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Old 05-08-2013, 09:52 PM   #1
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Beta Testers Wanted: Android Inclinometer

Moderators, please move/delete this post if it violates the forum rules. I scoured the rules here, and I don't believe that this violates the commercial vendors rules. (At this point I am simply an enthusiast who has built something. It's unclear if I will ever monetize it.) Thanks!

Executive Summary
I have created yet another Inclinometer app for Android, and I am looking for beta testers.

Please PM me with the following information - Android device and version - if you are interested. Also, please only volunteer if you are willing/able to share feedback - both positive and negative. You do not need to be a software/phone guru, but you do need to be able to install an APK on your phone. You are free to keep the app.


Background
There are several Android Inclinometer apps on the Google Play store, but many of them produce incorrect pitch/roll information or simply crash. It seemed like a fun challenge - can I do better?

My Requirements
  1. Stable app that does not crash
  2. Pitch and roll correct 99+% of the time. (With very small values of x, y, and/or z, pitch and roll can be difficult to calculate. I have added some filtering/boundary checking for these extremes, but some noise is unavoidable.)
  3. Easy to use
  4. An opportunity for me to learn

About Me
I bought a 2013 Jeep Wrangler JKU a few months ago, and I absolutely love it. My sons and I enjoy taking the top off and driving around the foothills of Northern Colorado.

I am a software engineer by trade. I primarily work in C/Linux/Embedded Systems, so developing an Android app (Java/XML) is a fun way to expand my knowledge/skills. Combining technology, the outdoors, and my Jeep made this an awesome project.

Beta Tester Selection Criteria
  1. Number of posts and length of membership in this forum. Kudos to the old timers
  2. Variety of devices and Android versions. I will place emphasis on testers with newer and more popular devices

Time Frame
I will do my best to respond to each volunteer via PM. I will send out the APK to the selected individuals within the next week. For those who receive the APK, feel free to share your thoughts/experiences at any time (either via PM or by responding to this post.) I hope to wrap up the testing a couple weeks after that. Beyond that - who knows.

Questions to the Forum
  1. What features (in an Inclinometer) are you interested in?
  2. Have you downloaded any free inclinometer apps? Which ones?
  3. Have you purchased an inclinometer app in the past? Which ones?
  4. Other thoughts?

Best regards,
Drakenclimber

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Old 05-08-2013, 10:18 PM   #2
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I'm shocked they are not built into the Jeep dash. My 2011 F250 had one... an F250!

Good luck in your testing.

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Old 05-09-2013, 10:33 AM   #3
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I haven't tried any inclinometer apps yet, but I am a former Apple engineer. I just received my Google Nexus 7 which I plan to use for GPS in the JK (as it works offline, unlike Apple's map app) - I would be happy to test your app on it.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2000 View Post
I haven't tried any inclinometer apps yet, but I am a former Apple engineer. I just received my Google Nexus 7 which I plan to use for GPS in the JK (as it works offline, unlike Apple's map app) - I would be happy to test your app on it.
Thanks. I appreciate the help.

I'll PM the APK to you tonight.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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I am interested, I have galaxy s3 with latest SW.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:25 PM   #6
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Important feature is to have the app running in the background and whenever there is an alarm it pops up on the screen to show you the status... Many would like to use GPS or other apps in the meantime.. Unless you can integrate google maps and a video cam app in your app

App should stay on all the time, no lock screen or dimming


If you can give the option to put the actual jeep photo or give us the option to pick the colors

Distance travelled info would be cool
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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I'd be willing to test the app too. I have a droid 3 running Android 2.3.4 and a Nexus 7 tablet running latest Jellybean.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:44 PM   #8
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I'll test it out! Galaxy s3 on 4.1.1
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:01 PM   #9
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What's an APK? I'd test it out if I can. HTC EVO 3D running 4.0.3
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Old 05-09-2013, 03:19 PM   #10
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Android Inclination App

Dude I'll test it. I have a Casio Commando which is almost as tough as my Ruby

you can email me at jarvis.williamson.jw@gmail.com
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaggi2 View Post
What's an APK? I'd test it out if I can. HTC EVO 3D running 4.0.3
APK is an Android Application/Package Installer. (I am uncertain what the letters exactly stand for.)

