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andrewilley

Poweramp v3 Project Update (please read first post for latest info before commenting)

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8 hours ago, jacko9000 said:

The truth is, whether Material Design was requested or not, the app would still require re-coding from scratch because of the recent onslaught of Android version releases.

There are now effectively eight Android versions to be supported (from I to P).  Release M was a killer for many apps; I outlined the permissions model issue, for example, in my previous post.  And from one Android version to the next, API functions are deprecated, which means additional version checking within the code, sometimes requiring sections of code specific to each version in order to accomplish a particular task.

The use of the support libraries is crucial in this regard, in order to handle these multiple Android versions.  A full understanding of these libraries, and how to use them, is required by developers as there will always be a need to support previous Android versions, as well as to prepare the app for future versions.

So, yes, I believe re-coding is both necessary and beneficial at this point, albeit time-consuming, frustrating, and sometimes soul-destroying.  The criticism I put to googleboy2011 is that Google really ought to be more active in assisting developers to support past, current and upcoming Android versions.  As it is, Google are offloading the weight onto developers, and it's leading to code duplication on a gigantic scale; there are thousands of developers all having to write the same code as each other, rather than the code being written once at the source (i.e. by Google).  

But I don't doubt Max's ability to make the best of the resources provided by Google.  Far from it.  As a former development team leader myself, I can tell when an app is well-written, and Poweramp falls into that category, as it did when I first used it back in 2012.

I had been watching this thread for a while.  I rarely post on forums (as you can see from my profile), but felt the need to clarify things from a developer's perspective.

As far as the poll result goes, I thought I read at least one post on this thread which stated that functionality updates should take priority over UI.  Personally, I would agree with this; I would place functionality, stability, reliability and performance above UI.  Criticisms that an app "looks old" are a bit beyond me.  Ultimately, however, if it's what users want, then that's what needs to be done, but they have to be made aware of the cost involved, in terms of timescales, and I felt that was one of the points, along with a few others, missing from this thread.

Quite true. But with just one dev things are bound to pile up.If Max would have embarked on a UI and code revamp 2 years from today then probably we would have to wait for all the features that will be new for 2018 2019 till around 2020. and then people will say that the 2018 features are not priority. So we were bound to wait for features. Im just glad the wait is about to be over and after releasing the v3 max will be focusing on new features in 2018.

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8 hours ago, amar7 said:

Agreed, the poll itself was meaningless for the reason you adressed, few really meaningful options other than material design and also not enough people who participated to get a representative result.

The last  thing you've mentioned was me writing this. I'm a heavy user and most good apps I have are regularly maintained in functionality, stability and reliability but also updated to the latest guidelines, which is material design that most apps I use support. To me tweaking the UI is not the most important thing in an app, but neither is it unimportant, as it influences user friendliness and user experience at a fundamental level.

As an example, VLC media Player is one of the technically most advanced programms for windows and regularly maintained and updated, but it still looks really bad imo, it has no real own UI, rather uses the standard old windows look and it seems that the long announced v3 still won't look much better.

Guess the clichee sometimes is true that the designer is not good in writing code and vice versa.

As for Poweramp, if I had the choice and the dev resources are that terribly limited, I'd invest 2years+ much rather to improve the app technically and outsource or postpone the material design thing, as standard Poweramp look still is alright even without material design.

Actually, HCI is what I specialise in, mainly now in air traffic control, where the user interface is of paramount importance.  I can't say too much for secrecy reasons, but I can give you some examples.

Colours must be easy on the eye, and able to be viewed for hours on end.  You won't find black text on a blinding white background here; you might as well shine a torch in your eyes with that.

There must be no reflections; the screen must be at an exact height from the floor and tilted back at a precise angle to avoid this.

Fonts must be easy to read; alerts, when they happen, must be clearly visible; each control has a precise size and colour.  Nothing is left out.  Everything must be absolutely perfect, so that the controller feels completely at ease at all times.  After all, people's lives are at stake.

