Starting from scratch is a risky move — this time it paid off.
After weeks of hard work we have shipped our brand new Android app. In this release we decided to rebuild from the ground up our native Android application. The result is a fresh new product, with a polished user experience and world-class security.
Before I go any further, I would like to pay tribute to the team behind this new product: Parag Pawar, Shahroz Ali and Khaled Qasem. Well done guys! 👏
In this post I will give you an overview of why we choose to build a new app from scratch instead of improving the old one, the main highlights of this new app and what we will be working on in the coming months.
To download this new app open search for "Teamscope" on the Google Play store or go to the following link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teamscopeapp
Our old Android app was first build in 2015 and had improvements done until 2018. It was native app written in Java and it used the best practices of the time. Since then, the Android ecosystem has rapidly evolved and many of the libraries we had used then were no longer supported or updated.
This year when we decided to invest in improving our Android app we faced a challenge: make updates to our existing Android app or start from scratch and benefit from the latest conventions and libraries. We choose to totally rewrite the app and decided that for this project to make sense, within 3 months we should have a new app out. We ended up cutting that time in half.
The second major decision we faced after concluding that the best thing was to re-write our current Android app was whether to build a native app for Android or a hybrid app which would work on Android and iOS — potentially allowing us to have a single app for both operating systems.
Building a native mobile app means redoing the work for each platform. On the other hand, when going the hybrid approach (with a technology such as React Native or Xamarin) you get the benefit of sharing a large amount of the code base and only requiring minor changes for Android and iOS. All things considered, our philosophy at Teamscope has been to build native products. The reason for this is a combination of two factors:
Building native iOS and Android is something that we feel very comfortable with. This does mean that we need dedicated developers for each platform (iOS and Android), but we also enrich ourselves with the platform-specific knowledge that our iOS and Android developers can bring to the team.
Your forms on Teamscope can be as complex as you want them to be: they can have hundreds of fields with complex branching and formulas with them. Although a native app is not by default faster or smoother than a hybrid app, we feel native code gives us a broader toolkit when tackling complex engineering challenges, like our data entry screen.
Build fully customizable data capture forms, collect data wherever you are and analyze it with a few clicks — without any training required.
The new apps offers a smooth as butter offline experience. Create cases and entries while offline and sync them automatically to the cloud once you have an internet connection. No more manually uploading data that was stored offline, this now all gets down in the background and automagically.
Collecting GPS data in your forms was already possible on our iOS app, now you can also do it from our Android app. You may have as many GPS fields within a form.
This new app has a fresh new interface, optimized for accessibility.
With our new Android app now released and in the hand of our users we will now move to Teamscope Web (our web dashboard).
Teamscope Web is where you can configure your forms, invite your peers and export your data. A highly requested feature has been to view forms and enter data not just from our mobile app but from the web browser. We call this web-based data entry and it is up next in our product pipeline for coming months.
At Teamscope we are committed to building the world's easiest to use data collection solution. We would not be able to achieve that if it wasn't for your continuous feedback. If you have a feature request or an idea please don't hesitate to write us at email@example.com or schedule a slot on my calendar to chat.