Filamente Lite is a SharePoint client application made by Aircreek. The company offer two versions, Lite and full. Unlike other applications that I’ve reviewed so far, there does not appear to be an enterprise version of this SharePoint client.
This review is specifically on the Lite version aka the free version. This post is based on version 1.5.0 which is in the App store as at 11th March 2012. The application is currently a 5.1MB download.
This review is being done using an iPad running iOS 5.0.1. I plan to update to iOS 5.1 soon but want to review all iOS applications at the same iOS level.
The Lite version of the application does not offer any upload or editing capabilities nor does it support VGA output but it does provide a good overview of features of how the full version will work.
Launching the application for the first time, you will see a splash screen giving you the option to either setup a site or go straight to the local workspace (shown in the background with the user guide open):
Tapping to set up a SharePoint site, you will access the following panel to enter information about the site:
Setting up is simple and straightforward. As the screen shot above shows, you can configure a site by entering the URL, providing a description and selecting whether or not you require offline support.
Under user information, you have to tap New User to set up the user account:
After entering the user details, tap Save to validate the settings. If there are any errors you will be prompted, otherwise the site will be saved.
Once you have set up your site(s) you can edit, reorder or delete them easily. Tapping the Edit button in the Workspace area allows you to do this.
NOTE: Tapping and dragging your finger to the left or right on a site name also provides the facility to delete a site without going into edit mode.
Global settings for the application can be accessed by tapping on the cog symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the Workspace area. This will bring up the following:
Under General, you can:
- Change the theme used within the application (5 to choose from including the default Filamente, flower, clear sky, classic and black)
- Change the way items are displayed – list table being the default and the option of free flow
- Change the limit on the number of items displayed – default is 2,000 items which can be reduced to 500 or 1,000 or increased to 5,000, 20,000 and 40,000
- Change the rate of refresh – default is 1 hour which can be reduced to 15 mins, 30 mins or increased to 12 hours or 24 hours
- Change the setting for internet connection (content will be unavailable without internet connection)
Under Information, you can:
- View user guide – within application
- Rate and review the application – takes you to the App Store
- Contact Aircreek – drafts an email
- Download full version - takes you to App Store
- Read the about information – gives you version/build number
When you tap the site you have configured, you get a view of your site content:
Whilst this UI is good, I’d personally prefer to see a differentiation between list and library in the same way as Colligo Briefcase.
Selecting the Shared Documents library, the content is displayed:
Any views configured in the library that are present within the SharePoint site are also brought locally to the iOS application and can be applied. These appear in the area beneath the search box. If there are multiple views, you will need to tap and drag the area right to left to see those available.
Beneath the list of views are a number of columns that you can tap on to change the sort order. These columns appear to be independent of the views as the available options do not change even if a view includes all columns. The options are:
- Checked in Comment
You can tap and hold on each of these options (except ID) and set up a filter.
Search only appears to exist at either a list or library level. It would be nice to have a search facility at a site level to help find content.
Tapping on content within the Shared Documents results in the content being previewed on the right hand side. When previewing content, you have the option to fill the screen (hiding the Workspace area), an option to email or open in another application. The third option is to save the content locally to the iPad.
Tapping on the blue arrow for a content item presents a view of the item properties. Rating information will also be shown if this feature is enabled within the site.
The screen shots I’ve included so far show the application used in landscape mode as I believe that is the most effective orientation for content consumption. The application also works well in portrait mode with the site structure hidden by default and exposed by tapping the Navigation button:
The application supports announcements and for me personally, the presentation method in this application is the best when compared to other iOS SharePoint client applications:
Calendar presentation also works well within the application. Events are shown on the left and if you tap to select an event, it is highlighted in the view on the right:
Tapping an event brings up some of the detail from the SharePoint site. I’m not certain why but the mobile application isn’t showing the recurrence or workspace fields for an event.
Team discussions are supported in this Lite application and again, for me at least, have the best interface when compared to other iOS SharePoint client applications:
The application also supports the use of Tasks and once again, for me at least, has the best user interface for showing item content:
As mentioned earlier, the 25 page user guide is accessible from within settings. Whilst the content is good, I found it frustrating to have to scroll through 5 pages of version history to get to the table of contents.
I should also mention that throughout the application, breadcrumb navigation is provided allowing you to move back through the site easily. Using the breadcrumbs changes the content of the Workspace.
Through using the application and setting it up with a mix of SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010 and Office 365 sites, I did stumble over what I feel is a significant security issue.
I initially setup the Office 365 site with a new user. I subsequently removed that site and user before adding the site again. This time, I did not add the user information but I was still able to access the content of the top-level site. For some reason, I could not gain access to the subsite until I put the user details back in.
I’m assuming this is due to the application still having a cache of the content rather than trying to authenticate with the site again as it is created again. I’ve sent an email to Aircreek to report this finding.Back to top
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