Monday, February 24, 2014

Lots of changes.

The last month saw a lot of changes to the contact widget. It started with a simple feature and turned into a stream bugs, fixes and improvements.

I believe most of the bugs are squashed now and what is left is a much more solid code base and a deeper understanding (and some confusion) of Android and Java development.

Luckily I received a lot of friendly feedback to get through it, thanks guys!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Google Reader being Retired

Google Reader is being retired on July 1, 2013. Personally, I use Google Reader every day on my phone and computer. I guess I will need to find another news reader now... bummer!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

CSWP 1.1.2

CSWP 1.1.2 was just released. This fixes a bug with the image chooser/cropper activity that caused it to crash and/or run slow. After literally hours of trying to fix the problem, it turned out to be a single line of code out of place. It is funny that after writing software for a little over 8 years now I have come to the point where the only bugs that stump me for a long time tend to be fixed by changing a single line of code. The activity still acts a little funny though, it flashes a couple of time when the image first loads and the red selector box tends to act a little jumpy when you move it fast. I will continue to work on that. Anyway, I apologize to all of the CSWP users for the problem. I hope to add the ability to rotate images soon too. I have found that some phones will show images properly rotated in their image picker and then they are rotated before they get to my activity, weird...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

More on Android Instant Messaging

Continuing on from my previous post on Android Instant Messaging. I have requested that the AIM and Skype Android apps implement instant messaging URI receivers on their corresponding feedback channels. If you would like to see this feature implemented sooner or possibly ever, below are the links to my requests which you can vote up or reply to. Lets hope they are listening.

AIM Request
Skype Request (Reply actually, someone has already started a similar request)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Android Instant Messaging

The only instant messaging client I use on my Android phone is Google Talk and I use it regularly. So, I decided to implement instant messaging shortcuts into CSW and found some surprises. I found that most Instant Messaging apps for Android do not support Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI). The URIs for instant messaging in Android look something like this "im://gtalk/", "im://skype/username" or "im://aim/cstickdev". As it is, the official Skype and AIM apps do not support their URIs, however Google Talk does.

Based on this knowledge I was given the choice to provide IM shortcuts for Skype, AIM and others which do not support URIs or only providing the ones that I knew worked. In the end, I decided to provide all the shortcuts with the reasoning that it is possible that unofficial apps might implement URI receivers that the official apps do not.

I am requesting that AIM and Skype implement this capability, read more here.

CSW and Contact Names

I received feedback from a CSW user referring to names used for contact widgets. So here is a brief description of how and why the names are chosen.

First, widgets for contacts without photos will always display a name, regardless of the choice made in the configurations. This allows contacts without photos can be differentiated from each other.

Next, the name that is displayed is chosen in this order; the contact's nickname if it exists, the contacts short name (first name followed by first letter of the last name) and finally the contact's display name which is generally the first + [middle] + last names. This method was chosen from user feedback and the fact that even modestly long display names cannot be displayed attractively in the constraints of a widget.

As always, if anyone has any bright ideas let me know.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Contact Simple Widget Pro

Contact Simple Widget Pro (CSWP) has been published to the Android Market today.

CSWP continues where Contact Simple Widget (CSW) stops. CSWP adds hi-res images to widgets which is a major improvement for lower resolutions screens and/or larger widget sizes. Additionally, CSWP includes the ability to change the foreground and background colors of the contact name labels under widgets. Additional customizations and features are planned for CSWP and I am open to suggestions from you.

CSWP is available for $.99 USD on the Android Market.