Mobile BI - Data at your fingertips

By Francois Ajenstat 2011/05/06

Tableau 6.1 provides many new and exciting capabilities to the Tableau products. Tableau 6.1 introduces touch aware support for the iPad. Tableau Server views are now optimized to deliver touch experiences when accessed on devices like the Apple iPad. Controls such as filters, parameters, sliders, scrolling, and zoom & pan, are now specially built to interact with your fingers.

Interest in Mobile BI is growing rapidly and changing how users want to interact with their BI tools. With Tableau 6.1, we are bringing optimized support for iPad to all Tableau Server customers. This means that you will be able to use “touch” to analyze your data on an iPad. Controls such as filters, parameters, sliders, scrolling, and zoom & pan, are now specially built to interact with your fingers. This provides a nicer experience for the user by making the selection of items easier with a finger.

This touch awareness happens automatically when you access Tableau Server views from an iPad. No special authoring or design changes are required from your views and dashboards – they automatically work. This means that an author can create a rich, compelling visualization without having to worry about having to make changes depending on where the users will want to consume the information – on the web, a mobile device or an iPad app.

In addition to supporting touch in mobile Safari a new Tableau for iPad app, available from the App Store, connects to your Tableau Server to access views and dashboards. The Tableau for iPad app provides convenient support for accessing favorites, and recently viewed content. It also has an elegant interface to allow content to be searched and filtered by projects, authors, workbooks and views.

Since the touch experience is provided by Tableau Server and does not require any additional capabilities or tools, all of the capabilities provided by Tableau Server apply on the iPad. For example all of your security rules also apply to the mobile scenario. Favorites, Tags, Projects, Users are consistent regardless of the device used.

All you need to do to get the iPad optimized version of Tableau Server is to upgrade your server to version 6.1. That’s it. No changes are required to your visualizations. No additional tools to deploy. You will be able to consume the same data from the desktop, web, mobile Safari and iPad.

I highly recommend that you install the beta of Tableau 6.1 and connect to the server using your iPad to experience the new touch capabilities.


Submitted by Matt (not verified) on

Are there plans to make Tableau available on Android? Would be nice to have it on smartphones too!

Submitted by Michael M. on

This is really cool. Any plans to extend the same iPad experience to Reader users?

Submitted by Ellie F. on

@Matt, we'll be looking at adding new platforms over time. Android is definitely an important one. We didn't take the html5 approach to development, which would have let us go to all platforms at once with the penalty of drastically lower usability.

As for the smartphone, it's a little lower on the list because of the difficulty of using real BI on such a small form factor. We'll be concentrating on tablets first.

@mtmixon: our iPad capability is browser based and uses Tableau Server, so for now no plans to connect Tableau Reader.

Submitted by Jonathan (not verified) on

I can't find the app in the Apple App store, is it already available to download to the public?

Submitted by Scott M. on

This was posted in our forums as far as mobile BI plans:

"Hi everyone on the forums - quick update about our mobile device and iPad plans....

We are very excited about the tablet devices, as they will provide a great hardware platform for Tableau visualizations to be delivered on. You have probably already seen that content delivered by Tableau Server works (mostly) on the browsers that are part of the mobile devices. We are currently paying most attention to Safari on the iOS devices. We have projects underway to become ‘touch’ and ‘gesture’ aware when running on these devices. Our first step in a sequence of deliveries over the next year will be to have server views respond to touch and gestures, along with some optimized controls for these devices. We are also working on a native app for the iPad to be the front-end to Tableau Server so it won’t require always going to the browser. We anticipate the first of these delivers to be available mid-year. Later in the year we will continue to provide updates with increased levels of interaction on the mobile device. Android devices will likely be browser access for 2011, perhaps a native app later.

Dan Jewett
VP, Product Management
Tableau Software "

The app is not in the app store yet. It is in very limited beta. It will be available in the App Store around the time of 6.1 release.

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on

I watched the demo of the ipad app today done by Ellie Fileds (?). Ellie, does the tableau ios app support any offline content browsing (ala roambi for example) or is it always only via a live connection to the tableau server?

Submitted by Ellie F. on

It's all online right now, no offline capability.

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on

Not that its really that related, but is it possible that an OSX friendly version is coming soon?

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on

Does Tableau Reader work on iPads? If so, direct me to where I can download the Reader. If not, please let me know

No, the iPad support requires Tableau Server. Any workbook that you publish to Tableau Server will automatically work (touch optimized) on iPads.

Submitted by Robert Oldershaw (not verified) on

Any news on the Android Tablet app yet?

Hi Robert - it's coming very soon. We showed it at the European Customer Conference a few weeks ago. It's looking good so far. Works on Android 3.2 and above. Works on 10" and 7" tablets.

Submitted by chris a. on

Is there an official release date? Like a few months, or a few weeks?

No official release date but hoping to get it out within the next 60 days.

Submitted by Supreeth Kini (not verified) on

Is there any plan to support offline content access?

Submitted by Steen Ronholt (not verified) on

Also keen to understand when the Android app will be available?
Clearly more than the 60 days indicated late April.

Hi Steen - the app has been released and is now available on the Android Play Store.

Submitted by Adisorn K. on

What is the app name on Android Play Store? I search Tableau but can not find..

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on

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