Essentially an APK is analogous to an Windows EXE Installer.

The basic steps for installing a (random) APK on an Android device:
1. Allow installation of non-Google Play store applications
a. Settings -> Applications -> Unknown Sources (Check this box)
2. Put the APK on your phone. (Email it to yourself, download it via WiFi, put it on Google Drive, put it on Dropbox, etc.) Note the location that you save it.
3. Install the APK
a. There are many ways to do this. One way is as follows:
b. Using Astro or FileManager, etc. browse to where you stored the APK
c. Click on the APK
d. Say "yes" when it asks if you want to install this application
tl;dr version:
It's not difficult to install an APK, but it's not nearly as simple as downloading/automagically installing an application from the Google Play store.

Regards,
Drakenclimber
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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I can test it on my ram mounted Nexus 7 and my Gallaxy 4.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iNizo View Post
Important feature is to have the app running in the background and whenever there is an alarm it pops up on the screen to show you the status...
Thank you. That is EXACTLY the advice I am looking for.

<For the SW Geeks>I have most of this already in place. I need to add hooks to connect the warning logic to the background service. Shouldn't be too hard to do.</End Geek>


Quote:
Originally Posted by iNizo View Post
Many would like to use GPS or other apps in the meantime.. Unless you can integrate google maps and a video cam app in your app
I have the skills to do this, but I don't have the time. (Unless this becomes my full-time job. But that's a long shot...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by iNizo View Post
App should stay on all the time, no lock screen or dimming
Thanks, again. I have already implemented this feature.


Quote:
Originally Posted by iNizo View Post
If you can give the option to put the actual jeep photo or give us the option to pick the colors
Other inclinometers have added this as a "pro" feature available in the paid-for version. If I make a $0.99 version, I would likely add this.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:02 PM   #14
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While your at it can you make us a good JK wallpaper or tell me how to make one for my Nexus 7 .
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohioviper View Post
While your at it can you make us a good JK wallpaper or tell me how to make one for my Nexus 7 .
Should be easy to do. Looks like the Nexus 7 is 1280x800 pixels.

I'll post them here when I make them.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drakenclimber View Post

APK is an Android Application/Package Installer. (I am uncertain what the letters exactly stand for.)

Essentially an APK is analogous to an Windows EXE Installer.

The basic steps for installing a (random) APK on an Android device:
1. Allow installation of non-Google Play store applications
a. Settings -> Applications -> Unknown Sources (Check this box)
2. Put the APK on your phone. (Email it to yourself, download it via WiFi, put it on Google Drive, put it on Dropbox, etc.) Note the location that you save it.
3. Install the APK
a. There are many ways to do this. One way is as follows:
b. Using Astro or FileManager, etc. browse to where you stored the APK
c. Click on the APK
d. Say "yes" when it asks if you want to install this application

tl;dr version:
It's not difficult to install an APK, but it's not nearly as simple as downloading/automagically installing an application from the Google Play store.

Regards,
Drakenclimber
Gotcha. I already have Astro installed and allow 3rd party apps too.
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:11 PM   #17
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PM sent
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:39 PM   #18
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Apk did not show up as false positive for avast. Just for the record. Will test tomorrow in my TJ on town hills then work my way to some light trails for sensitivity sakes.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:00 PM   #19
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Thanks to everyone for volunteering. Again, I really appreciate the help.

It's been a long day... off to have a local brew. Enjoy your night.

Drakenclimber
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:09 AM   #20
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I was over-thinking the install...I simply downloaded from Google Drive and clicked on the download. Android gave me a native option to install.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:23 AM   #21
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I have a Galaxy Tab 2 running 4.1.1 hard mounted, as well as a hard mounted dock for my S3 running 4.1. I use the Tab for my LINQ, Torque, and GPS on the highway. And my S3 to run a second screen of one of the apps. If you are still looking for a beta tester hit me up.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:26 AM   #22
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Suggestions so far:

Could you easily add a "custom sound" option in the Warning Sound dropdown box? This isn't a big deal, but may be a selling point to differentiate your app from the others.

