Apricot™ software is consistently hosted, managed, and updated by Social Solutions as a flexible outcomes measurement software system that is web or cloud-based. It is therefore accessible 24/7 via a web browser on desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and even smartphones. This blog outlines the features, requirements, and restrictions related to accessing Apricot software using multiple devices.
Accessing Apricot on a Desktop or Laptop
Apricot is best when accessed via a desktop or laptop computer. Apricot is hardware agnostic, meaning you can access it on a Mac or a PC, but it is recommended that Apricot run on the latest versions of Chrome or Firefox web browsers to ensure optimal use.
You can, however, login to Apricot and use standard data entry features with Internet Explorer as your web browser, but some administrator features will not work with Internet Explorer so Chrome and Firefox are the global recommendations for all Apricot use. Safari also isn’t mentioned by Social Solutions as a viable web browser for Apricot use, so it is best to stick with Chrome and Firefox.
Frequent Apricot users can save time by creating shortcuts to the Apricot login page on their computers or within their web browsers. Below are 5 Apricot Login Shortcuts you can use on your desktop or laptop to save you the hassle of rummaging through random paperwork or searching online for the Apricot login page.
- Desktop Shortcut– Setup the Apricot login as an icon on your computer’s desktop. A desktop icon opens a new web browser window and navigates to the URL of the Apricot login page. Drag and drop a favourite from your browser to your desktop to create a desktop icon. If you are on a Windows based PC, right click on the desktop and select New, then Shortcut, then paste the login URL as the shortcut destination.
- Bookmark Bar– If you’re using Chrome or Firefox, you can turn on the bookmarks bar. This is a toolbar that resides below the address bar of your browser and contains your links to your top web pages. The bookmarks bar is part of your browser’s favourites system. Only favourites you designate are added to the bookmarks bar. To do this, click on the arrows at the end of the bar which will show a list of your favourites. Then click on the link you want to add to the toolbar and drag it over to the toolbar.
- Favourite– A web browser favourite is the most common and basic way to access the Apricot login. Simply star, bookmark, or favourite the Apricot login page in your web browser. That URL will be saved in your browser’s favourites library. Open a web browser and select the Apricot login favourite which will take you directly to the Apricot login page.
- Pin Tab– Along with the bookmarks bar, pinning a tab is a great way to quickly access the Apricot login page if you are constantly in and out of Apricot. The pin tab option is available in both Chrome and Firefox. Right click on an open tab in the browser and select pin tab. This will create a smaller permanently fixed tab in your browser. In addition, pinned tabs are always available when you open a new browser window after shutting down your computer or re-launching a web browser. Pinned tabs can only be removed by unpinning them, which you can do by right clicking and selecting unpin tab.
- Browser Homepage– Most web browsers open to a search engine, such as Google, by default. These browser homepages can be customised, so you can set your browser homepage to the Apricot login page. Pinning tabs is a better solution, but setting the browser homepage is a good solution for users that don’t like multi-tab browsing.
Accessing Apricot on a Tablet
You can access Apricot on tablets including Apple iOS iPad and Android tablet devices (unknown whether Apricot functions with Microsoft tablets), but the functions are primarily limited to data entry and navigation only. Some administrator features aren’t available in Apricot on tablets.
Navigation can sometimes be a little more challenging with the touch interface on a tablet, but data entry is certainly possible. Radio buttons, checkboxes, text, and numeric fields are manageable with the touch interface, but you may be required to zoom in to open a dropdown field. The signature fields in forms are best used on tablets — as opposed to desktops and laptops — because signing a signature with a finger is easier than signing with a mouse or trackpad.
See the screenshots below for Apricot software navigation and data entry examples on a tablet. The first screenshot shows how the Apricot login screen will look on a tablet.
The next screenshot shows how the Tier 1 search palette and access to My Reports, My Shared Files, and My Bulletins will generally collapse by default on a tablet. Collapsing the palette allows more screen space for navigation. Select the Open/Close tab to open the palette. Then you can search for a specific Tier 1 record or add a new Tier 1 record. The home screen does allow full view of all bulletins, so dashboard reports can be viewed in Apricot on a tablet device.
The next screenshot shows the Tier 1 search palette open. With this open, you can see that the rest of the screen area reduces. Keep this in mind as you navigate through Apricot. You may want to open and close this palette in order to widen the view on your tablet.
The next screenshot shows that Tier 1 forms — as well as Tier 2 forms — are fully accessible on a tablet device. Full data entry including adding new records and modifying existing records is possible on a tablet.
When a text-based field is selected (or a numeric or currency field) the default keyboard for your tablet will display, which can be seen in the next screenshot. There is enough room on the tablet to see where you are typing as well as display the full keyboard. You may also zoom in on a particular area of the Apricot form in order to see where and what you are typing.
Finally, all navigation on the front-end My Apricot side of the database is available via a tablet. This includes the document folder of newly created or existing Tier 1 records. From the document folder, you can create new Tier 2 records or access existing Tier 2 records, which is shown in the final screenshot below.
Just like with a desktop or laptop, frequent Apricot users can quickly access Apricot using two shortcuts on their tablet or other mobile devices:
- Google Chrome Sync– If you use Chrome as your primary browser on a desktop or laptop, you can use Chrome sync to get your bookmarks to your tablet. Download the Chrome app in the Apple App or Android App stores and then login to Chrome using the primary Google account used on your desktop or laptop. This will sync all of your existing bookmarks, favourites, and browsing history so you can access the Apricot login page as quickly as you do on a desktop or laptop computer.
- Apple iOS Safari Bookmark or Icon– If Chrome sync isn’t a good option for you, you can use the Safari iOS browser on an Apple iPad to bookmark the Apricot login page or save the login page as an icon on your iPad’s home screen. See the screenshot below showing how to create a bookmark or icon in Safari iOS.
Accessing Apricot Software on a Smartphone
Because Apricot is hardware agnostic, a web browser is all that is needed so Apricot can be accessed via a browser regardless of the device you are using. This makes it possible to access Apricot on a mobile device like a smartphone, but the user experience isn’t ideal.
This is because Apricot is a complex data system and its navigation isn’t simplified for a mobile, smartphone environment. So when you are using a Smartphone you must zoom in and out frequently as the data entry and navigation screens are hard to see. Even with zoom, the screens are still very small and difficult to read and navigate. Also, there is no designated Apricot app that you can download from the Apple or Android app stores, so using Apricot on a Smartphone is not considered ideal, but it is certainly possible in times of need.
The screenshots below, which were taken on an Apple iPhone using the iOS Safari browser, will show how the system looks on a Smartphone.
The first two screenshots show that landscape mode is the best viewing experience on a smartphone, but you may need to zoom in to navigate.
The next screenshot shows that data entry is possible on a smartphone. Selecting a data entry field will expand the default keyboard for your device.
This blog highlights the appeal of a web-based platform, like Apricot software, in that it can be accessed from nearly any device. Although not every device will be helpful in your daily work and use of Apricot (e.g., Smartphones), it is reassuring to know that you can get to your Apricot data whenever you have an Internet connection when you need it the most!
Apricot™ is a registered trademark of Social Solutions, Inc.
This blog is based on an original developed by Sidekick Solutions, Inc. on 17/06/15