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smartsheet44Smartsheet announced today that the iPhone and iPad app for its popular productivity software has been updated to version 2.0 with a key new feature designed to keep up with the growing demands of its customer base.

The marquee feature is a fully customizable and responsive grid as the app’s opening screen. While the grid is the center of Smartsheet’s user experience on the web, the company wasn’t able to build it into the mobile app at first. Smartsheet Director of Mobile Erik Rucker told GeekWire in an email that this is the first time that the company has used native code to build the grid.

It may seem like displaying a spreadsheet grid is a simple task, but Rucker said that getting Smartsheet’s spreadsheets to work was a difficult task.

“A spreadsheet-like grid can be really large and hold a huge amount of data, backed by a ton of functionality,” he said. “Making it so you can do things as seemingly simple as scroll and zoom with fluidity is tough and something we think we’ve nailed.”

Brent Frei
Brent Frei

Building the spreadsheet is made more challenging by the variety of ways users choose to use Smartsheet. Brent Frei, the company’s co-founder and Executive Chairman, told GeekWire in an interview that some mobile developers who build more narrowly-focused apps can easily predict what their users are going to do based on what the app is designed for. But that’s not possible for Smartsheet.

“In our case, it’s not predictable at all,” Frei said. “One guy is coordinating an entire Super Bowl, another one is coordinating a goat farm, and another is doing property management for large clients out in the field.”

Android users won’t get the update just yet, though Frei said that the company is aiming to roll out the grid update to Android users in October.

In addition to the upgrade, Smartsheet also announced that it has signed up Colliers International Wisconsin, the largest full-service commercial and residential real estate firm in Wisconsin. Colliers Wisconsin is now one among a number of companies using Smartsheet, including Google, Cisco, Netflix, Groupon and ESPN.

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