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ArcGIS Navigator Beta

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When it comes to securing access to your device and data, you can never have too much of a good thing!  That’s why, with Navigator 18.1.0 Beta 1 for iOS, we have a new setting that enables local authentication within Navigator.  Local authentication ties into your device’s Face IDTouch ID and passcode security settings.   What’s even better? It’s also available as a Managed App Configuration setting, so you can auto-configure any device managed by an MDM.


Here’s how it works.


When the “Use Local Authentication” setting in Navigator is enabled, Navigator will prompt for authentication whenever the app is launched or comes out of the background.  If Face ID is activated on the phone, you will be prompted to allow Navigator to use Face ID. When you tap OK to allow, you will then be prompted for Face ID to continue using Navigator. 


Allow Navigator to use Face ID


Note, if Face ID fails, you will be prompted to provide your passcode instead.

If Face ID fails you will be prompted to enter passcode


If instead, Touch ID is activated on the device, the user will be prompted to provide Touch ID authentication to continue using Navigator. 



If Touch ID is not activated on the device, the user will be prompted to provide a passcode instead.


Passcode input on iOS

If both Touch ID and passcode are enabled, the user will first be prompted for Touch ID, with the passcode requested only as a fallback.


Touch ID input, falls back to passcode



Enabling Local Authentication Manually on a device

Note, local authentication requires Face ID, Touch ID and/or passcodes to be enabled on your device. Without this, the “Use Local Authentication” setting will not be available in Navigator.


To enable local authentication in Navigator you first need to ensure that either Face ID, Touch ID or passcode security is set on the device. Then you need to turn on the local authentication setting in Navigator.


  1. Go to iOS Settings > Touch ID and Passcode or Face ID and Passcode
  2. Turn the device passcode on
  3. Optionally Add a Fingerprint to enable Touch ID, or set up Face ID
  4. Sign into Navigator with a Licensed user
  5. Tap the Account Button in the upper left. This will take you to the Profile Screen
  6. Enable “Use Local Authentication”


iOS Touch ID and passcode settings and Navigator local authentication setting


Enabling Local Authentication via the Managed App Configuration

In keeping with our efforts to support our customers deploying ESRI fields apps through MDMs, we have included local authentication as a Managed App Config setting.


Implementing the enableLocalAuthentication key that is of Data Type: Boolean, and setting it to true will enable this setting in Navigator on devices deployed through the MDM.  Use this, along with a device Profile that requires setting a passcode to ensure managed devices are enabled for local authentication.


With AirWatch, the following steps can be used to push the local authentication setting to a device.


  1. Under the Internal App Detail view select Assign.
  2. Select the Smart Group and choose Edit Assignment.
  3. Scroll down and enable Application Configuration
  4. Enter the following key-value pair:
    • Key: enableLocalAuthentication
    • Value Type: Boolean
    • Value: trueAirWatch Enabling Managed App Config
  5. Alternatively, you could use the Upload XML option.  If choosing this option, you need to provide an XML file. To create the XML file, create a text file (.xml extension) with the following text.  Content required for the Managed App Configuration XML file
  6. Save and Publish the changes


The next steps is to ensure the Profile assigned to the Smart Group, enforces setting a passcode on the device.


  1. Identify the Profile associated with the Smart Group in step 2 above.
  2. Under Devices > Profiles, scroll to find the Profile, and tap the pencil icon to edit
  3. Choose Passcode from the left panel, and ensure the Require passcode on device setting is checked.


AirWatch's Profile require passcode setting


To learn more about Esri’s efforts to support our customers implementing Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM) solutions see the Mobile Application Management and Esri’s Field Apps blog post.  Additionally, for more information about Esri's approach to Mobile Application Management, please read our patterns document on the ArcGIS Trust website.


Routes in Navigator

Posted by bpierce-esristaff Employee Sep 28, 2018

Like Peanut Butter and Jelly or Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, some things are just better together. Routes and an app which can use them is also a great combination. The Navigator team is happy to announce that one of the big new features in the 18.1 release of Navigator is pre-planned routes. While the name might sound a little academic this is basically the ability to create routes on the platform and share those routes with a driver using Navigator.


Why would one want to do this? Well, there are a couple of reasons:


  1. You might want to give your drivers a specific route to follow so they don’t have to bother creating one in the field allowing them to focus on getting where they need to go in the simplest way.
  2. You might have a recurring route your drivers follow on a weekly, monthly or even annual basis. Pre-planned Routes will make this a piece of cake.


For these reasons and many others, we decided to add the ability for Navigator to use routes.


