We just post updates to Advanced Ruler (Pro), Advanced Protractor (Pro) and Advanced Bubble Level (Pro) to fix the compatible issues with Android 1.5 and 1.6. Please give them a try if you are on those firmware versions.
We used to support all levels but in the last update to fix the camera preview issue on Galaxy S, we broke the compatible because we used a Android 2.1 only method. Because of that, Android 1.5 and 1.6 users would get a force close with a VerifyClass error. In a regular Java program, we just need to add a “if” statement to check the version first and only call the Android 2.1 only method if the Android version is 2.1 and later. However on Android, this workaround doesn’t work. As long as a class uses a new method, no matter it is triggered during runtime or not, a VerifyClass error will be thrown when VM tries to load it. So we end up using reflection to call the method. Not fun at all. I also noticed some publishers post different apk files for Android 1.5. This doesn’t sound like a good solution as it will force users to purchase it again when he/she upgrades its phone’s firmware. If Android market support several apk files for the same app on different Android version, it would be a useful feature.
Anyway, the good news is more and more users are moving to 2.1 and 2.2. I just found the following updates on Android developer website. Only 17% people are still on Android 1.5 and 1.6 which is considered as “old” version. The data is collected during two weeks end on December 1, 2010. No wonder no that many people complained about the compatible issues on our apps.
Here is the historical distribution.
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
Several users suggest we should add camera feature to Advanced Protractor we released a few days ago and make it a paid app. So we did. It is actually quite neat. You can start the camera preview feature and the camera image will show up to cover the whole screen and the protractor is shown as an overlay on top of it. All you need to do is to align the protractor origin with the angle’s vertex and freeze the image. Then you can use finger or keypad to adjust the protractor hands to line up with the vertex’s edges. In the Pro version, we added a second protractor hand so that you use both protractor hands to measure an angle.
In order to get an accurate measurement, here are some key points.
- Always enable the second protractor hand from the settings when using camera. It is enabled by default in Pro version. If you don’t use the second hand, it is difficult to line up the origin point and one edge at the same time when you try to freeze the image.
- Make sure your phone is parallel to the angle you want to measure
- Use keypad to adjust the protractor hands, of course, only if your phone has a physical keyboard. They left/up and right/down keys will adjust the hand by -1 and 1 degree respectively. Shift+arrow key will adjust by 0.1 degree. By default, the first hand will be adjusted. If you hold Alt key at the same time, it will adjust the second hand. When you try to line up the edges, keypad will be a lot easier to use than the finger dragging.
I haven’t seen a protractor on Android market. After we did the Advanced Ruler, we decided to make a protractor to make our offer complete.
Even though we called it Advanced Protractor, it is both a protractor and a level/plumb. It works in both auto mode and manual mode. In auto mode, the protractor’s hand will move with the phone orientation. In this mode, it can be used as a level/plumb. We read the values from phone’s sensor so I guess the accuracy depends on those sensors. We can’t guarantee the accuracy but when we tried on Droid, it is quite accurate. In manual mode, the protractor’s hand will move with your finger. You can use it to measure angle on paper like a traditional protractor.
Here are the list of features.
- Auto mode: can be used as level/plumb and protractor, manual mode: works like a traditional protractor
- Different background. Swipe left and right will change the background instead of going through settings screen.
- Multi-function phone to toggle measure mode and the protractor hand position
- Lock button to lock the reading so that you have a chance to write the value down