How do I configure buttons to launch mobile apps in CoughDrop?

Boards can link to other web sites, or even to launch third-party applications. This makes it possible for CoughDrop to be the jumping-off point for things like environmental controls or learning activities. Apps can be specified for popular mobile operating systems, and a web-based fallback can also be defined.

Video Tutorial

Select button action settings

Select button action settings

Make sure you are editing the board, then hit the action box for the button you want to modify.

Launch an application

Launch an application

For the "Action" setting, select "Launch an application".

App types

App types

The action area will now show multiple links. Each of these links is for configuring what application to launch depending on the type of device (for example, you may want to launch a different device on an Android tablet than on an iPad, or the same app may not even exist on both systems). You can also specify a fallback URL that will be launched for any system that does not support any of the apps you specify (for example, on a desktop web browser).

Search for and select an app

Search for and select an app

For each system you can enter a search term and look at the search options for that app. Select the app you would like to have launched. Notice that some apps say "launchable" while others say "not launchable". Applications can only be properly launched if they have a known developer scheme for launching them. If CoughDrop can't find the scheme, it will mark the app as not launchable, and without additional configuration it will ignore the app selected and use the fallback URL.

App summary

App summary

Once you have selected an app you will see it appear in the summary. You will also notice the box next to the system is checked to show an app has been selected for that system.

Selecting a not-launchable app

Selecting a not-launchable app

Continue this process for each system you care about. In this case, the Android system doesn't know the developer scheme for the Facebook app. We can still select it an manually provide the needed information.

Advanced app settings

Advanced app settings

You will see a warning that says "This app won't be launched by CoughDrop. Click the advanced setting to manually specify a developer scheme for the app.

Developer scheme settings

Developer scheme settings

Enter the scheme in the box provided and the warning will go away.

NOTE: do not manually configure app launches unless you really know what you're doing. Also, keep in mind that app launches and URL schemes are not always consistent across operating systems.

Fallback for non-supported systems

Fallback for non-supported systems

For any other system (desktop web browsers, other mobile operating systems) you can specify a fallback URL that will be launched instead of an app. When you are finished editing hit "Close" to finish.

Finalize changes

Finalize changes

Make sure to save your changes before leaving.

App launch icon

App launch icon

Notice that the button now has a different icon, similar to the folder or link icon. This icon lets users know that hitting the button will do something different than a typical button -- in this case, launching an application or web site.

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