Friday, October 31, 2014

2.0 progress update 3

Its time for another update.  A few weeks ago Google released the android 5.0 SDK along with the new updated compatibility with support for material design (partially) on pre 5.0 devices.  Google was kind enough to release this on a Friday so I had that whole weekend to play around with it and while it did provide some really cool things, it also broke a lot when it comes to a holo UI.  I lost about a half week getting GMMP's holo themes back to where they were before the sdk update.

Since then I have been working on the new material "inspired" themes.  The material design guidelines are great for the most part, but it definitely increases the amount of whitespace / wasted space.  Frankly on smaller screen sizes this is not a sacrifice I am willing to give up.  The preview shots later in this post are on a Moto G, so keep that in mind if you see some of the margins being smaller than they should.  I do plan on sticking to the spacing a bit closer for larger phones.  As for fonts, I tried out the suggested fonts (size/style) for lists that the guidelines state and it just looks off, so for now I am keeping what looks best.  I may down the line provide "cleaner/simpler" themes that really stick to the guidelines at the sacrifice of information display on the screen.  There is also the possibility of a cards UI option down the line too.  I had played with it and google made it pretty simple to add.

So here is the progress on the material theme so far.  To start I've add the side navigation drawer with the hamburger menu with the slick animation that everyone seems to love.  For some reason I cannot get the title in the toolbar to align correctly so its removed until I can figure it out.  I know its not just me because i've seen some other apps with the same issue.





I kept the same tabs from the holo themes except for Library.  This view will be have a view pager with Artist / Album / Song / Genre that you can swipe between.  The top levels will look similar to the holo theme, but once you make the initial selection it'll open a more detailed page with a nice image at the top (like play music).  I havent started on that part so there is nothing to show yet.

What i do have to show is the queue, browser, and effects view.  I have the search view converted over as well but I still have some more tweaks to that before I show any screens.






Over the last few months I've recolored GMMP's icons about 5-6 different times to switch alphas to match the backgrounds and I still was not happy with the final result, so instead of wasting time reediting the icons over and over, I wrote some code that will auto color the icons.  So in 2.0, I will be able to define a specific icon color/alpha for each theme and the users will also be able to change the colors of the icons as well.  One other thing to expect with 2.0 is many more icons.  Google was kind enough to release thousands of material design icons that developers can use freely.  Some of the screenshots above show them off.

Realistically, I dont think the first 2.0 beta will be out until december.  I am also fully expecting it to stay in beta for a long time.  This is such a major update that I want to get it right before its fully pushed to everyone on google play.

Friday, October 3, 2014

2.0 progress update 2

Just another update on progress for 2.0.  I will try to make a post every week or 2 since the majority of the work I am doing is UI related which leads to some neat screen shots.  Besides the following major points, there have also been a lot of minor tweaks to the UI.

Tinted status bar

Kit added the ability to make the status bar translucent, which allows the action bar color to be extended to the top of the display.  Any theme using a colored action bar theme will be able to enable the tinted status bar.



Theme Templates


With all the UI options that will be available, I want to make it as easy as possible for users to configure the look of GMMP.  So I have added theme templates which will automatically set all the UI settings to specific values.  There will be templates for all the current GMMP skins plus a bunch of new ones.  I will also add in the ability to save templates so the user can easily change back and forth between different themes.


Holo Dark White Template


New Scanner UI

The scanner was one of the first things written for GMMP (0.11 Alpha or earlier) and it was not the easiest thing to use.  I completely redid the scanner UI and made it much easier to select the folders you want the scanner to scan and ignore.



In addition to the new UI, I also added new file monitoring and syncing with the android media library.  GMMP now listens for new files to be added to the android media library and will kick off a scan when that does occur.  GMMP's library views will update with the new music within a minute of the files being transferred to the device.

That is it for now but here are some more screen shots




Monday, September 22, 2014

2.0 progress update 1

I have been hard at work on GMMP 2.0 over the last 2 and a half months and I finally am able to show off some of the changes so far.  Nothing here is final by far and will most likely be a bit different when a beta is finally released (there is no ETA on the 2.0 beta and it definitely wont be out until after android L gets released)

Improved Holo UI

There are many users that currently enjoy the existing UI and I did not want to drastically change the UI without providing a way to fall back to the old UI.  Material design looks fantastic but not everyone wants that.  I personally like the flat navigation / swiping between views, so this will stay around as an option.  I still wanted to give the holo UI a facelift so most of the layouts have been tweaked (to follow the UI guidelines) along with a bunch of new additions.