Getting Started


To get started you first need to create route and share it as a Route Layer. Routes can be created by a number of different tools on the ArcGIS platform.


Creating Routes in ArcGIS /Enterprise:


Arguably the easiest way to get a route is through the ArcGIS Map Viewer in ArcGIS or ArcGIS Enterprise. Before you get started, however, you will need to make sure the appropriate entitlements are granted to enable the direction capabilities, more information on that can be found here: Once configured correctly the map viewer will have direction capabilities available


Direction Widget in the ArcGIS Map Viewer


This tool allows you to quickly create a route, add waypoints to make sure it takes the roads and follows the path you want it to take, add stops and even add barriers. After the route is created it can be saved as a route layer item on the platform.


For more advanced routes a number of different analysis tool are also available to you through the Map Viewer. More specifically, the “Use Proximity” section of the Analysis tab has a number of analysis tools which create routes.




Of particular importance is the Plan Routes tool ( This tool offers a solution to a problem which has plagued the human race since the invention of the wheel, how to get multiple drivers to make multiple stops in the most efficient manner. This capability is commonly referred to by the very uncreative name of the “Vehicle Routing Problem” or VRP for short. Don’t let the flare free name trick you though, this is a very powerful capability of the platform allowing one to generate multiple routes for multiple drivers given a set of constraints. In short, if you have multiple drivers and multiple stops, this tool was designed for you.


Creating Routes in ArcGIS Pro:


ArcGIS Pro is also a very common place to generate routes. With a Network Analyst license in ArcGIS Pro you will have access to a number of different tools which create routes.



After the route is created it should be selected in the content view and the Route Layer tool can be used to share the route with the organization. (


 Route Layer tool


Scripting the Creation of Routes:


It is also very common to automate the creation and sharing of routes through the use of Python. Many of the tools mentioned above are available as stand-alone tools which can be incorporated into a model or python script enabling larger automated workflows. Imagine if you had a script that took the work orders for the day and created routes for each driver before they even got to work that morning. This should all be possible through the tools available in this beta.


Using Routes in Navigator


Keeping our eyes on the prize, once a route is created and saved to the platform it is then crucial that the route is shared with specific drivers. You can do this by creating a group and adding specific drivers into the group with which route layer item is shared.


The rest is pretty simple, when the drivers log into Navigator their routes will automatically be downloaded. Downloaded routes can be accessed in the search functionality which is now front and center with this version of Navigator. In the new search experience, you will now notice a “Routes” and “Places” segmented control. With “Routes” selected you will see all the downloaded routes with the option to filter those down based on the name of the route. Tapping on a route will open the route in the map and let you start to navigate on the route by pressing “Go”.


Navigator using Routes


Please let us know what you think. How is this working for you? Where did we miss the mark? What would make this feature more useful to you? If need be, tell us where to put our routes! Joking aside, the team really wants to know how to make this feature suit your needs so don’t hesitate to comment below.


Happy Navigating.

We will be distributing test builds of Navigator for ArcGIS (iOS) using Apple's TestFlight beta testing tool. To get access to the TestFlight beta builds, follow these instructions:


  1. Install the TestFlight app on your iOS device.
  2. Join the Navigator beta by tapping on this public link from your iOS device.
  3. Follow the TestFlight instructions to install the Navigator beta app.
  4. Start testing Navigator for ArcGIS. 
  5. Report any bugs you find to the team.

If you've never used it before, Slack is a communication and collaboration tool. It has a web-based interface if you want to use it on your desktop and it has mobile apps if you want to use it on your phone or tablet. Slack is where the Esri development team gets a lot of our work done, so we thought it would be a good idea to set up a public Slack workspace for this Navigator beta and invite you to it! To join our public Slack workspace and start interacting with the Esri team, head over to, enter your email address, and click Get My Invite


Slack allows us to organize content using #channels. We have a number of channels set up where conversations can happen around particular topics - channels like #bugs, #general, #random, etc. Take a look through the available channels and jump into conversations as you like. Messages posted to channels will be visible to all channel members and will be searchable for the life of the workspace. Abusive language or content will not be tolerated.


You'll notice some community members have a secret squirrel icon next to their name. These are Esri team members. We've done this to help you visually recognize Esri staff that are participating in the Slack workspace. Here's what it looks like for me:

Some of the other Esri staff you will see include:

  • Brent Pierce
  • Heather McCracken
  • Joel Whitney
  • Townsend Crum
  • Kylie Donia
  • Jeff Shaner


Feel free to reach out to us when you have questions!