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Admin-friendly updates

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

Following user feedback, we've updated the show control dashboard to change the way presenter cards appear (and disappear) on-screen.

TL;DR

Presenter cards no longer auto-disappear on the show control dashboard.

Previously, cards might jump to new on-screen positions as presenters variously joined and left OctoCue - this was bad UX for admins, especially when they're concentrating carefully on switching presenters.

Even worse, if the interface updated at the same moment you unmute a presenter, there was the risk of unmuting the wrong person.

Following our update, presenter cards will always stay in one location - when a presenter disconnects from OctoCue their card will not disappear automatically, but can be deleted by admins manually, as and when required.

img

As you can see above, we've also tweaked the interface colour scheme to make interactive elements - buttons & links - clearer.

Finally - and unrelated to the show control dashboard - we've also just updated OctoCue Receiver, now at v1.5.0. Read the release notes for full details, or head straight to the downloads page to get the new version.

Thanks to everyone for all the feedback leading to these updates.

If you have a feature request or a UI tweak you'd like to see, drop us an email to contact@octocue.com - we love to hear from our users!

Clock display updates

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

Following on from some great feedback from our users, we've added some new options to the countdown clock.

By default, the clock is only displayed on active clickers - muted clickers see nothing. However, you can now change this behaviour in the clock settings dialog to:

  • Show clocks on active clickers only
  • Show clocks on all clickers

We've also updated the clock configuration dialog box to work better on small screens.

As ever, if you have a feature suggestion, or other feedback on OctoCue, drop us an email to support@octocue.com.

Support#

The new functions are available by default on the browser clicker. For mobile app support, you'll need v1.3.1 or later - update from your app store if necessary.

Download on App StoreGet it on Google Play

New: Countdown clock

Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Director @ OctoCue

We've just got a bunch of updates out-of-the-door for both the browser-based bits of OctoCue, and the OctoCue mobile app.

There's a bunch of interface improvements, some stability patches and and handful of security updates. Oh, and the new countdown clock:

Download on App Store

Integrating a countdown clock into OctoCue has been one of our most-requested features - and we're excited now it's finally here.

Clocks are supported on the mobile app (on both iOS and Android) and the browser clicker. There's countdown and count up modes, and we've included the ability to add and remove time to accommodate the last-minute changes that events seem to always require.

For a full demo, check out Nick's video:

note

You'll need mobile app v1.3.0 (or later) for clock support - update using the links below.

Download on App StoreGet it on Google Play

App updates & bug fixes

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

Today we're releasing some updates to various elements of OctoCue. These are maintenance updates, focusing on bug fixes and security improvements.

OctoCue Receiver#

OctoCue Receiver v1.4.5 is now available from the downloads page

Mobile Apps#

OctoCue Presentation Remote v1.2.2 is now available on the app stores.

Download on App StoreGet it on Google Play

New custom button options

Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Director @ OctoCue

Today we're breaking free of the tyranny of Next/Back buttons with the new custom buttons feature in OctoCue.

OctoCue does a great job of controlling slideshows, but the underlying technology can be used in a whole host of other ways:

  • Allow your presenters to switch the webcast feed from live camera to PowerPoint slides themselves
  • Allow live translators to show/hide their own PIP overlay as required
  • Give control of lower thirds to a remote show controller
  • Turn on the coffee machine in the green room before driving in to work
Download on App Store

To support these scenarios, OctoCue users can now setup custom buttons on their presenter clickers. Additionally, event managers can control who sees which buttons, avoiding accidental show changes by inexperienced users.

OctoCue can be setup to output TCP, UDP, OSC or keypress events when custom button clicks are received. There's a huge range of equipment that can be controlled this way, but a few of the popular options would be:

The custom buttons feature is designed to give a small selection of controls to trusted show participants, so be sure to read the documentation before jumping in.

Now there's so much more control available, we're excited to see what you can do with it!

New invite system for presenters

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

We're very excited about the launch of our new mobile apps for iOS and Android, and we've written about the benefits these new tools will bring to your events.

At time time of writing, the apps are available to install from your app store, and can be used to manually connect to shows using the 5- (or 36-) character show codes.

The next step is enabling auto login (by clicking on specially-crafted links), something that's been available on the browser clicker since we started. This will be switched on soon, but this is also a great opportunity for us to introduce some new features, include new QR code functions.

We expect the default behaviour of the new system to work for nearly all of our users. However, there are some show workflows that may need a tweak so here's a quick rundown of what to expect, and how to make sure you're ready.

