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Personal Blog

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

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Possible Auto Respond Crash Bug

I received a report in Google Analytics today that there was a crash in the settings menu in Auto Respond Free. The crash seems to have occurred on a Galaxy S3, running the latest version of the app (1.3.2), on Android 4.1.2, possibly from an international phone because the language was en-gb. (British English)

Yes, I can tell all of that from Google Analytics. What I cannot see is any identifying information about the actual user (name, location, anything like that - which I don't really need anyway) and more importantly I cannot see the EXACT location of where the error occurred. Again, it appears to be in the settings menu, but it does not give me an exact line number.

I tried reproducing this error, and I cannot get it to crash on my Galaxy Nexus running 4.2.2. If you happen to run into this error (Or if you have an S3, or another phone running 4.1.2, and can recreate it for me) please send in a crash report when the FC happens so that I can get more details. I looked through my code, and cannot figure out where, or why, this error would have occurred. Since I cannot recreate the issue, I do not know if the bug exists in the pro version. The instance that occurred was reported by the free version.

For the record, it has been quite some time since there has been a crash bug reported in a market version of ANY of my apps, so this is a rare occurrence. For those of you who have been using my apps for a while, you know that I bugs very seriously (especially crash bugs) and I work toward fixing them as soon as I know of their existence. Sometimes, your help is necessary in finding the root cause.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Android Euchre Progress

I've finally done it... my euchre logic will compile... mostly.

The only part that doesn't compile is displaying the cards, because I haven't created all of the separate card images yet. I have the image with the entire deck, but I need to split that into 24 different files (Yes, 24. This is a euchre deck, not a regular card deck) then I need to resize those 24 files for different screen sizes.

Then after that's all done, I obviously need to test to make sure I didn't break any logic. Then I need to build in the options that I had in the Windows game, and the statistics that are in the Windows game, and build a menu, and work on the achievements, and getting it to network... so there's still A LOT of work to do.

BUT, I have reorganized a lot of the logic into new object classes (which makes the logic easier to follow) and I've fixed some actual logical errors in the computer play logic (thanks to warnings in the IDE I'm using) and the layout is pretty much set (I might have to tweak it slightly for different screen sizes, but it's mostly good)

Here are some renderings from my IDE:

These renderings are emulating what the game would look like on a Galaxy Nexus.

I've included a few different views with different buttons that are used at different times. Also, different information is displayed at different times, so not all of the text boxes that you see will always be present at all times.

As you can see, there is an ad in the top left, (where it is very unlikely for the user to accidentally click it) hand information in the top right, game information in the bottom left, and most of the user interaction is in the bottom right.

The "Message Text" area is where all messages to the user will be displayed. This includes information about actions by the other players (IE: "Player 2 has passed" or "Player 2 has ordered the 9 of clubs to Player 3", etc.) and it will have information as to actions that need to be taken by the player (IE: "Would you like to call trump?" or "Select a card to play", etc.)

The cards in the center are the cards played by each player for that trick. This is also used as the "Up Card" display for player 1 and player 3. The "Up Card" for players 2 and 4 are closer to their hands.

There is a (Dealer) and (Passed) label for each player, which will be displayed as necessary. Once trump is called, all of the (Passed) labels will disappear, and some hand information will appear in the top right. The (Dealer) label will stay near the player who dealt until the next hand is dealt.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Redesigned Menus

After seeing how some other apps did menus, I realized that my menus were kind of out of date.

Mainly, a lot of apps use the "action bar" in Android 4.0 for their menu, then put the rest of the menu in the overflow menu. So I did this with all of my apps.

The settings button and the share button are now in the action bar, and the rest of the items are in the overflow menu. For users on Android 2.x, it's all still in the menu, but many menu items now have icons associated with them.

Also, in Tic Tac Toe the settings menu item is no longer present while in an active game. Previously, this item was present but would display an error dialog if clicked. Now it's gone.

Here are some screen shots:

Look at the top right of the screen shot, just below the time. That's where the menu is. Notice how the wrench icon is present in the first shot, but not in the second.

Auto Respond's menu setup is identical to the setup in the first screen shot.

As usual, these updates have been pushed, but may take a while to be live on the Play Store.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Auto Respond 1.3.1

The new Auto Respond has been uploaded to the Google Play store. Again, nothing too big for free users, but a new widget for pro users.

Change log:


  1. Fixed error with scheduler displaying wrong day of week in extremely rare cases
  2. Fixed error with creating a widget with default message in rare cases
  3. Added 4x4 schedule widget (Android 4.0+)
  4. Toggling Auto Respond off will return response message to value prior to activating schedule or widget


  1. Changed some appearances
As usual, it may not be live in the Play Store for a couple hours, but you can look forward to seeing it later today.

