Monday, February 28, 2011

Premature Announcement

That title is misleading, as I'm not really even announcing anything yet. But whatever.

As you may or may not have noticed, we've been working a bit on some branding stuff, some UI stuff, and trying to refresh our look a little. In other words, we don't want to look like a six year old drew our icon and interface with his new crayons. So we needed to draft someone who's not me to work on it.

Dylan Staley, apart from being awesome, was gracious enough to volunteer his time without any begging at all on my part. I'm serious. I didn't even have to ask him, he just said something to the effect of "Can I make your designs suck less?" except less rude, because he's not me.

What I'm really getting at, here, is Dylan worked on some new designs and branding for us, and then they were entered into a design competition for his school. One that has voting open to the public. You can see where this is heading.

His entry is listed here. I'm sure he would appreciate your votes. Actually, we'd appreciate them, too, because it would be super awesome to be able to say we had an award-winning design.

And one that's not drawn in crayon is cool, too.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2.0.4 (Sort of)

A lot of people have been having issues recently with links opening ad-nauseum. I just wrote a quick patch, being dubbed "2.0.4", for the Chrome extension and server, but it's going to be released in a little bit of a different manner.

I don't want to push out untested software again, but people having links opening constantly is annoying and a terrible experience. So I'm trying to get the best of both worlds: not pushing live software that hasn't been tested (not breaking more stuff for people who have android2cloud working) and getting a fix out fast for people.

To that end, I'm making this beta a public beta. You can download the extension from here, and the software is running live on the android2cloud and android2cloud-test servers. 2.0.4 and 2.0.3 both will work at the same time. Next Sunday, I'll update the extension in the Web Store if everything seems to be going well.

For those of you running your own server instances, you will need to update your servers with the new software. You can do that with the source, found in zip file format here.

Sorry for all the issues lately, guys. Working hard to get them resolved as fast as I can.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Links Constantly Being Opened

It seems my terrible code has struck again. We're getting reports of links being opened and re-opened for people every time Chrome starts up. There's a help discussion going for it, here. There is, obviously, a bug somewhere in the server code, but I can't quite figure out where it is.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time at the moment to go searching through the code and testing things until at least Sunday. So a fix is likely not coming before then. I'm really sorry for that, but I need to take care of my responsibilities.

In the meantime, I will be happy to remove links from the database for anyone who would like me to, to prevent them from opening again. Simply email paddy android2cloud org from the email address associated with your android2cloud account. Also, be sure to include the device name for Chrome that is having problems. Just include that information, and request your links be removed, and I'll delete them from the database as soon as I can.

I've also cloned the main server over to http://android2cloud-test.appspot.com/. Any users who are experiencing this problem and are feeling particularly helpful, I'd love it if you could use this server (which will give me additional diagnostic information) to help figure out where the bug is coming from. I'm going to ask that if you're not experiencing the error, you don't use this server, so as to not pollute the logs. I'll be looking through the data on Sunday to try and pick out any patterns, and hopefully fixing the bug right then and there. To participate, simply change the options on your Chrome install to point to http://android2cloud-test.appspot.com as the server. On your Android phone, open the app, hit menu, choose Preferences, enable Advanced mode, add an account (replace your other one by simply using the name again) and point it to http://android2cloud-test.appspot.com.

I'm sorry for all the issues we've had. Really. I don't know what to say. Since January 1st, I know that stability has been a nightmare. I'm really grateful you guys have stuck with the app through this. My hope is that version 2.1, which the server is 99% complete on, will fix all these issues by virtue of clean, succinct code and well-defined protocols. I'm doing my best to get 2.1 released by the ides of March, and will keep you up to date on that as it happens.

Monday, February 21, 2011

2.0.3 Landing

Just a quick update: the 2.0.3 Chrome extension has been pushed live in the Chrome Webstore. If you downloaded the extension through that (recommended) then it should automatically update for you. Otherwise, you can get the download off the project page.

2.0.3 is just a couple (necessary) bugfixes. It should fix the issue with links not getting marked as read, and should fix the issue with links not arriving at all. Sorry for the delay in this one, guys and girls.

I'll be focusing on my other commitments for about a week, but I have a pretty big update planned (2.1, maybe?) that will give us a unified API, server code that's readable, and hopefully readable Chrome and Android code. Expect it in a few weeks-- the server portion is already written. :) Just need to work with Chrome and Android, and can't start that until I finish one of my other commitments.

As always, feel free to post in the help forums if you're experiencing issues. We'll do our best to get them taken care of.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Proof Is In The Pudding

I talk about how awesome the android2cloud users are, like, all the time. Because really, you guys are. But people may think it's idle flattery. So I thought I'd just take a moment and prove it, because this blew my mind last night.

Nine hours ago, Nick Asmar (@nickerrides) asked "no, seriously why isnt there phone to chrome yet??"

Shortly thereafter, Chris Chavez (@gamercore) retweeted the question.

Within the hour, Neil Lund (@neillund) replied "@Nickerrides This does that http://bit.ly/gMG6xN Android2Cloud"

Eight hours ago, Jake Sibley (@disbj4ke) chimed in "@Nickerrides @GamerCore there is it's in the market as android2cloud"

Shortly thereafter, Android Shug-ar (@android_shug24) added his two cents: "@Nickerrides there is.. check out android2cloud"

Seven hours ago, The Twitterer Known As B (@southeastbeast) made an appearance: "@Nickerrides @gamercore they already have it. Google phone to chrome. Think it's called android2cloud"

Not to be left out, Liam (@falmc) brought up the tail-end with "@Nickerrides android2cloud app. Not a Google app but does what you want."

I love you guys.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chrome 2.0.3, and the Ever-Expanding "Soon"

So, a few of you may have heard that android2cloud's Chrome client version 2.0.3 was coming "soon" or even "this week" several weeks ago. And, obviously, that has not yet landed. I thought I'd take a minute to explain why.

Chrome 2.0.3 was intended to fix an issue in which links were not opening for some people sporadically, because of a simple coding glitch on my part. Largely the result of sloppy code and negligence in cleaning up test data before releasing. The fix should have been simple.

I fixed everything up in the code, included some other things, and pushed it out to the beta testers. Everything went smoothly, until it was discovered that, for some reason or another, the links weren't being marked as seen reliably. Meaning you get the extremely annoying bug of links opening every single time you start/restart Chrome, or every 4 hours if you leave it open.

I chose to delay release until I could get that major bug sorted out, hoping it would be a quick fix. Long story short, it wasn't. Isn't.

I'm still working to get 2.0.3 out. It will be accompanied by an App Engine 2.0.3 release, as well. I'm sorry it's taking so long-- I wish I could work full time on this, I really do, but it's not possible right now. I promise I'm doing my best to get the fix out there as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience.