We've Moved


It can be found at the new website: http://fifteen15studios.com/blog/

Personal Blog

Want to know more about the man behind the programs? Check out my personal blog: http://havens1515.blogspot.com

Friday, November 30, 2012

Auto Respond 1.1

I just published Auto Respond 1.1 to the Play Store. I did it earlier than I wanted to, simply because it fixes a lot of bugs (especially on Android 2.x.) There's also a few new features. Most of them seem small, but I think they could make a big difference.

Here's the changes:

  • Fixed bug with starting Dock Listener after app crash or update
  • Fixed bug with editing message text on pre 4.0 devices
  • Fixed bug with changing ringer preferneces while Auto Respond is not active
  • Fixed bug with changing ringer preferneces on pre Android 4.0 devices
  • Added ability to sort messages by title
  • Added ability to set a specific message when device is docked - in Dock Settings
  • Improved swiping between tabs
  • Returned icon to green and blue (can still have purple icon for notification - in settings)
(Paid Only)
  • Fixed some small bugs in the scheduler
  • Fixed bug with rescheduling schedules after app crash or update
  • Added ability to sort schedules by title (more sorting options to come)
  • Added more descriptive text in Schedule creater/editer
  • Added "Repeat" option for scheduler

As usual, this update will be available within an hour or so. 

I also took down most of my Epilepsy Awareness Month stuff, but purchases through the end of the day will still be used for donations. Also, your icon in the notification area will still be purple until tomorrow. Tomorrow it will return to the normal green and blue, and you will have the option to return it to purple, if desired, in the settings screen.

Last Chance!

Today is the final day of Epilepsy Awareness Month! That being said, today is also the last day to help me support Epilepsy Awareness and the Epilepsy Foundation by purchasing Auto Respond.

I have a rather large update that is going to be pushed out tonight or tomorrow. Part of that update will return the icon back to its original colors, but the rest of it is bug fixes, new features, and better performance.

To see what's new, check out the changelog: http://bit.ly/Rmi6Wf

for 99 cents you can have the new scheduler (which is going to be even more enhanced with tomorrow's update) and you can support a great cause!

Download it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.havens1515.autorespond

Also, today at noon my last Epilepsy Fact of the Day will be posting to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Then tonight at 6, the entire list of facts will be posted as a word document which is available for download. I encourage you all to go download that document and educate yourselves on the reality of epilepsy.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Still Improving

When I posted about Auto Respond 1.0 I said that you could now swipe between the two tabs, but that it was very laggy. This was because I simply took the first solution that worked, and ran with it. I looked for other solutions, but at the time I couldn't find anything else.

Well, I've found a new way to read in gestures, and it's MUCH more responsive than what I was using before. It took me a bit to understand it, and implement it correctly, but it works well now. Suddenly, swiping between tabs works like a dream!

I've also made some other small changes to some text in the scheduler. I added some more descriptive text, to make using it a little more intuitive.

At the beginning of December, I will be posting an update which returns the icon to the former green and blue icon, instead of the purple for Epilepsy Awareness month. There will be an option to use the purple icon for your notifications, if you have decided that you enjoy the purple icon. However, there is no way that I can have an option to change the app drawer icon. (I looked into it, there is no way to do it. It has to be hard-coded into the app.)

When I release this update, it will include these minor changes (the swiping and the text changes) as well, and whatever other changes I conjure up over the next few days.

As always, if you have suggestions or find any bugs, let me know!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Auto Respond 1.0.1

I've published Auto Respond 1.0.1 to the Play Store.

The only difference is that it now handles responses over 160 characters, and it has a character counter under the text input on the main window to show you how many characters you have left. If you go over 160, it will display something like "142/2" showing that you are on your 2nd set of 160 characters, and that you have 142 characters left before going over another 160.

For most modern phones these messages will be received as 1 piece. But for users with older phones, or non-smart phones, they will be received as multiple messages, each containing 160 characters or less.

As usual, this update has been published, but may not be live on Google's severs for a an hour or more.

If anyone runs into another issue such as this, please let me know so that I can correct it.

Auto Respond - Long Message Issue

Just to let you all know, I've been working with a user who was having problems with Auto Respond not sending his response message. I added some diagnostic code to try to figure out what the issue was.

He just got back to me, saying that he shortened his message and now it works fine. This leads me to believe that in its current state, Auto Respond may have issues sending long response messages. Usually the limit for each SMS message is 160 characters, so I'm assuming he went above this limit.

I will be looking into this issue, testing and finding the actual limit that causes the issue, and then finding a way to work around this limit. I may have to break the messages up into smaller blocks and send multiple messages, or there may be a way for me to send it that allows for a larger character limit. (I know that above 480 characters, sending as an MMS is usually recommended.)