A confirmation popup that phone is calibrated

Also, my phone is laying flat on my desk and the warning siren is going off occasionally. The roll indicator is doing this w/o me touching the phone (4.0.3).
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:24 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaggi2 View Post
Could you easily add a "custom sound" option in the Warning Sound dropdown box?
I've been thinking about that, but it adds a lot of complexity. For example, do I let the user record the sound directly in the inclinometer? Then I need to add a play, stop, record, and delete buttons.

I need to research if there is any easy way to access the alarms/ringtones/notifications sounds stored on the phone. That would give a user an easy way to add sounds without a complex GUI on my end.

Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaggi2 View Post
A confirmation popup that phone is calibrated
Excellent. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaggi2 View Post
Also, my phone is laying flat on my desk and the warning siren is going off occasionally.
This is one of the corner cases I alluded to in my original post. When the phone is laying flat, both x and y are approximately zero. (The entire gravity vector is in the positive z axis.) This makes the arctan computation very error-prone because x and y are small and fluctuating.

I have put some error-handling in for this, but largely this is an unrealistic test case (I think.) I don't expect anyone to drive with their phone facing straight up.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:32 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=drakenclimber;3740836]

I need to research if there is any easy way to access the alarms/ringtones/notifications sounds stored on the phone. That would give a user an easy way to add sounds without a complex GUI on my end.

That's what I was talking about...using other sounds from your phone.

Excellent. Thank you.


This is one of the corner cases I alluded to in my original post. When the phone is laying flat, both x and y are approximately zero. (The entire gravity vector is in the positive z axis.) This makes the arctan computation very error-prone because x and y are small and fluctuating.

I have put some error-handling in for this, but largely this is an unrealistic test case (I think.) I don't expect anyone to drive with their phone facing straight up.

Gotcha. I apparently didn't read the first post too well.

I'd like to be able to hit Menu>Exit to shut off the app. I had to go into Task Manager to shut it off after I accidentally "honked" at a girl at work. It was funny.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:29 PM   #25
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I quoted my suggestions in the above post poorly. Just wanted to make sure you got the Menu>Exit comment. Seems pretty important and GOOD JOB. App seems close for a release.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:10 PM   #26
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I quoted my suggestions in the above post poorly. Just wanted to make sure you got the Menu>Exit comment. Seems pretty important and GOOD JOB. App seems close for a release.
I got it. Very good observation. Definitely an oversight on my part. Thanks.

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Old 05-10-2013, 09:17 PM   #27
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Beta Testers,

I have uploaded version 0.9.01 of the Inclinometer to the same Google Drive folder that I PM'ed to you. Please contact me if you have any issues.

Changes include:
  • Added a menu item to explicitly quit the application
  • Added a menu item to display the version number
  • Pop up a message when calibration is complete
  • Improved the throughput by limiting the GUI refreshes.

<Geek Alert>In regards to the throughput bullet item, the initial version was updating the GUI as fast as accelerometer data was coming in. So for those of with quality phones, accel data can come in as fast as 100+ Hz. I don't know about your eyes, but I can't detect anything near that fast. I have added logic to update the GUI at a more sane rate - while keeping the logic/processing running at the full 100 Hz. Ironically my crummy LG Optimus V only generates accel data at approximately 15 Hz, so I didn't observe this.</Geek Alert>

Again, thanks everyone for your help.

Enjoy the weekend. I'll be taking the entire hard top off tomorrow. It's supposed to be 70's and 80's and sunny here all next week.

Regards,
Drakenclimber
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:00 PM   #28
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Menu>Quit works AWESOME
Calibrate popup is instant. Purposdully?
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:03 PM   #29
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Warning Text...only Pitch displays different color, not Roll. White doesn't show.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:22 AM   #30
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The app drains the battery very quickly.. I think it stays in the memory and keep consume resources.. We should have a "Quit" option.

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