Thursday, December 23, 2010

Update, update, update...

If you've download Desk Clock Plus, you've probably noticed the steady stream of updates.  I've gotten into the habit of checking the error reports on a daily basis to see what's going on and really try to resolve the problems as they've come in.  Most of which have been pretty minor after my major programmer fail when I first launched the program about two weeks ago. However, some of them were kind of odd...

One was a crash report that was extremely cryptic and after some googleing, I found a line to Daniel Lew's Coding Thoughts regarding the problem that I was having.  There seems to be a bug with the view flipper (a control that I'm using in the slide show and to flip back grounds) and when the phone gets rotated.  The fix was pretty minor and I think it's working... If you are using the slide show and it stops advancing the images shoot me an email cause that's the bug I want to see if I can recreate it locally...

The other bug that I'm happy to have fixed is with loading the images for the slide show.  Since we are dealing with a phone and some memory limitation large images would crash on load.  Previously, I would just skip the image, but I found a really awesome android dev blog called Android-er.  In this post, he explains how to use the BitmapFactory options object to load large images.

Lastly, I finally got the PayPal donation system working... so, if you feel generous, you can toss a buck or two into the development tip jar! 

And of course

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Announcing Desk Clock Plus

I put the Launch Bar widget aside for a while (OK, last post was over two months ago) and I started to address another issue that I having with the OS.  I have the Motorola Droid, I also have the Multimedia Dock which I use at work.  I find it very convent to have the time and weather right in front of me.  The stock Clock program has this very annoying (in my opinion) of going to a screen saver mode after 3 minutes or so.  The back ground goes black the time color changes to green and the time moves around after minute or so.  I don't get to see my background, I don't get to see the weather and the kicker to it is there's no settings to change this behavior.

So, I took on what became known as Desk Clock Plus as my next project.  For the most part, I'm pretty happy with it.  I've got a bunch of features that I'm happy with (Silent on dock being one of my favorites).  The rotating backgrounds I feel is a nice feature and of course the selling point that I think most people with the dock will be happy with is the ability to set the damned screen saver time out... to OFF.

This being said, I did have a programmer epic fail yesterday after the initial publish.  I uploaded the APK to the market at 12:30ish and by 1:00 I had 3 force close reports and 1 email (thanks for that!).  Turns out that Java still hates me and that I apparently don't understand how recursion works with Java.  So, some quick code reorganization and it looks like it fixed the problem.  All of this came about because I didn't uninstall the application first or clear the settings.  Very bad, stupid programmer...

I do have another change for that, but I forgot to include it in the last push, it's not a big deal so that will have to wait.

Finally, in regards to the price of this application, even though I did code 90% of it from scratch (I did use the stock alarm system as I didn't want to take the time to figure it out on my own... yes I got lazy).  With that and the fact that it's really just a clock, it's a free application.  I do have a donate option that's disabled for now, once PayPal gets back to me and approves my app request I'll make the changes and enable it. It also amazes me that in 24 hours I have ~350 downloads with 150 active installs.  Launch Bar (free) is up to 4117 downloads! 

I do have some other good ideas for the app planned, but I'm not sure how long it will be until I get to them.  I think I want to go back to the Launch Bar widget and implement some of the things that I learned from the Desk Clock and make that guy a little faster.