Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Last one... I swear... until the next one

I found two little bugs one dealing with the display on a larger phone (IE the new Droid X2) that was just setting the dock to center.  The other one was little more odd, I noticed that the slide show would sometimes display the local images when it wasn't supposed to.  This turned out to be an invalid default value, so I need to add a little more brains to making the choice to show local images or not for the slide show.

Seriously, going to start on the extensions... not fixing anything else... until I find something else that's broken.

EDIT: I almost forgot to mention the new 'Vintage Flag' them available for download from the theme browser.  I tried something different with the icons and I'm not 100% sold on them. 

Opinions welcome!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Over the weekend at some point Desk Clock Plus reached the next plateau in the Android Market, over 10,000 downloads since I first released it mid December.  Obviously, that's not 'Angry Birds' type numbers, but it still it averages out to be about 55 downloads a day or about 1600 per month.  It's still kind of crazy to me that many people have tried out my app and 2000+ have it installed on their device. 

Just some quick notes about the last couple of updates:
  • Re-sized the "night clock" for tablet devices, the font size should be the same as when it's in landscape mode.
    • Apparently the colon color wasn't being set either... 
  • Updated PayPal API after it caused a Force Close.
  • After I re-localized the strings, I introduced a string bug that caused force closes on non-English devices (Désolé pour ça!)
  • I'm also now doing some more work to verify that I have the correct intent when the music application is set, this came to light with the Google Music 3.0 launch.
  • Andrew C. sent me screen shot of Desk Clock Plus on his Galaxy Tab and there was some screen layout issues.  The portrait view I know is fixed, I made some other changes to the landscape view, but I haven't been able to verify them, so please email me if your display is messed up for a 'large' tablet device.
  • Gary M. requested that the weather not show NA when no weather info can be found.  This is an issue for him as he said: "I'm on holiday with no internet access".  The first thing I thought of was "a holiday with no internet access... that sounds really good right now!"
  • Finally, there's an extra permission request for the Fine location (GPS).  I did this to increase the chance that I could find your location for the weather without having to resort to the IP address which is rather in accurate.
I don't think there's going to be very many if any updates for a while.  I'm going to be working on some in-app paid extensions, but more about that at a later time.

Thanks again to everyone who has downloaded and uses Desk Clock Plus!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Curse you PayPal!

I looked at the Developer Console this afternoon and I noticed I had a new Force Close report... Something inside of the PayPal API ran out of memory.  So, the last update have some error trapping around the PayPal stuff and I updated the PayPal code to the the latest 1.1.1 version.

I was also informed that I didn't re-size the night clock for the tablet screens.  That's also been fixed in the latest update.

More than meets the eye...

Here's a picture of Desk Clock Plus running on a Asus Transformer

It's running the "Grapes" theme.  I actually to that picture here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Desk Clock Plus on your tablet

(Updated 5-5-11)
I was very surprised when I got an email a while back from someone who sent a screen shot of Desk Clock Plus from their rooted nook.  I've gotten some other emails for users regarding the Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab.  Then, Woot had gTablet on sale for cheap and then there were three in my office I could use for testing.  I'm very happy to announce that Desk Clock Plus will display properly on tablet devices.

In addition to the new supported screen sizes and the standard minor bug fixes based upon the force close reports, I've got a couple other new features.

I've had the problem personally where I've asked myself, what's the clock doing?  I see it's moving data, but nothing is happening... So I added bunch of indicator icons to the upper right hand side of the screen.

From left to right:

  • Weather -- For when the weather is being loaded or updated
  • Picasa Albums -- For when images from your album are being loaded
  • Picasa Featured -- For when the featured images from Picasa are being loaded
  • Local Images -- For when your local images are being loaded
  • Refreshing Image Pool -- After any of the last 3 actions complete, the list of images need to be updated which can take some time depending on the volume of image
  • Clean Image Pool -- During some events, the image pool needs to be cleaned (images unloaded, memory cleanup, etc)
  • Loading Image -- Loading an image locally or from the web
 The a fore mentioned gTablet has a draw back in that the hacked ROM the guys were using the location service didn't work, so they would never get weather info.  There's a new option that will get the device's IP address and use that to figure out the location.  This however isn't always accurate as during testing, my phone thought I was in New Jersey which is only about 350 miles off...

I've also added an option to use the Slide Show as the screen saver if you're using that functionality.  It was such a simple thing to do, I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier.

Lastly, I've built in a way to override the default dock and buttons without apply a theme.  This is basically creating a custom theme that allows you to use the background flipper as well.  I will update the About Themes page soon, but the basics is that if you put one of the following files in the /DeskClockPlus /DeskClockPlus/Themes folder it will use that file instead of the default.
  • dock.png
  • alarm.png
  • slideshow.png
  • darkclock.png
  • music.png
  • home.png
Next up, there is a known bug with the music button.  Certain music players will not Launch from inside of Desk Clock Plus.  I've done a little research and believe it's an application permissions thing... I don't know for sure and I need to look into it.  The good news is that I've been able to  reproduce it on a co-workers tablet.  I'm also going to implement the Google in app purchasing for donations.

After that, I've got some big changes in mind...