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News & Updates

The Launch27 Mobile app Version 2.5  is here and ready for roll out with many improvements and new features.

Below are explanations of many of the new features. We also have a team and admin guide detailing how to use the app which includes the new features and can be shared with your teams.

Download the Admin Guide

Note- customer guide is coming soon.

For the app to work for all of your team members, EVERYONE will need to upgrade. We will be shutting off the API for the older apps and those apps will no longer work. Shutdown is planned for 10/27 and there will be no support for apps older than version 2.5 after this date.

Also, don’t forget… if you would like a Whitelabel app (your own custom app in the app store for your teams and customers) you can sign up and pay for that here.

So without further adieu, the details on our new release…

Milking the clock

It’s a fear we all have. While we can’t completely eliminate employees lying or milking the clock, we have implemented a few items that make it harder to fool the system.

  1. We tell you where they have checked out. You can see the location they have checked out.
  2. We send you a push notification if the team exceeds a duration you set up in settings.
  3. We flag logs that look suspicious. Suspicious means if they check out outside a certain radius or if the duration exceeds a certain time limit.
  4. Admins can also set the distance in which employees can check in. This means they can’t check out past a mile or what the limit is that the admin sets.  
  5. You can also now see the route a team has traveled to their job so you can be sure they are getting to each job efficiently.

Chat

We have switched the chat system to a more reliable system that allows you to chat one to one or to create group chats. Similar to Whatsapp, you can see when the person has read your message and each message is sent in real-time.

When you send a message, the receiver will get a push notification alerting that a message has been sent.

My team and I communicate solely through the app. I have a individual chats set up, team chats, admin chats and company wide chats. It helps disseminate information quickly while not forcing the team to use yet ANOTHER application.

Please note, all of your teams will need to upgrade to this version for chat to work for them.

Call Masking

This is a much asked for feature that we have enabled in the new app. Many of our users don’t want their employees or contractors to have the client’s phone number but still need the convenience of allowing them to call when they are outside a property without having them go through their admin or manager.

With Call Masking, when you enable teams to see a client’s phone number in the Launch27 web app (it’s in team permissions) they will be able to use the feature to call clients when they need to. They can only call appointments that day for instances like:

  • Where do we find parking?
  • The job is complete, would you like to come do the walkthrough?
  • Hello, we have arrived and no one is home… could you let us know how to get in?

Etc…

These are the most common reasons my teams need to call clients and before, when they would call me and I would call the client… this would result in phone tag and wasted time.

The teams don’t see the client’s number, they just hear ringing and the client (much like Uber) will see a random number on their phone.

Please note- this number can’t be customized at this time.

Call Masking does cost as we use a third party provider to make the actual calls. You can purchase credits (500 minutes for $60) which can auto-renew when your credits get low. Because these calls typically last less than 90 seconds, the 500 minutes tend to go a long way. I have been using it with my team for well over a month and we are only one-third of the way through our credits.

If you do enable allow teams to see phone numbers, they will be able to see the number in their emails if you send out the schedule via email so you will need to either edit the default email or not send out schedules via email.

Please note, you have three options for teams calling clients.

  1. Call Masking- enable in team permissions, purchase credits via the app and enable auto-charge so you never run out.
  2. Teams call without call masking- Enable permissions but don’t purchase credits.
  3. Turn off permissions in the web app- teams will not be able to call at all

You will have a list of all calls and charges within your app on the call masking page. This will help you keep track of the calls that are made.

Cancel Progress

This is another useful addition.

If your team has checked into the wrong address or if an appointment is canceled before the job begins, they can now cancel this progress. This will allow them to check into another job without logging any time.

Current Booking Overlay

This is both a UI fix and a functional improvement.

Many teams would forget to check out and then couldn’t check into their next appointment and would think the app wasn’t working. We now prevent this by putting the current booking over the other bookings so there is always a reminder to check out.

Booking Duration

Booking duration now shows on the booking and work diary. This way your team always knows how long they are expected to take for each appointment.

Admins can also set notifications that will alert admins if a team exceeds a certain time limit.

Removed Geofence

Geofence was used to alert teams to check in as well as let admins know when teams have arrived and departed on location.

While geofence is a potentially useful feature, the cons outweighed the positive so we removed it from the app. 90% of team errors reported were due to the geofence malfunctioning. It also drained battery life. Lastly, as teams entered and exited the radius, the geofence data was proven less than 100% reliable.

We have improved breadcrumb tracking which works similarly to geofence without the cons. However, this means you will no longer be prompted to check in on location as well as admins will not be able to see arrivals or departures.

We will work to find an alternate solution to geofence after this release.

Comments

Teams and admins can now add comments to bookings in the app. Admins can also set permissions for who can see which comments in the app.

 

Teams can now request a reschedule

Last week, my team arrived at the house and a regular customer had just gotten home from the hospital that morning. He requested to reschedule. The team called me, let me know the schedule and I adjusted the date.

Now, teams can enter that information in the app, the reason it needs to be reschedule and the admin will get a notification and choose to confirm or reject the reschedule. If they confirm the reschedule it will open the booking form where they can save the updated booking.

This is particularly useful for lawn care companies.

Other amendments and bug fixes

  • Fix phone timezone bug on availability
  • Fix availability bug when no default availability exists
  • Admin settings for the following: Manual log for Teams, Tracking Events to Chats, Alert if work hours exceed 1hr, 2hr …, Enable Call Masking
  • Push notifications to Chat, Booking and Map
  • New Messages Providers with improved delivery and reliability
  • Improved Events signalling
  • Prior jobs from previous days still in progress clearly shown on appointments
  • Push Notifications on every message sent in real-time
  • Assign teams availability based on L27 events
  • Personalized named group chats for customers, teams and staff members. – New
  • Hidden custom field labels still showing bug fix
  • Check out bug fix for jobs that were in progress for over 24hrs
  • Restrict Check in to 1/4, 1/2 and 1 mile from booking location
  • Auto checkout of bookings when booking is completed by Staff or Admin
  • Removed app based geofences and improved breadcrumb tracking to improve battery life
  • View Pictures on Time Logs as an Admin or Staff – New
  • Booking extras updated for easy removal of extras
  • Push notifications when a team cancels their progress on a booking
  • Check in to “undefined” address bug fix
  • Manage Customer/ Multiple Addresses on a customer’s profile
  • Amendments to Booking process for Admins to allow choosing of customer when starting a booking.
  • Support for iOS 11

To get the mobile app for your business you will either need to have the mobile add on plan or be on the Pro Plan. If you have questions, want a demo or want to sign up, send us a message in intercom or email mobile@launch27.com/