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Best for Mobile Field Inspections: Appenate or FastField Forms?

Navigating the choice between Appenate and FastField Forms for mobile field inspections? Both shine in offline data gathering, easing field-service paperwork.

Although these two have much in common – they excel in separate contexts. This comparison aims to delineate those differences clearly so you can pick the tool that’s compatible with your field operations – today and tomorrow.

Let’s get to it.

Skip ahead:

Key Differences

FastField Forms simplifies mobile data collection, presenting all forms on a single screen for quick submissions. It’s like checking items off a single, clear list — efficient and straightforward.

Appenate offers a richer experience, allowing you to build your own multi-screen apps. Each screen can host different forms, providing flexibility and customization for those who need more than just simplicity.

Moreover, Appenate offers natively hosted apps, while FastField Forms offers progressive web apps. What’s the difference?

Native apps are built for specific devices, making them more reliable for offline data capture because they can tap directly into the phone’s hardware for storage and processing. Think of them as well-trained homebodies – they’re really good at using what’s around them to function smoothly, even without the internet.

On the other hand, progressive Web Apps (PWAs) work on any device via a browser. Think of them as nomads, adaptable but relying on the internet to access most of their resources. They can do some offline tricks thanks to caching, but they falter in comparison.

Finally, at Appenate, customers dictate the evolution of our platform. While we cannot speak to the responsiveness of FastField Forms, we can assure prospective customers that we’re always on the hunt for feasible suggestions made by our existing user base. We don’t evolve to merely capture competitor market share – we build primarily to satisfy your data collection needs.

“Appenate is software that changes with your business, not the other way around.”

Braedon, IT Manager in South Africa

The Shared Utility of Appenate and FastField Forms

Appenate Fire Safety Inspection App Screenshot

Deployment & Device Compatibility:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Web

Field-centred Features:

Let’s illustrate this with a run-off-the-mill use case.

Sarah, an inspector, hits a remote spot with her smartphone (equipped with Appenate or FastField Forms.) Despite the lack of signal, she quickly pulls up her custom form to begin the inspection.

She starts by scanning the barcode on a safety harness – autocompleting the equipment ID field. As she examines it, she spots a tear and snaps a photo within the form – annotating it to provide clarity.

Before she signs off via the smart contactless signature field – she logs her location with the tap of a button.

Back at the office, reports are auto-generated and shared with safety stakeholders next in line to initiate a response, in this case – to replenish stock.

Sarah and her team appreciate the quick, efficient workflow their mobile form builder provides – resting easy with the assurance that their data collection is secure and complies with GDPR.

Now, onto the main differentiators.

Key Distinctions Between Appenate and FastField Forms

#1 Cost Efficiency

A major factor driving users to jump-ship from FastField Forms to Appenate is the superior cost-to-benefit ratio.

Appenate Pricing:

A. Standard Plan – ideal for most teams (capped at 1,500 form submissions.)

  1. $9.90 per user per month (paid annually)
  2. $11.90 per user per month (paid monthly)

B. Premium Plan (Enterprise) – unlocking unlimited submissions

  1. $14.90 per user per month (paid annually)
  2. $17.90 per user per month (paid monthly)

Both plans require a minimum of five users, with discounts for groups over 25.

FastField Forms Pricing:

A. Single Rate – unlimited form submissions.

  1. $25 per user per month (paid annually)
  2. $22.50 per user per month (paid monthly)

Who Wins?

Appenate takes the lead for those looking for value.

The fact that users rarely reach the 1,500 submission cap means they enjoy all the benefits at a much lower cost, making Appenate especially valuable for those looking to scale.

This holds for our white-label offering, too;

“FastField Forms’ white label offering has a huge capital investment tied to it. Meanwhile, Appenate’s white-label offering is not only affordable but also comprehensive. Their team gave me great confidence & the platform ticks all of my requirements with its ease of use & powerful features.”

Jonathan, a happy convert.

Both platforms kick off with free trials, but here’s a sweet deal from Appenate: for just $90, you get a 90-day trial for up to 15 users, plus free training and support. It’s a great way to dive deep and see if it’s the right fit for your team without breaking the bank upfront. 

#2 Advanced IoT Compatibility

Appenate and FastField Forms support NFC (near-field communication,) letting you tap your device to NFC tags for instant data exchange or secure access during field checks. Appenate, however, pulls ahead with RFID (radio frequency identification) support – tested on Zebra devices.

NFC is great for quick, secure interactions right up close while RFID (with its wider range), is useful for tracking things like moving inventory in a warehouse or cars passing through electronic toll systems.  

Appenate raises the bar by allowing offline QR code generation, too – a notable leap beyond FastField Forms’ scan-only feature. This addition sharpens efficiency in asset management, speeding up the tagging process. 

Who wins? 

We’d say Appenate, but it ultimately boils down to the unique demands of your operations.

#3 Flexibility & Ease of Use

Both FastField Forms and Appenate are celebrated for their ease of use, though FastField often gets the nod for its exceptionally straightforward approach to building and deploying forms. It’s designed for quick starts and efficient operations, perfect for teams that value simplicity above all else.

Appenate, while equally user-friendly, stands out for its intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes customizing form workflows feel natural, even for newcomers. It balances ease of use with the flexibility to create more complex, tailored forms. This design philosophy ensures that you can start simple and gradually explore more advanced features as your comfort grows.

The platform guides you through each step, making the process of leveraging its full potential less about overcoming a steep learning curve and more about unlocking creativity in data collection.

For operations that demand bespoke functionality, Appenate proves that sophistication doesn’t have to come at the cost of user experience. It offers a gentle learning curve, with plenty of guidance and support along the way.

Who wins? 

Once again – it depends. FastField Forms offers straightforward simplicity, while Appenate combines ease of use with the ability to deeply customize for more dynamic operations.

“Appenate is an excellent product with unlimited potential.”

Piotr – Amey UK Case Study

#4 Reporting

FastField Forms offers a built-in analytics dashboard for instant insights, making it easier to track your data. 

On the other hand, Appenate offers a PowerBI integration, offering a solid solution for those already leveraging PowerBI.

Who wins? 

FastField Forms. However, if you’re already using PowerBI for dashboarding, Appenate is still a worthy match.

#5 Training & Support

Both platforms offer free support from the get-go, but Appenate distinguishes itself with free 1-on-1 training sessions and an extensive knowledge base. 

Who wins? 


“Exceptional support. Keep it up! We’re in it for the long haul with Appenate.”

Simon Ozanne – Alacon Aero Case Study

The Best Fit For Your Field Operations?

As always – it depends on your unique requirements.

Here are 5 vital questions to ask yourself before making your choice:

  1. Is staying within a budget while getting the most functionality important to you?
  2. Do you foresee a need for customizable features and scalability in your platform’s future?
  3. How essential is offline data capture for your operations?
  4. Are extensive support and customized training priorities for your team?
  5. Is having built-in, easy-to-understand analytics a critical factor for your business?

Ready to kickstart your pilot project? Jump onto our free trial and explore a variety of ready-to-use app templates.

Note: Have any differing perspectives or feedback on the points mentioned? Drop us an email.

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