After a few months of comments on the last release of Canada Weather, I decided fixing the widget layout and adding animated radar were worth it. In addition, this release includes the ability to switch icon sets (environment canada just released a new set) and switch the background to light (because the new icon set looks terrible on a dark background, and a few people have requested this feature for the widget). The only feature request missing from this version is the ability to look up an Environment Canada location using the phone’s current location.
It’s been a year since I started developing apps for Android, and it’s high time the website got underway. Complete with pages for each app and a donate page, it should function for now. In the future, I’d like to add online versions of some of the conversion functions my apps use and expand the description of each to include a bit of a tutorial on how to get the most out of it, but we’ll see if I ever get the time amidst updating all the apps. Happy app-ing and thanks for your support!
This version of Prairie Coordinates (renamed Prairie Coordinates Plus) is a completely rewritten version of the app. Because this was the first app I ever wrote (a year ago), the code was extremely complicated and needed some serious upgrading – hence the complete rewrite. As part of this I added the two features that were most requested – support for using quarter sections (SE, SW, NE, NW, etc.) instead of legal subdivision, and support for locations west of the 1st meridian. There’s also plenty of new features like searching by address, searching by mapsheet name and more.
Getting technical, this app completely changes the way data is stored. Before, the database contained all 4 corners of each township; now, it just contains a north/south/east/west/ limit. This means each township is approximated, although from testing so far it appears to be a very good and extremely effective space-saving approximation.
This version now costs $2, although the old version is still free…mostly reflecting the large amount of time it took me to process data from 4 provinces and rewrite the entire application. Enjoy!
This was an extremely easy but very exciting update. Before, this app was very bad at being a converter, and very bad at being a calculator. Now, I would argue that it’s usable as both…but more so as a unit converter. Thus, the name change to “Unit Converter & Calculator”. Also included are major updates to the unit library, which I tried to document on a Google Code page, although it’s still being tested (mostly using this app).
- UnitCalc on Google Play
This update was a long time coming, partly because so many people are using this app now that I’m nervous to try anything new, and partly because it required that I learn how to do three completely new things in Android – Services, Broadcast Receivers, and WidgetProviders. Widgets in particular can be very tricky, and Services seem like they’re straightforward but get killed whenever the phone sleeps, which is very often. Thus, the quest to migrate Canada Weather to Environment Canada’s XML feed, add radar imagery, and make a desktop widget turned out to be a tall order, now hopefully complete. I can only hope that it works as well on every single other phone as it does on mine. If not, I’m deeply sorry to all 5,804 of you, but it might be a rough couple of days.
- Canada Weather on Google Play
Next up: French language translation, animated radar imagery, and more widget options. Stay tuned!
another week of watching trucks at work, another app. one of the first things I ever wished my phone would do is try to find the local CBC station while driving across the country, or driving to work. thanks to Wikipedia’s ‘list of radio stations’ for provinces and territories in Canada, I put together a database of CBC stations, geocoded the locations, and made a few icons. everything else is more or less copy and paste from Canada Weather, which does about the same thing except for Environment Canada weather applications. For fun, a crude french translation is included.
I check the weather about fifty times a day. Okay, not really, but between seeing where it’s snowing the most and checking to see if it will be raining too hard to dig holes (my job), I check it a lot, and usually in five or six locations. I’ve always liked Environment Canada’s forecasts, but always found it hard to figure out which location I should be using, since there’s no good map of the cities where forecasts are issued for. Current apps on Google Play all have issues that make them annoying to use, and are usually just a little too complicated for their own good.
Just a quick update, fixing a bug with UTM coordinates in the southern hemisphere, updating the look of the search dialog, and adding support for more touch gestures (double tap and long press) in the map activity. The next updates should tackle the issue of a) manitoba, and b) townships with a letter in them.
After thinking about writing this app for the last 10 months and getting sidetracked with two others, I finally finished a passably stable version of the field-note taking app GopherNotes. It basically takes over the role of the field notebook, so that data entry and note taking are done at the same time, simplifying the import to GIS programs or Excel dramatically. Locations can be entered by UTM, Lat/Lon, picking a point from a Google Map, or from the phone’s (admittedly crappy) GPS. You can add photos to datapoints (geotagged automatically), export to Google Earth, and send your exported files by Email, Bluetooth, or whatever your favourite file-sharing app happens to be.
Current issues include a problem rotating photos and viewing them in GoogleEarth, which doesn’t read EXIF data. The phone apparently is too lazy to do this itself, but diligently records the information about how the photo should be rotated. Rest assured, the team is working on it, although dealing with multimedia is not my strong suit.