Tag Archives: froyo

Reader Widgets V2.16 in the Market

Despite distractions like Fallout: New Vegas and Call of Duty: Black Ops I have managed to knock out an update to my Reader Widgets. Here’s the full change log:

  • Auto sign in for Froyo devices added.
  • Removed progress dialog from 2nd config screen.
  • Handling “denied” message from API. This would cause the widget show zero unread items.
  • Various force close fixes.
  • Built against Froyo SDK and set install location to “internalOnly”. This means it can’t be moved to SD card which should be the case for any widget apps.
  • Bug fix: rotating to landscape mode on homescreen would clear some of the data from the large widget and stop it responding.
  • Removed location permission from free version

I have also consolidated the code bases for the free and pro versions so that in future development effort is reduced.

SMS Bot Widget 1.5 in the Market

I have finally gotten round to updating SMS Bot Widget. This new version includes bug fixes and new features:

  • One touch sending option with 6 second timer. When configuring the widget choose this option to send the SMS message with one touch straight from the home screen. Pressing any of the buttons in the send dialogue will cancel the timer so that the message is not sent.
  • New icon of a Vetruvian Android trapped in a speech bubble.
  • Added listener for app upgrade so that on Froyo (Android 2.2) phones upgrades do not blank out the widgets
  • Width of send dialogue increased to fill screen
  • Small icons removed from title bars
  • Optipng run on all images to save space
  • Removed permission for coarse location as it is no longer needed for ads
  • Bug fix: blank message no longer possible to save in widget. Sending a blank message was causing force closes.
  • Bug fix: force close issue when trying to parse invalid contact ID

How to: create a Paperless List through the air

One of the features I like the most about my new app Paperless List is the chrome-to-phone functionality. It was also one of the simplest features to implement. In Android 2.2 (Froyo) Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM) was added. This allows cloud services to push notifications or data down to an Android 2.2 phone. Shortly after the first Froyo build was released, chrome-to-phone appeared to allow links to be sent from a PC browser down to a phone running Froyo over the air. When sent to the phone website links opened the browser, Google Maps links opened the Android Google Maps app and Youtube links opened the Youtube app. Now Tesco.com links open Paperless List and add items to the shopping list.

Requirements:

  • Android 2.2 phone e.g. Nexus One
  • Google Chrome 4.0 and above or Firefox 3.0 and above on Windows/Mac/Linux

Instructions:
1. Download Paperless List from the Android Market
2. Download and install the chrome-to-phone Chrome plugin and companion Android app from here. If you are using Firefox then download the Send To Phone plugin from here. The Android app will require you to enable installation from “Unknown sources” in application settings.
3. Run the chrome to phone app on the phone and register your device.
4. Go to Tesco.com in Chrome, click on groceries and login to your account. If you don’t have an account, sign up for one. It doesn’t take long.
5. Navigate Tesco.com and find a product page like this one for milk.
6. Click on the chrome-to-phone icon in Chrome to send the product to your Paperless List. The first time you do this in your browser session it will require you to sign into Google. After sign in go back to the tab with Tesco.com open and click on the icon again to send the link.
7. After a short delay your phone will make the default notification sound and a pop-up will appear asking you to select the Browser or Paperless List:

pop-up

8. If preferred check the “Use by default” box to automatically add things to your shopping list in future. Tap the Paperless List option.
9. Paperless List will start and retrieve the product details from the Tesco.com API
10. Once the details are retrieved the product is automatically added to your list and of course updates the total cost:

chrome list

11. Repeat steps 5 to 10 to build a complete shopping list over the air. It also works for the Tesco.com search results page by making Paperless List execute a search with the same keywords.

Unfortunately, at the time of this post only the Nexus One has an official Android 2.2 build that supports C2DM. Hopefully more devices will get updated to Android 2.2 soon.

And for my next app: Paperless List

Paperless List is a shopping list application powered by the Tesco API. It is for UK Android devices only.

