Power Schedule 1.4

I’m working hard for version 2 (which was basically rewritten), however I made this minor update (1.4), due to users complaining “Data Connection” doesn’t work on Gingerbread devices (see this article to understand why: Google is destroying Android). Basically, in 1.4 you will get a warning message when trying to access the Data Connection menu, with a link to the open issue at Google. Please star it to support developers (not just myself) – and not let Google create a(nother) precedent.

Thank you.

Google is destroying Android…

I received some disturbing news from some users. It seems the “Data Connectivity” does not work any more on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). So I wanted to know why is this happening. Well, Google decided that a certain permission (MODIFY_PHONE_STATE) is no longer for us mere mortals, and only system applications are allowed to use it.
This permission is required for quite a number of apps in the Market, not just mine, so it will break ALL of them.

They did this before: they didn’t allow apps to change the GPS status, for example (starting with 1.5). Their reason is “privacy”. If the user wants his GPS off, it should stay off (of course, this doesn’t prevent Google – or Apple, for that matter – from tracking you). So no “track my girlfriend” kind of apps are possible 😉

Anyhow, to get serious. Google chose this security model for apps, where if the user knows that an application does need to do something and he allows it, it should be allowed to do so.
So why shouldn’t an application that specifically says it will enable / disable data connection (or GPS etc.) be allowed to do it ?!

I have *some* Windows Mobile development background, and I always blamed Microsoft for using their complicate signing procedure for applications. But it turns out this model is more “open” than Google’s:
– if an app was signed with a “privileged” certificate, it could access all functionality
– if an app wasn’t signed (or signed with an “unprivileged” certificate), it didn’t have access to all areas
These certificates were kind of hard to get (complicate procedure, paperwork etc.), but in the end they were linked to your person / company, so evil-doers *wink* could be easily identified.
So this model opened up a lot of possibilities for developers and apps.

Frankly, I don’t like how Google reacts to bad apps. They see a bad-acting app and what do they do? “Oh, we’ll lock this function up. Easy.”. They will do this until apps are only allowed display “Hello, world!”, and only for a limited amount of time.

In the end, there can be only one: Google’s app.

EDIT: here’s other people complaining about it as well: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=15031

Working…

I’ve been working on a brand new Power Schedule (I will call it 2.0, since it’s re-written from the ground up). The problem I’m still facing is that the user interface is getting quite complex (and by that, I mean the app is now larger in size). Unfortunately, Android has a BIG limitation when you’re trying to some special things (like having background services running): you must install the app in internal memory. And this is what users hate most, they’re running out of internal storage space quite quickly.
Therefore, you end up with a lot of angry users uninstalling apps.

So what to do then? Make the User Interface simpler? It’s not “fancy” enough for some. Install the app on SD Card? Not possible for this kind of app. Hopefully either Google comes up with a better solution for this situation, or manufacturers add more internal memory to their phones.

Hopefully I’ll find a solution which suits all 🙂

Power Schedule 1.3.5

I just updated Power Schedule to 1.3.5. I received one MMS message on my e-mail address from someone in Germany (thank you – I couldn’t reply back to the MMS message via e-mail though, also you didn’t leave your name 🙂 ). He / she said the Bluetooth kept turning on, even though the schedule for Bluetooth was disabled completely. So I fixed this problem in this version. Also, I removed some debug logs I forgot in the app – this caused some slowdowns. So now there are some speed improvements as well.

Translation to other languages

I looked into the Market stats, and I see the top 5 languages (in the Android Market) for Power Schedule users are:
– English (US & UK)
– French
– Italian
– German
– Spanish

So… I would need some help translating it to these 4 languages (for now). Does anyone have a few minutes to help me out? I don’t want to use Google Translate – it’s not good enough yet 🙂

Thank you all in advance.

Power Schedule 1.3.4

I uploaded a new version this morning (1.3.4). This changes the default values for some schedule types, and also applies these default values at the first startup (not the case for users which already have Power Schedule installed).
This was the cause some users reported the app is not working – they saw the default values in the schedule and didn’t change them. This in fact didn’t apply them at all 🙁
Sorry for that.
It should be solved now. I just want to mention that if the app is not working for you, please contact me first (before submitting a negative comment or rating), and I’ll try to fix / answer your questions.

Thank you all.

Power Schedule permissions explained

Some users are concerned about the permissions some applications require. Power Schedule requires some permissions too, so here’s why:

  • RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED
  • Power Schedule is started for less than a second at startup, to be able to apply the schedule settings. This is because Android does not persist alarms when it’s rebooted. Therefore, Power Schedule needs to be notified when the system has started.

  • MODIFY_PHONE_STATE
  • This is required to be able to activate /deactivate Airplane Mode (“Phone” means “Telephony” only, not your complete Android device).

  • READ_PHONE_STATE
  • Same as above – this reads the current “Airplane Mode” status.

  • WRITE_SETTINGS
  • Settings are written to the device when Airplane Mode is activate / deactivated

  • CHANGE_WIFI_STATE
  • This is required to manage the device’s Wireless Lan status.

  • ACCESS_WIFI_STATE
  • Same as above, this reads the current WiFi status

  • MODIFY_AUDIO_SETTINGS
  • This permission is required to change the “Ringer” profile (ie. silent / normal)

  • BLUETOOTH
  • Required for general Bluetooth status management.

  • BLUETOOTH_ADMIN
  • Required for general Bluetooth status management.

  • INTERNET
  • Power Schedule needs access to the internet for updates

I hope this explains it all. If you have any other concerns, please contact me – I’ll be glad to explain everything.

New Power Schedule icon needed

I’m a developer. I’m not a designer. So I was wondering if anyone can help me out with a new icon for Power Schedule (preferably in a vector format, PNG would be great – so I can scale it properly). I know the current icon is not very suggestive nor good. And since its the first thing the user sees, I would like it to look better.
Unfortunately I don’t have much to offer for the help, except for eternal thanks, having the name posted and a link to your website.

So, anyone interested? 🙂

Power Schedule 1.3.1

I was finally able to publish the bugfix version to the Market (after a number of page refreshes, timeouts and 404 errors). I fixed some small issues which the users complained about. I also added a “Share…” button. If you find Power Schedule useful, pleas share it with your friends (via Facebook, Twitter, email etc.). It doesn’t take much time on your side, it would just motivate me to make it better and better. I hope it’s not too much to ask. Thank you 🙂

Android Market problems

I just tried to upload a small bugfix to Power Schedule – but guess what, big surprise: the developer account is not working (404 error). It seems I’m not the only one experiencing these problems (see here). So this question pops up : is Google working on some new developer account feature (hint: expand the country list already!) or they’re just having some technical problems.
Frankly, I would prefer the first one 😉

EDIT: Well, it’s getting even funnier (or not). I was finally able to get in, but I got a few messages that I’m not the owner of this app (lol). It seems some guys on the forums also get the same message.
Pity. I was just about to post a bugfix version (fixed “event at same hour in weekend / weekdays” bug, also some wrong times being displayed on the time selector – due to different time zones, and also a crash for some devices without Bluetooth).

development.since.2005