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Possible to use OR channel bridge chrome extension on an iPad?

Replies: 7 - Pages: 1 - Last Reply: Jun 1, 2020 10:48 PM by: Rich S
Rich S
Registered: 12/28/18
Possible to use OR channel bridge chrome extension on an iPad?

It would be nice to not have to travel with a laptop just to use OR. Is it possible to access the functionality of the channel bridge chrome extension within the iOS ecosystem? Without that, pretty much means it I always need to have ready access to a chrome browser with the extension . I seem to always have an iPad with me, so would be a great solution if that would work.

Chris Hynes
Registered: 10/19/12
Re: Possible to use OR channel bridge chrome extension on an iPad?

No, Channel Bridge is currently developed as a Chrome extension, so there's no way to run it without Chrome. Since Apple blocks all non Safari browsers from running on iOS, and since Safari doesn't support rich extensions compatible with other browsers, there's nothing we can do about that, unfortunately. I'm always hoping they'll loosen up the restrictions on apps, but it's been 10 years and nothing yet.

Do you happen to have an alternate Android device? We've got some folks with Androids using the Yandex Browser: https://browser.yandex.com/ and running Channel Bridge that way.

Rich S
Registered: 12/28/18
Re: Possible to use OR channel bridge chrome extension on an iPad?

I bet I could run Yandex on an old android phone connected via wifi only.

I'm a little leery of putting a russian based closed-source browser on my primary phone these days, and buying a tablet seems silly for a single operation once in awhile.

Question - if I want to manually create a booking using my Ipad and OR through safari browser, what's the minimum information I'd want to copy over from the VRBO website? Is it enough to capture first/last name, email and arrive/depart dates? Maybe I also need the VRBO booking ID so in the future (some days later probably) I could use chrome with channel bridge and it would merge/overwrite and life would be good?

Chris Hynes
Registered: 10/19/12
Re: Possible to use OR channel bridge chrome extension on an iPad?

Right, yeah. We may add Firefox support for channel bridge at some point (FF does allow extensions on mobile) -- that wouldn't help iOS but it would help having a maybe more trusted browser on Android.

Names and dates should come over automatically on the VRBO iCal import. Looks like you don't have this set up yet, but go to the Calendar Import tab of each property and you can add iCal feeds from sites like VRBO and Airbnb.

So iCal will keep the calendar up to date automatically, and then channel bridge will merge with the booking and add the other info like guest email, party size, financials etc. Alls you really need to copy over is the email address so you can email them, and channel bridge will add the rest later.

CatP
Registered: 5/14/19
Re: Possible to use OR channel bridge chrome extension on an iPad?

I am faced with the same problem- have a new Samsung tablet ( may 2020), and I cannot access the chrome extensions. I bought this expensive tablet so I could work remotely. I WAS using a laptop when I signed up for OR, but the need for mobility drives people toward tablets.
You are really falling behind on this as probably many of your customers use android and iOS. I would use Firefox if that's the way to use the extension. Otherwise I will have to look for another PMS program that is more mobility-friendly.

Chris Hynes
Registered: 10/19/12
Re: Possible to use OR channel bridge chrome extension on an iPad?

Unfortunately, iOS/Safari extensions don't support the features Channel Bridge needs to use to pull in the data. Channel Bridge is a very specialized tool that drives your channel account login to download/upload data directly -- most PMS's don't have a similar tool.

On your Android, you can use Kiwi Browser: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kiwibrowser.browser&hl=en_US or Yandex Browser: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yandex.browser&hl=en_US -- both of those support Chrome extensions.

Rich S
Registered: 12/28/18
Re: Possible to use OR channel bridge chrome extension on an iPad?

CatP said:

I am faced with the same problem- have a new Samsung tablet ( may 2020), and I cannot access the chrome extensions. I bought this expensive tablet so I could work remotely. I WAS using a laptop when I signed up for OR, but the need for mobility drives people toward tablets.
You are really falling behind on this as probably many of your customers use android and iOS. I would use Firefox if that's the way to use the extension. Otherwise I will have to look for another PMS program that is more mobility-friendly.

CatP - one workaround you could try, would take some research, but I did this years ago in similar situation. As long as you have an always on computer somewhere (ie: windows computer) you might be able to use a remote login software (I used to use LogMeIn but it's changed since then) and open up a graphical session. I'd imagine there are many software packages that do this today, but unfortunately I don't have any need for it so I've lost track.

Basically you would leave the home computer on 24x7 and just log into it remotely and open a remote window on your Surface. From that point everything should look like usual, except that mouse clicks on your Surface are actually controlling the Chrome window on your home computer.

I used to do this kind of thing every night, I'd leave the office and come to my home and login remotely and keep working. This wouldn't be 100% reliable because maybe the home computer gets hung, but most often it would work.

There are probably ways to do something similar with an Amazon virtual server, but that's more involved.

Just some thoughts, I'm with you about the annoyance factor of needing a laptop. But it seems like there are technical difficulties/impossibilities involved.

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