Dashboard > Dashboard Guide > Messages

Messages

Overview

Messages appear in the app's Messages screen. Usually, you'll chose to enable notifications for each Message. There are several kinds of notifications that may be sent:

Push notifications appear on iOS and Android even when the app is not open. When you send out a push notification, it may appear on the lock screen of each user's phone, or in the notification bar at the top of their screen. The user can configure their device to control exactly how these notifications are presented (or they may be turned off).

Web push notifications work with desktop browsers (e.g. Windows, macOS, ChromeOS).

Note that users select the Classes/Groups they are interested in, and will only receive messages for those Classes/Groups.

With the Mass Notification option, you can also use the Dashboard to also send email and/or voice messages to imported staff, parent and student contacts who have never used the app.

Quick Share

When staff are on the move, or if they want to take and share a photo, it can be more convenient to use the optional Quick Share app feature, rather than accessing the App Dashboard to create a Message. Learn more:


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Sending Messages

You can send messages from the App Dashboard to users who have subscribed to a particular class or group (Message to Class/Group), to all app users (Messages to All), to specific individuals (Message to App Users), or to Staff (Messages to Staff Users).

If your app has the Quick Share feature, you can also send messages right from the Messages screen of your app!

From the Messages page of the App Dashboard, click Add Message (in the upper right).

Choose one of the following, and then click Continue:

Enter the text of your message. The text can include web links. By default, you may just see a simple plain text box. In that case, if you'd like full formatting capabilities and a subject line, click FORMATTING:

Optional:

Click Send (or Save) when done.


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Images and Attachments

You can attach images, documents, or audio files. At the bottom of the Add Message page, click Add another Attachment. Then you can upload an image file (jpg, png, or gif), document (PDF; see Documents), or audio file (mp3).

The filename will appear in Name field, but you can put a brief description here. This name is used in the attachment link or in text messages.

The message text cannot be left blank. Even if your image or attachment conveys everything you want to say, consider:

Voice Recording Attachment

Audio (.mp3) attachments can be recorded right in the Dashboard, and are particularly useful for Mass Notification phone calls.

Read more: Mass Notification > Voice


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Links

You can also simply link to documents available online, right in the message text.

Check out the field trip photos at https://instagram.com/p/sxe9_lo6Jp/.

This will turn into a working link in the app. After you save the Message, the URL will be shortened and will look like apzr.co/....


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One-Tap Link

Have you noticed that when you tap a message in the app that is from Twitter, Facebook, or your website, the original site opens immediately in the app?

There are some cases where you might want to create a message that opens that way too, rather than just including a link in the message text as described above.

For example, if you are sending out a survey form, you may want to have the form open immediately when the user taps on the message on the Messages screen. To do this:


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Language Translations

The available languages for your app are currently: Chinese (Simplified), French (Canada), Spanish (USA).

Dashboard

After entering the text of your message, click Translate to translate your message into a set of preconfigured languages using Google Translate. If you or a colleague knows one or more of the languages, you have the opportunity to edit the translations before you Send/Save. You can save a Message to All as a draft for review later.

If you change your mind, you may remove a translation (click X).

App

App users will receive the untranslated message unless they have chosen a language preference on the Sign Up screen or the Settings screen of the app. Translated messages will be shown in the app, as well as in push, SMS text, and email notifications.

Configure Translation Options

To change the languages available in your app, go to Dashboard > App Content > Advanced > Configuration > APP DESIGN, and edit Translation Options. Be sure to hold down the control key (or command on macOS) to add to your existing selections. If you change the set of languages, an app update will be required, so contact Support after making a change. Then, users will need to set their preferred language on the app's Settings screen.

We recommend specifying no more than 8 languages.

This video demonstrates how translation works in the Dashboard:


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Recurring Messages

Many schools are now using recurring messages for daily health checks (COVID-19) or other regular reminders and forms.

To make a message repeat, choose an option for the Recur field (next to Scheduled For). In the Message list, you'll see a 🔁 icon in the Scheduled For column that indicates that the message is recurring.

Recurring Message

You can choose when the message should repeat. Weekdays means to send the message Monday through Friday, starting on the scheduled date.

Another option is School Days. This option requires a block schedule or Schools Days schedule. The message will be sent every day that has a block order, or that is marked as being a school day.

