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FORScan Lite for iOS: User interface manual


 General notes
 Main screen and navigation
 Aggregated Output

General notes

This version of manual is actual for FORScan Lite for iOS version 1.5.* .

Current version of the application supports the following adapter types: OBDLink MX+, ELM327-compatible adapters with WiFi interface, and also some Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) adapters (Kiwi 3, VeePeak). ELM327-compatible adapters with Bluetooth interface designed for Bluetooth SPP profile that is not supported in Apple iOS yet.

All screenshots are provided in Portrait mode for iPhone and Landscape mode for iPad, but Landscape/Portrait modes are supported as well.

Although iPhone and iPad versions of the application have some layout differences, functionality and logc are almost identical. So this manual will provide only iPhone screenshots. iPad screenshots will be provided only to desribe parts that are different for iPhone and iPad.

The following FORScan Lite application behaviors have to be taken into consideration:

  • If the application is connected to the vehicle, the iOS device will not switch to the sleep (idle) mode - display will be always bright etc. It means high energy consumption. However, the mobile device can be switched to the idle mode by pressing standard Off button on the top of it. When the application is disconnected from the adapter, the device returns back to normal mode of work.
  • When FORScan communicates with the vehicle, standard network activity indicator in the status bar is on
  • FORScan tries to manage connection to the adapter seamlessly. It means, when user switches to an another application, FORScan closes connection to the adapter, and when user switches back, it restores the connection. It means that during the time between the disconnect and connect FORScan doesn't communicate with the adapter. Although in majority of cases it works perfectly, in some cases WiFi adapter may get lost (for example, switch to power saving mode if the idle time was too long).

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Main screen and navigation

Navigation is standard for iOS applications. iPhone version has main screen that is a parent for all other screens:

User can move up and down through hierarchy of screens. Navigation down is performed by tapping on a button, list/menu item and so on. Navigation up is performed using buttons in the navigation bar.

Action buttons are available in the bottom bar (toolbar). Main screen Connect/Disconnect buttons are self-explaining. Besides, at the middle of the bottom bar user can see a progress bar, implemented as a gauge. It is designed to display the current connection progress. In addition to the progress scale, it has 2 status indicators: interface (adapter) (left) and vehicle(right). Initial state of the progress bar is illustrated below:

As you may see, all indicators are gray. When connect button is pressed, FORScan Lite tries to establish a connection to an adapter, then to the vehicle. If connection is successful, the indicator becomes green. Otherwise, it becomes red. For example, if FORScan Lite was able to connect to an adapter, but not able to connect to vehicle, the interface indicator will be green and vehicle indicator will be red.

At the top right corner of the main screen user can see (i)nformation button. Pressing this button switches to the About page:

Most important information on this page is version of the kernel that is displayed right after the version of FORScan Lite for iOS. All versions of FORScan use the same kernel, so this version number is in sync with the one displayed on FORScan Web site everywhere (announcements, Change history etc).

iPad version has main menu at the left side that is available on all sections and used for navigation between sections:

In iPad layout, progress bar with status indicators and Connect/Disconnect button is available at the bottom of the main (left) menu. In contrast to iPhone version, the progress bar here is linear, also the same single button is used to connect and disconnect. Not connected state of the iPad version is illustrated below:

Another difference is that iPad version has About section available from the main (left) menu.

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One more button is missed on the main page: Settings. Actually it is available through standard Settings application on the iPhone, this is a standard way for all iOS applications. Here it is:


Available settings:

  • Demo mode - special mode to demonstrate application abilities even without connect to an adapter and vehicle. Initially, when application is installed, the Demo mode is on. But every time when user tries to connect, FORScan offers to switch from Demo to Real mode. If users agrees, the demo mode is disabled and normal connection to adapter is performed. Demo mode can be turned on any time using this option.
  • Connection type - user can select one of the following connection types: Auto, Bluetooth OBDLink, WiFi, BLE Kiwi, BLE VeePeak. Auto option is enabled by default. This type assumes that FORScan first tries to find Bluetooth OBDLink adapter, if not successful - tries with BLE adapter and if not succesful again, it continues with WiFi adapter.
  • IP, Port, Timeout - WiFi specific settings.
  • Auto-connect - forces automated connect right after the application's start. By default it is Off. If it is set to On, only connect is performed. Option "Instrumentation" runs the following sequence of automated actions: connect, switch to the Dashboard screen and start reading parameters. Note: any events that require user's feedback (like HS/MS switch) will not be resolved in an automated way but wait for user's attention.
  • MS-CAN support - this setting is used to let FORScan know how to manage MS-CAN modules. By default (Auto) FORScan asks user about HS/MS CAN switch existence. If user set this setting to No, FORScan will not process MS-CAN modules. Otherwise, if HS/MS switch option is set, FORScan will not ask about HS/MS CAN switch availability, but move forward assuming it is available.
  • Measurement - using this setting user can choose between metric (default) and imperial measurement systems.
  • Instrument color - this parameter can be used to specify dashboard gauges text color. "Multicolored" value is used by default, but user can set some specific color for all instruments.
  • CSV delimiter - this setting lets FORScan know what CSV delimeter must be used to save live stream data in CSV format
  • Database language - this parameter specifies what language is used to display information from FORScan database (DTCs, parameters etc). Current iOS device language is used by default. User can set this parameter to "English", in this case English version of the database is used that is the primary source of the information. User interface will continue to use current iOS device language.
  • Debug mode - this option must be always off except the case when FORScan team asks for debug info.

