Coming up next…

A few weeks ago, I came across a CG image that looks a lot like a colored-in skyline diffuser. A Google search turned up all kinds of CG images with the same theme. After imagining what a skyline diffuser might look like in motion, I was inspired to make a live wallpaper out of the idea. I’m really excited about how this one turned out. Unfortunately, this week I saw a new live wallpaper on Google Play that seems to have also been inspired by skyline diffusers.

I’ve already put way too many hours into mine to scrap it, but I also think it’s sufficiently different that the two won’t be direct competitors. In mine, the tiles are smaller, beveled in the middle, and cast shadows; touch affects tile height rather than color; and it uses a simpler lighting model. All these factors create a very different look. My new live wallpaper is basically done, but I want to put in a little more testing before release.

One of the really cool features of this wallpaper is the dynamic shadows, and it runs smoothly on the good old HTC Incredible. Here’s a sneak peak:

Digital Embers reviews

A couple of reviews have gone up for Digital Embers.

The first is over at Android Police, a hugely popular Android news blog.

And another is from QbKing77’s YouTube channel here. I found out about it from the customer reviews on Google Play, and watched a few episodes. QbKing’s show is has a variety of info about new Android devices, and tips for getting the most out of your phone.

Digital Hive 1.5.0

I put this update up to help Galaxy Nexus users with the stuttering issue. See the previous post for an explanation of the issue with the phone.

The new smooth scrolling setting helps to reduce the appearance of stuttering by both limiting the camera movement speed and controlling the scroll velocity directly instead of letting the launcher handle it. I recommend that Galaxy Nexus users set the Max scroll speed to Low and set the “Restrict camera rotation” setting to 60%.  This should be a good starting place to keep the camera from moving so quickly that the low frame rate is very noticeable.

Upon request, I also added a new color option for swapping between two colors depending on whether it’s plugged in. (Good idea, Peer-Eric!) I think it looks pretty cool when you set Second Color Source to “blend from left” and then use the new “Plugged/unplugged color” for either main or second color source.

Gift Shopper Pro permissions

Here’s an explanation of the permissions used by Gift Shopper Pro. I thought I’d clarify this, since a customer review expressed concerns about the read contacts permission.

The Read Contact Data permission is used to get a list of names for you to copy into the list of gift recipients so you won’t have to type them. The contacts information is not stored or sent anywhere. I’m considering a future update that will remove this permission by sending you to the phone’s Contacts app instead of accessing them directly from within Gift Shopper Pro. The app will appear a little less integrated, but the plus side is that thumbnail images will be seen with the list of names, which could make it easier for you to pick names off the list.

The Internet Access permission is used exclusively to send barcode numbers to Google Search to retrieve product names.

Take Pictures/Video is used for barcode scanning.

Modify/Delete SD Card Data is used if you back up your gift list data to transfer it to another phone.

Gift Shopper Pro updated

Gift Shopper Pro version 4.0 is out, and as of yesterday, it’s now available on the Amazon App Store as well!

The most noticeable change is that it visually fits the aesthetic of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). But under the surface, there have been many updates to the behavior of the on-screen keyboard, so you can jump from field to field or add gifts and people quicker by pressing the Enter key.

Other improvements:

  • Tablet-optimized layouts
  • Use of the Honeycomb/Ice Cream Sandwich “action bar” for menu.
  • Added a price field for adding gifts on a Person’s page.
  • Moved person details to a side screen that you can swipe over. This reduces screen clutter and makes room for…
  • Two new fields for People details, Likes and Dislikes.
  • Occasion lists are all sorted by date now.
  • You can now set the default starting tab.
  • You can now copy gifts. Either long press the gift in the list and choose the copy option, or when on the gift’s page, press menu to find the copy option.

Available on the Android Market and on the Amazon App Store.