Posts Tagged ‘ Auto Memory Manager

AMM maintenance release

Hi guys.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve gotten a few emails from Wildfire users not being able to find AMM in the Market.  So I’ve put in a fix to make it available to Wildfire users.  The problem was because of the change in how the market filters apps for devices based on their screen resolution and what resources i.e. images etc you have for your app.  It was a simple fix so now everybody can enjoy it.  Kinda… :)  Next thing to do is make this tablet friendly.

Whoa! My code is bad!

So I’ve finally finished my exams and after a couple of weeks of relaxing and catching up on movies, tv shows, games etc. I’m trying to get back into coding mode.  So I’ve just loaded the AMM source and boy oh boy, my code is a freaking nightmare.  SO…I’ve set myself some goals.

  1. Write tests for AMM.  When I started writing AMM I didn’t know anything about unit testing apart from the general idea of the terminalogy.  Quite sad considering I’m actually a software tester by trade.  Anyway, in the last few releases of AMM it’s been increasingly hard to keep make sure that all the functionality is still working after each update.  So hopefully the tests will help increase the quality of my releases.
  2. Refactor my code.  Depending on how I go with this there may be significant rewrite of the code that may improve performance.  I will also look into simplifying the app.  At the moment I think it’s quite confusing.
  3. Release the source.  Once I’ve tidied things up a bit I plan on release the source for AMM.  I hope there will be some people interested in contributing some code.  I also hope to write a few posts about some of the code and my learning experience.  As a novice developer I had a lot to learn and I think there will probably a lot of people out there like me who may benefit from my experience.
Anyway, watch this space cause I’m back! :)

AMM 1.2 Released!

AMM 1.2 is now out in the Market.  I’m very excited about this release because it is the start of some of the new features to come.  To see what has changed you can check out the change log so I won’t repeat them here.  But one of the changes I would like to mention is the anonymous data collection feature.

This feature is currently turned off by default but I really hope people will turn it on as this provides me with a lot of useful information to understand how the app is being used.  I would also like to hear your opinions on whether I should turn it on by default.  I know this app only has a small user base but I also know that collecting data can be a contentious issue.  But I personally would like to keep it on as the data is anonymous, doesn’t harm the user (except possibly if you have to pay for the data charges) and provides me with a lot of value.

Anyway, it’s getting late so I’m going to leave it at that.  As usual, download, enjoy and spread the word.

A bitter sweet weekend.

First the good news.  This weekend I managed to recruit some beta testers (thanks guys.) and now I can see some numbers on Fluffy Analystics and get some demographics of my users.  And I have to say from what little data that has been collected I’m surprised at the data.  I hope to share some of the information collected with you guys once there is a better sample.  Don’t worry.  I can’t see where you are or what you doing.  Twitter and Facebook probably can tell me more :)  All I can see is which continent you are and what type of phone you are using a few more things about how you use AMM.  And as mentioned all the data is completely anonymous.

With the beta also came the option for users to email me an exception log if AMM force closes.  This will be a big help for me to debug an issues people are having.   So generally I am quite excited about the next release which should be in a day or two.  I am also going working on other things to extend the application.

The bad news?  For the first time the number of active installs for AMM has dropped.  I was a bit disappointed by this as I have been working to improve the retention rate of AMM.  It seems the main problem is people don’t know what it does or they don’t see improvements, maybe even both.  So I’m working on a help file and the FAQ.  I would like to change the 6 app categories but it’s a bit tricky as the basis of what AMM is doing is technical.  I also don’t want to run the risk of misinterpreting the categories.  One thing I am going to do as of the next release is to change the default setting to Mild so that people should see immediate improvements the moment they start using AMM.  Hopefully this will show users that AMM can actually improve the user experience of their Android phones.

So, hope everyone had a great weekend and look out for an update very soon.  :)

Good service provided.

After a week of experimenting I’ve finally implemented the “on boot” functionality for AMM. So now your settings for AMM will still be kept and applied after a reboot.

Unfortunately due to some wifi issues at home I will only be able to upload the update a bit later. But it should be a good one.

AMM 1.0.4 released.

As mentioned in my previous post I’ve changed the workflow of the app. Hopefully for the better.

This is how it works now:
* To use one of the presets just press the button. The sliders will update to show what the settings will be. You can switch around and have a look at the other settings as well. When you are happy with the settings then just press the Apply button to apply the settings. A message will be displayed when this has been done.

* At any stage you can change the options manually in the sliders and press Apply to use it.

* Another less obvious change is that your settings are now saved after reboot. Unfortunately you will still need to start the app up at once before it will automatically apply the settings. I am working this step so hopefully it will be done soon.

So go forth and update.

Sometimes change happens too fast.

When I started making Auto Memory Manager (AMM…I really need to come up with a better name for this app) one of the things I tried to do was to let the user configure and apply the settings in as few steps as possible.  With this in mind I made it so that settings would get applied when a user pressed one of the buttons.  After looking at the feedback from Market and other friends it seems that this isn’t as intuitive as I imagined and has cause some confusion.  So the next point release as well as tidying up the code I’m going to also change how the buttons work so that it will be more in line with what people expect to see.

At this stage I will use the traditional select and apply model which is the most obvious (I hope).  The preset buttons will show the users the settings on the bars and when they have chosen the settings they want to apply they can press the (new) Apply button.  For a custom setting users can just play around with the sliders and press the Apply button.  Sounds simple/obvious enough?  I hope so.  :)

The Secondary Progress

image

A little known feature (I think) is the secondary progress. This a shaded progress on each of the sliders.

What it does is show your current settings. This is useful to as a reminder of what settings you are coming from especially when setting up a custom configuration.  The only problem is that the main slider is not transparent so you can only see the secondary progress if the main slider is less than the secondary slider.

Some may find this useful, some may not. At any rate give it a go.

Auto Memory Manager 1.0.3 released!

So after 1 week of development Auto Memory Manager is at version 1.0.3.  As the version number suggest the changes have been major but I’ve enjoyed the learning process.

This release included 2 things.  One of which seemed to be a much needed help file.  It turns out that the usability of this app was only obvious to me and not many others…including my wife.  I showed it to her and gave a brief description of what it did and she immediately pointed out a major flaw in my rather basic app.  It wasn’t obvious what the buttons or the sliders did.  In short it wasn’t obvious what everything on the app did!  Which was a bit of a surprise to me as it seemed pretty obvious what they did.  (You press a button for the setting that you want.)  I still think this is an efficient way of choosing and applying a setting however I concede that it probably isn’t the most obvious.  So I’ve added a brief help file and in the next few days I will put up a more detailed help on this site.

The topic of memory management is a complex one and is one that I have a lot to learn about.  I plan to update this blog with my thoughts about this topic and my finding in general and also relating to my app.  Hopefully others will find it useful.  I have also have to mention the XDA forum.  In particular the “Android Internal Task Killer” thread and androcheck who provided the information to make this possible.  And for now this is probably still the best place to find out about how this app actually works.  But feel free to send me any questions over twitter or email and I’ll see if I can help.