Tag Archive: sqft


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.

Square Footage Master Tutorial

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.

Preparation:
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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.

Usage:
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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 yingwentech@gmail.com using PayPal and we will send the apk file to your email.

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