Using the Extreme Blue Enhanced Android app

Step by Step Guide to Basic Functions

Now that your app is set up, here's how to use it.

Note: These instructions are for users of the TimePilot Extreme Blue Enhanced timeclock system (with TimePilot Central PC software). If you have the basic Extreme Blue system, you'll find your instructions here.

Employees clock in and out with just a tap of an iButton.

Employees clock in and out with just a tap of an iButton.

When it's time for payroll, use your smartphone to collect the data via Bluetooth

When it's time for payroll, use your smartphone to collect the data via Bluetooth

Our smartphone app calculates employee hours right on your phone.

Our smartphone app calculates employee hours right on your phone.

Tap your phone’s screen to send the employee work hours to Dropbox, then retrieve them with the TimePilot software at your main office.

Tap your phone’s screen to send the employee work hours to Dropbox, then retrieve them with the TimePilot software at your main office.

Employees screen

The app's main view.

These are your menus. To move from screen to screen, just tap the menu item. The blue bar under the menu items indicates which screen is in view (in this case, it's the "Employees" screen).

  • Employees: This gives you a view of all the employees who are set up on your system.
  • Past: This refers to "Past Pay Periods." Tap this to see old pay periods that you have "extracted" (more on this below) or to extract your current pay period.
  • Collect: Tap this menu to collect the data from your Extreme Blue clock(s).
  • Settings: Need to change a setting? Tap this item.

These are the employees you have set up. If there's a red arrow next to the person's name, that person was clocked in when you last collected your data from the Extreme Blue clock; if there's no arrow, that person was clocked out.

Under each name are the regular and overtime hours worked by the employee, as of the last time you collected data from the Extreme Blue clock.

If you see the hours listed as "-.--", that indicates that the app has detected an error, also known as an "exception." Usually, they occur when an employee has forgotten to clock in or out, and thus has two straight clock-outs or clock-ins. When that occurs, the app cannot calculate an accurate number of hours, and displaying "-.-- is a way of alerting the supervisor. To solve the problem, see "Adding, editing and deleting transactions."

Want to see an individual employee's transactions? Just tap the employee's name.

Want to clock in or clock out an employee? There are two ways to do this; please click here to see them. 

Want to edit or delete an individual employee's profile? Tap and hold the employee's name, then choose from the menu that appears.

Want to edit an employee's transactions? See "Adding, editing and deleting transactions."

Tapping the "Add" button opens the New Employee screen and allows you to create a new employee profile. It's crucial that the profile in the app and the profile in the TimePilot software match. For that reason, we recommend creating employee profiles in the TimePilot Central software and importing them into the app. For more on adding employees, see the Step 11 in the Quick Start Guide.

To send the data collected by your clock to Dropbox, for retrieval by TimePilot Central on your PC, tap the Cloud button. Click here to see how to retrieve the data with TimePilot Central.

Adding, editing and deleting transactions

Adding,_editing_and_deleting_transactions

There are two ways to add a clock-in or clock-out for an employee:

Method 1: This shortcut method creates a clock-in or clock at the current time. On the Main Screen, tap and hold the name of the employee. In the box that pops up, tap "Clock IN" or "Clock OUT." An in or an out transaction will be added for that employee at the day and time you tapped Clock IN or Clock OUT.

This method also gives you the opportunity to edit or delete the employee's profile.

Transaction EditMethod 2: This method allows you to specify the date and time of the clock-in or clock-out that you're adding. In the Main View, tap the employee's name to view his or her transactions. To insert a clock-in or clock-out transaction, tap the "Insert" button at the bottom of the screen. Choose from In or Out and enter the date and time.

To edit or delete a transaction, tap and hold the transaction, then choose "Edit" or "Delete" from the pop-up menu.

Past screenPast screen

This screen (shown at right) displays your past pay periods.

As employees clock in and out, their transactions are kept in an area called “Current Transactions.” Once a pay period is over, it’s a good practice to “extract”—or move—those transactions into a area of their own, called a Past Pay Period.

There are several good reasons for doing this:

  • It keeps all the transactions for one pay period in one place.
  • Along with the saved transactions, it also saves all the software settings—overtime policy, shifts, employee profiles, etc.—that were in effect at the moment you extracted the period. This is important because if you later make changes to your company's work policies while working in Current Transactions, those changes will not affect any extracted periods.