Having said that, this all comes after testing that the system actually does what it's supposed to.  On top of that, these UI requirements are necessary for effective (and safe) use of the system, not to prevent the UI from looking "fugly".  There is a difference.

So, I do understand the genuine requirements of heavy use; I'm a heavy user, too, with sensitive eyes.  This is why on Android, for example, I can only use web browsers which allow inverted rendering.  Gello on CyanogenMod 13 (now called Pyrope Browser in the Play Store) in "night mode" is best at this, although Firefox Nightly with the "Dark Background and Light Text" add-on also does a reasonable job.  Google Chrome?  No thanks, I don't want a headache.  But it was nice of you to offer.  Incidentally, Google Chrome on Android doesn't use Material Design, and it is hidden on other platforms (in chrome://flags).

As far as Poweramp is concerned, as I said previously, it was not necessarily the vote for Material Design which required the re-code from scratch; many app developers had to do this anyway when Marshmallow was released.  However, the worst case scenario would have been if Max had implemented Material Design before Marshmallow was released.  This would effectively have forced him to have to re-code the app twice, as many app developers had to do, due the overlapping releases of Material Design and Marshmallow.

As a result, it has been a tough couple of years for Android developers, and I understand why Max has gone solo.  About 18 months ago, I re-implemented an app during the Material Design/Marshmallow overlap period I mentioned.  I carried this out alone; it would have been a nightmare to coordinate between multiple developers.  In fact, all of my Android app development has been carried out alone anyway.  Many developers do this, for two main reasons.  Firstly, finding good Android developers is extremely difficult.  Everyone thinks they're a developer these days.  But they're not.  For every app I install on my Android devices, I have tested several which don't make the grade.  There is only an extremely small percentage of apps in the Play Store which I would regard as being of high quality.

The second reason for developing alone on Android, is cost.  Mobile software has become so devalued, and the end retail price of Android apps is despicably low, from a developer's perspective.  This is great news for users, of course, who can buy exceptional software at a fraction of what similar software would cost on non-mobile platforms.  So, paying additional developers (if you manage to find any good ones) is often just not feasible after paying Google its 30% share of the app price.  Yes, Google takes 30% of the final price, just for providing the download service on the Play Store.  Heartbreaking, to say the least.  Thankfully, my app development has been for private clients, generally as part of a larger package on a non-mobile platform, so I provide the APK files myself, cutting Google out completely.

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4 hours ago, Ameya28 said:

Quite true. But with just one dev things are bound to pile up.If Max would have embarked on a UI and code revamp 2 years from today then probably we would have to wait for all the features that will be new for 2018 2019 till around 2020. and then people will say that the 2018 features are not priority. So we were bound to wait for features. Im just glad the wait is about to be over and after releasing the v3 max will be focusing on new features in 2018.

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6 hours ago, utahman1971 said:

I would like it sooner but no matter how much we do not understand why it is taking so long, will not make it faster either. I have a feeling it is not a priority in his life to finish it. Even if he did 2 to 3 hours a day 6 days a week with Sundays off. It should not take this long if you a great coder. So it is not just the ground up holding it back. I think it is not a priority for him to finish it.


That would be exactly how things are at the moment.

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On 20.12.2017 at 9:51 PM, barcajuvebilbao said:

Andre it is almost 2018, can you please ask Max about beta till 2018 ? I am sure everyone here wants only one reply from the developer. Thanks in advance

Why? he wrote back that in May certainly an update comes, then it was August, then nothing came. No matter what would be called now for a period, all unbelievable. Sad but true. 

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5 hours ago, azumukupoe said:

I don't know why Max can't release an alpha build with old UI.

He has, it is build 704. However once he started pulling the interface code apart, nothing would be working if he released it in an incomplete state.

Andre

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2 hours ago, andrewilley said:

He has, it is build 704. However once he started pulling the interface code apart, nothing would be working if he released it in an incomplete state.

Andre

All I can say is if there is nothing newer than 704 still, then he is not really doing much at all to get it done. Being stuck on 704 for ages, really does not show any kind of progress. Just my thoughts. No information and everything in limbo means nothing is happening. You think the city that wants to build a new road and says it is going to be done, but never gives a time limit, is actually going to be done? Not likely. If at all going to be finished, it might be when all his buyers are already moved on to something else, and just a few supporters are left.

I am starting myself to think that 704 is the last build forever.

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4 hours ago, utahman1971 said:

Being stuck on 704 for ages, really does not show any kind of progress. Just my thoughts.

As I keep saying, until the work on the new interface is completed and everything is integrated together, there is no way to release an interim version. A half-and-half version is not possible. To use your road analogy, it doesn't matter if 90% of a new road is complete, or even 99%, you still can't try it out until the very last bit is finished. And unless you think you can do it quicker, we'll just have to wait for Max to finish it, sorry.

Andre

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You all begging for a unfinished product, so then this thread will receive nothing but your whining and boohooing because it's unfinished.... So in other words WAIT. 

I'm content with 704 what about the ui I never see it I I the customize widget tap play, next, stop who cares. And yes power kicks ass even with version 704

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9 hours ago, Quade13 said:

https://m.androidcentral.com/google-play-updates-2018

Just one more year, boys, Big G will wipe it. 

Is that what you took from the article?  Big G will do no such thing.  This new policy from Google affects only new apps, and existing apps which are receiving updates.  Existing apps which are not receiving updates, such as Poweramp in its current state, will be unaffected.

And the backwards compatibility struggle is nothing new.  Read my posts on this thread, from December 18th onwards, slowly (so that you understand them better than you did the article you have just read) to understand what Max needs to do to Poweramp, and what Google ought to be doing, but isn't, due to the ever-increasing number of "yes men" developers out there who just love Google and wouldn't do anything to upset Google, such as refuse to put apps onto the Play Store, but instead to sell them privately (which is what I now do), until Google begins to take more responsibility for backwards compatibility.  If this is what Max is now doing, then good on him.  I'll just keep rooting my devices and use Poweramp the way it is, for as long as Android exists.

To summarise, in addition to Material Design, Max will have to use the Google Support Libraries, support-v4 and support-v7, to support Material Design back to API 14 (Ice Cream Sandwich) at least.  Doing so will automatically allow all Android versions up to the latest to be targeted as a result.  Which is why mastering these support libraries is now crucial, but far from straightforward, for all Android developers.

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It's so bad how much fussing I have seen in this over all these months. I'm patient. I would love to see something new come out, but if this is working right now, I'm okay. I'm excited to see how this new build will become. That is alot of time since the last update. Patience is a virtue. I don't know any other music player that works as great as this app itself. Visualizations is a big plus for me, I love it! The shuffle works wonders, I can't complain, all I can do is wait for what the new thing will be. Andrewilley, I feel bad u have to take the brunt of the bitching from people.

Happy holidays people!

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5 hours ago, Seymur993 said:

Ripperino

Not  ripperino.  Poweramp will not be affected by Google's "new" policy.  See my previous post for the reasons why.

I say Google's "new" (in quotes) policy because it's not entirely new; the support libraries (support-v4 and support-v7) have been available for developers to use since 2013.  But most didn't bother, instead opting simply not to support older Android versions.  But now Google wants developers to consider both backward and forward compatibility in their apps.  Both of these concepts are built into the support libraries.

I have been using the support libraries for the last two years, to support Android versions back to Gingerbread.  The additional advantage being that, without having to change any code, the apps were automatically supported by new Android releases, also.

What Google's new policy is essentially saying, therefore, is that it's time to raise the quality of the apps in the Play Store and to get rid of under-qualified developers, of which there are far too many.  Google only has itself to blame for this by allowing such developers to publish sub-standard apps in the first place.  But Google obviously now feels that it's time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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