Category Archives: Android

Auto Respond 2.1

A lot has changed in Auto Respond recently. Today Google release the final version of the SDK for Android N (SDK-24) which means that Android N features can be released to the Play Store release of apps! Users with Android N can enjoy a new quick toggle and a new notification with the ability to change the Auto Respond message directly from the notification. All users got a few minor bug fixes, and much more, including an updated material design theme.

Also in progress is an Android Wear module, which would allow users with an Android Wear watch to toggle Auto Respond and change the Auto Respond message from their watches without having to touch their phone, and a few other surprises including other new features and some smoothing up of the app performance and user experience.

Here are all of the recent changes:

Features added in 2.0.8:

  • Added compatibility for XL screens (tablets/phablets)
  • Added voice input for Auto Respond message on the main screen of the app
  • Added accessibility details
    • Makes things more user friendly for blind or visually impared users
  • Added checks to prevent a contact from being added to both Custom Response list and Do Not Respond list
    • A contact CAN be in a global list of one type and a schedule specific list of the other type, but CANNOT be in both lists either globally or within a single schedule.
  • Added a check for duplicate before adding a contact to Custom Response list
  • Tabbed view is now consistent with the material design standard
  • Changed titles of many screens
  • New notification icon
    • Since Android now automatically styles the icon in notifications, it was not fully representative of the app’s icon after being styled on most newer versions of Android. It is now styled in a way that it fits the Android standard, and is more representative of the app’s icon.
  • Fixed lots of bugs (mostly with schedules)

Features added in 2.1:

  • Added Quick Settings toggle button for “Android N” and above
  • Enhanced notification in “Android N”
    • Message can be changed from the notification
  • Fixed some issues with schedule widget
  • Other minor bug fixes

Auto Respond Updates

It has obviously been a while since I’ve posted on this blog, so it time for some updates. For this post, I’m going to focus on Auto Respond, even though much of my time has been spent on something else. That will be covered in another post.

If you have Auto Respond installed, and have been keeping up with updates, you will have noticed the 2.0 update. This was a HUGE update which I spent months working on. I changed the entire back end of the app – multiple times – as well as updating the user interface (UI) to Android’s new material design standard. This took so long mostly because of my own desire for things to be done “right”. Auto Respond was the first Android app I ever wrote, and because of that some of the things that I did were done in a certain way simply because I was learning and that’s how I knew that it would work. Things weren’t always done in a effective way, just a way that worked. I wanted to change this in 2.0. Not only are things coded in a more effective way for performance, but it’s done in a way that makes it MUCH easier for me to maintain the code, release updates with bug fixes and new features, and the code is easier to read and understand.

I re-coded many parts of the app multiple times because I would start writing, get things about half done (or more) and realize “wait, there’s still a better way to do this. Why am I not using <insert mechanism here>?” So I would backtrack and re-write everything AGAIN. This is why it took me months. I wanted to get it right.

Coming in Auto Respond 2.1:

  • Fixed bug with schedules not always triggering properly
    • This is due to the service not always starting properly
  • Fixed bug where in certain circumstances choosing to cancel changes to a schedule would still save any changes made
  • Completely hid some options when they are not available (before they were visible, but disabled.)
  • Added Quick Toggle Setting for Android N users
  • Added voice input for Auto Respond message on the main screen of the app
    • You can now speak your message and the app will enter it for you
  • Added accessibility details
    • Makes things more user friendly for blind or visually impared users
  • Added checks to prevent a contact from being added to both Custom Response list and Do Not Respond list
    • A contact CAN be in a global list of one type and a schedule specific list of the other type, but CANNOT be in both lists either globally or within a single schedule.
  • Added a check for duplicate before adding a contact to Custom Response list
  • New notification icon
    • Since Android now automatically styles the icon in notifications, it was not fully representative of the app’s icon after being styled on most newer versions of Android. It is now styled in a way that it fits the Android standard, and is more representative of the app’s icon.

More changes may come as I continue coding. A full change log will be posted when it is released. The new version will probably be released along with the final release of Android N, so it might be some time before you see this update in the Play Store. I’m holding off until then because the preview SDK for Android N causes the app to have Android N as a minimum OS version requirement. This has been done with all preview SDKs, and will change with the release version of the SDK. When the final SDK is released, the app will be updated.

