Tag Archives: android

Learning from mistakes

Well, it’s easy to get over-enthusiastic and get burned 🙂
It happened to me last night because I didn’t test Power Schedule 1.5 on more devices. So first it crashed because I removed a needed library, then because LeadBolt (ads provide) apparently has some problems on Android 2.1 (even though they say they support it – heads up for other developers as well).

So now I just published version 1.5.4. Hopefully the crash reports are gone for now.

Next time I’ll take my time and test it on all supported platforms.

15000 active users

Well, I’m now definitely back to work. I’ve had quite a stressful year at work (hopefully things will chill down for a while). Yes, some of my team’s work can be seen in the new Audi A3 (just revealed at Geneva Motor Show). Pretty proud of that, actually. Soon you’ll also see it in the new Golf 7 😉

But anyhow, as I said I’m back to Android development – and hopefully without major breaks this time.
To start, I thank the 15,000 active Power Schedule users by releasing a new minor update: version 1.5. I’ve finally added one thing most of you asked for – “vibrate” instead of “silent” option.
Also, if you don’t mind, I’ve added an ad, as a splash screen. This is because my hosting costs some bucks / year. I hope this doesn’t upset anybody – if most users demand removal, I will.
You can find it in the form of a checkbox in the “Ring Profile” section.

So go on, update your app. And if you don’t use it already, what are you waiting for? 🙂

Restore Airplane Mode

One of the users wrote me an e-mail that after uninstalling Power Schedule, when he turned on Airplane Mode, WiFi was still enabled. This is because Power Schedule (and others) change this setting to allow individual control over WiFi, Bluetooth and Telephony. Since the application being uninstalled is not notified it’s being uninstalled, it has no chance of cleaning up (and restoring previous settings). This is how Android is designed (a bit of a flaw, in my opinion – on Windows Mobile an application was notified before uninstall).

Anyway, I wrote a small app to restore the settings. Download and install it using Astro or whatever file manager you have on your device.
Here’s the link:
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Back on track

As you know I’ve been away for a few days – so the release date for Power Schedule 2 was shifted a bit. I’m also quite busy at work – so I don’t have the energy to work on it after I get home :(.
I made some progress last Sunday – I still have to write a help file, some hints, and design new High resolution icons. But the overall functionality is done 🙂

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.