Android v7.2.0

Version 7.2.0 contains a fix for the Store screen, which stopped working soon after version 7 was released. It uses the code from version 6, combined with the improved user interface of version 7.

The billing library has been rolled back to version 3, but there was no deadline for version 4 anyway. This will give me more time to focus on the new Dropbox API.

The new release also uses a permanent SSL certificate provided by the web host, rather than the temporary one provided by Apache. This may help with some devices.

iOS Client

Dropbox/iCloud

My iOS development environment is exactly as I left it, but the code is not in good condition. I had converted the Dropbox screen to use iCloud as an alternative data source, but had not tested it. Unfortunately I no longer have a copy of the code that worked with v1 of the API.

I will leave this on hold, while I get on with the more important task of updating the PHP code on the web server. There are also a few minor changes to be made to the Android client.

Summary of Changes

Introduction

This post summaries recent changes made to the Android client. These are currently in the beta channel, but are due to go live in April.

Major Changes

Sending Mail

Emails can now be sent using a Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo account. They can also be sent manually, instead of by JavaMail. This avoids authentication issues, but only works with the Outlook app. Other email apps do not support HTML.

Dropbox Support

This is necessary, as external storage is deprecated. Dropbox stores its files in a different area, and is not compatible with older Files screen. Support for Google Drive may also be added, though this is problematic.

Lines Screen

The blue plus buttons have been moved slightly to the left, to avoid clashing with the scroll bar. A proposal for a more radical change was rejected.

Other Changes

HTML Help

Online help will now be delivered in HTML format. This is work in progress.

App Icon

The app icon has been updated.

Features Withdrawn

GPS and Maps

All GPS and mapping features have been withdrawn.

ZXing

Scanning barcodes using the built in camera on a phone has been withdrawn.

Lines Screen

Problem

The Lines screen (shown above) is used to add products to an order. Tapping the plus buttons increment the quantity ordered. Tapping anywhere else displays the details for an item, which allows the user to edit the quantity.

But the buttons are difficult to tap, and the details screen can be a distraction. The target area extends either side of the buttons, but they are too close to the scrollbar for that to help.

Solution

The proposed solution is to use a long press or ‘touch & hold’ gesture, to access the details screen. This is in line with Android design principles, and it frees up the tap gesture as a way to increment the quantity.

Minus buttons could be added to decrement the quantity. These would be in a different colour to the existing ones, and moved slightly to the left.

Survey

I will be conducting a survey of user preferences, and any solution will be pushed out to the beta channel, in the first instance.

Beta Channel

A large number of changes have been bundled together in a new beta release of the Sales Manager. The new features include Dropbox support and new options for sending emails. All GPS and mapping features have been withdrawn. The channel will continue for a while, as new features are added.