Create your own Android mobile app with signature capture in 5 minutes
Canvas allows for you to easily create your own mobile data collection applications for Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry (iPhone and iPad coming soon!). Today, I wanted to walk through a quick and simple example of how to do this in 5 minutes, capturing some simple data, an example signature and show what the result looks like on Android. We already have a large catalog of pre-built data collection applications in our Canvas Application Store, each of which can be customized, but in this article we are focusing on how to create one from scratch.
The goal of this article will be to walk through signing up for Canvas, building a simple mobile app which captures some simple information (first name and last name) and a signature, fill out the app on an Android and view the results.
Step 1 - Sign up for Canvas
If you aren't already a Canvas customer, sign up for a 30 day free trial of Canvas.
Step 2 - Install Canvas
Once you sign up for Canvas you should receive an e-mail or text message with a download link for your device. If you did not get the e-mail or text message, or you did not specify a device type during sign up, you can always open the browser on your Android or other device and go to http://www.gocanvas.com/m to download Canvas.
Step 3 - Login to the Canvas website using your desktop computer
Login to the the Canvas website with your new login on your desktop computer to begin building your signature capture application.
Step 4 - Build your Canvas signature capture application
On the 'My Apps' tab in the Canvas website, click 'New App'. See the screenshot below for the highlighted button to click:
Enter a name for the new app, lets call it "Sample Signature Capture" and leave description blank. Click 'Save and launch Designer'.
In the designer, you will be prompted for a screen name, enter 'Basic Info'. See screenshot below for what it should look like:
Drag a 'Text Input' control from the right hand palette. In the popup for the text input, enter 'First Name'. Drag another 'Text Input' control from the right hand palette. In the popup for the text input, enter 'Last Name'. You can see an example of editing a 'Text Input' control in the following screenshot.
We need to add another screen, which will contain the signature control. Click the 'Add Screen' button on the top of the Canvas app builder. In the prompt for the screen name, enter 'Signature'.
Drag a 'Signature' control from the right hand palette. In the popup for the text input, enter 'Please sign your name'. The outline of your 'Sample Signature Capture' Canvas mobile application should look like the below screenshot.
Step 5 - Save and publish your Canvas signature capture application
At the top of the Canvas app builder, click 'Save' and select 'Save and publish'. Once the Canvas app builder has finished saving, you will be prompted what users should have access to the new application. Make sure to check your login and click 'Publish'.
Step 6 - Start Canvas on your Android and login
Start Canvas on your Android and login using your e-mail and password you registered with.
Step 7 - Fill out the 'Sample Signature Capture' app
Fill out the 'Sample Signature Capture' application and once done, click 'Yes' to upload your submission.
Step 8 - View your data online
If you logged out of the Canvas website, login again and click on the 'Submissions' tab. You will find the data you just filled out on your Android. You can now view it online, download it as a PDF, export it as a CSV/Excel file, or integrate it into a backend system.
A PDF of the example application above can be seen here.
Hopefully the above example demonstrated how easy it is to go paperless with Canvas. All of the applications created with Canvas will work across all of the devices we support, which include Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry with iPhone and iPad under development and coming soon.
Contact us if you have any questions about Canvas.