Once I figure out what this limit is for sure, I may put a character counter under the message telling the user how many characters remain before entering unsafe territory.

Bottom line - I will be working on fixing this, and will hopefully release an update within a couple days to address this issue. I just wanted all of you to be aware that there IS a limit, and if your responses are not being sent correctly you may need to temporarily shorten your response message.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Auto Respond 1.0

I just pushed Auto Respond 1.0 to the play store!

Change log:


  • Fixed some lingering bugs
  • Updated "Help" and "Do Not Respond List Description" screens
  • User can now swipe left and right to change between tabs on main screen (This is kinda laggy, so it may be improved upon later)
  • removed some incomplete settings from the menu (They were deactivated so you couldn't use them anyways)
  • removed "OK" and "Cancel" buttons from main page. Back button saves and exits.

(Paid Only)

  • Added scheduler
  • WAKE_LOCK permission needed for scheduler

(Free Only)

  • Moved ad locations

As usual, it may take some time for the new version to be pushed through Google's servers, but it should be available in an hour or so. 

I'm also currently working with a user to fix a potential bug. It may have already been fixed in this version, but if not I may be pushing another update soon.

PLEASE put this scheduler to the test! I did my best, testing all sorts of things, but I'm sure that there may be some small issues lingering. If you find any, let me know! (Remember, the scheduler is ONLY available in the paid version!)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Scheduler Testing Progress

Late last night and today I've been doing a lot of testing of the scheduler.

As expected, there were a lot of bugs in the initial version, but I fixed a TON of them last night, and some more this morning.

As far as I can tell, everything seems to be working flawlessly on Android 4.1.2. I haven't tested other OS versions yet, but over the next couple days I will start testing on 2.3.

As of now, I expect to release the new version on Monday or Tuesday.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Scheduler Done!

It's done!  The scheduler is done!

I spent almost all day today working on understanding how the alarms are scheduled, as well as how they are triggered, and how to deal with time zone offsets. It took me hours just to understand the flow of control with alarms. But after many hours, and a drawing of program flow, it seems to be working very well.

I've only tested a schedule that occurs every day, not yet testing whether the day of week selections or month selections work properly. I have built in checks for those things, but they aren't yet verified to be working properly. I will test both of those things throughout the week across multiple OS versions.

I have already set up 1 schedule that I will be using on a weekly basis, and I will find out Monday morning if that is triggered properly.

As stated in my last post, I expect to have this fully tested and released before the end of next week. With any luck, it'll be early to mid next week.  :-)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Update

I've spent a LOT of time the last few days, making what seems like minimal progress.  Some things get exceedingly complicated when you start using more complicated views to display things. The upside is that it makes things look and feel better for the user.

All of that being said, I got the checkbox on the schedules working. It took me almost an entire work day to do it, but I did it. Schedules can now be activated/deactivated from the checkbox on the list of schedules, OR from within the edit screen for each individual schedule.

While doing this, I also found and fixed some bugs in the editing/deleting process for the schedules (luckily I found them before releasing the scheduler as a feature.)

All that is left now is creating the alarm activity to trigger the start and end of the schedule, then acting on that alarm to actually enable/disable Auto Respond.


I don't like giving an actual ETA, but I'm hoping to have the scheduler done by the end of this weekend. I probably won't do any programming today, but I might get some done tomorrow, and I'll likely spend some time on it on Saturday and possibly Sunday as well.

That being said, if it's completed by the end of the weekend, I'll probably test it during the week, and hopefully release it near the end of the week (assuming I don't run into many bugs.)

As I've stated before, this will be a PAID ONLY feature. If you click on "New Schedule" in the free version, it will prompt you to purchase the paid version.

REMINDER: If you purchase the paid version before the end of the month, all proceeds go to the Epilepsy Foundation for Epilepsy Awareness Month! I haven't gotten many purchases this month, but I have gotten a few. I would be very grateful (and so would the Foundation) if some of you made a purchase before the end of the month.

If you do purchase after the end of the month, and would still like your purchase to be donated, email me and I will make the donation.

Side note: It would be nice to see some ratings and feedback in the Play Store too! ;-)

For those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving today, I wish you all a happy and SAFE holiday! Please be careful while travelling, and use caution when cooking for yourselves, your families, and/or your guests.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Scheduler is almost there!

I've been working on the schedule for Auto Respond a lot recently. Today, I finished the ability to edit/delete the schedules.

