I tried to test my new app on a Pixel XL emulator, running on a PC with fairly modest specs. But it was so slow that it was unusable. It was also illegible, but I did not really get that far.
I was not going to order my new phone until my birthday, but the Amazon website jumped the gun last night. I am glad it did. I also have a Fire 7 tablet that I could use at a pinch, but I think I will wait.
Android 11 changes the security model for external storage, by enforcing scoped storage. The Android client app still targets Android 10, and for the time being it can opt out of scoped storage by setting a flag in the manifest. Version 6.3.7 is the first release that does this.
But this is only a temporary fix. Eventually I will be forced target Android 11, at which point the app will no longer be able to access the existing Vanguard directory.
In the long run, external storage is dead.
The logical replacement is Google Drive.
Google should be honest with developers and tell us this upfront, instead of obfuscating everything, and leaving us to work it all out for ourselves.
If you use the Chrome browser, then you already have a Google Play account, and should seriously think about using Google Drive anyway. In a nutshell, the Vanguard directory in external storage will be replaced by a folder in Google Drive.
One of the key features of the Sales Manager is the ability to email invoices back to head office. This uses a package called JavaMail, which has been ported from standard Java to Android. It allows mail to be sent via any SMTP server, not just the one used by Gmail.
Originally the Android client allowed the user to use any email account, when sending invoices. This meant that he had to specify the address of the SMTP server, but unfortunately most users do not know what this was. Mail services will usually tell you what the address of their POP3 server is, but this is not the same thing.
I got so many support requests about this that I decided to restrict the feature to Gmail accounts. The problem with this was that Google got very shirty about emails being sent autonomously. So I started to get support requests about this, and the error messages being returned by JavaMail did not help.
To resolve this, I plan to allow invoices to be sent from Outlook and Yahoo accounts, and possibly other mail services as well. But I doubt that I will return to the free for all that I allowed in the past.
Two features were added to the Android and iOS clients because they looked promising, but turned out to be less than stellar in practice.
Scanning barcodes, using the camera on a mobile phone. This was a spinoff of a Google funded project called ZXing, which was mainly mainly concerned with scanning of QR codes. That project has since been defunded, and parked on GitHub. A similar iOS project is now abandonware.
Using maps and location services. Google kept changing the way that these services worked, while Apple decided to move away from Google Maps altogether, and introduce its own mapping service.
In both cases there were practical difficulties, which would have persisted even if these issues had been resolved. The features were no more than party tricks, even when they worked. I have decided to remove them from both clients.