Collaborating from all devices
We often get asked if there are mobile apps for accessing Kahootz.com, and the simple answer is no – there doesn’t need to be. You can quite happily use Kahootz on a wide variety of mobile devices without a special app.
There’s a wide variety of mobile platforms – Apple iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and onwards, available with an even wider selection of screen sizes, resolutions and features. Developing and supporting a suite of Apps for all those platforms and models would be a never ending job. Apps are nice if you need access to the heavy processing or hardware (GPS, Camera etc) on the phone, but a site like Kahootz doesn’t. We can achieve something far better by using the web browser already built in to all modern mobile devices to function even better than a dedicated app.
So how do we do that?
1. Be size-aware
The Kahootz.com system uses a web technology called “responsive design”. Put simply, that means that what is on the screen can change and react to the physical size of the screen available. As the screen width narrows, we can drop some of the quick links to functions (they’re still there, but might be a few more clicks to get to). As you get narrower still, two column pages become one column, rather than squashed. On really narrow screens (phone width) we can do some clever tricks like turning the menu column showing your workspace content into a dropdown at the top – making the best use of the screen space we can. It’s worth noting that most mobile devices really support two widths – the portrait and landscape layout of their screen, depending which way up you hold then.
This approach supports the screen width of any current device, and is relatively future proof against new devices too. It also helps on your desktop too, as we can adapt to the size of browser window you want – two browser windows side-side to do a comparison – it’s good for that too!
2. Be accessible
We have a long history of supporting web accessibility within Kahootz. That not only helps those who have assorted physical or sensory disabilities and difficulties, it also really helps for mobile devices. For example, all of our forms allow you to click on the words associated with tick boxes or buttons, rather than just the small button itself. That’s really helpful on a touchscreen device, particularly one that’s small relative to your finger…
3. Be light
Mobile devices are often used on the go – that means they’re often limited to cellphone network internet speeds, rather than WiFi or broadband. We’ve carefully designed the web pages and associated resources in Kahootz to be as small and quick to download over such networks as possible – in fact our pages are smaller than most competitors by a considerable margin. That helps get at the information you need on your mobile quickly and cost-effectively.
4. Be capable
One of the flaws we’ve always found with mobile apps is that they often miss out on functionality available on the equivalent website, either from being cut down, or from trailing behind the development. By providing the same website experience on mobile, we can provide all the same functionality.
Granted that there are some things that will be relatively uncomfortable to do on the small screen of a phone – like reading or editing a long document – but if that’s the one thing you really really need to do and you find yourself stuck on a train with only your phone with you – then all of our capability is there to let you do it.
5. Be secure
Security of your data and information is taken very seriously at Kahootz.com. One of the potential downsides of mobile apps is that if they synchronise information or documents onto the device, then that information can be lost if the device is lost or stolen. It may not be possible to put the level of security and encryption around that local store that we can put around the website, and it’s certainly not as possible to know if the device is being attacked. By accessing the secure Kahootz website from the mobile device, and not storing anything on it (unless explicitly downloaded), we can keep your data secure.
Of course, the downside of not keeping anything on the device is that you don’t have access to the information when you’re offline without an internet connection. That can be a problem in some cases, but we felt that this disadvantage was outweighed by the security advantage, and avoiding the problems of either having to select what data gets synchronised to your device (and then needing the thing you hadn’t picked), or getting all of the data – particularly when your Kahootz workspace may hold much much more than your phone’s memory…
6. Be up to date
One other upside of not synchronising data to the device is that you’ve got the same confidence that you’re accessing the latest information and document versions from your phone as you have from Kahootz on your desktop computer. You’re always up to date, even in the field.
7. Be yours
Kahootz is highly customisable. Each workspace can have its own layout that makes its content really clear to the members, making them clear to use. Each page can have customised instructions or information telling members more where needed. By using the same website, all of that customisation comes through to the mobile device too, rather than being lost in a one-size-fits-all app. So it’s still YOUR workspace and YOUR data, even on YOUR mobile.
8. Be there
Want a Kahootz icon on your device? Go ahead then! Apple device users can bookmark any of our pages to their home screen, where Kahootz will appear as with our normal orange icon. Android users can save bookmarks in their web browser, and then add shortcuts to those bookmarks on the home screen too (precisely how varies between device).
In fact, better than a single app icon we allow you to make lots of bookmarks – maybe to different workspaces you want to access quickly, or straight to useful information like adding a row to the time recording database you have in a particular workspace. You bookmark it your way.