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Vehicle screen keeps Adapter, vehicle and modules information:

The lower toolbar has 2 buttons: Save at the left and Settings at right. The Save button calls Save menu that allows to save the content of the section:

Note this Save menu structure is typical for FORScan lite, these menus in other sections have the same organization:

Save button - save content to txt file in application document folder. It can be later extracted from there using standard synchronization procedure in iTunes.

Send by email button - this function can be used to send the content as a text file attachment via iOS email client. Unfortunately, when WiFi adapter is used, Internet is usually not available. However, the message can be stored as a draft and sent later, when Internet connection is restored.

The service button is used to call a service menu. Service menu is used for special functions:

Clear cache button - clears all vehicle caches. When FORScan Lite is connected to the vehicle first time, it does full scan of vehicle configuration and saves it to the cache. It may take quite significant time, but subsequent connections are established much faster. If the cache is cleared, FORScan has to perform the full scan again. Besides, the cache may contain some info entered by user, such as Min/Max limits for PIDs. This is why the button is marked in orange. In the meantime, PIDs profiles are not a part of cache, so they are not removed when this function is called.

Send debug info - this button is used to send internal FORScan debug info. This function should be used only if requested by FORScan Support Team. Important note: by default the debug info is not collected. In order to collect it, the Debug setting in the Settings section must be set.

Remove debug info - this button clears all collected internal FORScan debug info.

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The log screen keeps log information. The lower toolbar has 2 standard buttons: Save log information and Clear log information:

Note: In contrast to Windows version, where the log grows from the top to the bottom (most recent record is always at the bottom), in iPhone version the log grows from the bottom to the top (most recent record is always at the top).

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This screen contains list of DTCs grouped by modules. Every group row displays Module name and 2 buttons at the right: Read DTC and Reset DTC.

The lower toolbar contains the following buttons (from left to right):

  • Read DTC - re-reads DTCs in ALL modules
  • Reset DTC - performs DTC reset in ALL modules
  • Save - calls standard FORScan Save menu
  • Clear - clears the list (but doesn't remove DTCs in modules memory)
Note that the Read/Reset DTCs buttons are applied to ALL modules. In the meantime the Read/Reset DTCs in every module are applied to this module only.

Every DTC in group is displayed in a short view - DTC code and brief description. In order to get more details about the error, you have to tap over the row. The following DTC Detail screen will be opened:

Note that some parts of the text are marked in blue (as hyperlinks). These are "hints". In order to get a hint, you should tap over the hyperlink (in example below, IAT keyword is tapped):

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Dashboard, Table and Graph sections of FORScan Lite are organized in the same way. As any other screen, it consists of 3 parts: upper toolbar, work area and lower toolbar:

The work area contains gauges, every gauge displays data for a PID. A gauge has a scale and displays PID value in numeric and analog format, also it shows current measurement unit and PID name. Some PIDs cannot be represent in numeric format, so such PIDs have no scale, just PID name and text value.

Important feature is that you can change size of gauges. You should use standard zoom/pinch gestures. There are 3 sizes supported: small, normal and big:


Another feature is that you can select more PIDs that the Dashboard screen can display. You can then scroll up and down to see hidden PIDs.

If you tap over a gauge, the PID details screen will appear:

This screen contains information about a parameter, also it can be used to changhe some PID output settings. User can change displayed units and min/max value for numeric PIDs. Min/Max values are used to build gauge scale and graph upper and lower limits. User can also change precision (digits after the decimal point) for every numeric parameter.

Hints in the Detailed description are work in the same way as in the DTC detail screen.

The lower toolbar contains 5 functional buttons, from left to right:

  • Start - starts live streaming
  • Stop - stops live streaming
  • Save - Save menu that allows to save or send by email either FSL (log file in FORScan internal format) or CSV log
  • Open - opens FSL files previously saved to documents.
  • Playpane - this button calls a playpane (not available when live streaming is started) that allows to navigate through the log:

The playpane contains:

  • Time box at the middle that shows total length of the record and current position, in seconds
  • Navigation slider for fast but rough navigation
  • Navigation buttons for slow but precise navigation
The upper toolbar contains the Settings button. When you press on this button, the screen PID profile settings is opened:

The screen allows to change current module. Every module has its own set of PIDs. So when the module is changed, FORScan Lite loads a list of selected profile owned by the module.

