Normally, I’m not very interested in writing about a new release for a product that has been out there for several years. In most cases the new releases are only minor changes, and not many people are interested in knowing the details. However, this new release of IBM Notes Traveler, while only updating from 220.127.116.11 to 18.104.22.168 on the surface, really includes many nice, significant changes. Let me introduce the major changes that I think people will be interested in from this release:
Redesigned email UI on smartphones
The email user interface (UI) of Traveler for Android on smartphones has traditionally been quite simple. It’s good to have an easy-to-understand UI, but Traveler’s was a little outdated after several major Android user experience guideline changes. So we made a major redesign to the email UI to make it provide an Android 4.x user experience. Let me show you two screenshots of the new UI:
The noticeable changes include:
- An action bar on smartphones
- A thumbnail photo for the sender and a list of actions after clicking on the thumbnail photo
- A navigation drawer when clicking on the inbox icon at the top left corner
There are other changes like revised email detail UI and pull to refresh. It’s a completely new user experience when using Traveler email on Android smartphones now, and I believe everyone will like it.
New Traveler-specific contacts app
Contacts has been a problem for many Traveler Android users who are using Android 4.x. The contacts app on Android 4.x is different from what it was on Android 2.x, and many device manufacturers also customize their own contacts app. That made it extremely difficult for Traveler to work with all those different contacts apps. So, we made our own contacts app in this new release. In addition to providing basic contacts functions, it also provides:
- Secure contacts—unless exported, other apps can’t read Traveler contacts.
- Integration with IBM Sametime Mobile and IBM Connections Mobile applications.
- Integration with other Traveler apps like mail, calendar and to-do apps. The photo displayed in the new email UI is pulled from the profile in the new contacts app.
Ability to import Android OS calendar into Traveler calendar
One of the major complaints we heard from our users was that they couldn’t see all of their calendar events in one app. They want to be able to see their Google calendar and all other third-party calendars in the Traveler calendar. So, in this release, we added this feature to our Traveler calendar. Now, if you enable the setting in Traveler to import the Android OS calendar, the Android OS calendar events will appear in the Traveler calendar app with their specific color.
There are several other minor but useful changes in this new Traveler Android release, like creating a new event while reading the email and pre-populating the event with the email description. You’ll find several other pleasant surprises as you use the new Traveler for Android release, and I believe you will like it. Please share your comments about this new version of IBM Traveler for Android with me in the comments section or on Twitter @JYHsu1.