We just released a new version for all our tool apps including Advanced Tally Counter, Advanced Ruler, Advanced Protractor, Advanced Bubble Level and the corresponding Pro versions. Other than some bug fixes, the main purpose of the release is to support tablets and make them working better on Android 3.1 and 3.2. All graphics are recreated to support high resolutions on tablets. They look really good. Please check them out.
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We just redesigned our Advanced Tally Counter (Pro) to support higher resolution such as tablets. Here is the new design. Hope you will like it. You can find screenshots for both tablet and phone below.
Advanced Tally Counter: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.yingwen.counter
Advanced Tally Counter Pro: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.yingwen.counterpro
Out of topic: we released 3.0 version yesterday evening but due to our ignorance of the obfuscation complexity, we didn’t catch a force close that is only happening on the released apk files. During the night, we received a lot of emails, market comments and bug reports on this issue. We quickly fixed it and released 3.1 to fix the issue. One one hand, we feel extremely sorry for missing the force close at the first place. On the other hand, we are glad to find out (in a bad way) there are so many people who are using this app actively. Thank you all for your support!
I was busy having a baby last week and finally got time to do what I should do – help Japan who just suffered from one of the biggest earthquake and the tsunami. We donated $100 to America Red Cross to help victims in Japan.As we promised earlier, all sales from Tip Calculator (about $10) are included in this amount. Attached please find the receipt.
Human beings are so vulnerable not only before natural disasters but also before man-made structures. The most dangerous situation is not the earthquake or the tsunami itself but the endangered Fukushima nuclear plant. Because of that, millions effect by the radiations now and in the future years. Because of that, supplies cannot be shipped to the flooded places. Because of that, some people who were buried under the debris died as no one come to save them. We, as a whole human being, should be awoken from this man made disaster and stop using nuclear energy. And this is not the first time nor the last time. We should still remember what happened in Chernobyl. It is still a ghost town after twenty years. Hundreds of thousands of people, if not more, still suffered from cancers right now at the moment from that disaster. WE ARE JUST NOT READY FOR NUKES.
I decided to make Advanced Camera Ruler free for a day and see how it went. To my surprise, it ended up with 23682 downloads just in one day. It did extremely well in China and many European countries. If I remember correctly, I haven’t seen this amount of downloads in any of our apps on Android, although I never made Advanced Ruler Pro free on Android. All the free versions on Android are feature-limited version of the corresponding paid version which will of course attract less people. Comparing with the sales of this app when it is not free, I decided to keep it free for a week or so, or even consider switching to ads support model. Will see.
I also decided to release a new version to translate this app to a few other languages. It is very disappointing to see some users’ comment saying the camera won’t turn on. The reason is the camera height has to be input first before the camera preview is turned on. There is a message right there on the screen but since many of the users don’t understand English, they don’t understand what it said. Other users try to aim at the object directly and hope the app will give the direct distance between the camera and the object. Many users never read instruction. No to complain as we sometimes do the same thing. I’ll just find a creative way to make it more intuitive.
As a parent, I had a hard time persuading my ten-year-old to play full hour of piano everyday. I know it is not uncommon after talking with other parents. Sometimes, we have to go shopping and when we come back, my son will tell me he played an hour piano already while we are away. I can’t prove he did. Only when he messed up at the piano teacher’s place, I know he maybe only played for 10 minutes. So I decide to make an app for it. I leave my phone at home and I dial in using my wife’s cell phone when we are out. My app will pick-up the phone automatically, and silently so no one knows. If my son is playing piano, I can hear it through the phone. That’s how I came up with the Eavesdropper app idea.
But it is more than that. Eavesdropper can work in two different modes.
Auto Answer Mode
In this mode, the phone will ring as normal but it will pick-up the phone automatically for you according to the settings. You can choose to auto-answer all calls, just calls from contracts or favorites, or just a few phone numbers. You can also choose how many seconds to wait before answering the phone. For safe driving purpose, you should also choose to auto answer the phone only when a bluetooth device (such as headset or car hand-free system) is connected, or at least enable the speakerphone.
You need two phones in this mode – the eavesdrop phone and the dial-in phone. The eavesdrop phone must be an Android phone that has this app installed. You leave it at a place you want to eavesdrop then call it from another phone (any type of phones, doesn\’t need to be an Android phone or a cell phone). The Android phone ringer is turned off in this mode so it will not ring when it receives a call. For security consideration, you should only enable eavesdrop mode when calling from a particular phone number that also belongs to you. The app will pick-up the phone based on the calling number and enter the eavesdropping mode automatically.
