Afero Blog

Major Update to Afero Software

Afero is delighted and proud to announce a major update to two key components of the Afero Platform: the Afero mobile app and the Afero Profile Editor.

The Afero Profile Editor creates a secure glue between the sensor and the cloud by automatically generating firmware that the hardware module uses to understand the device, what data it’s sending, and how it can be controlled. Another very important benefit of using the Afero Profile Editor is what I call built-in ontology. Because the Profile Editor defines what each piece of data means, it makes the data streams from your connected devices instantly useful to analytics and machine learning (ML) apps that run on the cloud. This also simplifies integration with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like the Alexa service from Amazon.

In practice, customers often build their own mobile app, but the Afero mobile app provides a great reference implementation. The app gives the end-user secure remote control over their device and interacts with the cloud and all the devices that the user is authorized to access. The app is also the home of what is rapidly becoming a “legendary” capability by Afero: onboarding. Snap a QR code and the device is instantly provisioned and allocated to you. This is significant because just “claiming” a connected device can be such a frustrating process that many users give up. What’s the use of building a connected device if customers aren’t connecting?

The storyboard below shows how these apps accelerate IoT projects of all types.

Afero prototyping and development storyboard

For those of you who are already using the Profile Editor and the mobile app, we recommend updating both at the same time to get the full benefit.

Here’s a quick rundown of what is new, copied straight from the Afero Developer Portal.

Afero Profile Editor R1.4

Added a new control widget: the Text Box. You can use it for things like displaying a block of text (can be multi-line) that holds a read-only product or feature description. Also, if you have a menu where the options run over one line, you can use the Text Box control for that too, using the value options. And, if the attribute behind the control is writable, the end-user can type their own value in the text box, if that’s appropriate to your application.

For most controls, you can now configure a “view style”, either Inline or Popup. Inline controls display all options on the device details screen. Popup controls hide their options until the user taps to open them up. Popups save space, so they’re handy if you have a multitude of controls to display.

We’ve updated the device icons and how groups are presented to match the new “panels” UI in the mobile app (see below).

If there are any problems with your device definition data, the error message(s) that appear have been redesigned to 1) move to the left so they’re not in the way of the window where you’re working, and 2) contain links to target the field with the error.

Afero Mobile App R1.6

New device icons have been created, featuring a sleeker more refined look. Plus we have a new Home screen layout that displays each device in a “panel”, which you can pinch to zoom in/out. This is nice for viewing many devices on one screen.

We’ve redesigned the individual device details screen to display groups along the top of the screen in a “ribbon”, which you can scroll horizontally by swiping. Device settings are also located on this ribbon. Tap a group to show its controls.

The controls now can be either Inline or Popup view styles (see Profile Editor notes above).

Have fun!

We think Afero software makes IoT more secure and more fun. A lot more is coming, and we look forward to sharing it all with you. Also check out the Start Now page to see high-level recommendations on next steps depending on where you are in your IoT journey.

Please send feedback, bug reports, comments, or updates of your own.