Paperless List

Tesco products can be searched for or scanned using the Barcode scanner already in the Market. There are other Tesco shopping list apps in the Android Market but I started development on mine before these appeared. I have added some unique features to differentiate it:

  • Horizontal swipe gestures (only on Android 1.6 or above) or context menu to cross off items
  • Manually add items
  • Total price of list visible at all times
  • Using chrome to phone on the Tesco.com website, products and searches can be sent straight to the phone from a PC. This works on Froyo (Android 2.2) only and requires a sign in to the Tesco.com site on the PC.
  • Froyo (Android 2.2) apps to SD compatible
  • Action bar and dashboard design patterns utilised, similar to the official Twitter Android app.

In order to perform an action on an item in search results or the list, the long press context menu is used. This includes viewing product details including images and special offers:

product details

Even though it implements the latest Android features the app works on Android 1.5 and above. This took some extra work but I think it was worth it. It is available now on the Android market in the UK. Search for “paperless list” to find it.

Update – scan QR code to go straight to it in the market:

QR code

Reader Widgets V2.11 in the Market

As promised I have just uploaded a new version of Reader Widgets Pro and Free to the Market. As I mentioned yesterday there were the changes in Android 2.2 that prevented the automatic login option from working. For now the manual option is the only one for Froyo devices. All phones on Android 2.1 and below can still use both options.
I also fixed a small bug where the widget would revert to showing “Tap to setup” when reconfiguration was cancelled.

Froyo First Impressions

The internet almost exploded at the weekend with the arrival of Android 2.2 aka FroYo. I was one of the people over at xda-developers hammering my F5 key into the desk waiting for the URL to appear. Finally it did and soon after a version for root users appeared too. Now that I have been running it for 48 hours I can provide some impressions of it.
It’s feels a bit quicker, especially the browser. JavaScript heavy sites like Google Reader fly. The wireless tethering works well enough. One of the biggest features is Adobe Flash 10.1 Beta. This is an early version so it’s a bit hit and miss. Some things work well like the short video clips on the BBC News site but some things don’t. If you hit the full BBC iPlayer site then the video stutters and the sound crackles. Hopefully future versions will work better. It’s a good feeling to be able to open any link or Google Reader item and know the content is going to load (even if its a little clunky at the moment).
There are lots of little tweaks to the applications and UI:

  • Hold down a key on the virtual keyboard and then swipe upwards and numbers and symbols appear. Not as good as the HTC IME keyboard but a nice addition nonetheless
  • The Facebook has been updated so that messages and photos now open in the app rather than going to m.facebook.com in the browser.
  • The official Twitter client is part of the ROM now
  • Animated GIFs now work in the browser (at last!)
  • The home screen now has non-configurable shortcuts to the phone app and browser integrated at the bottom. Useful as shortcuts to these can be removed from the home screen, saving space.

The nifty Chrome to Phone plugin and companion app that they showed off at Google I/O is already available and it works as expected. Normal website links open the browser, Google Maps links open the maps application and Youtube links give you a choice of the browser or Youtube app.

There are some bad points the biggest of which is that the automatic login option for my Reader Widgets no longer works. I used an undocumented API for this so its my own fault really. If the widget is already on the home screen it should continue to work but if the app is installed fresh then it won’t load authorise with the Google Reader API. The manual login option still works so I will issue an update disabling the automatic option just for Android 2.2. I have done some tests and I might not be able to provide the automatic option again.
Other downsides are that the custom HTC IME keyboard does not work fully yet. I’m sure that will get fixed soon enough. Some applications are no longer showing up in the Market e.g. ExZeus.

SMS Bot Widget still works and so does PubCrawler.

Moving apps to the SD card is down to developers to add support for it. Google don’t recommend that widget apps use it in case the SD card is removed from the phone (and the widget is still active).

Overall it’s a great step forward for Android. Some features have been added that fix obvious issues with the platform and others put it ahead of the competition. I can’t wait for the apps and services that will utilise Froyo fully.