See below for instructions on how to extract a pay period and how to view an extracted pay period.

Here's how to extract a pay period:

How to extract a pay period

And here's how to view your extracted pay periods:

Tap an extracted pay period to see its contents.

To delete a pay period, tap and hold it. In the pop-up menu that appears, tap "Delete."

Let's say you extract a period, but then realize you have entered the wrong dates. What do you do?

It's an easy fix: First, tap and hold the offending extracted pay period. The "Reverse Extraction" button will appear. Tap it. The offending transactions will be returned to "Current Transactions." Now tap "Extract," enter your correct dates and extract the pay period.

Collect screenCollect screen

This is where you download the data collected by your Extreme Blue clock to your phone.

To do so, tap the "Collect" menu and follow the instructions on the screen.

Settings

When you tap the "Settings" menu, you'll see several options—General, Pay Period, Overtime and Rounding—that you dealt with with when you set up your app. If you need to make changes in that setup, this is where it's done.

There are also three more menu items: Dropbox (Cloud), Clock Administration and About. Here's a summary of each one:

Dropbox (Cloud)

Dropbox linkTimePilot Extreme Blue Enhanced uses Dropbox, a free cloud-based service, as the "pipeline" between your phone and your computer running TimePilot Central. You can learn more about Dropbox here: www.Dropbox.com.

You have three options on this screen:

  • Unlink from Dropbox: This disconnects your phone from your current Dropbox account, This might be used if you want to change Dropbox accounts.
  • Backup Data to Cloud: This sends a backup copy of all data within the TimePilot app to Dropbox for safekeeping. This feature allows you to back up all the TimePilot data on your phone—current transactions, extracted pay periods and employee profiles—to Dropbox.
  • Restore Data from Cloud: This loads the last backup of your TimePilot app's data back onto your phone, erasing what is already there.

Let's say you have been using the Backup feature and then lose your phone. All you need to do after getting a new phone is download the TimePilot Extreme Blue Android App and the Dropbox app, link the Dropbox app to your Dropbox account and restore your data.

You can also view your backed up data from a PC that shares your Dropbox account using Microsoft Excel.

Clock AdministrationClock Administration

There are three options here:

  • Get Past Transactions: Your Extreme Blue clock keeps the last 12,000 transactions in its memory, even after you have collected them on your phone. Tap this button and follow the on-screen instructions if you need to re-collect them. You can tell the app exactly how many transactions to download. Duplicate transactions are ignored by the app.
  • Set Date/Time: This feature allows you to set the date and time on your Extreme Blue clock. It probably will be used only rarely, because each time you assign an iButton to an employee or collect data from the clock, the date and time on your phone is transferred to the clock.    
  • Set Clock Name: You can give your clock a name that will appear if you view your data in Excel. See the previous item, "Dropbox (Cloud)," for more information.

Sending data to TimePilot Central

Once you have collected the data from your clock(s) and checked its accuracy, tap the Cloud button on the main screen. Your phone will use your cellular or Wi-Fi network to upload the data to Dropbox.

A few moments later, the data will be available in the Dropbox folder on your PC. You can check to see if it’s there by looking here: Dropbox > Apps > XBlue-Android/(phone name) > XXXXXXXXXX. The X’s represent the number of the phone that sent the information. All uploads and everything for this phone will be stored in this folder.

Here’s how to import the data into TimePilot Central:

  1. Start TimePilot Central.

  2. In TimePilot Central, click the “Setup” menu and then “Clock Manager.”

  3. TimePilot Clock Manager screenshotThe "TimePilot Clock Manager" will pop up, showing the phones that are linked to your computer's Dropbox account. (See screenshot at right.) If your phone doesn't appear in the Manager, make sure the phone and PC are linked to the same Dropbox account and that the Clock Manager can find your Dropbox folder.
  4. If a phone's name appears in red (as "Doug's Phone" does above), that means that transactions have been sent from that phone and are waiting to be moved into TimePilot Central.
  5. To do that, right-click the phone's icon and choose "Get Transactions from Phone" in the menu that appears. The transactions will be downloaded to TimePilot Central.