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Ribs

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Hi looking good

Is it possible to have the post code on site details page? Eg Gullivers has details and phone but no post code? I tried the navigate to button but i use my tomtom truck. Or is this down to c,&cc.

 

Hi,

 

This appears to be a bug, well spotted! It seems that if the address is longer than 5 lines long, it gets cut short.

 

With reference to the gullivers site, you can get around the problem for now by turning your device to the "landscape" orientation, where the app will now show the postcode. This doesn't work for all sites. Obviously this needs fixing in the long run.

 

I think the way the app handles navigation needs improving. It only directly interacts with Google Navigation right now, which as you've pointed out, isn't idea for everyone.

 

Thanks for the feedback. This is exactly what I'm looking for.

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0. 2 has just been uploaded and should show in your devices as an update shorty. If you're impatient, then searching for Caravan Buddy in the market should bring up the option to update.

 

In this version:

* Better looking Logo.

* Checklist now working. .. This is not finished and I'd like input on this, as my experience is limited I did struggle to think what to include.

* Bug fix for address; the whole address should always show now.

*Added EULA (annoying, but you'll only see it once).

 

Next release should include searching on the Caravan Club, probably.

 

Once again, feedback is welcome!

 

Regards,

Richard.

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Thanks much better now been playing with it :) post codes work great. Are you aware that all searches are limited to only 10 results? I tried various search ideas I. E cs sites by county or seaside all only say 10 results. Again just feedback on a young potentially awesome caravan app.

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Thanks much better now been playing with it :) post codes work great. Are you aware that all searches are limited to only 10 results? I tried various search ideas I. E cs sites by county or seaside all only say 10 results. Again just feedback on a young potentially awesome caravan app.

 

Indeed, this is something I noticed when making the app. When searching on the CCC site, you only get 10 results initially. To get more, the website uses some really strange encrypted links to load the rest of the results. Getting around this is not easy, but not impossible, and I figured that ten results would 'do for now' until I got the other features working.

 

Thanks again for the feedback.

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Just downloaded caravan buddy Thankyou looks great.

 

CHEERS DAZKIM

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Just installed it too. ..nice one. ..thanx. ..

 

 

Sal :-)

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just downloaded. Works great! When are you adding the UKCS functionality? thks!!

 

just downloaded. Works great! When are you adding the UKCS functionality? thks!!

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Hello everyone,

 

Thanks for all your feedback. I've had a fair few e-mails about this app as well. Any ideas/suggestions are still welcome. As well as any issues you are having with the app. Some of the enhancements in this version are a direct result of feedback I have received.

 

Version 0. 3 has been published, and should show as an update in the next couple of hours, be aware that this update requires new permissions, which you have to explicitly agree to, so the app will not update automatically or update as part of a "Update All" process. If you are impatient, you may be able to search in the Android Market for the app and update from there, instead of waiting for your device to notify you of the update. Be sure to accept the new permissions.

 

If you haven't installed it yet, you can find it on the Android Market, just search for "Caravan" and Caravan Buddy should be in there.

 

There are some pretty nice changes in this release which I hope you'll all like.

 

What's not included is a little disappointing, from my perspective at least:

I've been unable to get Caravan Club searching working in time for release, the functions are still in the app, but are all switched off for now, as they simply don't work. Sadly, to get these things working, I have to "reverse engineer" the website's code which it normally presents to a web browser. To say the least, this process is not easy, and the Caravan Club website is providing some interesting technical challenges. It's not impossible, just difficult :) Sorry for getting anyone's hopes up. Fingers crossed for 0. 4!

 

In terms of the other search engines, I've not yet started on those. In terms of an ETA? Sadly, I don't have one. This app is a labor of love, and I do whatever I can, whenever I can, but I simply lack the free time to really make quick progress on it. Version 0. 1 was the result of about an three evening's two mornings work, and 0. 2 was an extra evening and a morning or two, in programming terms, to make high quality apps, this is hardly any time at all. Adding new search engines to the app is probably the slowest part of the development process. As I said, it's not easy to do. That's not to say it won't happen, it just won't happen quickly. ..

 

What's new in version 0. 3:

New Features

• Reviews are here! You can now read reviews other people have left on any site you find (providing a review has been written, of course)

• When viewing a site's details, you now bring up a map, showing where the site is, and (if your device supports it) your current position will be shown as well

• Proper Android 3. x support - those of you with nice new Android tablets will see great improvements if you're using Android 3. 0 or above

• Added pop-up menus when the menu button is pressed, also visible along the top for Android 3. x devices

• You can now share sites that you find with friends. This will share the website address of the site, so Caravan buddy doesn't need to installed on your friend's device/computer

• Added "Trip Advisor" to the tools screen - Try it, it's great!