New invite page#

Previously, presenter links would access clickers directly. With the new update, presenter clickers will go to intermediate invite page first.

The format of the invite will vary depending on the device the present is using:

On desktop#

On desktop (or laptop), presenters have the option to proceed to the clicker directly, or can scan a QR code to open the clicker on mobile.

img

On mobile#

On mobile, presenters will be invited to open the OctoCue app. If the app is not installed on their device, they'll be forwarded to the app store to get it.

Once the OctoCue app is installed and open, they'll be auto-logged-in to their show.

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We know that some users cannot install app on their devices due to corporate security policies - in this situation, the browser-based clicker is still available.

Additional advanced configuration options#

All the usual advanced configuration options are still available with the new system. Some of the items you can pre-set are:

  • The presenter's name
  • Their default view (justButtons, or buttonsAndNotes)
  • Notes text size

See the full list of options here

note

As part of the new invite system, we've added one additional option:

invite=0

Setting this option will skip the invite system and presenter links will go direct to a browser-based clicker.

For example, this might be required if you're embedding a clicker in an iFrame setup on you event portal.

Flow chart#

See the presenter invite flowchart here.

App store links#

Fancy a play with the app yourself? Download here:

Download on App StoreGet it on Google Play

New apps for iOS and Android devices

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue
App store previewDownload on App StoreGet it on Google Play

Today's a big day! After 3 months of development work, we're very proud to launch the new OctoCue Presentation Remote app, available for iOS and Android devices.#

The new mobile app provides all the same presenter clicker functions that OctoCue users have been using with our classic browser-based system - next, back and live notes - but with some huge added features we just can't do in-browser:

Stay-awake#

When using the mobile app, the device will stay awake and not sleep - obviously handy when you're concentrating on your presentation.

This was something we could kinda-do previously, but was always a bit of a hack (particularly on iOS devices), and some corporate security policies prevented it working at all.

Now it's done properly.

Vibrate on click#

This has always been available on Android, and now the mobile app can now offer vibrate-on-click feedback to iOS device users as well.

Vibrate on click is enabled by default, but can be disabled if required.

Cleaner layout#

The mobile app doesn't have to show any of the browser interface, so the layout is cleaner and simpler - and there's no chance of navigating away from the clicker page by accident!

Automatic log ins (and install prompts where required)#

We've carried over the automatic log-in system from our browser-based clicker, so event managers can use existing tools to put together custom links. These can preset:

  • The show code
  • The presenter name
  • The preferred screen layout and notes text size

When presenters follow these links (or scan the QR codes), they'll be taken straight to the OctoCue app and signed into their show.

If the OctoCue app is not installed, the user will be prompted to install the app, and will be auto-logged-in on first open.

note

If presenters cannot install apps on their device (for example, due to company security policies), the browser-based clicker is still available as a backup option.

A better experience for your presenters#

Overall, the OctoCue app provides the best remote clicking experience available for your presenters.

Download on App StoreGet it on Google Play

Presenter link QR codes

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

img

Most OctoCue presenters use a smartphone to control their slides - it's easy, convenient, and leaves the laptop available for the inevitable Zoom/Teams call.

To help get presenters connected easily, we're improving the invite & link sharing process.

Today, the first part of this is live - presenter link QR codes.

You'll find these in the Show setup menu.

We've included an option to display the QR code full-screen - useful if you need to scan a code on your friend's computer while maintaining social distancing.

We'll be using QR codes in more places soon, including permalinks and the link builder spreadsheet - watch this space for further updates.

note

The demo show shown in the image is using the high security 36-character show code option. This is available under the Regenerate code link.

OctoCue Receiver: v1.3.0 update

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

img

OctoCue receiver v1.3.0 is now available for both Windows and macOS from our downloads page.

This update focuses on UI improvements, better network handling and reducing idle socket connections.

To update, first uninstall the old version using the standard Add or remove programs tool in Windows 10, or by deleting it from your Applications folder on macOS. Then download and install the new version.

Release notes#

  • PPT add-in data preview now available
  • Backend networking re-worked to reduce idle socket connections
  • Improved logging to help with remote system debugging
  • Reworked icon set
  • Better tray icon rendering on macOS - now responds to dark mode correctly
  • Various UI improvements

PPT add-in update

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

We've just released v1.1.0.0-beta of the OctoCue PowerPoint add-in.

This fixes an issue specific to .pptx files exported from Google Slides and opened in PowerPoint.

Head to the downloads page for a copy.