Posts Tagged: tablet

With this month’s launch of Apple’s new flagship iPad Air tablet, as well as the continuing growth in popularity of Android and Windows 8 touch-screen tablets, one of our main focuses for our next update to our online room scheduling software MIDAS v4.05 has been on improving support for these touch-screen devices.

We’re making numerous improvements, including improved accessibility for devices without a physical keyboard, and improved support for devices operating in “portrait” orientation.

For example, below left is how the upcoming MIDAS v4.05 update will look on an iPad Air in “portrait” orientation, compared with how MIDAS v4.04 currently looks on the same device, below right:

Room Scheduling Software for iPad Air
iPad Air running the forthcoming MIDAS v4.05
Room Scheduling System for Tablets
iPad Air running an earlier version of MIDAS

As can be seen from the above images, in current versions of MIDAS, the screen layout in “portrait” orientation is far from optimal – we’ve overhauled this for v4.05 by rearranging and resizing various visual elements to make your MIDAS experience easier to navigate and interact with on your portrait orientated tablet device.

Now the toolbar icons will appear across the bottom of the screen, the booking grid has expanded to fill the entire width of the screen, with the calendar and booking information panels near the bottom just above the toolbar:

Touch Screen Room Scheduling System

Don’t like this layout? No problem – just rotate your device into “landscape” orientation to revert to the familiar desktop screen layout.

We’ve also made significant improvements for touch devices when it comes to selecting multiple items from drop-down lists as well as actions requiring keyboard interaction:

Selecting multiple items from drop-down lists

HTML 5 Multi-Select Element If we take the “Add Bookings” screen as an example, this screen allows you to select one (or more) venues to add your booking to. This wasn’t an issue on a desktop, laptop, or other device with a keyboard, as multiple venues could be selected from the list by holding down “Ctrl” (in the case of Windows devices) or “Cmnd” (in the case of Apple Mac devices) whilst clicking.


HTML 5 Multi-Select Alternative for Touch Screens On touch-based devices such as iPads, this isn’t quite as easy! Our solution has been to replace these multi-select elements with checkbox elements, allowing easy selection of multiple items even from touch-only devices!


Moving and Duplicating bookings from the grid

Dynamic Room Booking Editing For a while now, we’ve given you the ability to quickly move (reschedule) or copy (duplicate) bookings directly within the booking grid by simply dragging and dropping bookings whilst holding down a key (i.e. Shift or Ctrl, etc). We realize that this isn’t that useful to those using touch-devices – so we’re changing this behavior for v4.05. You will be able to move/copy bookings with ease – simply click (or tap!) the padlock icon under the main toolbar, and you’ll be presented with a choice of dynamic grid editing options:

Simply select your option, and then you can dynamically edit bookings in the booking grid!


Adding MIDAS to your home screen

Adding MIDAS to your iOS Home Screen We’re also making it really easy to add MIDAS directly to your iOS Home Screen for quick one-click access to your bookings!


…all these forthcoming improvements for iPads and other touch-screen tablets mean that with MIDAS v4.05 you really can have the MIDAS “touch“(!)

MIDAS v4: A Fresh New Look

If you’ve been following our recent blog posts, you’ll know we have an exciting update coming to MIDAS! You may also have noticed from early screenshots we’ve already posted from this update that the default visual “theme” has also gone through some changes…..

The previous “Default” theme: (MIDAS v3)

MIDAS v3 Default Theme

The new “Default” theme: (MIDAS v4)

MIDAS v4 Default Theme

The new “Metro” inspired default theme that will ship with MIDAS v4 will feature slightly larger icons than previous themes – the reasons behind this are two-fold;

1) Larger Screen Resolutions

Firstly, screen resolutions are generally getting larger – for many years the most common screen resolution was 1024 x 768 pixels. A recent study found that currently the most common screen resolution in use is 1366 x 768. As people choose screens with higher and higher resolutions, graphical items appear comparatively “smaller” on screen.

2) Touch Screens

Secondly, touch screen devices (such as tablets and iPads) are now common place, and with the eagerly anticipated release of Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system later this year (which is very much geared towards touch screen devices), we expect the number of touch-enabled devices to increase dramatically.
If you’re familiar with touch screen devices, you’ll know it can sometimes be frustrating trying to accurately “tap” a very small target area on screen.
Microsoft have conducted extensive research on fingers and touch screens. They discovered that the average width of a human finger is 11mm. As targets for tapping get larger, the percentage of accidental missed taps drops off quickly. Therefore, ideally, a tap target should be at least 11mm (about 40px) in size.

MIDAS v3 IconMIDAS v4 Icon
“Add Bookings” icon (MIDAS v3)
30 x 30 pixels
“Add Bookings” icon (MIDAS v4)
40 x 40 pixels

In the previous “default” theme for MIDAS, the main toolbar icons were 30 x 30 pixels in size. In the new “default” theme, toolbar icons are now 40 x 40 pixels in size.

Notifications have also been made more prominent on toolbar icons for MIDAS v4:

MIDAS v4 Toolbar Notifications
MIDAS v3 ButtonsMIDAS v4 Buttons
Buttons in MIDAS v3Buttons in MIDAS v4

We’ve also increased the size of other buttons and some text elements – all in an effort to make MIDAS more accessible to tablet, iPad, and other touch screen users, and those using higher resolution screens!

We hope you’ll like the new look for MIDAS v4, but if you don’t, no problem! – There will be a version of the previous MIDAS v3 default theme available for v4 as well!