Options for Running LabVIEW on a Tablet

Updated Mar 31, 2021

Reported In

Software

  • LabVIEW

Issue Details

I want to use LabVIEW on a mobile tablet device. Will it work?

Solution

Running LabVIEW on a tablet is possible. How you are able to interface with LabVIEW using your tablet will be determined by your project needs and the hardware capabilities of your tablet.  

Below are the three project setups that you can use with your tablet. In each section, you will find the software and hardware requirements for the system setup.
 

Use Your Tablet as a User-Interface or Monitoring Device

For any tablet or mobile device with internet access, you can use build applications using WebVIs and then monitor your test systems from your mobile device. In this setup, you build an application that uses WebVIs, run your application on a host machine, and then you are able to monitor the application on any modern web browser, including one on a tablet or phone, without additional plug-ins or installers.

Requirements for Tablet:

  • Web browser and internet access
Unlike running a LabVIEW application or VI directly on the tablet, there are no system requirements or extra software needed on the tablet itself. The only hardware and software requirement when using WebVIs on your tablet is that it has internet access and a modern web browser.

Requirements for Developing WebVI Applications:

  • LabVIEW NXG Web Module
  • LabVIEW NXG
Hardware requirements for the development will depend on the software version chosen. Check the readme for the version of LabVIEW NXG you are using for system requirements, available on the product's download page.
 

Use Your Tablet as a Development Machine

It is possible to run the LabVIEW Development Environment on some tablets that meet system requirements. However, it should be noted that LabVIEW was not designed to be developed in a touch screen environment, and therefore, there may be some hurdles when using your tablet as a development machine.
 

Considerations:

  • Note that if you are running iOS or Android operating system on your tablet, you will not be able to develop LabVIEW on your tablet. You may monitor your application using WebVIs.
  • LabVIEW development was designed to be used with both a keyboard and a mouse. Although it is technically possible to run LabVIEW on a tablet without these, there may be practical difficulties with regards to actual programming.
  • To get the full LabVIEW features, NI recommends using Windows Tablets that run a supported Windows operating system. 
  • Any tablet you use must also meet the performance requirements for LabVIEW. 
 

Requirements: 

 

Use Your Tablet to Run Built Applications

In this setup, you would develop your project on a desktop computer and deploy your application as an executable or installer to the tablet. You may want to run this setup if you are seeking to keep your application running close to your device set up, possibly connected to the hardware you are monitoring.

Developing applications to run on a tablet presents different challenges to traditional deployment on a computer. 

Considerations:

  • Note that if you are running iOS or Android operating system on your tablet, you will not be able to deploy a LabVIEW application on your tablet. You may monitor your application using WebVIs.  NI recommends using Windows Tablets that run a supported Windows operating system. 
  • DPI: Lots of tablets have high DPI which means the text and buttons may end up being too small on the Tablet. It is recommended to either use a tablet with a lower resolution or design your front panel with oversized buttons and text. 
  • Mouse Specific Events: Since the touch screen triggers some mouse events a little bit differently, some button mechanical actions may not work as expected (like switch until release). There is a 3rd party toolkit that is designed to help with these issues

Requirements:

  • If your tablet meets the LabVIEW Run-Time system requirements, you can install the LabVIEW Run-Time Engine (RTE) and run LabVIEW executables on your tablet. 
  • The machine that you use to develop your application must match the tablet's operating system  
  • The LabVIEW Development version bitness must match the bitness of the Run-Time Engine on the tablet.
    • For example, if your tablet has a 32-bit OS, you are limited to a 32-bit LabVIEW RTE to run on that device, and therefore must develop applications using 32-bit LabVIEW Development System.