It may sound like a minor victory to you as a reader, but it took a LOT of work to get this working properly. (Mostly because I couldn't figure out why I wasn't able to click/long-click the schedule list. Once I figured out what was going on there, it wasn't too bad.)

Things that still need work:

  • The checkbox on the list of schedules currently does nothing
    • Eventually it will activate/deactivate individual schedules
  • The schedules themselves still do nothing
    • When the schedules are activated/deactivated I need to set an "alarm" which is acted upon
    • When the "alarm" is triggered, I need to enable/disable auto respond and change the current message
While doing this, I think I may have figured out what my problem was when trying to build a widget. Just like the list items, I couldn't click on the widget once it was created. So if I apply the same logic to the widget, I may be able to get it working the way I want it. Right now I'm on a role with the scheduler, so I'm going to finish that before going back to the widgets.

With any luck, I'll have the scheduler done in a week or so, maybe less. It depends on how much programming I want to do this holiday weekend, and how much trouble I run into with the alarm activity. (In theory, the alarm activity shouldn't be too bad, but we'll see what happens.)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Auto Respond 0.10.3

More bug fixes mostly with this update.
  • Fixed an issue that may make it impossible to edit the title of a message in the "Preset Messages" list
  • Fixed an issue with deleting preset messages
  • Changed layout of "Preset Messages" list
The "Preset Messages" list now shows the name of the message, and the actual message. As I work more with layouts I am learning how to do things like this, so I go back and improve existing features. 

As I was working on the new layout, and getting it to display properly, I realized that the way I was handling deleting messages was not correct. I was missing some important pieces of the process. I was deleting the message, but I was not decrementing the list properly if there were more messages after the one that was being deleted. This led to some VERY unexpected side effects if you did something like delete the first message in a list of 5 messages.

This has been taken care of. When you delete a message the list should do exactly as you expect it to do, regardless of the position of the message within the list of messages.

I eventually want to work on sorting this list, but that will come in the future. (I just officially put it on my to-do list)

As usual, I have published this update to the Play Store, but it may not be available for another hour or 2.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Progress on the Scheduler

I have made some good progress on the scheduler today and yesterday. Schedules are saving, and they are displaying correctly in a list on the scheduler tab.

I still have to work on editing and deleting the schedules once they are created, and actually scheduling an action once the day/time of the start and end of the schedule occur, but I did actually make a lot of progress. I also made a lot of changes to what the schedule list looks like (not that you guys know what it looked like before, but I spent a LOT of time perfecting it.)

Here's what it looks like right now:

Those are all dummy schedules, setup to show a variety of different possible configurations for the schedule (and a variety of different use cases.)

The End Goal:

Each of those schedules has a message specific to the schedule, which is set at the creation of each individual schedule. Therefore, you can set the meeting message to say "I'm in a meeting, I'll be out at 9." and you can set the class message to say "Busy learning math,  I'll be available around noon." As stated above, I will be working on the ability to edit these messages, and the rest of the detail of each schedule. Editing and deleting will be available upon long-pressing the schedule, just like how the list of preset messages works. (At least, that's the plan as of now.)

When the schedules trigger, they will set the current message and turn on Auto Respond. When the scheduled event ends, it will return Auto Respond to its previous on/off state, and return your message to whatever it was before the beginning of the scheduled event. (This behavior may end up becoming an option - whether you would prefer it to return to the previous state at the end of a scheduled event, or turn off at the end of the scheduled event regardless of the previous state.)

Unfortunately, none of that actually happens yet. What you see here is basically what is working, and nothing more. It displays, it doesn't actually work yet.

I will continue to work on getting this working whenever I have free time. I have decided that this WILL be a paid-only feature. If you want the scheduler ability, you will have to pay $.99 for the paid app.

Friday, November 16, 2012

GUI Euchre

I didn't mention it, but I also updated GUI Euchre last night. I fixed the few bugs that were there.

  1. Fixed a bug which caused 4-point hands statistics to not save after being cleared
  2. Fixed a small layout misalignment (Small enough that most of you probably wouldn't notice, but I did)
  3. Possibly fixed an issue which caused the program to think an update is available if no internet connection is available. (I will test that at work today, to make sure it is working properly.)

get it here: bit.ly/GUIEuchre

If you find any more bugs, let me know. Other than that, I should be working on improving the AI of the computer players soon.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Auto Respond 0.10.2

Auto Respond 0.10.2 has been published to the Play Store. It may be an hour or 2 until it is live on Google's servers, but it has been posted. All of the bugs from the list earlier today are fixed. I tested on both 4.1 and 2.3 devices, and both are verified working. Changes made in settings screen will now happen immediately in all Android versions as well.