• Added all the video reviews I could find on YouTube to sites. If a site you are looking at has a video review, you'll get the option of watching it (not a new feature, but a lot more videos are present now)

• A minor facelift

Bug Fixes

• Fixed bug where the facilities would be difficult to view on low-density devices, such as the HTC Wildfire

• Fixed bug for tablets without telephony hardware. Caravan Buddy should now install and work on these devices

 

I've worked hard on making sure the app works on everything. From a basic Android 1. 6 phone with a 3 inch screen, right up to the latest Samsung Galaxy 10. 1 tablet with a dual core processor. Again, if you have any problems with the app (installing/using), let me know!

 

Current To Do list

• Caravan Club support

• Editable Checklists - One size does not fit all, after all.

 

Have fun!

 

Regards,

Richard

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Thanks Richard looking very good. I was the first to leave feedback on this ap on the market by the way.

once again many thanks

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Just ordered Samsung Galaxy 7 Tab, this app looks excellent and will be instantly downloaded. Many Thanks

B)

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Afternoon all,

 

So, I've finally managed to get some free time to work on Caravan Buddy a little more. Attached to this post is the fruit of today's labors.

 

Basically, I've got searching on the Caravan Club to work! I also managed to get some real "field use" of Caravan Buddy whilst on Holiday in the New Forest. I did notice it doesn't cope too well on a non-wifi connection, so improvements on that side of things are in progress as well. ..

 

As you can see, it's a tad basic, as the searching on the website doesn't show images, so you only get the logo, but pictures do load okay when you're actually viewing a site.

 

One limitation which I cannot overcome is the inability to search for CL sites. Whilst it's perfectly possible to search for those sites, I cannot view them as it requires a login to view those sites. Even if I were a member of the CC, it would be rather difficult to get this working in the app, as it would require some serious reverse engineering, and I feel the Caravan Club may get rather annoyed with me if I did that.

 

Now I need help from a CC member:

One thing I do need help with, is knowing how far in advance you can normally book a CC site. Is it just seven months all year round? Does it "reset" at some point in the year and you can then book 12 months in advance? The search on the website seems to hint at booking up to 7 months in advance right now (at least, you can base your traveling dates that far ahead of time. ..)

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Hi Ribs,

Re CC booking.

Booking opens each year about the 2nd Monday in December so at that point you can book a year in advance.

Hope this answers your question.

Cheers

Thombo

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Beware of android apps.

 

 

What a well informed and considered statement.

Edited by Alansl

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Afternoon everyone.

 

I managed to get a spare couple of afternoons to work on this, so I'm very happy to say that a new version is making it's way to the Android Market as we speak.

 

This is version 1. 0, which is fairly feature complete and shouldn't break in any way (here's hoping!)

 

Once again, there is a permission change. This time to store things in your SD card. This will be used for "caching" data, so reloading something Caravan Buddy has already seen should be quicker, however, much like Caravan Club searching in the last version, I didn't finish it in time for this version, so that feature is turned off, but the permission is there for the next update. Some of the advert code already uses this anyway. I hope this will be the last time I have to add a permission to the app, as I know it's a pain to manually update something. So again, you'll have to manually approve the update when your device prompts you.

 

New Features

• A plus version is out now which will remove the advertisements from the app. It's not expensive, and will help future development. Be aware the "Plus" key will not give any extra features, I will always make my best work free, but if you want to say a "thank you" to me and remove the ads, you now have a way of doing that. For this to work, you must have both Caravan Buddy and Caravan Buddy Plus installed (Plus is a very small download and does not appear in your launcher). You can get plus by pressing Menu at any time.

• Caravan Club searching now works! The search results screen does not show preview images (as the website does not supply them), however, once a result is selected, everything works as normal. Videos reviews have also been added to the sites which have them. Written reviews do not work with Caravan Club results, as the site does not supply them.

• UKCS website searching now works! You can also read reviews on these sites.

• You can now book sites from within the app. This simply opens up the relevant website to book with normally. Works best on tablets.

Bug Fixes

• Search results now look more in-line with the rest of the app

• Slight speed increases to some inefficient routines

• Fixed layout issues on QVGA ("small") screens.

• Fixed crash bug on some sites being viewed, caused by a utterly bizarre race condition in the app (where something would finish before another part was ready). This bug was only fixed due to people pressing "Report" when the app crashed. Thank you.

• Minor cosmetic improvements.

 

In addition, I've had some fantastic e-mails about this app, including a newbie to caravaning who has used Caravan Buddy to plan a trip! Thank you to everyone who has been kind enough to use their time to let me know what you think. Many of the e-mails have been truly inspiring, and these e-mails are what shape the app in the future versions. If it wasn't for these e-mails, Caravan Buddy wouldn't be half of what it is today.

 

Looking forward, the next versions should have some long awaited stuff:

• Editing of the checklist, so you can make it personal to you (I'm determined to work on this, honest!)