Also, the screen allows to manage list of PIDs - add, remove, edit and sort PIDs. To remove a PID, you should click at the remove button at the left of the row. To edit a PID, you should tap on the row - and the PID Detail screen (described earlier) will be displayed. The list can be sorted using standard control in the right side of every row. You should make long tap over the control, then move the selected row to another position. PIDs can be added using Add button from the lower toolbar (described in more details below).

The lower toolbar has the following buttons:

  • Add - adds new PIDs from the list of all available PIDs (described below)
  • Clear All - removes all selected PIDs from the list
  • Save - this button allows to save the currently selected PIDs as a PIDs profile.
  • Load - the button allows to load previously saved profiles.
It should be counted that profiles from different modules are not compatible. So it is not possible, for example, load profile for PCM module if GEM module is selected. If user needs to display PIDs from several modules, the Aggregated Output feature has to be used.

The add new PID screen looks as the following:

The work area of the screen represents all PIDs available for this module. You can select one or several PIDs by setting checkbox at the left side of every selected row. Tap over the row opens the PID Details screen described earlier. The screen has a search bar at the top, you can filter the list using the bar. For example, if you type RPM in the search bar, only PIDs that contain RPM in their name or description will be displayed.

When the live streaming is started, both of the upper and lower toolbars are hidden, to provide more space for the gauges:

You should tap over the screen to show the bottom bar that contains stop button. If your press the stop button, the streaming will be stopped and both bars will return back. If you don't press the stop button and tap over the screen again instead, the lower bar will be hidden again.

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Aggregated Output

Aggregated Output is a feature to display PIDs from several modules on the same screen. In order to use the feature, user needs to choose the virtual module All:

The virtual module All contains all parameters from all real modules. Every PID in the list is displayed with a prefix that points to the original module the parameter is taken from. While adding parameters to the profile, it is recommended to use the search bar at the top of the Add PID screen to simplify the PID search and selection. For example, if user types PCM, all PCM pids will be displayed as they contain PCM prefix in their description.

It must be counted that aggregated output has to switch between modules, buses and protocols. As a result, the output performance may drop very noticeable. Also in some cases the aggregated output may be practically useless, for example if user tries to out PIDs from HS and MS CAN modules on adapters with mechanical HS/MS CAN switch.

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The table screen displays PIDs in a table format:

Other functionality of this section is identical to the one described in the Dashboard section.

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The graph screen is designed to display PIDs in a graphical format that is most convenient for analysis:

Every graph also displays the current value of PID in numeric format at the top right corner, in the same color. It must be counted that the current value always means the most right visible point of the graph.

Other functionality of this section is identical to the one described in the Dashboard section.

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The Tests screen is designed to execute tests. User interface is similar to other sections (navigation bar at the top, a tool bar at the bottom and a work area between them), but also contains a tab bar with progress indicator right under the navigation pane:

The tab bar contains at least three elements - a progress indicator that shows a test progress, a Tests tab that contains a list of all available tests, and a Log tab that shows the test log. Other tabs may be added to the pane depending on a test's type, these tabs usually contain results of the test. The application may switch the tabs during the test in an automated mode to provide user with information that is most significant at the moment. Of course, user can also switch between tabs manually.

To run a test, user has to select a test by tapping on its line. Checkbox at the left of every line is a choice indicator. Now, when the test is selected, user has to press the Start button to run the test. This sequence of actions should prevent a launch of an occasional or wrong test. Besides, there is an Information button at the right of every test line. User can get information about test tapping on this button. This information is also displayed when users press start, to provide a chance to cancel the test if wrong one called.

The mode a test is executed in depends on its type and can be automated or interactive. In automated mode tests do not require any feedback from user, so application shows test results at the end and becomes ready for the next test. The Stop button is not usually available in this type of tests, except the cases when the procedure can be interrupted by user. Example of automated test final screen:

Interactive test requires a feedback from user in order to be completed. For this purpose such a test usually shows an interactive dialog that provides information necessary for decision making. Some tests show result but do not exit after completion and require user to break the test explicitly. In this case network activity indicator in the status bar is active and Stop button in the tool bar is available to stop the test:

In addition to the Start and Stop buttons described above, the tool bar contains the following buttons:

  • Save - calls standard FORScan Save menu to save or send test results and log.
  • Clear - clears test results and logs

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The Service screen is designed to execute service procedures

User interface and logic of the Service section is identical to the Tests section.

WARNING! Some service procedures may require special skills and knowledge and/or designed to be used in pair with a service manual. Some procedures may be sensitive to adapter's quality.

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