Again, I am going to ask people to PLEASE report any bugs you may find. If you don't report them, I may not know that they exist. If you send me an email about a bug, at least then I know it exists and can look into fixing it ASAP. So far, all of the bugs I have fixed are things that I have found myself.

Also, if you have any feature requests, let me know. I can add them to my to-do list.

Back to coding

I know it has been a while since I've done anything new... It has been a busy month. I started doing some more coding this week, and I've found and fixed a few bugs. (Why does nobody tell me about these?? If you find bugs PLEASE send me an email so that I can fix it!)

Here's some stuff I've been working on:

Auto Respond:

1) A pretty big bug fix - I noticed that Auto Respond would sometimes toggle itself off. I was wondering why... what is causing this. It seemed kind of random, but I finally figured it out. It was something in the Dock Settings Menu. I figured out what was causing the problem, and it has been fixed. (It may not have been an issue if the dock options were not enabled. I'm also no 100% sure that this bug affected the free version.)

2) I fixed a small bug on the schedule tab, which cause 12pm to be shown as 0pm when using 12-hour clock.

2a) While on the subject of the scheduler, the changes made in the SDK have set me WAY back in the development of the scheduler. They depreciated some of the code I was using, and I need to figure out how to use the new methods.

3) I've made settings on 4.0+ devices take effect immediately. I'm not sure if the same is true for Pre-4.0 devices. (I know I tried it once, but it didn't work quite as well as I had hoped.)

4) Google just released a new SDK, so I'm going to look at the new options in the SDK and the "support" API to see if there is a way for me to unify the menu across Android versions again.

5) I don't think anything needs to be changed for the app to support Android 4.2, but I will be looking into that as well. (Especially once some 4.2 ROMs are released for the Galaxy Nexus, and I can test on an actual device.) I would actually like to look into the possibility of adding something into the "quick settings" area of 4.2. Not sure if apps have the ability to add toggles to that list, but it would be cool if I could make that a reality.

These changes are still a work in progress, and are not fully tested as of now. I will likely be fully testing them, across multiple Android versions, in a couple days. Once they are fully tested, and confirmed working properly, I will release an update.

As always, the app is available on the play store:

Both versions are still purple for epilepsy awareness month, and all purchases of the paid version still go to the Epilepsy Foundation.

GUI Euchre:

I have some changes that will be made in my Euchre game as well. I've found a few small issues (listed in the known issues document on the download page) and I plan on fixing those later this week. Not too many people actively use that program, so it's a little lower on my to-do list. The issues that are present are not pressing issues either. They do not greatly effect the usability of the program, they're just small things that annoy me when I play.

I want to take some extra time to re-do the AI in the game as well. Since I programmed it, I find it a little too predictable. There are also times when I think the computer players call trump too often, or they take risks that are not necessary to take, and other times they are quite risky enough. I want to add some more random events into their logic, making the players a little less predictable, but also try to make them play smarter. Some of my logic is built on too specific triggers, and I want to work on that.

Having never taken a class or read anything about AI design, I am learning as I go. It's kinda tough to teach yourself a concept like AI design, but I think I'm doing pretty well with it. I would like to eventually be able to build in selectable play styles, or difficulty settings, but that's kinda tough to do in a game like euchre. I'd first need to learn different play styles, then perfect them, then program them.

if you want to check out the Euchre game (as it is now) you can get it here: bit.ly/GUIEuchre

Friday, November 2, 2012

Auto Respond for Epilepsy Awareness!

As I said in my last post, this month is Epilepsy Awareness Month.
I have decided to turn Auto Respond purple for the month. My icons and my Play Store banner have been turned purple instead of their normal blue and green.

On top of changing the color, ALL money that is made from the sale of the paid version of Auto Respond during November will be donated equally between the National Epilepsy foundation (http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/) and my local branch of the Epilepsy Foundation. (http://www.epilepsyuny.org/) My local branch has done WAY too much for me, my family, and my friends to not include them specifically.

70% of all sales in the Play Store go to me, the rest goes to cell carriers. ALL of that 70% will go from my bank account, to the Epilepsy Foundation at the end of the month. I will not keep 1 cent of the sales that I make this month.

Unfortunately, I do not know if there is a way to get 100% of your purchase to charity, but my 70% can still make a difference!

If you would like to donate, separate from your purchase, you can do so here:
or here:

Donations from the "Donate" link in my app can also be sent to the Epilepsy Foundation. Just include a note when you donate that you would like that donation to go to the Epilepsy Foundation. (The money will initially go to me, but I WILL make sure it gets to the foundation at the end of the month!)