Arable Mobile 4.0.0

Release Notes - Arable Mobile 4.0.0

Release Date: February 23, 2021

Scope: General Release

OS Support: iOS 12, 13, 14; Android 8, 9 and 10

Language Support: English; Mobile: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Ukrainian and Polish

Screen Size & Resolution: Minimum 540 x 960 pts screen resolution and 4.5” screen size

Type of Release: Major

Version: iOS 4.0.0, Android 4.0.0

Release Overview

Arable Mobile 4.0.0 is a major release introducing three new water-related insights features, now in beta release with a select group of customers. To familiarize our customers with the new features before they are widely released, we'll run through them here. If you want to be part of the beta trial to explore these features before they are in full release, contact your account representative. The three features are: 

  • Water Balance, or the amount of water retained by the crop. It’s calculated as precipitation plus irrigation, minus canopy evapotranspiration (ETc). While precipitation and ETc are measured by the Arable Mark directly, the irrigation runtime is measured through the Arable Bridge using a GEMS Pressure Switch. This setup is tailored for drip irrigation systems. Future releases will extend support to central pivot irrigation systems as well. The water balance measurement in this release is relative (i.e., starts at zero at the beginning of the season). Total balance and weekly change are also tracked and shown. The next 7-day forecast assumes zero irrigation, providing a recommendation for what to enter in the next irrigation cycle.
  • Soil Moisture status as a percentage of available water (field capacity minus permanence wilting point). A Sentek Drill & Drop soil moisture probe is used for the measurement (connected to Arable Bridge). The soil moisture readings provide a complementary check to the ETc-based water balance for understanding the water retained in the soil. A refill threshold can be defined to help trigger additional irrigation vs. normal schedule.
  • Heat Stress Hour count from season start, and per week. Heat stress hours are counted as the number of sunshine hours (SWdw > 10 W/m2) with Tbelow above the photosynthesis temperature threshold. The temperature threshold is taken from the GDD max temp for the crop (if there is one) or defaults to 36°C. The existence of heat stress can be used to trigger additional irrigation in order to cool down plants and restart the photosynthesis process.

Associated with the water insights beta features, we are introducing a new key building block called Sites. A site is a physical management unit with similar treatment, e.g., an irrigation block or field. It can contain one or more Arable Mark devices. Sites can hold multi-year data streams that span multiple deployments. As we later expand from beta to general availability of Sites,  other parts of the UI will be transitioned from current deployment locations to sites.

We hope you will enjoy this new release and feedback is always welcome through Customer Success ( or via your account manager.


New Features

Our newest feature, Water, is now in beta with a select group of customers. Users can analyze water usage associated with the current season at a given site (the designation of sites is also a new concept introduced in this release, to allow for multi-year, multi-deployment management of data gathered in a defined area of land). The list screen module has now two options in a drop-down at the top of the List page: Weather and Water. For the “Weather” option, the UI shows the locations list as before, while the “Water” option presents a list of sites and associated seasons-crop data. In this release, a site is restricted to one active season.

From the Water list, the user can open a detailed view for one site with a weekly breakdown of the data. Future releases will include daily and per-growth stage breakdowns, but these are grayed out for now. The following measurements are available:
  • Water balance
  • Water balance change
  • Precipitation
  • Irrigation
  • ETc
  • Soil moisture
  • Soil moisture change
  • Proximity to refill threshold
  • Heat stress hours
  • Total heat stress hours

For a detailed description of each of these measurements, select the More Info option in the side menu. The same side menu also has a new option, Edit View. There the user can choose which three measurements to show at any point in time.

During the beta period, only users with specific permission settings will be able to access the water insights feature. If you would like a demo or to get on the list for early access, please contact your Arable account manager.

We are introducing a unique machine learning (ML) model to derive an Arable field evapotranspiration (ETf), which is akin to reference ET (ETo). Arable’s ETf achieves greater accuracy than the FAO Penman-Monteith equation, and the latter is now only used as a fallback in rare conditions where the ML model is not yet trained. The crop coefficient (Kc) is calculated as before by using the NDVI reflectances over the canopy throughout the growing season. As part of the work to update the ET implementation using the new ML model, all the info modals related to ET have been updated.

Some improvements have also been made for the System Admin and System Reader roles to help Arable Customer Success to better support customers. A System Admin or System Reader can now view and choose all Organizations in the alert thresholds section in the Settings screen module.