New Font

Roboto Light is now the default font (Roboto Bold happens to be used for the now playing metadata entries in this screenshot, but the rest is Roboto Light)


Overflow Menu

The long press context menu has been replaced with an overflow button



Multiple Selection

Long pressing a list item will now enable action mode (multiple selection). Play, Play Next, Enqueue, Add To Playlist, and Delete are the available actions for the majority of the views.


Improved Image Loading

In GMMP 1.6.x, all of the image loading was custom written because years ago when development started, there were really no libraries out there that handled image loading well.  GMMP 2.0 uses Glide for all image loading.  The difference is very noticeable.  Scrolling is smooth and images load much faster.

Background Blurring

As an alternative to the album art background option, there is also an option to blur the background.  I have been wanting to do this for a long time and was finally able to find an efficient way to do it.


Say goodbye to skins and say hello to the Theme Builder

Skins have been a huge pain to maintain.  In the past, most changes to the UI also required every single skin to be updated.  Each skin consisted of hundreds of layout and images, so even just creating a new holo skin with a different color was a lot of effort.  Because of this, I have decided to take a new approach to customizing the UI.  GMMP 2.0 will ship with a new Theme Builder to dynamically create the user interface.

Right now the builder has a few options but it will be expanded upon (some options may not make the final cut as well):

  • Base Theme: Holo Dark/Light, Holo Dark/Light with Colored Actionbar, and Material (not implemented yet)
  • Navigation Style: View Pager (GMMP 1.x style) or Sliding Menu  
  • Primary Accent Color
  • ActionBar Color (only works with the Colored ActionBar base themes)
  • Background Color

Note: Text color currently is linked to the base theme.

I know many users will not want to have to deal with all this so all these settings will be wrapped up into templates that can be used to build the UI quickly.






GMMP 2.0 is still very much a work in progress, but it is shaping up to be a huge improvement over 1.6.x

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1.6.5

Just a minor update fixing album art in chromecast.  I guess over the last week or so google updated the chromecast to cache album art and since GMMP uses the same URL to host the playing album art, it was no longer refreshing.  So i fixed that up.  

1.6.5 (09/09/14):
-Fixed issue with album art not updating on chromecast

1.6.4 (08/28/14):
-Another unlocker licensing change to make it more tolerant of errors/failures
-Updated Czech translation

1.6.3 (07/30/14):
-Fixed issue where the unlocker would report as unlicensed when Google Play was actually returning a retry response
-Updated Czech translation

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

500,000 downloads!

GMMP just passed the 500k download mark on google play.  It only took 3 years but is still a pretty cool accomplishment.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gonemad.gmmp

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

GMMP 2.0 status update

Work on GMMP 2.0 has been underway for about a month and a half and I am making good progress.  GMMP was originally built in the froyo/gingerbread era so there is a lot of custom code i had to write that nowadays is handled by great 3rd party libraries.  I've made good progress bringing the code base up to date to the jelly bean / kitkat era, but still have a bunch more to do before I even begin with the UI redesign.
For those curious, yes GMMP 2.0 will follow the Material Design Guidelines.  I will do my best to still keep the existing holo skins in some form.  Switching development to android studio/gradle from eclipse will make skin maintenance much easier (build variants are awesome).

Monday, July 28, 2014

1.6.2

1.6.2 (07/25/14):
-Unlicensed copies of the unlocker are no longer accepted.  Update to the latest version of the unlocker or purchase a valid copy if you get an error.  In order to validate the license, you must be connected to the internet before opening GMMP.  Once validated the first time, an internet connection is no longer needed.  If all of this is done and you still run into issues with the unlocker, please contact gonemadsoftware@gmail.com with your order number and we will help resolve the issue.
-44100 sample rate is now shown in now playing as 44.1khz instead of 44khz
-Fixed notification art always using embedded image even when another image was chosen
-Fixed issue with the split view toggle button not able to be hidden
-Fixed crash in license check
-Fixed widget crash
-Modified how chromecast devices are detected to hopefully fix the issue of the cast menu option not showing up