With the October release rolling out to PowerApps we will get, and already have received, new features to PowerApps. The product team focused on quality improvements on the platform which was to be expected since the platform had a major update with the release of Model Driven PowerApps and Common Data Service for Apps earlier this year. But the team managed to include some great improvements aswell. From features that help improve the speed of your apps such as the Concurrent function to improvements specific for IT-pro’s to manage the environment such as a new Power platform admin center and a set of PowerApps and Flow admin connectors. The full list you can find in this blog on the PowerApps Community.
Since this blog focusses on Canvas app makers in this blog post I want to zoom in on a great new feature that will make creating new apps with email and calendar capabilities among other things much easier.
No less than 6 screen types are added to both the phone and tablet layout: Success, Tutorial, Email, People, Meeting and Calendar.
Let’s have a look at these new types.
This simple screen contains a view controls to visualize a successful finished process or action to the user of your app. Add navigation to this screen on success and from this screen to the next and you are good to go.
Email, Calendar and Meeting
By adding an Email, Calendar or Meeting screen to the app you automatically add the Office 365 connector. Which is very handy since these screens depend on this connector. You do not need to make any adjustments to the screens, besides adding navigation. Nice screens, great layout and with just a view clicks emailing, scheduling and a quick look into your calendar is part of your app.
With the people screen you can easily browse through all the people in your company. This screen depends on the Office 365 User connector. So also in this case the necessary connector is automatically added as soon as you add a screen of this type.
Just browsing through the people in your company out of itself probably is not what you want to add to you app. But this is a handy screen if you want to search for people to be able to select them for usage in other screens and processes in your app. Add an extra filter to the items property of the gallery to get a subset of the users for example of a specific department or company location as long as this information is stored in your companies user profiles.
Last, but not least: the tutorial screen. This screen can be used to add a tutorial to guide users how to use your app. I really like all the new types, but am especially fond of this one, because it only uses 7 controls to create an interactive screen with all the functionality that you need to set up a great looking and well-functioning tutorial.
The screen is built up of an image control and label to show the explanation in text and image, icons to scroll trough the steps, a gallery showing dots for every step and a skip label. A view things you need to do to customize this screen to your app:
- Upload the screenshots of your app that you want to use as media
- Update the formula in the Items property of the dots gallery (TutorialNavigator). For each step:
- Replace the text parts of each step of the formula by your own explanations.
- Replace the SampleImage reference by the reference to your own uploaded image.
Remove or add steps if needed, but make sure you always start with step number 0.
Another great improvement to PowerApps. I hope you are as excited as I am to use these screens in your apps. Let’s start building!