Therabill runs completely within the web browser, therefore, you can access Therabill from an iPad. This makes for a very convenient method for getting your billing and documentation done while staying mobile. However, an iPad is inherently different than a computer in both hardware, software that is installed on it, and in the way that you interact with it. In this article, we will go over some tips to help you use the iPad with Therabill and we will post known issues with using the iPad with Therabill.
Scrolling Lists on the iPad
A common support issue we receive at Therabill has to do with not being able to scroll through a list (i.e. the client list). This is due to the way iPad was designed for finger gestures. On the iPad, there is the one finger swipe (place one finger on the screen and scroll around) and the two finger swipe (place two fingers on the screen and scroll). The short answer to this is that to scroll through a list on the iPad requires the two-finger swipe. That was the short answer, but we will explain why below.
The one finger swipe
I will use an analogy to explain what is happening when you view a web page on the iPad. Think of a big piece of paper with pictures and text on it laying on the floor (this would be the webpage). Now, you put a rectangular glass (that is a lot smaller than the paper itself) on top of the paper. You can only see through this rectangular glass, the rest of the contents of the paper are hidden. This rectangular glass represents the viewing area on the iPad (this is actually called the view port). Now, when you take one finger and place it on the rectangular glass, you can then push the glass around the paper, making other parts of the paper visible. This is exactly what is happening when you do a one-finger swipe on the iPad. You are moving the viewing area around the web page.
The two finger swipe
Continuing with the analogy presented in the one-finger swipe paragraph above, let's say that big piece of paper had a scrollable list on it (i.e. the client list). Putting one finger on the scrollable list and moving your finger (one-finger swipe) will NOT scroll the list. One finger is just going to move the viewing area (see paragraph above about the one finger swipe). To scroll the list, you need to put two fingers on the screen and move them. This tells the iPad to not move the viewing area, but to perform a scroll instead.
There are no scrollbars on the iPad
This is actually not only on the iPad. This is something that, unfortunately, Apple Inc. decided to do with all of their devices (MacBooks, iPad, iMac). They apparently thought that the scrollbar was ugly and should only be visible when needed. The author of this article, personally, feels that it was a terrible mistake. The scrollbar is actually needed as a visual cue to let people know that something can be scrolled. Unfortunately, there is nothing that Therabill can do about this. Personally, I have expressed my dissatisfaction by e-mailing Apple. You can express your concerns also through Apples contact page.
Touching something (i.e. an icon) doesn't seem to trigger the event
This has to do with iPad not having a "mouse" for navigation. When developing a web page, there are certain triggers that you can place on objects in the web page. These triggers are pulled on certain events. Two such events are 1) when the mouse goes over the top of the object (called "On Mouse Over") and 2) when an object is clicked by the mouse (called "On Click").
The issue arises because there is no mouse with the iPad. Everything is done by touching the screen. This inherently causes a problem for the "On Mouse Over" event. There is no way for the iPad to tell that you have your finger hovering over the top of an object on a web page. Apple's answer to this was that if an object on the web page has an "On Mouse Over" trigger, then the first touch applied to the object will trigger the "On Mouse Over" event. A second touch will then trigger the "On Click" event.
Therabill uses a lot of "On Mouse Over" triggers. These are what make it possible for Therabill to display text telling you what an icon does when you put your mouse over it. We have made several updates to disable the "On Mouse Over" event when Therabill detects that you are logged in from an iPad. But these may not be applied everywhere. If you do touch an icon in Therabill when logged in from an iPad and it seems to do what you would expect when you put your mouse over it, then just lift your finger and touch it again to trigger the "On Click" event.
The CMS-1500 is blank when I view it on the iPad
The PDF viewer that is installed on iPad's at the current time does not have the capability of rendering PDF forms. In order to create a pre-filled CMS-1500 for you, Therabill first had to convert a CMS-1500 PDF document into a PDF form (with fillable fields). When you create the CMS-1500, Therabill then just inserts the information into the correct field on the form. Therabill has also decided to keep those forms active after they have been created. This allows you to type in any changes directly into the PDF form from your CMS-1500 filing cabinet in Therabill. Keeping the PDF as a form in your filing cabinet instead of converting it to a flattened PDF document (where you would not be able to edit it) is the reason why it can't be viewed on the iPad.
For a while, Therabill did start converting the CMS-1500 to a PDF document in order to make it viewable on the iPad. However, it turns out that most people would rather have the ability to make edits to their CMS-1500. Therefore, we reverted back to keeping the CMS-1500 as a PDF form. We hope that Apple will come out with an update to allow the PDF viewer on the iPad to load PDF forms in the near future.