Megabite App Updates Incoming
Tuesday, September 10th
So, I pushed a change to my Android application the other day that redirected all of my tutorial articles to this server instead of their original location. In the welcome opener, I promised users that this should prevent unneeded app updates, but I really want to bring Megabite up to Android's newest standards.
There is a new and improved version in the works that will basically utilize a great deal of the code I have in place here. Once updated, my hope for the new Megabite app is that it can integrate my tutorials section here dynamically, and even have a "news" section that will utilize, via a Megabite category, a new, distinct section here as well.
Most Android apps are designed to be self contained, whereas what I will be doing is basically integrating it to use a custom API built into my custom CMS. This offers better options in the future, in my opinion - for this app as well as potential others. Eventually I want to be able to create an app that controls the back-end, like WordPress has, but that may be a ways off and a "solid" CMS needs to be done first.
Google, I love you but youre killing me right now.
Sunday, September 8th
The title pretty much sums up how I feel.
I had some free time today for development, so I wanted to test how my tutorials could be improved via the android app. Simple enough, right? I get my PHP done in minutes - added fancybox to the display code for individual blog posts and tutorials (side note: this allows you to click on any image on the website for a lightbox effect, but fancybox is better for mobile imo). Next step, I optimize one of my old tutorials and want to update my android app to support it. I open Android Studio, and am prompted to update it.
What, no update through the application itself? Okay, I'll download and install it.
Crap - already installing it when I see the prompt on the web site saying I should choose a new install location and uninstall my previous version first. Too bad - I had already imported all of my work in there from eclipse. Okay, so new version installed and now I need to update both eclipse and the android SDK manager to their newest versions to I can RE-export/import my code.
Side complaint: why the hell does the Android SDK manager take 30 minutes to download anything? Shouldn't google have some of the fastest and most dedicated servers on planet Earth?
Anyway, finally exported and re-imported - no dice. Everything is throwing up errors left and right. Keep in mind, these builds should be perfectly up to date and functional - they've been published for months. Im pretty much decided at this point to use some of the preexisting code and basically re-do my app from scratch. That is, of course, IF I can use my old keystore and actually publish the final product as an update. We'll see I guess.
Sunday, September 8th
Saw a really cool looking program last night through steam, recently approved through the Greenlight program. It's called Black Ink, and its a GPU based art tool. After seeing a couple of the videos, I figured, what the hell - it's half off right now.
For those of you that don't know, I'm not an artist. Yes, I have an art gallery here but 3d art is different - requires much less hand-eye coordination - at least for me. I can't sketch to save my life without having the final result come out looking like a 4 year old drew it. However, with this program, I was able to actually make some neat looking stuff, and fairly quickly.
I turned this into this in about 10 minutes, which I like. My wife, however, is fantastic. She did this in about 20 minutes from scratch:
The program makes extremely high-resolution pictures. Too big, in my opinion. The originals come out 4000+ pixels wide, and the original PNG file was 46 MB. By shrinking it for display here, some of the detail was lost, but it's amazing what can be done so quickly. Maybe my art gallery will start expanding again soon :)