1. Must be truly mobile:
Some compliance programs run in a mobile web-browser, which means that internet connection must be strong and uninterrupted for the program to function. An application that is “truly mobile” lives locally in the mobile device. While true mobile applications may require internet connection to download data and synchronize captured violations, they offer the luxury of working even in rural, remote, or developing areas. With browser-based mobile website applications, you run the risk of losing your work, or being unable to continue working when your connection is weak. With a true mobile application, you have the stability and versatility of working offline and syncing with the main database later.
2. Must be available through official channels:
Mobile applications should be downloadable through the Apple App Store and/or Google Play Store. Some providers might pass an .APK (Android Application Package) file for you to install a program directly to an Android device, but there are several potential problems with this, including security, future updates, reliability, and possibly even legality. Some .APK files could contain malware, and caution should be taken before loading any application this way. Applications that are vetted and made available in the official Apple and Android stores have gone through rigorous testing to be there and are therefore generally a safer and smarter bet.
3. Must be intuitive and easy to use:
The application you choose should look and function like a mobile app. Most people are comfortable with mobile interfaces and are able to navigate new apps without reading a manual. You don’t want to spend your time training others where to tap to capture a violation or work order, so the app should be intuitive for users. When walking or driving a property, each home should be displayed clearly without requiring arduous searches. The easier the property map is to read and the faster you can enter a violation, the faster you can finish your route. A key factor in ease of use is how data is organized. Ideally, each home should be referenced with GPS coordinates, display notes and activities readily, and allow for capture of new activities with minimal effort. Not having to search for each home on your route, or scroll through long lists of types, categories, and activities will mean valuable time savings.