• Caching of data Caravan Buddy has already seen, to make subsequent loads faster.

• Some kind of "Favorite" system, where you can store sites you want to look up again later. May be useful in shortlisting sites for a trip.

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Just loaded the v1 update - great to have CC sites listed - I think that this is going to be my most used APP - the tools are all handy as well.

 

Great work Ribs - I'm really impressed - considering that this is a bit of a hobby job - what commercial stuff have you written in your "day job" -must be awesome ?

 

Thanks again - I'll be loading the "plus" :)

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Yes - thanks Richard. I'll also install the plus version.

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Morning,

 

Thanks for your kind words, however, its not all good news. ..

 

Despite me spending seemingly forever testing the app, it seems I've introduced a couple of rather nasty bugs.

 

One of them is so stupidly basic and causes the app to crash when started on some devices. I'm rather annoyed with myself as this is day one stuff in android "how not to make your app suck" class.

 

If you are not experiencing crashes, then you can keep using the app. Even if it is crashing from time to time, you can still keep using it, it won't harm your device if it does crash (but it is rather annoying).

 

I'll be getting up a little early tomorrow (or staying up past my bedtime tonight) to get these bugs fixed asap! Sadly I have work, so the update won't be ready today. Expect it by tomorrow lunchtime.

 

If you make Caravan Buddy crash, then please please please press that "report" button! When you do that, I get a lot of valuable information on what caused it and then I can fix it! If you are feeling extra generous, type in what you did to make it crash, this makes things a lot easier.

 

Until tomorrow,

-Richard.

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Evening,

 

I introduce to you all version 1. 0. 1. No new features, but plenty of bug fixes:

• Fixed crash when Android runs out of resources for complex tasks like searching: Caravan Buddy will now let you know instead of crashing. If this happens to you, try closing some background tasks or rebooting

• Fixed crash on start for devices without location support or where the device is not willing to give location information to Caravan Buddy. Some devices may do this if GPS is turned off or there is no network signal, or even if the battery is low in some cases.

• Fixed crash when the map was viewed - Schoolboy error, my bad!

• Fixed crash when loading some UKCS sites

• Fixed crash when loading some Caravan Club sites

 

This should sort out all the crashes that everyone is experiencing. Thank you one again for those of you who pressed "report" when things went a bit wrong. Some of those bugs were due to me rushing things and basically not doing things properly (I blame SWMBO). These were amateur mistakes, I certainly should have known better, and I'd like to think they wouldn't happen again.

 

To get the update, the usual process of using the Android Market applies. Most devices will notify you in the next day or so, but if you're wanting the update quickly as the bugs affected you, feel free to fire up the Market, once it's loaded up, press the menu button and then "My Apps". I'm still getting the odd e-mail from people using old versions, so be sure to run an update now if you haven't seen anything this past week (some devices are better than others for informing you of updates). Remember that new permissions need to be agreed to if you are updating from anything before the 1. 0 release I put out yesterday.

 

Have fun everyone! Feedback is, as always, welcome. Especially if you manage to break anything!

 

Regards,

Richard.

Edited by Ribs

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Evening everyone.

 

 

Whilst it's tempting not to bother to post, as I'm sure nobody is reading this and is enjoying the weather, but I felt I should keep with tradition and inform you all that Caravan Buddy 1. 1 has just been uploaded to the Android Market.

 

As usual, you can wait for your device to let you know it's ready, or, if you are feeling impatient, you can go to the "My Apps" part of the market and upgrade it manually.

 

Not a massive amount of features in this release, but some nice stuff I know many of you have been waiting for a while:

 

Features

• The checklist is now editable. Press menu (on your device, for most people this will be a button that says "menu") and then "Edit List". You can add and remove entries, as well as moving them up or down the list as you see fit. It's best to break the list down into sections, which you can also do. This is the most requested feature, which I've had countless e-mails about. It's not exactly "pretty" as it stands, but it's functional, and I wanted everyone to enjoy this as soon as possible. This part needs improving, but I must admit to being a little stumped where to take it from here. ..

• When searching Camping and Caravanning club sites you can now select the "next" page of results, not just the first 10 as before. This is the second most requested feature, which was tricky to program, but well worth it!

• You can now click the reviews stars when viewing a site to read it's reviews. Requested by just one person, but it was super easy to do!

• Caravan Club form now makes better use of the screen in landscape. Requested by nobody, but it was annoying me.

• Using the feedback button now gives the choice of bringing up the Android Market or e-mailing me directly. I was getting a lot of emails which were just "nice app, thanks" type things which I felt were better suited to the Android Market reviews (but they are still nice to have if you want to send them anyway!)

 

Bug Fixes

• Fixed crash when searching UKCS and Caravan Buddy receives a result it does not understand. That result will be skipped now.