Weekly means to send the message every week at the same date and time. For example, if you schedule the message for the upcoming Monday at 8am, it will repeat on the following Mondays at 8am.

If you have a recurring weekly message on Mondays, you can reschedule it for a Tuesday after a holiday. However, after the Tuesday, you'll see it is then scheduled for the following Tuesday. In that case, you can manually reschedule the upcoming notification for a Monday again.

Please contact Support if you need an option for recurring messages that is not currently available.

To cancel or temporarily suspend a recurring message, uncheck Show in App, or choose Hide (Cancel) from the Action Menu.

To resume a message that was suspended as described above:


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Forms and Surveys

You can create a form in Microsoft Forms, Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, etc., or Appazur Forms, and sent it as a Message.

One option is to simply paste the link into the text of your Message as described above for Links, or attach a URL to the Message.

However, to streamline things for your recipients by removing the need for them to tap a link in the app, use a One-Tap Link:

With Appazur Forms, your users will already be signed in when they open the message in the app, so they won't need to sign in or enter their name into the form. Appazur Forms are a simple, lightweight solution that is fast and responsive in your app to make it quick and easy for users to submit responses. Learn more.


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Messages to All

A Message to All is a message to anyone who has installed the app, even if they haven't signed in, or subscribed to any Classes or Groups.

Recipient Filter

As an alternative to Message to Class/Group, when you create a Message to All you can limit the recipients to just Signed-In Users, Parents Only or Students Only. This option is under the Notification Options section.

However, because your app allows users to sign up for an account, whether each account is a Parent, Student, or Other is self-declared. In addition, if you had an earlier version of the app, you may have "Unspecified" accounts.

Please check the report below. If you have "Unspecified" accounts, some parents or students may not be included if you choose Parents Only or Students Only.

To view report, please sign in to the Dashboard and then refresh this page.

Message List Filter

When you are viewing a list of Messages in the Dashboard, you can use the Filter (top right of page) to show a subset of messages, for example:


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Messages to Class/Group

Messages to Class/Group sends a message to anyone who has subscribed to the targeted Class or Group(s).

From the Add Messages page under Messages to Class/Group, you may select one or multiple classes/groups to receive the message. Select multiple classes or groups by holding down the Control key (or Command key on a Mac) when you click.

Message List Filter

When you are viewing a list of Messages in the Dashboard, you can use the Filter (top right of page) to show a subset of messages, for example:


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Messages to App Users

Messages to App Users sends a message to one or more App Users.

Message List Filter

When you are viewing a list of Messages in the Dashboard, you can use the Filter (top right of page) to show a subset of messages, for example:


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Messages to Staff Users

Messages to Staff Users sends a message to one or more Staff Users.

Message List Filter

When you are viewing a list of Messages in the Dashboard, you can use the Filter (top right of page) to show a subset of messages, for example:


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Two-Way Messaging

This is an optional feature for your app. Your option is: Enabled, default No.

With this feature:

1) If a parent or student contacts a staff member through Staff Contacts, the staff member may receive the message through the app if they have it installed, or by email.

2) When adding a Message using the Dashboard, there is an Allow Replies? option. If that is selected, recipients can reply to the message within the app. Replying to a message will create a new conversation that is not visible to other recipients of the original message.

Your app can be configured so that Allow Replies? is either checked or unchecked by default.


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Modifying Messages

You can change the message text at any time.

You can change the Scheduled For date/time.

If a Message has not been sent, you can uncheck Notify to prevent Push Notifications/Emails/SMS Text Messages from being sent.

The following options are available in the Action Menu:


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Deleting Messages

You cannot delete a message because the system needs to keep a record of what was communicated. Instead, to remove it from the App (and Digital Signage, if applicable), choose Hide (Cancel) from the Action Menu. This has the same affect as unchecking Show in App (and Show on Digital Signage, if applicable).


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Message Delivery Report

This report will show you the details of the notifications that were sent.

To access the report, from the Messages list in the Dashboard, click the link in the Report column (it looks something like 99/100).

Notification statistics are shown as: # successfully delivered / # attempted

For push notifications, the number of attempted notifications is the number of iOS and Android devices to send to. The number successfully delivered may be lower, for example, if anyone has uninstalled the app since the last notification was sent.

You can use the links in this report to drill down further to see exactly which email and voice messages were delivered.

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