forward with our app releases, we'll be targeting iPad OS 15.5 and above. That means that the only iPads that will be able to run the newest versions of Finger-Ink are the ones in this list.
This move allows us to take advantage of new technologies that will improve the overall quality of the app. Thank you for your understanding.
This does not affect the portal or web forms. They will continue to work on web browsers as they always have. Additionally, the old app (v5.1.1) will continue to work — as we will maintain backwards compatibility with the server.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. Thank you 🙏.