Post by Scott Epple, OnForce Product Manager
As smartphone owners, we can tell the apps we use to keep us up-to-date on almost anything: maybe we’re tagged in someone’s photo on Instatwitterbook, or news breaks that Curiosity shot its lasers for the first time, or our opponent just played “xylophone” on a triple word score (ouch!).
Of course, some of this stream-o’-info is important, and some of it’s just noise. One of the dilemmas of our modern digital lives is that much of the world’s information is available to us almost instantly – what are we to do with all of it? This connected existence forces us to push the limits of our distraction-blocking powers and carefully consider what information matters to us, lest we look up to find we’ve spent the past three hours reading Facebook status updates.
In field services, distinguishing critical information from all the rest is, well, critical. When we talk with OnForce Pros, we consistently hear the same thing: OnForce notifications are most definitely important. Pros come to OnForce to find the best IT and CE field service work, and expect to be notified about new work opportunities as soon as they’re available. It’s crucial that OnForce alerts make their way to Pros quickly and effectively. Yet, we’ve traditionally relied on email and SMS but we’re offering another way to alert OnForce Pros of new opportunities. And it’s better.
To answer this call, we’re bringing the speed and power of push notifications to OnForce iPhone and Android apps! With push notifications, Pros will be alerted of important work order updates through their iOS or Android notification center. This brings a number of benefits for OnForce Pros (and ultimately to the service buyers they support):
- Faster response: many Pros have told us that they want more than just plain old SMS and email alerts. The process of receiving an email or SMS, opening the OnForce app, finding the relevant work order, and opening it is inefficient. With push notifications, responding is faster and easier than ever.
- Easy, one-swipe access: from the lock screen or from anywhere where the notification tray is accessible, swipe or click on a notification to directly launch the OnForce app.
- Non-intrusive, ever-present alerts: to help keep track of recent updates, OnForce notifications are held in the notification center and, on the iPhone, the OnForce app icon is always badged with a count of new notifications.
- Never miss a thing: a custom sound differentiates OnForce from other notifications received to help easily recognize and respond to important updates.
We’ve also created a new section in the app, “Inbox,” where notifications will be stored. This will allow Pros to keep track of and access the last 20 notifications they’ve received when needed.
This big update to our iPhone and Android apps is currently in beta and we’re aiming to have it ready for you to download in the next 30-60 days. Please stay tuned here for updates – and if you’re interested in helping beta test, reply to this blog post and we’ll do our best to get you in! OnForce Pros, if you don’t have the app yet, you can download it from iTunes or Google Play. When notifications come out you’ll just need to update.