Particle mobile app update: more powerful utilities, improved UI, available today


#1

Originally published at: https://blog.particle.io/2019/09/17/particle-mobile-app-30/

The latest update to the Particle mobile app — available now for iOS and Android — introduces new administrative tools for device management and inspection, plus includes the biggest UI refresh since the release of the Photon.

The latest version of the app increases information density without reducing readability.

New features in the mobile app

Control panel
The control panel lets you rename your devices, set notes, or even unclaim it, all from a single section of the mobile app. Using the control panel, it’s also now possible to change Wi-Fi networks and manage Mesh networks.

Device info screen
With the device info screen, you can view your devices ID, serial number, and Device OS version. Plus, you can use familiar tools like ping, and signal mode (aka shouting rainbows) to check basic diagnostic information. This section of the app also lets you rename and edit device specific notes, which can come in handy as your fleet scales

Device list filtering
When your fleet grows in size, scrolling through a huge list of devices is not ideal. With this release of the app, you can now sort and filter your fleet from the main screen of the app. Filter by online status, device type, or even by the name.

Tinker improvements
The latest update brings with it a UX refresh and consistent design across the entire Particle mobile app experience. Pin layouts have also been updated for all Particle devices and should now better match the physical pin layout on your device. Tinker view has also went through visual redesign to match the app style much better.

For those new to to Tinker, Tinker is a quick start experience that is pre-loaded on all factory devices. In the mobile apps, devices running Tinker mode can be manipulated without needing to write a single line of code.

Design refresh
And finally, this release sees major improvements in user-interface design. Careful work went into increasing the information density while not sacrificing readability. Additional improvements were made to the device list screen to offer a more glanceable and sortable view on all your devices. Sharp-eyed users will also notice multiple UI element tweaks across the app and overall design consistency.

The new-look of the mobile app improves UI and design consistency and adds powerful features.
The best way to see these new features is to download the Particle mobile app and try it for yourself. Both iOS and Android releases are available now in their respective stores.

For more on the Particle mobile app and how you can use mobile technology in your IoT products join the community discussion here.


#2

Will this also be possible for device claimed by someone else (e.g. customer devices claimed to the product creator’s account)?


#3

Using the mobile app, you can only change the Wi-Fi network of a device that you can physically touch. The logic for this has not changed. The awesome thing about changing Wi-Fi networks in this update is that, in the past, you had to go through the entire setup process to accomplish that one thing. Now, you have the additional ability to leave everything else about the device in its current state and quickly and specifically only configure new Wi-Fi credentials. This has been a common request for years.

The other way that you can update the list of Wi-Fi networks a device knows about is in firmware using WiFi.setCredentials(). Anyone who has permission to update the firmware of a device, for example the product creator, can change these credentials in the firmware application.


#4

Hmm, what should I say.
A customer can physically touch his device but still not have the device in his own (privat) Particle account and hence not listed in the app nor would he want to (temporarily) “claim” the device. Additionally he may have access to the device but not to the data matrix which is (currently) required to pair with the device.

While this definetly is a nice feature for developer devices claimed to their own accounts the need to scan the device matrix in order to connect to the device before being offered the WiFi setup option will probably prevent product users from benefitting from it.
I understand that product creators are expected to provide a custom app or alternative means to update WiFi creds, but having the Particle App as a fallback option would be nice too.


#5

How exactly is this different than what could be achieved when the user is logged out on the iOS version of the app? (And has this functionality been added to the Android version yet?)
And how exactly does one do this, I’m not seeing any obvious prompts or buttons that give me the option to do this?

Edit:
Just confirmed that the Skip Authentication option still ins’t the Android version. Is this planned to be added or is that not possible on Android?


#6

This is already available in the most recent Android App version.
When you are logged into your account, you can just tap the desired (already claimed) device and then hit the gear (settings) button top right to get into the CONTROL PANEL.


#7

I see the Control Panel, but not an option to change a devices WiFi. Unless you use the set up a Photon option from the main menu ( which says “Set up a new device” on iOS) I’m not quite sure where to go for this feature. Thinking there might be a verbage issue causing my misunderstanding.

I think you may have also misunderstood what I meant about Skip Authentication as it is not an option on Android v3.0.1. On iOS there is an option to Skip Authentication instead of logging into your Particle Account. This allows anyone to connect a WiFi device to a network regardless of if it’s claimed or not. Which is quite useful for allowing end users and other coworkers to change the network when needed.


#8

I see, for the Photon that option seems to be not available. I was trying it with an Argon where the screen would look like this


#9

Correct, Skip Authentication is not currently available on Android, but this is definitely something we want to add.


Photon - how to provide new WiFi credentials
#10

Yeah, there’s no Photon/gen 2 Wi-Fi configuration available yet from Control Panel. While there is no timeline for when it would happen, this is something I’d like to add.


#11

Sorry for the confusion all. Just to summarize for anyone reading this.

There’s no option on Android right now to set WiFi for device belonging to someone else. Also an option to setup WiFi using control panel is only available for Argons, but not for Photon. Latter is also true for iOS. On iOS it is still possible to setup Photon belonging to some else using Skip Authentication option. We will look into options extending this, but as @jensck_particle said there’s no delivery date for this yet.


#12

Very nice update, great to have elements that were previously only available in console or the docs section of the website. Also like the notes per device part.

Noticed a typo in Control Panel -> Cellular / Ethernet / Mesh -> Prepare for Pairing screen. Very bottom “Singal only works for devices breathing cyan”. Should by “Signal”, naturally.

Nice surprise stopping by the forums today!