Changes that may not make it into this version, but are on the to-do list:

  • Session Timer
    • Many people have requested for Auto Respond to send another response after a certain amount of time. I’m going to start work on this. The timer is going to default to 5 minutes, but it will be customizable.
  • Adding groups to Do Not Respond and Custom Response lists
  • More customization to schedules – adding options from the “Main Options” menu to each schedule.
  • Tasker integration – this has been on my list for a while. No idea if it’s going to be finished any time soon.

Auto Respond Supports Bluetooth

Auto Respond 1.4 was just released! Here are the highlights:

(Pro)
• Added Bluetooth compatibility

(Common)
• Lots of bug fixes
• No longer supports below Android 4.0

 

Notice that the Bluetooth compatibility is for the pro version only. This new feature allows you to automatically enable Auto Respond while it is connected to specific Bluetooth devices, and allows for device specific messages. I have been using it for the past few days to enable when I get into my car. I find it very useful and I hope all f you do too!

Also, I noticed that 13% of users of the free version and less than 8% of pro users are on Android 2.x, so I have removed support for operating systems lower than 4.0. Most of the users on 2.x were not actively using the app, so hopefully it will not affect a lot of users.

Bug Fixes

An update to Auto Respond was just pushed with a few bug fixes:

  • An issue with inserting messages from the “preset messages” window which occurred in rare situations
  • The app wasn’t responding to phone calls, even when the option was enabled

The update was just pushed to the Play Store, so it should be available for download soon. As always, send an email if any other issues arise: support@fifteen15studios.com

Small Auto Respond Update

I just pushed an update with a few minor fixes, and some new information in the credits screen – new website, email, etc.

 

Change Log:

1.3.5.12:

• Fixed an issue of Auto Respond turning on when connecting to Bluetooth
• Fixed a potential crash when editing or deleting preset messages
• Tutorial is now optional on first run, instead of loading without warning
• Updated contact info

 

The Bluetooth will be added back, as an option, hopefully in the near future. The bug was from testing code, which was apparently left in the production version inadvertently.

As always, contact me if you have any issues or requests :-)

Free/Pro to In App Purchase

I’m looking into switching Auto Respond from free/pro to free with In app purchases.

For those of you who have already purchased pro, don’t worry, I will make sure that there is a seamless way for you to get all of the features without paying again. I am also going to try to create a way for you to bring over all of your current settings, so that you don’t have to reconfigure the entire app.

This change will not increase or change the price of the app, it will not force you to pay per feature, it will not cost you anything extra in any way.

This is not a way to get extra money out of people, it is simply a way to make the app easier to manage. Currently I am managing two completely different app projects, which produce two different APK files, much of which is the same exact code. This change will allow me to manage one single project, with one code base, and not have to make common changes in two different projects. Having separate projects has caused issues with features occasionally being left out of one version (usually the free version) for a period of time, or introducing a bug into once version and not the other, which makes troubleshooting even more difficult.

I have a few ideas about how to implement this change, and I will include very specific instructions as to how to make the transition when it happens.

Crashes Fixed for all!

The problems with Auto Respond have been confirmed to be fixed for all devices. Sorry to all for the inconvenience. Thank you for the error reports, and thank you for being patient while this issue was being resolved!

Auto Respond Crashes

I’m still getting reports of Auto Respond crashes. I’ve pushed a few updates with changes, but still keep getting crash reports. I cannot reproduce the crash, so it’s kind of a trial and error thing at this point.

So far I’ve only received crash reports from Samsung devices, but somewhere around 65% of the traffic in the app is from Samsung devices so that doesn’t necessarily mean that only Samsung device are having the issue. It could be that only Samsung devices have reported it.

I’ve done some googling, and have made changes based on what I found. Based on the new data that I have, and what I found on Stack Exchange, I think this latest version should fix the issue for everyone. Please continue to report any issues you find.

Auto Respond Crashes Fixed

The crashes in Auto Respond should be fixed, along with some other minor issues. If you haven’t already, please update to the latest version.

Auto Respond Crashes

I’ve been getting emails and reviews saying that Auto Respond Free is crashing. I have not seen this myself, but it sounds like it is an issue. I have no idea if Auto Respond Pro is affected, but if you experience a crash please hit the “report” button and put details in the report about what you were doing to cause the crash. The reports that I have received point to internal OS code, not code in my app, so that makes it difficult to pinpoint.

I am going to look into this tonight and see if I can figure out what’s going on, but I can’t do much until I get out of work. Please let me know any details that you may know about these crashes, it will help me troubleshoot.