Monday 29 August 2011

A couple of bug fixes for the last version

Well it's nearly the end of the Bank Holiday weekend in the UK, so my updates won't be as frequent as the past couple of days. Next on my to do list is probably the variable thingy, which should please some of you.

  • Fixed re-editing event forgets the queue delay
  • Seek bars can show a message for 'zero' for the queue delay
  • Updated Slovenian
  • Longer profile lock timeout options

As usual, backup your data before installing, just in case you need to go back to a previous version.

Version 1.2011.08.29.1906

Sunday 28 August 2011

More beta features

Another busy week, another load of features:
  • Event filtering
  • Screen off action
  • Change lock screen password action
  • Queue event action
  • Reminders can make noises

The screen off and lock screen password action require you to authorise Llama as a device administrator. If you aren't comfortable with that, then don't do it :) This lets you disable the lock screen password by setting it to empty (i.e leaving the textbox empty). You'll still get the slider screen though. If you want to get rid of that too, you have to combine the screen lock password action with the buggy-screen lock action. Fortunately, when the screen lock password is blank, the screen lock action isn't buggy anymore; the home-screen buttons work again. Hooray!

Llama encrypts your lock-screen password before it saves it. This is because you can export your events to the SD card, and you wouldn't want every other app with SD card permissions from being able to read it. Llama requires that you set a Llama Security Password. This password is the key for the encryption, so set it to something completely random. You don't need to remember this password, but if you get it wrong, you'll have to reenter the screen lock password. The Llama Security Password is stored in plain-text in Llama's private settings, which no other apps have access to. However, apps running as root will have access to it, so be careful who you give root access to!

The last version allowed you to create repeating events, but the blog post about it described one of its shortcomings. This version now lets your repeating events create other events. So you can say something like:

Between 7am and 11pm, repeating every 15 minutes -> Enable Account Sync and create an Event 1 minute from now that Disables Account Sync

Again, this is very much a test version. I had some feedback from the last version about the repeating events not always working, so that's been fixed. Please get in touch if you find any bugs :) Make sure you export your data before you install it.


Sunday 21 August 2011

Confirmable, delayed, repeating events

I've been working away on a few new features for Llama's events.

Confirmable event

The event's actions won't fire until you select the notification or press 'Run' on a dialog that pops up. This could be useful if you have an event that starts the music player when you plug your headphones in. Sometimes you may not want the music to start immediately, so this puts you in control.

Delayed events

Since Llama is using phone masts to determine your location, you aren't usually inside your house when Llama first sees the phone mast that covers you house. You can now make events wait a while before running their actions.

Repeating events

One of the more common requests is for repeating events. Most people seem to want to turn mobile data on and off periodically. Repeated events start repeating after they are triggered and continue repeating until the event's conditions are no longer true. e.g. for an event that repeats every 5 minutes, if you enter your home at 12:03, the actions will run then at 12:03, 12:08, 12:13, etc. However, if your event was defined as 'At home, between 12:00 and 12:30', and you were already at home at 12:00, then the events would run at 12:00, 12:05, 12:10, ..., 12:25. The last time is exclusive, so it won't run at 12:30.
You can combine each of these into one event. The order that they work in is: delayed, confirmation, repeat. That is to say that if an event requires confirmation, the confirmation dialog won't appear until after the delay has occurred. If an event is repeating, the repeated actions aren't run until after the delay has passed or the confirmation has been granted
As an example, you can create events like this:
Between 7am and 11pm -> Set mobile data on every 15 minutes
Between 7am and 11pm -> Delayed by 1 minute, set mobile data off every 15 minutes


Wifi network connected -> Enable Sync every 15 minutes
Wifi network connected -> Delay by 1 minute, disable Sync every 15 minutes

It's still a bit clunky... e.g. if you disconnect from a wifi network shortly after sync was enabled, then the disable event won't be able to fire a minute later because you were no longer connected to a wifi network. You could fix that with another event 'Wifi network disconnected -> disable sync'. In the future, I'd like to have a 'queue event' action, that will let an event queue another one-off event.
This is very much a test version. As always, you should export your settings and make a copy of them somewhere (maybe email yourself a copy). This version stores more information about events that older version will not understand, so if you have to rollback to the market version you'll have to use your backed-up settings.
There's a few other changes in this version, but it's late now and I can't be bothered to write about them right now... expect another blog post soon :)

Also, is it just me or does every WYSIWYG editor for blogs and CMSes suck? I hate them with a passion!!! I'll fix the crappy formatting in the morning.