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.

note

We're planning to launch these updates on Saturday 13th Feb 2021.

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.

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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.

Presenter auto-mute options

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

Several of our users have recently requested the ability to have multiple presenters controlling slides at once. We've now added a new auto-mute feature to support this.

Auto-mute can be setup in the Show setup menu. Two options are available:

  • Auto-mute the old presenter. This will only ever allow you to have one presenter active at any one time - activating a new presenter will auto-mute the old one. This is the default setting, and the only option OctoCue has offered until now.
  • Allow multiple presenters to control slides simultaneously. When this setting is selected, OctoCue will not auto-mute old presenters and you can have an unlimited number of presenters controlling slides at once. All the active presenters can control the slide deck and see slide notes.

img

note

We recommend leaving auto-mute enabled unless you really need to allow multiple presenter control.

Updated UI elements, notes text size control

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

Following a round of great feedback from OctoCue users running virtual events recently, we've updated the presenter clicker, show control & backend services of OctoCue:

Presenter clicker#

  • Introduced new wakelock system, replacing older screen timeout prompts
    This will prevent devices from sleeping while using OctoCue, but can be disabled using menu option. Supports Chrome (v84+) and Safari (iOS v10+).
  • Advanced link options updated and extended, including ability to set notes text size and default presenter view
  • Presenter link builder Google Sheet updated to match new link options - now at v2.2
  • Fixed issue on Safari where special characters in names caused cookie error

Show control#

  • Updated menu bar to show account email address instead of name
  • Subscriptions page now context-sensitive
  • Re-worked menu system for greater clarity

Backend services#

  • Upgraded logging and debug tools

Permalink system launch

Nick Roberts

Nick Roberts

Head of development @ OctoCue

We're excited to announce that we're just launched the new permalinks system.

This is one of our most-requested features, and allows event organisers to share links with presenters pre-event, while simultaneously controlling access to the OctoCue show.