• Fixed issue when defining pitch type other than "Any". These searches should now work.

 

There is also some "behind the scenes" changes which have made Caravan Buddy more efficient, I won't go into the boring details, but the program is now a little smaller and faster.

 

As usual, any feedback and comments are welcome, especially if you make it crash. As shown above, all these e-mail I'm getting really do make a difference to the app. I can never guarantee I'll put something in, but all these suggestions to date have made Caravan Buddy what it is today!

 

Enjoy!

-Richard.

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Hi Richard,just downloaded caravan buddy. looking forward to using it. well done mate,keep up the good work :)

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Hi Richard, just got the update with editable lists . .. such a simple thing but great. I've spent this morning customising/adding lists which I usually print off.

 

many thanks.

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Morning,

 

I'm getting a lot of e-mails regarding searching for CL sites with the Caravan Club. I understand this is a much sought after feature, and I'm utterly loathed to not include it, and I feel I owe an explanation. Below is a edited response I've been sending out to e-mails I've had on the matter:

 

The issue with CLs being added is that when you are browsing the club website, whilst not being logged in (which is what Caravan Buddy ultimately does in a roundabout way), is that searching for CL sites does work, but you must login to the site to view the details of the campsite, which Caravan Buddy cannot (currently) do.

 

To make Caravan Buddy do this and process the information given by the site would be very difficult, made worse by the fact I'm not even a member, so I cannot just login myself and figure out how to make Caravan Buddy do this. Caravan Buddy doesn't just view the website like your web browser does, it actually analysis the code which the website sends in a very specific way.

 

I currently have no plans to join the CC, especially as I would only be joining just to work on my free app, and the plus key sales (totalling 4 at the time of writing), and advertising revenue (around $3) obviously won't cover this. This is a spare time project I do for fun and to 'give something back', so I must confess to not wanting to spend money on it.

 

The only way around it for the time being is to search for CL sites in Caravan Buddy, but then Caravan Buddy would load the full website in a browser to show the details, which is far from ideal and kinda kills the entire point of the app. So I have chosen not to do this for now.

 

Remember that Caravan Buddy is a 100% unofficial app which is not affiliated with any club network, literally all it does is read the website and process the information accordingly. Which is a tricky thing to program, and is impossible when you cannot see the code and test throughly.

 

So basically, until the requirement to be logged in to view CLs goes away, or a easier way to read the site network information is given (both of which are at the mercy of the Caravan Club, and let's be honest, not very likely, I highly doubt they know/care about the apps existance), it's not going to happen in any useful way.

 

I hope that answers the question. If it doesn't, please let me know.

 

On more slightly bad news, work has gone a little bit mental right now. We've just embarked on a massive 25 week £1. 1m project which I need to be there for (these things normally take a max of two weeks and cost £40k-£120k, but this is a special case). This is sucking up my free time something crazy right now, so I cannot promise updates for a while.

 

Some of you have expressed an interest in meeting me in the e-mails:

 

So I managed to sweet talk my boss into giving me today off, so I shall be at the Motorhome And Caravan show at the NEC today (Wednesday). If you see a guy (+ SWMBO) with a navy/blue horizontal striped hoodie on, or a space invader t-shirt on (depending how hot it is) looking at lightweight caravans, feel free to say hi :)

 

My phone will be sending me e-mails as well if you want to e-mail from the show to say hello (You can do this from Give Feedback button in the app)

 

Best regards,

Richard.

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Afternoon everyone,

 

Another release today. No new features to get excited about, but everyone should upgrade to this version, which fixes a couple of issues, and has one useability improvement.

 

As usual, your device should notify you of the change in the next couple of hours. If you're feeling impatient, then feel free to search Caravan Buddy in the market and upgrade from there.

 

New Features (well, not really. ..)

• Searches can now be cancelled whilst they are in progress. If you find a search is taking a while (usually due to Internet being slow) or you've just noticed you've made mistake, you no longer have to wait for Caravan Buddy to finish. Just press the back button and the search will abort.

 

Bug Fixes:

• Improved some error messages to make them more clear.

• Fixed crash when viewing come Caravan Club sites (affected everyone who looked at those sites)

• Fixed crash where some devices would still give Caravan Buddy a hard time when it asked for GPS in the nicest possible way. .. Caravan Buddy will just give up now and not show your current location on the map. (this affected ~0. 8% of users)

• Fixed issue where the "Map" text would not appear under the map icon on some devices. ( ~ 6. 9% affected)

• Some internal reworking to make fixing bugs a little easier.

 

A lot of libraries (nuts and bolts, if you will) that I use to make the app have been upgraded in this version. This should make things a little faster and easier for me to develop with. But often new issues arise with these kind of changes. I think I've got everything, but as usual, please make me aware of any issues.

 

Have a great day!

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