Google Play Store Says NO!

Google Play Store is the portal through which all successful Android Apps have to travel, in order to reach their audience. The last two Apps I tried to upload there were refused, one on the valid grounds of being just a web view. The other, most recently was mistaken by what I can only imagine is an AI to be an Augmented Reality App.

Here is the offending app. Apparently I need to notify people about the confusion that augmented reality can cause. Is this Augmented Reality?

Well try the app out for yourself and see: https://circusscientist.com/SwipeCard.apk

I have changed the age limit to over 18, hopefully this will get my app accepted. Otherwise the only recourse is sending an email to request a review (probably from a bot)

Legal Animation

A friend who is a graphic artist contacted me, he has a client who is looking for some complex animation of legal transaction history, to illustrate corrupt dealings I imagine.

Anyway, here is the work I’ve done so far.

Hypothetical scenario: There are some terrible things going on at Google, FaceBook and Monsanto. Not to mention the USA, what are they doing with their finances? Check out the attached video to find out!

Corrupt Companies and dodgy dealings

Think I am going to get the gig? At this point I am enjoying creating this program enough not to care.

For those who are interested, the data comes from .csv files – transactions and accounts. Also there are different types of transactions, indicated by a different coloured line. Still a lot to do, but I’m quite proud of this one.

Android for Africa!

Living in Africa is absolutely analagous to living in the old wild west sometimes. Just driving to work here can be a life threatening proposition some days. Protests, cash-in-transit heists, blown up ATM’s, hijackings and street beggars at every traffic light all threaten to disturb ones peace at any moment.

A bit like running Android on your phone really. That is unless you are up to date with the latest patched version. Which runs on precisely two devices as far as I am aware. The rest of us are left to make shift in yesterday’s abandoned OS graveyard, where the bad guys have their playground.

Privacy concerns? First world problems! Just be thankful that nobody screen captured your banking app today – while slowly cooking your phone casing with illicit cpu bitcoin mining cycles.

From a development perspective the OS is no better, a dictatorship with a fickle overlord. Time to change your code again, unpack and repack the activity car, it’s an API roadblock. Pay the play store compliance tax now or try your luck on the sideloading second economy, where your cloned apps beg at the same alternative app store intersection as you, with a flashy ad platform sign held high.

Gotta love Android. It’s the wild west out here. Android for Africa!

 

Smart Poi Emulators

Two emulators are featured here, the first takes all images in a folder and shows them in sequence, as they would look on the spinning poi:

 

The second program receives RGB values from serial connected poi chip and displays on screen. This is showing what is actually being sent out to the LED strip, useful for testing – I was getting a bit tired of spinning the poi whilst programming them and the Android transmitter app at the same time.

The image below is of the computer generated default offline patterns, but if wifi sent images are available it looks somewhat similar to the above. Colour is not yet optimized.

 

For the serial sending to work on the poi, a fairly large change in code is needed. The serial necessarily slows everything down drastically, so it’s for testing only.

What it’s really like to be a developer

The long road to Smart Poi, visualized:

In order to make this video I used a program called gource. It takes your Git commits and creates an infographic video automatically. I modified the programmer avatar using the –default-user-image setting.  If you want to see something spectacular, check out the linux kernel gource!

Android Development Overview

For Android I started off using MIT’s app inventor:

http://ai2.appinventor.mit.edu/

This was fun and I had some success with a few projects, however as a touch typist I am always more comfortable using the keyboard. As I was already using the amazing Processing IDE for desktop Java apps,  Processing for Android was the next step:

https://processing.org/

Of course there is no substitute for the real thing, which is what I am using most often now, Android Studio. Processing for Android provides a handy tool for exporting sketches as they are called, so the transistion is pretty seamless. Android Studio is a huge IDE with bells, whistles, mags and stickers attached. Learning how to use this beast is going to take a long time, especially with Google pulling out the rug (ie changing everything with each new release) every couple of months.