Managing device settings
When configuring your mobile devices, there will be a number of settings that you'll want to consider, both within SurveyCTO Collect and for the device overall:
- Collect's general settings. From the main Collect menu, you can click your device's option button and then choose General Settings to find a range of options, including how large text should be on the screen and how large images should be when saved with your data. You'll want to configure all of those settings according to your particular needs.
- The device's locale settings. You will want to configure the overall device to respect the appropriate language and regional settings.
- The device's GPS settings. If you will collect GPS locations, you will also want to configure your device's GPS support. Often, searching the web with a query like "GPS settings for x" (where "x" is the make and model of your device) will yield a variety of helpful tips from other users.
Restricting user access
You will probably want to use some kind of app to prevent users from changing your overall device settings, installing new apps (like battery-draining games), or surfing the Internet. Search the appropriate app store for "app blocker" for a wide range of options.
Then, once you have configured SurveyCTO Collect the way you want it, you may also want to restrict the actions that users can take when they use it to fill out surveys. Most commonly, you may want to prevent users from changing certain settings.
To control what users can and cannot do, press your device's option button from the main Collect menu, then choose Admin Settings. From there, you can set an Admin Password to restrict who can alter the overall administrative settings.
Below the password setting, you will find a series of basic and advanced settings, including:
- Which main menu options will appear to users. It might be wise, for example, to disable the option to delete saved forms (since there's generally no harm that can come from leaving copies of forms on the device and much harm that can come from deleting the wrong thing).
- Which settings users can modify. You might, for example, disable all settings except those having to do with navigation or font size. In particular, you may want to disable users' ability to take high-resolution video, which would occupy considerably more storage space and take a long time and/or require a high-speed connection to upload.
- Which options are available to users when they are filling out forms. You might, for example, prevent users from using the "Go To Prompt" option to jump forward or backward in the survey.
As soon as you change the settings, you can review the changes by navigating to the main menu or to the General Settings, or by filling out a blank form. You can change the access settings at any time by simply going back into Admin Settings (and supplying the password if you set one).
Copying across Android devices
Copying device settings
Once you have the settings just the way you want them on one device, you may want to copy those settings to other devices so that you don't have to manually enter all of the settings on every device. You can do this by following these steps:
- Save your desired settings to a file. Press your device's option button from the main Collect menu and choose Admin Settings. Enter your admin password (if any), then click your device's option button again and select Save Settings to Disk. This will save all of your current settings to the /SurveyCTO/settings/collect.settings file on your device's SD card.
- Copy that collect.settings file to your computer or to another location. (How you access the SD card and copy its files will depend on the device.)
- Once you have installed SurveyCTO Collect onto another device and run it at least once, locate the /SurveyCTO directory on its SD card.
- Copy the collect.settings file into the device's existing /SurveyCTO directory.
- Run SurveyCTO Collect on the device and confirm that it has loaded all of your settings; when it finds the collect.settings file at start-up, Collect will show a small message to indicate that it has restored saved settings. If your settings are not restored when you run Collect, use your device's Task Manager to end the SurveyCTO Collect app, then run it again (or, alternatively, restart your device).
You can repeat this process to copy the same configuration to all of your devices. That way, you can ensure that they are all configured in exactly the same way.
Copying both forms and settings
If you want to copy everything from one device to another – including saved forms – then you can copy the entire /SurveyCTO directory tree from your model device, copy the collect.settings file from /SurveyCTO/settings into /SurveyCTO, then copy that entire directory tree onto another device's SD card. You can even copy the /SurveyCTO tree onto a new device before SurveyCTO Collect has been installed onto it; in that case, you can install Collect and the first time it is run it will inherit all settings and data from the copied directory.
If you start copying /SurveyCTO directories around, the one thing you need to be careful about is to never combine the contents of multiple devices' /SurveyCTO directories. So before pasting in a new one, always delete the old one if there is already one present.