fognl

Get off my lawn.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Greed 2: More updates, and another app

I just pushed another update of Greed to the Market.

There are several updates here, a few of them that could be called "features."

UI Clutter

A few people mentioned the UI looking cluttered recently. I have thought the same thing for a while, but there's only so much time in the day, so I hadn't gotten around to fixing it.

Toward the goal of reducing the clutter, I removed the little lightbulb and floppy-disk icons from the feed list, and replaced them with tiny color-coded dots. When you click on the checkbox on a feed item, a menu of colored buttons pops up at the bottom. It looks like this:



The one with the light bulb is what you click when you want to mark a feed for notification. The one with the floppy is what you click when you want to include a feed in the list of feeds to download when you select "Cache All" from the main menu.

The dark green "download" button downloads the contents of the feed(s) you've picked, including articles, attachments, and images (when possible). The red one clears downloads for the selected feeds, and the blue one marks the feeds as read.

So, the dots... You'll see a purple dot on feeds that are marked for notification, a green one for feeds that are marked for caching, and a blue one for feeds which have downloaded articles in them. Something like this:


The article list uses a similar approach for the read/unread, starred, liked, and shared attributes of articles. There are "download" and "clear" items for articles, and a "share" button.

Overall, I think it's less cluttered, although I'm still looking at ways to make it better looking. I'm not a graphic artist, so drawing those buttons (yes, I drew them, don't blame anyone else) takes some time.

Prefer Network Setting

A previous version of Greed added offline content. When downloading articles, that version would download them straight to the SD card and then read them from there, showing the contents in the UI. It makes the UI faster, and enables Greed to display previously-loaded articles when there's no network connection. The downside is that it also doesn't update from the web automatically, so you have to manually hit "refresh" to see updates. I added a new "Prefer Network" setting (on by default) that reads articles from the web when there's a network connection. They're still saved to the SD card as well. The idea is that it will still be able to function without a network connection, but the articles will be up to date when possible.

Ads

Greed Lite has ads in it, like a lot of free apps do. The Greed Full key app can be downloaded and installed to prevent the ads from showing. Originally, I had Greed set up to check for the presence of the key application on startup, and prevent ads from displaying. As it happens, some people were downloading the key application and Greed wouldn't notice it was there until it was completely stopped and restarted. I fixed this.

Images in downloaded articles

I have a start on image downloads for articles. When you download an article to the SD card, Greed will retrieve all the images it can and store them along with the article so you can see them when you read it. I intend to flesh this feature out soon, adding download of stylesheets and other linked items so the articles look better when you view them locally.

Other than the above and a few minor performance improvements and bug fixes, that's about it for this update.

The Other App

In case anyone's interested, the thing that's been keeping me busy during the day is another Android application I've been working on for a few months. It's out on the market as of Monday 5/3. It's called Garmin Voice Studio, and it has a better-looking UI than Greed does. (That's what I get when I have a crack team of graphics experts working with me. Those people are good.)

Garmin Voice Studio lets you create your own navigation voice for any Garmin GPS device that supports VPM-type voices (any GarminFone as well as nuvis). If you're on O2 in Germany, the voices will work on the A50.
Later this month, there will be an announcement for T-Mobile in the US for the same phone. More are coming.

It's similar in concept to the "Own Voice" application that Nokia released this week for Ovi Maps. But what I learned this week is that Own Voice actually ships your voice files off to a server for them to be turned into a voice pack, and you also have to give Nokia permission to use your voice however they see fit. I thought both of those things were kind of strange... Voice Studio keeps the whole thing on your phone and does the Ogg encoding and voice generation on board. It also lets you decide who gets to use your voice. I'm a little partial to it obviously, but I think it's a cool app. I had a great time writing it, and learned a lot.

Anyway, you should be able to run Voice Studio on any Android phone running Android 1.6 or above. Feel free to check it out, and leave some feedback about it in the comments.

12 Comments:

  • At 1:12 PM , Blogger Neil said...

    I loved Greed and paid for the full key. When I upgraded to Greed2, it no longer shows any new (or old) feeds. Just a blank screen. I double-checked my credentials and they are correct. Any ideas?

     
  • At 2:10 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

    Hi Neil,

    Are you able to see folders or labels? In any case, you should be able to hit "refresh" in the Feeds list to get the list back. I've had this happen as well, and I'm looking into why it's happening.

    Thanks,
    Kelly

     
  • At 2:05 AM , Blogger Walter Vos said...

    Hi Kelly,

    First of all: Great app! I was wondering if it would be possible to change the notification behaviour so that you can select a folder that you'd like notifications for. This way I only have to make sure that I place my feeds in the right folder to get notifications from Greed2. Now, if I were to add a feed that I want notifications for, I have to add it (I mostly do this in Google Reader itself) and then look for the feed in Greed2 to turn on notifications.

    Still, great app!

     
  • At 4:03 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

    Walter,

    I've always liked this idea. In fact, this is the approach I was going to use for notifications initially. However, I didn't want to require users to put items in specific places to be notified of updates to them.

    I think a good compromise would be to add support for notifications on labels as well as feeds, which would allow you to mark a specific label as "notifiable", giving the same effect. I'll make a note to do that!

    Thanks,
    Kelly

     
  • At 4:06 PM , Blogger Walter Vos said...

    You're saying "either or"? That would be awesome!

    By the way: I completely understand your reasons for not making notifications solely folder/label-based. Good point

     
  • At 4:14 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

    Yep, that's what I'm saying. :-) I've got some authentication things I need to work on first, but I'll plan to do this next.

     
  • At 4:31 AM , Blogger Shak said...

    I'm having trouble caching my feeds for later reading. Is Greed designed to do this?

    I hit cache all, and get a message saying it's doing so (and completes a bit too quickly for my liking!)... and yet when I try to use Greed where there is no data access it doesn't do anything.

    Am I using it incorrectly?

     
  • At 4:39 AM , Blogger Apostol Apostolov said...

    It is possible to buy a key for Greed from a country that cannot purchase paid apps on Android Market?

     
  • At 7:53 AM , Blogger Kelly said...

    Apostol,

    Yes, that is an option. Please contact me via the "E-mail Developer" option in the Market app, and I'll get a copy to you.

    Thanks,
    Kelly

     
  • At 9:02 AM , Blogger Kelly said...

    Shak,

    If Greed is completing the caching operation to quickly, it might be that it's set up to only cache marked feeds, and you have no (or very few) feeds marked for caching. To verify this, look at the feed list and note any feeds that have the light green dot on them. Those are the feeds marked for caching. To turn that setting on (or off), use the check box on the left side of the feed(s), and then click the green button with the floppy disk on it. That toggles the setting.

    Once the feeds are marked for caching, you should be able to click "Cache All", and see the items downloading. You can check their progress by clicking the "Downloads" item in the main menu. It will show the status of the download operations as they happen.

    Let me know if you have any issues with this.

    Thanks,
    Kelly

     
  • At 9:43 AM , Blogger Shak said...

    Thanks for the reply. Is there any way to make Greed cache ALL subscribed threads? Cache all feeds in settings is ticked.

     
  • At 10:08 AM , Blogger Kelly said...

    Shak,

    I'll take a look at this and determine why it doesn't seem to be downloading all of your feeds. From what I see here, you're doing it right. :-)

    Thanks,
    Kelly

     

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home