Updating Remote Recorder

My job has recently changed from mostly programming in Perl to mostly Java. As such I’ve been playing around with Java at home a bit too.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from someone who bought my Sky+ Remote Recorder app asking if I’d be updating it. I replied saying that I wouldn’t because I didn’t think it was worth the effort when Sky have their own app and at least my asp still worked for people with older versions of Android.

A couple of days ago I read that Sky’s apps got pulled because they got hacked. I cursed myself for not having bothered to update my own app and decided it would be good practice at Java and would be a welcome improvement to the people who still use my app regularly.

I’ve spent my evenings working on a new version this week. It’s coming along quite slowly because I’ve got no experience of most of the new Android development practises or designs.

I hope to have a very basic ugly version working by the middle of next week and then spend some time polishing it and doing what testing I can on the devices at my disposal before releasing it.

First post from my Transformer Prime

Cheryl bought me a Transformer Prime for my birthday. It arrived yesterday and I went home during my lunch hour to plug it in so I could use it sooner.

It feels really nice to hold, and the keyboard makes a big difference when I have a lot of text to input like this. I would probably have finished writing stuff if I was using a virtual keyboard.

Android still lacks many good apps designed to work on such a big screen, bit I’m sure there will be more than enough over time. I’m happy with using the phone-style interfaces for most stuff and then taking advantage of the big screen for pictures, videos, web browsing and stuff like that.

So yeah, my first impressions are good, and I’m sure the experience will get better and better.

Rik, snow, Android

Rik moved down to London not so long ago and he’s been staying with Cheryl and me since then. It’s been kind of weird having someone else in the house again, not in a horrible way, just different. I’d forgotten what it was like. Anyway, glad to help him out in what is normally a very difficult and expensive thing to do.

It’s cool having him at work too, especially since Dan is abandoning me for Australia in a matter of weeks now.

It snowed in London for the first time this winter over the weekend. Cheryl, Charlotte, Aron, and I spent a good hour or two on the roof terrace in the middle of the night throwing snowballs and building snowmen. It was a lot of fun. I was soaking wet when I got back into the apartment, but it was enjoyable.

I’ve been working on one of my Android apps quite a bit recently. It’s really frustrating me at the moment though because things aren’t working how I’d expect them to. I think it’s just the dimension definitions that are making it look so horrible, but I can’t be sure. It also seems that there’s no font anti-aliasing on my phone. It could just be the dimensions and some horrible scaling though. Oh well.

Hey Motorola, I won’t be buying a Xoom

I was just reading about the Motorola Xoom tablet. It runs a new version of Android intended specifically for larger screen devices rather than mobile phones and it looks pretty cool in the bits I’ve seen.

As much as I want to buy one of these things I’m afraid that I’m not going to. Why? I own a Motorola Milestone.

My Milestone was advertised as Flash Readyβ„’ when I bought it many months ago. Sadly Motorola still haven’t managed to get Android 2.2 on it, so I can’t actually view any Flash content at all. It’s not that I really care about Flash, but more the fact that Motorola lied to me. They lied to owners of some of their other Android phones too. Some people are stuck on Android 1.6 forever even though their phone is only a year old. It’s just not in the spirit of Android, as far as I’m concerned.

I will be patiently waiting for HTC or Google to release a tablet before I consider buying one.

I bet I’m not the only Motorola customer who won’t be buying anything else from them ever again.

No more Remote Recorder

I was looking around on the Android Marketplace today when I saw that BSkyB are now offering their own Sky+ app for remote recording shows, listings, etc. It’s a very nice-looking app. Lots of polish and shine.

I don’t really see any need to continue developing Remote Recorder now this app exists. It’s kind of a shame because I was still in the middle of my rewrite. I’ll leave my app listed and I’ll probably finish the new version at some point because it’s actually something I enjoy doing, but once the new version is out and stable I doubt I’ll plan any new features, unless I think I can offer something that BSkyB can’t, won’t, or don’t.

Woken calmly

I finally got around to switching my morning alarms (I have 3 set) to my own Android alarm app last night.

The difference was noticeable straight away when I woke up at 6:30am without jumping out of my skin. I felt so much more relaxed, and so I went back to sleep until the 6:45 alarm went off letting me know that I really should hurry up and get out of bed, so I did. The 7am alarm went off telling me I should be leaving the house, and so I hurried along and set off for work. πŸ™‚

I love my app. πŸ˜€

Remote Recorder, again

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time working on the next version of Remote Recorder (my Android app for recording TV programmes with Sky+). I’ve listened to a lot of feedback and the main thing requested by people was the availability of listings for TV channels, rather than just a search interface. When I originally made the app I just wanted to be able to search, so I made it just for myself. That’s no longer the case though, as there are quite a few users of the app, and that number is growing every day.

So I have spent quite a bit of time looking at how best to implement this feature and the video below is what I’ve come up with. Keep in mind that it’s incomplete, and excuse the elevator music πŸ™‚

So yeah, that’s the basics of how it will work. There will be some minor differences that I have in mind, like the ability to filter the channels/programmes by typing the name into the box at the top. This next version should go a long way towards making Remote Recorder a much more stable and usable Android app. πŸ™‚

Oh yeah, I also registered a domain name: Remote Recorder. πŸ˜€

Shake ‘n’ Not Stirred Android Alarm

I recently released an Android app called Shake ‘n’ Not Stirred which is basically just the default Android alarm clock but I added the ability to shake to snooze the alarm. I also added a mode for the alarm so that the volume begins fairly low and gradually increases so it doesn’t make me jump first thing in the morning.

I decided to go ahead and create a website for the application, so I threw the site linked to above together in a couple of hours. It’s completely basic, but it’ll serve the purpose for now. I should probably add some screenshots and a contact form at some point, but there’s no immediate hurry because I’m currently working on a complete rewrite of Remote Recorder.

Yay for Android applications! πŸ˜€

Everyone’s a critic

I just got an email from someone regarding my Petals Around the Rose Android app. It was the first app I made and is a very basic puzzle. I know it’s not the best thing in the world, by any stretch of the imagination, but it was quite a good test for building my first app.

Here’s the email:

On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 2:07 PM, tawana ******** wrote:
It is a stupid game

You can imagine how pleased I was to receive this feedback via email. So here’s my reply:

Hi Tawana.

Well, thanks very much for taking the time to insult me and the effort I put in. It’s greatly appreciated.

Do you have anything you’ve created and given away for free that I can make fun of? If not then you’re not really in much of a good position to be insulting me, and I suggest you spend some time contributing rather than knocking those who are.

Go fuck yourself,
Stuart.

P.S. I took the liberty of searching for you a little bit online and I believe I’ve found your Twitter account: http://twitter.com/sexygirl****** which gives me the following location: 40.******,-73.****** which is in *********, NY. Is this correct?

I hope she replies.