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Old October 26th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Excel Capable Apps, need help with thesis.

Hello everyone, i am currently doing my grade thesis in business and i am required to propose and implement a solution to a problem for real company.
The company does physical recounts for other companies and currently they use paper as platform. My idea was to provide the workers with android tablets with preloaded excel files and have them just input the number of products they count. So far its easy but i have a series of problems regarding the selection of the tablet suited for this job and the excel-like app they should buy. I wanted an opinion on which tablet should i buy and what app should they get, all of this based on the next criteria.

The tablet should have 3g connection to be able to send files to the headquarters, the second requirement should be that the tablet should be able to function for 8hs non stop (external power banks not excluded) , note that 3g will be only turned on to send files for a while so the 8hs battery life requirement are not with 3g on. I thought of the Nexus 7 coming with 3g that has 9.5 hs. advertised battery life (please confirm this is with nonstop usage), but please recommend yourselves.

The excel app is more tricky as it should not affect the efficiency of the workers doing the recount. I have investigated and found some feature that i would like if possible the app to have. The first one and most important is a Tab key of some sort so the navigation from cell to cell is more simple than touching every cell separately to edit its content, google docs spreadsheets has this feature in the form of the "Next" and "Previous" buttons above the keyboard but is out of question as google docs requires constant internet connection to function and that would drain the battery.

The second requirement, is on the keyboard, the data these workers will be putting in these spreadsheets is only numbers, i have found that (please don't hate) an iphone-dial-keyboard-like would be the most efficient way to input this data. Now i know this last requirement would be almost impossible to fulfill by any market app (don't loose anything asking) but i want to know would it be difficult to program ? can i edit market apps ? Any recommendation and/or critic is more than welcome, speak your mind. Again thanks to everyone!

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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd suggest not to get an Android or iPad, and wait for the 29th and get a Microsoft Surface Pro, or an ASUS 808 or HP Envy X2.

Mainly because these are tablets that run full MS Office 2013. All the Office apps for either iOS or Android are quite lacking in features as compared to the real thing.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 01:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you're just getting people to 'count' items and 'enter the number' on the tablet I'd steer clear of both tablets and Excel. Particularly Excel. You probably have no idea of the education of the 'counters' so 'KISS' is the way to go. No idea who sells these but something like a barcode scanner (scans a barcode either from the product being counted or one contained in a notebook) which you can then just input a number (the number that was counted).

As long as I've understood your requirements correctly.

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Old October 26th, 2012, 03:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree, an app other than a spreadsheet would be preferable.

Spreadsheets tend to be good for analyzing data or manipulations in an ad hoc way, not entering data for aggregation elsewhere...

If nothing is available, I expect that an app like you are seeking would be fairly simple to write for anyone with experience with the ADK assuming you have good requirements to provide them.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 03:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i like -

OfficeSuite Pro 6 + (PDF & HD)
Mobile Systems

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobisystems.editor.office_with_reg
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Old October 27th, 2012, 01:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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First, i must thank you all for the promt response but mainly for the solutions youŽve provided..
Second, english is not my native language so my apologies in advance for any grammar mistake.

Quote:
I'd suggest not to get an Android or iPad, and wait for the 29th and get a Microsoft Surface Pro, or an ASUS 808 or HP Envy X2.

Mainly because these are tablets that run full MS Office 2013. All the Office apps for either iOS or Android are quite lacking in features as compared to the real thing.
Thanks for the tip iŽll keep it mind, but are these tablets good battery wise ?
What about the Nexus 7 which was my first choice, are the 9.5 hs of usage advertised true ? would the battery last that much doing the work i describe above ?

Quote:
If you're just getting people to 'count' items and 'enter the number' on the tablet I'd steer clear of both tablets and Excel. Particularly Excel. You probably have no idea of the education of the 'counters' so 'KISS' is the way to go. No idea who sells these but something like a barcode scanner (scans a barcode either from the product being counted or one contained in a notebook) which you can then just input a number (the number that was counted).

As long as I've understood your requirements correctly.

Dave
Thanks Dave, the problem here is that the company does reports of these recounts for their clients and is way more efficient to have everything loaded into an excel right were they are and send it to HQ for processing, and yes the counters know how to use excel. What is KISS?

