CxAlloy TQ 4.0 for iOS

Newly released in the App Store is version 4.0 of the CxAlloy TQ iOS app, which features significant foundational changes to support exciting new functionality in iOS and iPadOS 13. Aside from dozens of small improvements and bug fixes, this update features three main tent-pole features.

Multiple Windows

A big new feature in iPadOS 13 is the ability for a single app to have multiple windows. Now, in 4.0, you can tap and drag projects, project sections, and list items into their own windows. Work on two different sections of the app or even completely different projects side by side!

Powerful List Views

Do more directly in the app’s list views with support for swipe actions, iOS 13 contextual menus, and batch actions with the new Select button. We’ll add additional actions to the list views in upcoming versions.

State Restoration

When returning to the app after switching away for a while, the app will make an effort to restore your location in the app, getting you back up and running quicker. We’re excited about these features today as well as the possibilities they unlock for the future. Have questions? Let us know at support@cxalloy.com.

Easier Renaming through Imports

Recently we released an update to imports that makes it easier to rename items using an imported Excel file. Although technically possible in the past, doing so was confusing, time-consuming, and prone to error. It’s now much simpler and easy to understand.

As equipment is the most common scenario for renaming, we'll be talking specifically about equipment for the remainder of this post. However all imports (issues, checklist and test lines, spaces, etc.) now work this way as well.

Now if you check the “Update existing equipment” checkbox when starting your import you will have an additional option, “Match”, that you select for one of the columns in your spreadsheet. This column is used to match up the rows in your spreadsheet with existing equipment in the project.

With the addition of the “Match” option you are now free to use the “Name” option to specify new names for the matched equipment. A simple spreadsheet for renaming equipment would look like this:

MatchNew Name
AHU-1AHU-1A
AHU-2AHU-2A
AHU-3AHU-3A
AHU-4AHU-4A

If you don’t have any new names as part of your import you simply don’t select “Name” for any of the columns of your spreadsheet.

As an added bonus, CxAlloy TQ will now automatically update the names of any related checklists and tests when you change the name of equipment.

In this post we’ve focused on equipment, but this same approach can be used to update issue descriptions, checklist and test line questions, and more. For all the details you can read our import support article.

Batch Answer – New for CxAlloy TQ iOS App

The latest addition to the iOS app is Batch Answer – a new interface for answering similar tests or checklists.

Many tests or checklists are created from the same template and thus have identical lines. With Batch Answer, you can quickly and easily answer these identical lines from a single screen. This includes:

  • Adding and changing an answer
  • Adding and editing a note
  • Adding an issue
  • Adding a photo

How to Batch Answer

To batch answer, first use the “Select” option to select each test (or checklist) you want to batch answer.

Next, tap the “Answer” button – this will show the Batch Answer screen. This screen closely resembles a single test, but in this case, each line can be expanded by tapping a drop-down indicator on the right.

With the line expanded, you can answer one or more tests.

To batch answer tests or checklists, each must meet the following requirements:

  1. Created after 9/24/2019
  2. Created from the same template
  3. Has not been structurally modified. This includes: no edits to line text, no lines added or removed, and no lines reordered.

You’ll know whether or not these three conditions pass because the “Answer” button will enable/disable.

We are excited to hear how you use Batch Answer to speed up your answering of tests and checklists!

File Markups and Callouts

One of the most transformative features we have been working on this past year is File Markups, letting you draw and place text on images and PDFs. We were excited to launch File Markups in beta at our User Conference and want to give you an overview of this upcoming feature.

Markup tools appear on the right side of the toolbar

File Markups build on the new file viewer we released this summer. With Markups you’ll see new tools for adding circles, rectangles, arrows, text, and freeform drawings when viewing images and PDFs. Tools default to the style commonly used in construction (red lines, cloudy borders) but extensive style options are available.

Each markup type has extensive style options available

We were careful to ensure that Markups work as you would expect: Each markup is treated like any other content, with associated permissions based on who created it, full syncing between iOS and the web, and integration into reports. For a detailed explanation of permissions please check out our support article.

Callouts

Rectangle and circle markups will create a Callout, which is an image of just that region of the photo or PDF.

The Callouts section lets you view rectangle and circle markups without having to open the files

Callouts provide several benefits: you don’t have to click to open a file to see the markups, they effectively “zoom in” on the area in question, and they can surface information from any page within a PDF.

A new “Callouts” area is shown on any page that already has “Files”, and a new “Callouts” option when creating PDFs is available.

Please note that arrows, text, and freeform drawings do not create accompanying callouts. We made that decision purposefully to provide a consistent and useful experience with callouts. You can read a full explanation behind that choice in our support article.

We think File Markups and Callouts will be really useful in lots of situations, from highlighting key paragraphs of a spec, to pointing out a specific riser in a photo, to drawing attention to electrical notes on a crowded drawing. We hope you look forward to it!

Push Template Changes is Here!

We all know the story: you create 100 checklists based on a template, only to realize that you need to add one more line. Now you have to find the checklists, delete them, update the template, and create all 100 again.

But no more! With the new “Push Changes” feature, all you have to do is add the line to the template and click the “Push Changes” button. All 100 checklists will be updated with the line you just added. Go get another cup of coffee with all that time you just saved!

This has been our most-requested feature and we are thrilled to be able to deliver it.

You may be wondering, what if the checklists or tests are partially completed? Will it still work then? Yes! Answers, notes, attribute values, associated files and issues – all of those can be part of a checklist or test and it can still be updated via “Push Template Changes”.

There are a couple of prerequisites that determine which checklists and tests can be updated via “Push Template Changes”. First, the checklists or tests need to have been created from a project template. Second, they need to have been created after September 25, 2019. Finally, the checklists or tests can not have been structurally modified – i.e., if you edited a line’s question, added or deleted lines, or reordered lines then that particular checklist or test is excluded.

Don’t worry, you can review which checklists or tests will be updated and the updates that will be applied prior to pushing changes. You can also exclude specific checklists or tests by unchecking them prior to pushing changes. Read our support article for more details.

Earlier I noted that this was our most-requested feature. I can only say that because of the feature request forum we rolled out last year which has been a tremendous resource for us as we decide what features to prioritize. If you are a CxAlloy user, I encourage you to let us know what features you’d like to see at feedback.cxalloy.com.

Account-Level User Management – Customer Appreciation Summer

The next release in our customer appreciation summer is a real time-saver for those with large project portfolios. You can now select a user in the account area and add them to multiple projects simultaneously.

image

When adding users in this way you assign them a permission preset. This works well with custom permission presets, a feature we released during last year’s Customer Appreciation Summer. Synergy! 😀

And don’t worry, CxAlloy TQ only sends a single email to the user when you add them to multiple projects in this way. You can even choose not to notify them at all by unchecking that option at the bottom left of the window.

Access this feature by going to Account → People, then clicking “Add” in the Projects subsection.

Summer Extension

You may have noticed that our Customer Appreciation Summer had a hiatus these past few weeks. Rest assured that it continues and will extend a bit to make up for the time off. Here are a few of the features we are getting ready as you read this:

  • Ability to convert a person to a contact instead of deleting them from the account.
  • Ability to update statuses via an Excel import.
  • An improved flow for renaming equipment via an Excel import.

See you next time!