There are some quirks about the new widget:
  1. It's only available in Android 4.0+
    1. Some of the things I used were added in API 11 (Android 3.0) and since this app is useless on tablets, and 3.x was only used on tablets, this widget is only available on phones with Android 4.0+
  2. When using the on/off toggle for an individual schedule, the widget must reload, which causes it to "blink". It's weird. I tried fixing it, but from what I've seen around the web there's no better way to do it. 
I'm sure I'll take another look into these issues in the future, and see if there is a better way to go about it, but for now it works with some small quirks.

EDIT: For the record, I currently only have 3 users on the pro that are on Android 2.x. Sorry to those 3 users. I tried making it available for everyone, but I couldn't.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Schedule Widget almost done

So as I said before, I've been working on a schedule widget. I've gotten almost all of it working:

What's working:

  1. App icon opens the app
  2. + icon adds new schedule
  3. Play icon starts schedule immediately
  4. Pause icon stops schedule immediately
  5. Pencil icon edits schedule
  6. On/Off button enables/disables schedule
What's not working:
  1. Sort button does nothing. 
    1. I may drop this if I can't get it to work. It's not really necessary anyway.
  2. On/Off button does not change appearance when toggled
    1. It changes appearance if you remove/re-add the widget, but not immediately. Not sure why.
  3. List does not scroll
    1. I have not yet looked much into how to make it scroll. I found some documentation on it, but have not yet read through it.
    2. Preliminary reading indicates that it will only scroll on Android 4.0+
Good news - the list of "not working" things is quickly getting smaller. Yesterday none of the individual schedule buttons worked, and even as of an hour or so ago, only 1 worked properly. Now they're almost all 100% functional.

As you can see in the screenshots, I changed the color of the top bar to be holo themed, so if you are using a theme that takes advantage of holo colors, the color of the bar will change with your themes. (Notice the color of the icons in the top right - like battery, wifi, and time - changed with my theme, and the widget bar matches that color.) 
This background is also semi-transparent, as it was way too bright when it wasn't.

Now, onto some changes to the in-app schedule screen:

As I showed before, the menu is now on the bottom. I changed the edit icon to the pencil, as I said I would, and I added a delete button. Upon being pressed, the delete button displays a dialog asking "Are you sure?" in case you accidentally hit delete.

Nothing happens when you click/long-click anywhere other than those buttons. This is to make things more obvious to the user, and to make things easier on me as well.

I have tested this in both Android 4.x and 2.x,  and all buttons seem to work properly in both OS versions.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Auto Respond - some new looks

As I was working on the new widget, I was messing around with the way some things look. I tried finding a way to make each schedule use less space, while also looking cleaner, and I think I've found a good way to do it.

All the info about the schedule is now on the top, and all of the things you can do with it are in a menu below each schedule. There are no words in the menu, which saves space. Only descriptive icons, which are built-in icons from the Android system. (I might change the preferences - wrench - icon to an edit - pencil - icon)

Each schedule actually takes up slightly more vertical space, but I still think this looks better. Also, I somehow broke the click and long-click on the schedule info, but I'm working on getting that functionality back.

As you can see here, I've also added an icon to the new and sort buttons. This is probably not necessary, but I like the looks of it. These icons are also present in other screens which have the new and sort buttons.

I am most likely going to make the widget look more like this as well, but I will need to use something other than a switch for the on/off functionality. As I said yesterday, switches are not allowed in widgets for some reason.

So far, this is what I've come up with for the widget:

Again, there is slightly more space taken up. The other design showed 3 schedules in the space that this was shows roughly 2.5, but I think it looks cleaner.

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Auto Respond's second widget

It's not quite pretty yet, and not all of the features are quite there yet, but I've created a second widget. This one is for your schedules.

There are a few working parts already, but as you see there are a few things missing still.


  1. The Auto Respond icon in the upper left opens the app
  2. The + button allows you to create a new schedule
  3. All schedules display properly
  4. There is a semi-transparent black background on the widget, to show the boundaries of the widget
Not Working:
  1. The sort (a>z icon) button currently does nothing
  2. The start and stop buttons (play and pause icons) currently do nothing
  3. I cannot put a switch in a widget (limitations of the OS), so I may need a different way to toggle the individual schedules
  4. The list is currently not scrollable
The good news: 
  1. A lot of the hard work is done - The information displays, and I can get it to update properly.
  2. I know where I need to do work to make the start and stop buttons work. 
  3. I'm pretty sure I know what needs to be done for the sorting, I'm just too lazy to do it tonight.
  4. I've actually made some progress even while writing this blog entry (I've uploaded 3 different screenshots already)