Android phone guide

This page has been superseded by Android phone & iPhone guide

At a glance: The use on an Android phone is similar to the use on an Apple iPhone. These notes describe the difference.

Android phone


The use of the application on an Android phone is very similar to it on an Apple iPhone. Eventually the user guide for the Apple iPhone is to be modified so that it serves both these platforms. In the meantime these notes are provided that describe what is different. It is envisaged the Android phone user will use the iPhone user guide as a first reference.

The various virtual buttons and keys

The main tab item buttons “F”, “M”, “C”, “L” and “T” are at the top of the display although they function exactly the same.

The Next and Back buttons near the top right and top left corners of the display have a different appearance. Nevertheless there function is the same.

The various function buttons that appear near the bottom of various displays are represented by a gray rectangle with black text indicating their purpose. This is a contrast to the blue text on the general light gray background representing these buttons on the iPhone.

There is a virtual keyboard that appears for names such as file names, the names of materials, components etc. This keyboard, like most keyboards, has a particular key in the bottom right corner often called the “return key” that serves a particular purpose. With this application this key has a label such as “Done”, “Go”, “Next” or whatever. Nevertheless in the user guide it is referred to as the “return key”.

The hardware “back key”

Android phone devices have a key below the bottom right corner of the display outside of the display known as the “back key”. The function of this key varies from device to device. However with some devices such as the Samsung Galaxy it has a standard behavior with this application. That behavior is described as follows. It is referred to as the “hardware back key” to avoid confusion with the virtual keys and buttons on the display. :

The affect of this key is:

  • If the tab item buttons “F”, “M”, “C”, “L” and “T” are visible and no virtual keyboard is visible –

a tap on the hardware back key will close the application. Note that the current job is not automatically saved. The user can use the “Save” or “Save as” buttons on the “F” tab before tapping the hardware back key.

  • If the virtual keyboard for names is visible –

a tap on the hardware back key has the same affect as the Return key on that virtual keyboard.

  • If the tab item buttons “F”, “M”, “C”, “L” and “T” are not visible –

A tap on the hardware back key will cause a change to a display where those tab item buttons are visible.

Tap and hold of the hardware back key has the same affect as a tap; the affect not happening until the key is released.

Connection to a computer

With some Android phone devices it is possible to transfer the xsf files to and from a computer.

Described here is the connection between a Samsung Galaxy J250G and a Microsoft Windows 10 computer.

The cable used to charge the battery of the phone has a USB connector. This is used to connect the phone to a USB connector on the computer. If the computer is running at the time this connection is made a Files Explorer window for the phone device will appear on the computer screen. Also at the same time a dialog will appear on the phone posing the question “Allow access to phone data?” with “Deny” and “Allow” buttons.

A tap on the “Allow” button will cause the dialog to disappear and a sub-folder labelled “Phone” to appear on the computer.

On the computer navigate: Phone > Android > data > com.xsec > files    This should lead to a Files Explorer display of the files that appear on the applications files display. The various Windows Files Explorer facilities can then be used to copy files into and out of that display.

Example XSF files

No example XSF files are included in the distribution package.

An example in each of the unit systems can be generated automatically within the application. This does not require a connection to any other device.

On the Add a new file facilities below the unit system list there is the alternative “Create example” or “Create blank”. A tap on a unit system in the list will cause the display to change back to the file list with an edit box at the top inviting the keying in of a file name.

The user needs to key in a name for the new file whether it be the example or blank.

Examples can be downloaded from Each example is in a zip folder that contains the XSF files and a pdf file of a user guide to the example.

Control of automatic trial and adjustment

The Load Case computation facilities include various automatic trial and adjustment routines. The facilities that allow the user some control over these routines are not yet available on the Android phone.

Consequently there is no “Auto start computations” switch or “Auto close progress display” switch. The application behaves as though both these switches are on.

The “next” button near the top right corner of a display will start the computations.

There is a progress display as described in the full user guide although it does not have the “Stop”, “Step”, “Go” and “Escape” buttons and it does not appear until the computations are complete.

If the computations are successful and a result is found the display goes straight to the first result display. In this case a tap on the “Back” button near the top left corner of that first results display will return to the progress display in its final state.