There are many ways to use this app in eavesdrop mode. For example, in eavesdrop mode, if you leave your phone a few feet from a baby, baby cries will be transmitted to the phone you are dialing from. Better than any other commercial baby monitoring systems which only transmits within certain distance, this app works from anywhere as long as there is a phone available. Here is another way to use it. You leave your eavesdrop phone at home in U.S., travel to Europe, call it from a hotel phone and listen to what is happening at your home. You might be surprised to hear all the noises, which could turn out to be your son is hosting a huge party when you guys are not home.
It will use your cell phone plan’s talk minutes when your phone is picked up automatically in either mode, so please consider taking advantage of free mobile to mobile calls and unlimited night and weekend minutes, especially using the app in the eavesdrop mode.
2. Even though we named the app a little evil, please respect local laws and use the app in legitimate and ethical ways, i.e. baby monitor, your own house audio monitor etc.
I would like to say thanks to Everysoft for their AutoAnswer open source project. It helps us a lot when writing this app.
Our second app “Advanced Camera Ruler ” for iPhone is available on sale. We ported this app from our most popular Android app “Advanced Ruler Pro” to iPhone. We kept the two most useful features – the distance ruler and the height ruler and integrate them into Advanced Camera Ruler. We also improved the usability of the ruler. You will find it is extremely easy to use.
Here is the link to the iTune store. It is on sales at 99 cents.
We also prepared a quick tutorial to show you how to use the Advanced Camera Ruler.
Have worked on Android for almost a year, we are expanding to Apple’s iPhone market as planned. We decided to port Advanced Tip Calculator over from Android to iPhone as our first app. It will be a free app that has the full feature of the paid app Advanced Tip Calculator on Android. I have to say, the experience working on the two platforms are totally different. Good news is Apple finally approved this app after a week waiting. It is live on app store now.
Here are some screenshots.
And here is the link to the iTune store.
Admit it, as a developer, we all assume tip calculator is simple. There are probably hundreds of tip calculator apps on Android and iPhone. We made our tip calculator app simply because it is a good app to start. We have a new design of this app a couple of months ago. It looks cool and very functional. I thought we are done with it, until one day, a guy named Sean left a comment on our app, saying “Can’t add 9.95+1.00(=10.94?) 10% tip”. I didn’t really pay much attention until I grab my tipcal app and did exactly what Sean said. I entered 9.95 as the bill, adjusted tip percentage to 10%, the app shows $1 as tip but the total is 10.94 which is wrong.
My first thought is it is a rounding error. After debugging, I realized it is not the case. 10% of 9.95 is 0.995, so total should be 9.95 + 0.995 = 10.945. If it rounds, it should still be 10.95, not 10.94. It turned out the root reason is when doing 9.95 + 0.995 in computer word, the result is 10.944999999999999. After rounding it becomes 10.94, not 10.95 as expected.
I downloaded a few other popular tip cal apps, on Android and on iPhone. To my surprise, all of them have the same error. See below. It is very common for developers to do it this way. We were trained to keep the precision at the maximum during the intermediate steps and only round at the final step. That’s why all apps have the same error. However from user point of view, 9.95 + 1 = 10.94 is wrong. Even it is just one cent difference, developers have no excuse for it.
And here is our tip cal app after fixing the bug. Thanks Sean.
Square Footage Master is a must-have app for realtors, house buyers, and contractors who need to measure houses, yard or office square footage (or square meters). You can get an accurate result without using any other tools. No tape ruler? No problem. The app comes with a camera ruler (as the one in the Advanced Ruler Pro app) and a body ruler that are very easy to use. It will also save the measurement to the memory card or you can send it to yourself or someone else by email.
You can use the app with a tape ruler or a laser ruler. But the true convenience comes from the built-in camera ruler and the body ruler. In order to use these two rulers, some preparations are required.
The above screenshot is the home page of the app. Before using it, please click on the “SETTINGS” button on the home page.
For the camera ruler, you need to measure two values and input to the settings. First, it is the camera height. When you use the camera ruler, you stand straight and hold the phone at the height such that the camera is at your eye height. We need to know the camera height. Secondly, it is the camera to wall distance. Usually you lean against the wall when you take the measurement, which means the measured length is from the camera to the other wall. However what you need is the wall-to-wall distance. If we know the camera-to-wall distance, we can automatically add it to the measured length which will give you the wall-to-wall distance. For both values, you can lean against a wall and ask someone using a real tape ruler to measure the camera height and camera-to-wall distance then input to the settings page.
