Android Companion Input
Windows versions of the software are also available from this website.
The Companion Input for Android program and documentation are property of NetMR Scotland Limited. The documentation should not be copied without permission from the Authors.
For improvements in these versions, see the Companion on-line manual, release details section:
Companion Input for Android install options
This program is licence free when used with Input files generated from any licensed QPSMR Companion file.
Please note that the Android version is a new product and you should test a project thoroughly before rolling out to interviewers.
Companion Input (Android) instructions
Download the Companion Input software (see links above). The link will point to a zip folder, which needs to be download. In order to do this, the device requires a zip opener app, many of these free apps can be found on the Google Play Store.
Once the Companion zip folder and the zip opener app are downloaded, open the app and extract the zip file. This will provide a file which should be called [eu_netmr_input[current version].apk].
To install Companion Input for Android, click the .apk that has just been extracted from the zip file. This will open Android’s install dialog box. Follow the steps that Android has set out and, at the last step, press ‘done’ instead of ‘open’.
Next, go into the App Info (found in Settings>Apps>Companion Input) and click on [Permissions]. The two permissions that must be set on are ‘Contacts’ and ‘Storage’. ‘Storage’ allows files to be managed and ‘Contacts’ allows the app to get the device’s username, in order to name the files correctly.
The other two permissions found in App Info can be enabled on a case-by-case basis. ‘Location’ is used in interviews with GPS tracking and ‘Microphone’ will be used in recorded questions to replace verbatim questions. ‘Recorded’ questions are not currently implemented.
The app is now ready to be run.
Before creating an input file for interviewers the project must have a short study name and an FTP upload site set in [Global Settings].
The FTP download site where input files are put for interviewers to download should be a separate FTP site to the upload site for security reasons.
To download an input file, first sign in with the FTP site that contains the input file. To do this press [FTP Account], followed by [Add FTP Account], then complete all the necessary details. This procedure will check the login details for errors. Once finished, press on the new FTP account and [Connect], the program will return to the home screen and be ready for the next steps.
Next press [Download], this will show a list of input files on the FTP site. Press on the file that is required and it will start downloading. Once downloaded, press [Start Interview] and the file that has just been downloaded, this will start the interview.
Once finished, there will be a choice to start another record or to return to the main screen. If return is chosen, the data will automatically be uploaded if there is an internet connection.
If an internet connection is not available, the file will be stored and uploaded at a later time. The upload is started by pressing the [Upload] button on the Companion Input Home page. This will show a list of studies that are currently active on the device. Press on the study required, and this will upload all the files related to that study that have not previously been uploaded.
The second option is the [Upload Full Study] button. This follows the same procedure, except that it will upload all the files with a study even if they have been previously uploaded. This option is useful if data goes missing or if another copy of the data files is required.
The [Clear Directory] button can be used to remove files saved on the Companion Input system. When pressed there are two options, if the option to remove input files is used, then new input files will need to be downloaded before an interview is started.
The second option removes data files, but it is also possible to delete just data files. When these files are deleted, only the uploaded files are removed, preventing data loss.
FTP sites cannot be deleted in this way, they must be deleted inside the ‘ftp’ account page and can only be deleted individually.