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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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Squishing bugs, adding features

Over the past few days, I've been spending what little free time that I have (basically any time that I'm awake and not at work) working on Auto Respond.

I've found a few bugs, one of which I think I introduced in the latest beta, so you shouldn't have to worry about that one. The others are all in the Dock menu.

For those of you on Android 4.0+, you may notice that after opening the dock menu and starting to scroll, some of your settings change. Amazingly this is not a bug caused by me. It's actually a bug caused by a flaw in the Android OS which happens when you have consecutive settings screens, and one ore more of them have a switch preference. To my surprise, someone on Stack Overflow found a fix - and I implemented it. (If you are a coder and don't know what Stack Overflow is, find out. If you're not a coder, it probably doesn't matter to you.)

For all versions of Android, the "Get current message" and "Preset messages" buttons for the dock message options were not working. Again, this has been fixed.

None of these changes have been released in any version, because before releasing my next beta I want to finish what I've started with data backup. Yes, that's right... backing up the settings, messages, schedules, and whatever else may be included in Auto Respond. This will be available to free and pro users, and it will be using Google's new backup service which puts the data in your Google account. That means that if you get a new phone you can just re-install the app and have all of your data back.

Also, I'm working on adding custom responses to each schedule in the Pro version. The custom responses was a lot of work to implement initially (which is why it's a pro-only feature) and we'll see how much work it takes to implement it per-schedule. I know I can do it, but it may take some time.

So there you have it. A lot going on in the way of changes and fixes in Auto Respond. The new version will hopefully be out in a week or so, depending on how quickly I can work.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Auto Respond 1.3.5 Beta

I just published a new beta version of Auto Respond. If you want to check it out, you need to join my Google+ community. (Unfortunately this is Google's restriction, not mine.) This beta only applies to the Pro version, none of the major changes affect any of the capabilities of the free version

The community can be found here:

There is a sign up for the beta testing in a post in the community.

Here is the full change log:

  • Added do not respond list to individual schedules
  • Change Screen title from "New Schedule" to "Edit Schedule" when editing a schedule
  • Change Screen title from "New Message" to "Edit Message" when editing a message

I know that last one affects the free version, but it's a very minor change.

The next step is to add the "custom response list" to individual schedules yet. Now that I have the "do not respond list" per schedule, I should be able to bang out individual responses fairly quickly.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


A bunch of random stuff in this one...

Auto Respond

First, I've released a few new versions of Auto Respond since my last post. All just bug fixes. I released another one this morning for Pro users, which fixes a FC when deleting a schedule. If you have received this FC, the schedule was still deleted properly but it closed while trying to update the view.

A few weeks ago I added another stat to keep track of in Auto Respond. Each time it sends a message, Analytics tallies it. In the first 7 days of June, Auto Respond has sent 53 messages! That's an average of almost 8 messages per day! I found that to be a pretty cool statistic. (especially since some people still have older versions installed that don't send that information, so the number could potentially be higher.)

Countdown Widget

If you follow me on Google+, or other social media, you may have noticed that I posted last night about a Beta version of my Countdown Widget app. A few updates about that:
  1. The app STILL has not been actually published to the Play Store. I'm not sure why this one is taking so long, but after reading through some stuff in the developer's console, it says it could take up to 24-hours to become live. Which means that it could be as late as 11pm Eastern Time tonight. (8pm for you West coasters.)
    1. EDIT: It's live now! But it only shows up in the Play Store AFTER becoming a tester! (As there is no publicly available version right now)
  2. While reading through that documentation, I also noticed that all of my testers have to be in either a Google Group, or a Google+ Community to use the link and get the Beta. I created a community a while back, and right now it only has 4 users (including me.) If you would like to use the Countdown Widget Beta (and future app betas) join my community! (Again, this is a restriction put forth by Google, not me.) https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/103951105335573781027
Right now the app is fairly basic... put in a title and a date, and you get a widget which shows how many days until your event. There are also options to put a specific time with that date, and options to display hours left instead of days left, or display hours left when less than a certain amount of hours are left.

In the future I'm going to add a lot more options, like changing background color and transparency (right now it's black with 50% transparency,) possibly changing text size and color, rearranging the data that is displayed, and more designs and sizes of widgets.

The widget is resizable now if you have an Android version or a home screen launcher that supports it (I think resizing widgets was added in 3.0, but certain 2.x launchers may support it) but there is only 1 design. I have plans for more designs that will default to larger sizes.

Tic Tac Toe

I said before that I am going to build Google Games features into Tic Tac Toe... and I still plan on doing that. However, I still have not had the time to do that. I am working on a lot of stuff right now, and even the things mentioned above have had minimal work done. I've had Countdown Widget almost working for a while, and just finished up some last minute things over the past couple days.