Quote:
I agree, an app other than a spreadsheet would be preferable.

Spreadsheets tend to be good for analyzing data or manipulations in an ad hoc way, not entering data for aggregation elsewhere...

If nothing is available, I expect that an app like you are seeking would be fairly simple to write for anyone with experience with the ADK assuming you have good requirements to provide them.
Thanks i will talk to programmers here in my country for help, if you can tell me here and know, how much would this cost approximatelly? this is not a big company... so cost is always a problem.


Quote:
i like -

OfficeSuite Pro 6 + (PDF & HD)
Mobile Systems

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobisystems.editor.office_with_reg
Thanks for the tip !! do you know if it has a "tab" button for quick navigation ? that would be great if it had...
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Old October 27th, 2012, 05:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex79 View Post
What is KISS?
It stands for Keep It Simple Stupid (please excuse the language).

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Do you know if it has a "tab" button for quick navigation ? that would be great if it had...
I use a 3rd party app called Thumb Keyboard. You can bind keys to use; 'Tab' being one of them. Customizable on-screen keyboard. Though there are probably others out there as well.

In regards to Android in general, there's no 'real' office suite that can match MS office. There's ********* Office. It's still in Android infancy and lacking several functions Windows Mobile had. Though the company says all the functions are enabled in the 'background'. You can contact their sales department regarding bulk pricing.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 07:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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NeoGrandizer:
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It stands for Keep It Simple Stupid (please excuse the language).
No problem .

Quote:
I use a 3rd party app called Thumb Keyboard. You can bind keys to use; 'Tab' being one of them. Customizable on-screen keyboard. Though there are probably others out there as well.

In regards to Android in general, there's no 'real' office suite that can match MS office. There's ********* Office. It's still in Android infancy and lacking several functions Windows Mobile had. Though the company says all the functions are enabled in the 'background'. You can contact their sales department regarding bulk pricing.
The Thumb keyboard app is just what i was looking for, this is GREAT.
Regarding the Excel-like app just keep in mind, this is for just for counting products in situ (that is why i wanted an tablet not a notebook, for its mobility, quick boot, and 3g, cost), so i just need the workers to "input" numbers no need for VBA macros nor any advanced excel feature, i would use Google docs but it needs constant internet connection and that would drain the battery.

Anyone has a comment on battery life ? will these tablets make it to a works day?
thanks all in advance !! (btw does this forum have a way to thank answers with tokens of some kind?)
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Old October 29th, 2012, 03:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex79 View Post
Anyone has a comment on battery life ? will these tablets make it to a works day?
I suggest you ask this specific question in the Nexus 7 Forum. You'll probably find some Nexus owners willing to share their experiences with the tablet.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 07:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Whether or not a device will get through a day depends entirely on how you use it. It can last two days on a single charge, or less than 6, depending on your usage pattern.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 07:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
I use a 3rd party app called Thumb Keyboard. You can bind keys to use; 'Tab' being one of them. Customizable on-screen keyboard. Though there are probably others out there as well.
A question, will this app Thumb Keyboard work with 3rd party apps ? meaning, if i were to bind some keys will these changes in the keyboard be reflected in the excel app i mean to use. If that wouldnt be the case is there another app that does ?.

Quote:
I suggest you ask this specific question in the Nexus 7 Forum. You'll probably find some Nexus owners willing to share their experiences with the tablet.
Thank you for the tip will post a question there.

Quote:
Whether or not a device will get through a day depends entirely on how you use it. It can last two days on a single charge, or less than 6, depending on your usage pattern.
The usage would be to work so they should be able to have the screen turned on almost all the time, the advertised battery life says for example "9.5 hours of web surfing" that would be conclusive as surfing the web necessary means having the screen turned on.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 08:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I have another question regarding the excel app i mean to use. As exposed above i don't need the actual MS Office Excel as the functionality needed is just to input data into a spreadsheet that can later be exported to a PC and with the real MS Office Excel .
What i need this app to have too is "data validation", that is the actual name of the feature in excel, but it simply means being able to create dorpboxes or deployable menus in the cells, with like "yes" or "no" options. thanks in advance.
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