A new sidebar menu in the Map screen allows the user to load and display more than 50 Mark devices in total. The sidebar has controls to select the next 50 locations for rendering, and can go back to the previous 50 again as needed. This sidebar is also useful if you want to select a Mark location by name and see it highlighted on the map.

There is a new section called Current Wind Conditions on the summary location details screen. This section contains three tiles showing current average wind, current max wind, and forecasted average wind for the next 4 hours. Note current max wind is only displayed if a local anemometer is installed and connected via Arable Bridge, while the two others use remote sensed IBM, The Weather Company data.



Defect Fixes

In some cases, the location summary details screen would show no forecasted rain, even though it was currently raining. This is now corrected so that zero hours to next rain is shown instead.

In Arable Mobile 3.2.1, the last 48 hours precipitation reading in the location summary detail screen had an issue with inclusion of tomorrow's rain forecast in the summation at certain times of the day. This has now been corrected in Arable Mobile 4.0.0 so that a forecast value is not included.

The Last Sync information element on the Location details screens did not update unless the user toggled to another screen in the last release, even if the actual data values in the main body of the screen were refreshed. We have now added a 5-min refresh to handle this in Arable Mobile 4.0.0.

The acronym for NDVI has now been changed from IVDN to NDVI for the Portuguese language.

Known Issues

When the name of the measurement in the Edit Water View section is long, and then the user selects delete, the button overlaps the text name of the measurement.

There are some issues with the Ukrainian language on the Map and My Alerts screens.

The tiles’ values on the Site detail screen are not vertically aligned.

The max/min temperature readings on the My Operations/Daily screen show observed data only, while the individual location details screens for Heat Spikes and Frost Events take into account both observed and forecasted hours for the current day. We expect a solution for this user interface consistency issue in the next release.

Wind data as shown on the Map screen is the average for today. This is planned to change to current wind in order to be more actionable in a future release.

If the local anemometer wind data is missing due to a Mark 2 device’s failure to report in, there is no automatic gap-fill of this data with remote-sensed wind in the current release for daily values, as it is done for hourly values. This will be reviewed for an upcoming release together with an overall gap-fill strategy for daily data including not only wind but also temperature.

Data columns in the Weather Daily list can misalign when swiping horizontally to see new dates. A complete resolution is expected in a future release. Current workaround is to refresh the list.

The Alerts icon counter is not automatically updated unless the user taps on the icon. We are planning to add a 5-min refresh to handle this in the next upcoming release
When the user changes the settings data from Arable Web or on a different phone, they will need to go back to the Settings screen in Arable Mobile to get the measurement units updated on the Map screen and elsewhere.

The remote-sensed temperature data can show a difference between hourly and daily max/min temperature, as they are measured slightly differently. For the remote-sensed enhanced forecast, the hourly values represent the projected temperature at that forecast time (usually top of the hour). However, the max/min temps often occur within the hour and the daily forecast products capture that. There is currently no short-term solution for this discrepancy.

The local Mark max/min temperature for the hour is taken as the max/min of all 5-min interval readings during that hour. Meanwhile, the current temperature is the average for the last hour, creating a discrepancy between the two values during weather alerts. We are investigating whether relying on a 5-min interval for Tmin/Tmax is vulnerable to noise, and if so, will change this algorithm.

For forecast temperature, the hourly values represent the projected temperature at that forecast time (usually top of hour). However, oftentimes the max/min temps occur within the hour, so the daily forecast products capture that.

Terms & Conditions are e-mailed in English, regardless of what language is registered. As a workaround, a link to alternative languages is provided in the email.

The alerts in the My Alerts log are shown in English even if another language is selected in Arable Mobile. A solution is expected in the next release.

Push notifications are presented based on the language configured on the phone and not the language set in Arable Mobile. A future implementation could change this behavior.

When clicking on a notification, the app will navigate to either the Heat Spikes or Frost Events screens, but won’t open the hourly records to point out the current-hour row. This behavior will be improved in the coming releases of the weather alerts feature.

We have seen instances on iPhones when Arable Mobile is in a constant loading state when coming from the background. These cases seem to be related to switching between wifi and cellular, or in low cellular signal conditions. This is being investigated further for a resolution in the next release.

On the Irrigation screen, users may see small differences between the daily and hourly precipitation data for tomorrow’s row. This will be reviewed for the next release.

For iOS 12.x.x and older versions, the Analytics dashboards may not auto-fit to the screen size when going from landscape to portrait mode (phone tilted horizontally and vertically respectively). Newer versions of iOS and all Android versions don’t have this problem. As a workaround the dashboard can be pinch zoomed back to fit the screen.