Canvas

How to create your own Android or IOS app in 5 minutes

By Keith Bateman on April 6, 2016
Tags: Data Collection, Productivity

GoCanvas allows for you to easily create your own Android or iOS app for mobile devices.  Today, I wanted to walk through a quick and simple example of how to do this in under 5 minutes with the GoCanvas App Builder. Our do-it-yourself, customizable app maker lets you create your own apps with no programming or coding needed. This app we'll create will allow you to capture a signature from your mobile device. We also have available over 20,000 pre-built data collection applications in our GoCanvas Application Store. Each of these can be customized, but in this article, we are focusing on how to create one from scratch without any fancy app development skills.

The goal of this article will be to walk through signing up for GoCanvas, building a simple mobile app which captures some simple information (first name and last name) and a signature, filling out the app on a device (could be an android device or ios device, doesn't matter) and how to view the results.

Step 1 - Sign up for GoCanvas

If you aren't already a GoCanvas subscriber, try GoCanvas free today. This is the first step to create your own Android or iOS app! 

Step 2 - Install GoCanvas

Once you sign up for GoCanvas you should receive an e-mail or text message with a download link for your mobile device or mobile phone.  If you didn't get the email or text message, you can always open the browser on your mobile device and download it directly from there. Go to http://www.gocanvas.com/m to download GoCanvas.

Step 3 - Login to the GoCanvas website using your desktop computer

Login to the GoCanvas website with your username(email address) and password on your desktop computer so you can start to create an app. For this example, we'll show you how to build a work order mobile app.

Step 4 - Build your GoCanvas signature capture application

On the 'My Apps' tab on the GoCanvas website, click 'New App'.  Below, you'll see the button to click inside the red box: 

My Apps page image

When you enter the app builder for the 1st time, you will be prompted to name your app. Let's go ahead and call it "Sample Signature Capture". 

Next, you will be prompted to add the 1st screen to your app and input a screen name. Let's enter 'Basic Info'. The screenshot below shows what it should look like:

Drag a 'Short Text' field from the left-hand column.  In the highlighted space to name the 'Short Text' field, enter 'First Name'. You are able to repeat this process again & again until you have the fields you want on the 'Basic Info' screen of your Work Order. You could also create fields like street address, city, and state like I have done below. 


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We need to add another screen which will contain the signature field.  Click the 'New Screen' button on the bottom right of the GoCanvas app builder.  In the prompt for the screen name, enter 'Signature'.

Drag a 'Signature' field from the left-hand column.  In the popup to re-name the field, enter 'Please sign your name'.  The final look in the app builder should look like the below screenshot.

Step 5 - Save and publish your GoCanvas signature capture application

At the top of the GoCanvas app builder, click 'Publish to Device'.  Once the GoCanvas app builder has finished saving, you will be prompted to setup a varying number of app settings, and then which users on your account you wish to assign the app to. These people will all get push notifications letting them know there is a new app available for them. 

Step 6 - Start GoCanvas on your Android/IOS device and log in

Start GoCanvas on your device and log in using your e-mail and password that 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 GoCanvas website, log in again and click on the 'Submissions' tab.  You will find the data you just filled out on your mobile device.  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. Remember that you can change how the PDF looks by using the PDF Designer tool. 

Wrap Up

Hopefully, the above example demonstrated how easy it is to go paperless with GoCanvas.  All of the mobile applications created with GoCanvas work across all of the devices we support. These include Android phone and tablet, iPhone and iPad. You can get rid of filing and data entry and save your business time and money. 

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