Tag Archive: level


Sorry we’ve been busy with other things so we haven’t got a chance to update the apps for quite a while. It turned the new Android versions don’t work with some of our old code very well. It causes some serious freeze issues on most of our apps (ruler, level, protractor etc.) We found out what’s going on and released a new versions for all those apps. As far as I can tell, all apps should work fine now on most of the phones. So sorry for the late updates.

There were a lot of complaints about the  Advanced Tally Counter where the name of the counter is not showing. The root reason was discovered and a new update was posted for both the free and the paid version.

Advanced Protractor Pro 

Last but not the least, we updated the Advanced Protractor Pro to include a neat feature – to help Photographer to find out what lens to bring for a particular location. Well, it sounds like nothing to do with a protractor when you first hear this. But here is how it works.

What lens to bring is a question that all photographers will ask themselves before going out for a photography trip. Sometimes it is a tough question. Bringing them all is an easy answer but not an easy decision for a strenuous hiking. This Advanced Protractor Pro will help you to scout the location beforehand and help you making the decision.

Last winter, I went to the famous Horseshoe Bend near Page, AZ. My first question, before I went there, was what kind of wide angle lens I would need in order to capture the whole bend and the side cliffs. I went to the Google Map for help. If  I have a real protractor, I can put it on screen to find out the angle of the span, then use an online angle to focal length converter, I can figure out the lens focal length. But isn’t our Advanced Protractor Pro is a better protractor? This triggers me to add this new feature.

First, you go to settings to change the display of the angle degree to focal length.

Settings-FocalLength

Next, long press and hold the multi-function round button so that you can see three green circles on the screen. Now press Menu – Toggle Camera to turn on the camera.

The next step is to use your computer to open the Google map to navigate to the place you are interested in. Use the app camera to take a picture of it. (Yes, we plan to release another app to show the Google map right in the phone but here is what you have to do with the app right now)

Now you can drag the handles on the screen. Put the center one at where you will stand when taking the photo. The other two handles at the widest angle that your photo will cover. In this case below, I will stand at the rim of the cliff to capture both walls. The focal length calculated by the app is about 18 mm (or 12mm if taking picture vertically). Note that this is the focal length for a full frame sensor in the landscape mode. If you have a crop sensor, you need to divide it by 1.5 or 1.6 whatever the crop ratio is. You also need to adjust it if you plan to capture in the portrait mode.

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Is it for real? Yes of course. Here is a picture I took last Winter when I was there. As you can see from the EXIF information, I used 17-40 lens at 19 mm.

Horseshoe Bend

Here is another one. If you want to capture both the Half Dome and the two falls (Vernal fall and Nevada fall) from the Glacier Point, you would need about a 32mm lens or 21 if vertically. If the cloud is interesting, you probably will take the picture vertically thus a wide angle lens such as 17-40 or 14-24 is certainly required.

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How about the Bellagio music fountain? To capture the whole fountain needs a really wide angle lens, probably a fish-eye. But a nice composition is to capture both the Bellagio and the Caesars Palace hotel buildings as background and use the fountain as foreground. The app tells me it is 19 mm.

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I actually use a 17 TSE so that I can more room to crop and also be able to shift the lens to get rid of the distortion for the high buildings.

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Obviously, I hijacked the Protractor Pro to squeeze in this extra feature. I only spent an hour or two to add it. It is clearly not enough. The next app we will do is to create an app for Photographer do something like it but it will do more. Please stay tune.

Post updates for all the tools

I just post updates to pretty much all the Advanced tools apps on Android market. The main fixes are
1. Fixed camera preview not working on Samsung Galaxy S phones. It affected Advanced Bubble Level Pro, Advanced Ruler Pro, Advanced Protractor Pro
2. Added market licensing checking to all paid apps
3. Use ProGuard to obfuscate all the apks to protect our copyright
4. Made no sounds by default in several apps as people complained the sounds are annoying.
5. Phone database updates for Ruler and Ruler Pro

Enjoy!

Advanced Bubble Level Pro is actually a very powerful tool when enabling the camera and custom inclination.  Here are two tutorials to unlease the power from the app.

1. Task: need to hang several picture frames on the wall parallel along a staircase.

  • Put the phone along the staircase rail to measure the slope vertically (see #1 in the picture below). Make sure the “y degree” is 0 meaning the phone is vertical. The “x degree” is 31 degree.
  • Adjust the “x inclination” by dragging the dial on the top rim. You can use keypad if you feel it is hard to fine tune the dial. The “x inclination” should be 31 degree as well.
  • Turn on the camera. You will see some red lines in the camera preview. These are faked laser lines to help you align.
  • Hang on the first frame. Of course you can use the Bubble Level Pro to make sure the frame is leveled.
  • Tilt the phone so that the bubble is in the center (when the lines turn green). Because you set “x inclination” to 31, it means the line is parallel with the staircase rail when the bubble is centered. Use the line to guide your partner to hang the rest of frames at the exact correct location (see #2 in the picture below).

Developer’s comment: This is not possible if you use any other bubble level apps on the Android market. You can see how Advanced Bubble Level Pro making the task possible.

2. Task: read the height of the sun/objects in degrees in a simple way. I’m a photographer, and sometimes I need to know when the sun will be at a specific height (to know when will rise a big building, or to know the exact time for sunset if there are some hills in my horizon, or…) i just to do it with an inclinometer, but could be a comfortable advance to have it in the phone.

(this is a real use case suggested by one of our users Javi)

  • Turn on the camera feature on Advanced Bubble Level Pro under 360 degree surface mode
  • Hold the phone upright, aim at the sun so that it is in the center of the aiming scope, the “y degree” reading will be the degree of sun relative to the horizon

Developer’s comment: This is made possible because of both the camera feature and the plumb feature inside Advanced Bubble Level Pro. When you use 360 degree surface mode and hold the phone vertically, the bubble will be at the center only when your phone is absolutely vertical (no tilting left and right, AND  no tilting backward and forward) like a plumb.

There are probably more such examples. If you find a smart way of using this app, please feel free to add a comment on this post. Enjoying!

We released Advanced Bubble Level over the weekend. There are many bubble level apps on android already. Our app should look better and feel more real than most other apps. In addition, ours has two advantages that most other level apps don’t have. First, we allow custom inclination. If you want to level a slope that is not horizontal, you can do it. Just adjust the two dials on the rim which will adjust the x and y inclination of the slope independently.Secondly, we allow camera level. You can turn on camera preview and level an object inside the camera. This feature is very useful when you hang some objects that far from each other but you want to them to be along one line. You can use this app to create a faked laser line in the camera preview. As a matter of fact, this is not just a level but also a plumb that can measure something vertical. Just put the phone vertical on 360 degree surface mode. When you make the bubble in the center, it means the phone is vertically straight.

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