It is a good idea to use the body ruler when the measured distance is not on the ground (such as counter top size) or or it is too short (such as a hallway width). So please take the time to measure the different body dimensions. For example, to measure the step length, you can put a tape ruler flat on the ground, starting the tap head, walk normally for 5 steps, take the reading then divide it by 5. This will give you a more accurate step length.
You can click on the “Start a whole house measurement” to start a new project. It will bring you right to the room measurement page.
You give the room a name, specify the room category (level 1, 2 or outside or non-living area, we will use it to give you square feet for different category), then you can use the camera ruler or the body ruler.
To use the camera ruler, tap the length on the shape you want to measure, tap the camera button, you will see the camera preview is showing. Now lean against the wall, put the camera at the eye height, tilt the phone to aim the root of the wall on the other side and tap the aiming scope. Now you will get the measurement from the camera to the other wall. Just press “Back” key on your phone, the measurement value (after adding the camera-to-wall distance) will be will be recorded. To use the body ruler, tap the length to measure, tap the body ruler button, a dialog will pop up asking you how many steps or hand spans or strides. Choose the body ruler you prefer and type in the number. You can use decimal, such as 2.5 hand spans.
If you already knew the length using other types of ruler, just tap the edit box and enter the value. You can input things like “1 1/8 ft”,”5.3 m”,”138 cm”. No matter your default unit setting is U.S. or metrics, we will convert them to your default unit.
On the room measurement page, you can select different room shapes. The shape diagram will tell you which lengths to measure in order to calculate the area. You can flint left or right to choose a different shape.
Once all required lengths are recorded, you will see the area above the shape diagram. Now just press DONE button to go back to the room list page.
On room list page, you can click on the ADD button to add another room. After you finish all the rooms, press DONE, it will prompt you to save it. You enter a unique name for this measurement (such as the address of the house) and the measurement will be saved.
Again on the room list page, you can click on the top title where it says Total Living Area to change to a different category. For example, you want to find out the total living area on the second level, just click on the title, select “Living Area – Level 2″, the total living area of level 2 will be displayed. You can also do it for all the yards or non-living area etc. However in order to use this feature, you need to specify the category for each room when you take the measurement.
Go back to the home page, you can click on the “Open a whole house measurement” to see any measurements you saved. They are sorted alphabetically. Single click on the measurement will take you to the room list page. Long click on it will bring up a menu to choose actions such as “Delete”, “Rename”, “Send”.
On the home page, there is also a button called “Measure one room”. If you just want to measure a room without saving, you can use this button. The screen is the same as the measure a room page except it doesn’t have a cancel button.
Already eager to give it a try? Get your android phone and download it from Android Market. Here is a QR code for your convenience that will lead you right to the Android Market link of Square Footage Master.
If your country doesn’t support Android Market yet, you can pay $2.99 to email@example.com using PayPal and we will send the apk file to your email.
Some long due changes from Android Market. Hooray!
We’re writing to inform you about some changes to Android Market that require your attention.
As we mentioned in an email sent last week, we’ve been updating Android Market with several new features that may affect your applications. That update is now complete and the features are now active:
* The purchase refund period is now 15 minutes, and the maximum size for .apk files is now 50MB.
* The details page for every app now displays the app’s “Promotional Graphic” assets at the top.
* Market is now capable of filtering based on screen sizes and densities. NOTE: Filtering based on GL texture compression formats is not active at this time, but will be available in early January 2011.
* Applications are now automatically added to new Live Wallpapers and Widgets categories, as appropriate.
We’ve also activated two new features on the Publisher site:
* The maximum size of the description field for an application is raised to 4000 characters.
* A minimum of two screen shots is now required for all applications. You can supply up to eight screenshots for each application.
Additionally, we’ve recently redesigned the categories on Android Market to better support users and developers. We’ve split some popular categories, renamed others, and added completely new categories. At this time, we recommend that you take a look at the categories and ensure that your applications are assigned to the best categories for them. For details, see the Android Market Help Center:
Finally, we wanted to bring to your attention that Android Market now offers a new form of payment for users on the AT&T network — Direct Carrier Billing. This payment option lets Android users on the AT&T network purchase applications more easily.
Thank you once again for your continued support of Android Market.
The Android Market Team
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Mountain View, CA 94043
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