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Ribs

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Richard, reading reviews in various different apps- nothing seems to work very well on an HTC!

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Hi everyone,

 

Here are the four most stressful things anyone can do in their life:

4) Move house.

3) Get married.

2) Get divorced.

1) Move house with my mother-in-law involved.

 

Guess which one I'm currently in the process of doing.

 

So whilst I go through hell and back, there will certainly be no updates for that time.

 

Also, from tomorrow onwards, the server which hosts the videos database (amongst other things) will be taken offline, and won't be back online until the 11th of July. This means that any video searches or views that are done from within Caravan Buddy will always return "No videos found".

 

Also, viewing sites will result in Caravan Buddy being stuck at "loading reviews" for longer than normal whilst it tries to find any video reviews for the site. This will rectify itself by about Thursday lunchtime when the DNS servers should acknowledge the change, and Caravan Buddy should speed up again.

 

When the server returns on the 11th, it's connection will initially be of a reduced speed. Caravan Buddy's use of the server is frugal, so things may be a little slower than usual, but should still be acceptable.

 

Everything else will remain unaffected. This is one of the less used features, so I don't think anyone will mind too much.

 

In other news:

The Blackberry version is still in testers hands. I've not heard a huge amount back as of yet, so I guess that no news is good news. I was originally planning to release this weekend, but that's obviously not possible now.

 

There is a known issue with C&CC searching right now. It seems that if you select anything other than "Any pitch type" the search will fail and return no results.

 

Finally, the vast majority of the feedback I get is positive, or constructive, and that's great, so thank you to the majority. But, please do be patient when it comes to me fixing bugs and adding features etc. Caravan Buddy is very much a labour of love that I did to give the Caravanning community something back. It's done in my spare time, which is very limited, and Android development isn't always as easy as it seems, especially when Caravan Buddy does still work with phones made in 2008. Please remember this before hitting that "Give feedback" button and demanding something, as it can be a little disheartening at times.

 

Regards,

Richard.

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Good evening,

 

Oh wow, it's so nice to have proper Internet back again. Geeks cannot survive on mobile Internet for long. ..

 

So, here are some updates:

Blackberry Version

Testing is encouraging. It's mostly working, with some odd bits and pieces which still need sorting out. It's close, but it's not there yet. Sorry to keep you blackberry users hanging on for so long.

 

Android Version

Version 1. 4. 0 is now on the Play Store.

 

Changes since 1. 3. 2:

• Caravan Buddy Plus users will notice a dramatic speed increase when starting, as Caravan Buddy will now "cache" some results it uses for verification.

• Caravan Buddy Plus users will need to upgrade to Plus version 1. 1 for adverts to go away again, as new, more efficient encryption code is now being used. The upgrade is free.

• Slight facelift for Caravan Buddy when running Android 3. 0 or above. Android versions below that will not see the improvements.

• Usability improvements for Android 3. 0 or above devices. Actionbar along the top will no longer be confusing and painful to use.

• The maps will now show which direction your device is pointing by way of a moving pointer (won't work on all devices)

• Added some extra searching options for C&CC sites.

• Weather forecasts have arrived. When you've found a site, you can get a (hopefully accurate) 5 day weather forecast.

• Members of the "big two" clubs can once again book sites that you've found. This will open the browser to book in the usual manner. Works best on tablet type devices.

• Fixed layout issues with C&CC reviews

• Fixed layout issues with search results

• Fixed searching issues some people were having with C&CC sites.

• Fixed crash when loading some UKCS sites.

• Fixed crash when Android OS sometimes stopped parts of Caravan Buddy and restarted them without asking nicely.

• Fixed crash when Caravan Buddy is put into the background and resumed on the map screen.

 

If you have brought the Plus Key

Please update this as well, or you'll start to see adverts again. The plus key changes the encryption which is used and will only work with Caravan Buddy 1. 4. 0 or above. Also, the install to SDCard option is active, and the key is now 0. 4kb smaller,

 

Have a great evening!

 

Regards,

Richard.

Edited by Ribs

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Morning everyone.

 

Just a couple of things, based on some e-mails I'm getting:

  • Development of Caravan Buddy is still ongoing, I haven't abandoned it. I've been very busy with Work and Home the past few months. I've just started tinkering with my apps again as of this past weekend. One of my apps is currently being re-written (but is nearly finished), another one needs an update, then it's Caravan Buddy and another app I'm working on, 50% to each is the plan, we'll see how it goes.
  • If you are using an Android 1. 6-2. 1 based device, then don't expect too see many updates of Caravan Buddy for it. Supporting 1. 6-2. 1 devices whilst still adding new features is getting difficult. This will only affect 4. 34% of you, according to Google. I'll keep going along as I can with it, but I thought a heads up was in order, as I know a lot of you rely on this app heavily now.
  • Please please please make sure you are using the latest version, which is 1. 4. 1 (this appears at the bottom of the main screen). If not, please go to the Play Store, press menu, goto "My Apps" and ask it to update. I'm getting e-mails (and sadly, negative reviews) about bugs which I fixed months ago. The video server is also reporting a lot of old queries on the old versions of this app. As some point that'll stop working completely with older versions.
  • The Blackberry version is at a "good enough" state now. I'm currently registering with Blackberry for a appworld account where I can upload Caravan Buddy (they are asking for "official documentation" to be emailed to them?! Crazy). Be aware, the best experience will be on Android, as the blackberry tools are a bit shaky, to say the least. I'm not sure how many updates I'll be able to push through for Blackberry, as the tools they provide are already out of date against the Android tools which I use. As this point, the promise is "best efforts", and nothing more.

That's about it. I've got some really nice things I want to be adding to the next version, with a new "look and feel" as well. Whilst Caravan Buddy is very functional, damn it's ugly! The next update should help sort that out.

 

One thing I really want to do is a series of videos for beginners. There are videos of the like in the app already, but there are a bit "all over the place" and many are plain out of date. I'm fairly clueless with such things, so actually doing it myself is a bit scary, (and I do have a face for radio!). I was wondering if such a series already existed? Can anyone recommend anything?

 

Any comments, suggestions, etc. Use the feedback button in the app or post here. I love hearing about how you guys are using this, and that's whole point!

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This post is mostly for blackberry users. Those on Android might not want to bother reading :)

 

So, I started working on the next version of Caravan Buddy recently. It's becoming increasingly obvious that Caravan Buddy for blackberry simply isn't going to happen in the long term.

 

For porting games, the tools that Blackberry provides are fine, but to port applications. .. Not so much. The tools they provide only work with very outdated versions of the Android tools (Android 2. 3, which came out nearly two years ago, an age in mobile app development), they are unreliable, slow, clunky, difficult to work with, and remove all the fun out of making the app. And fun is a big part of my motivation.

 

I'm working on Caravan Buddy 2 now, things will be improved, I have some idea for really cool things I want to try, and the blackberry side of the app is simply slowing everything down. Not owning a blackberry device myself is also another fairly major barrier.

 

So for now, this is the test version I made and never published:

http://ribs. woaf. net/Caravan-Buddy. bar

This is not on the Blackberry app world, and never will be.

 

Installing . bar files outside of the blackberry appworld is a little tricky. It seems the easiest method is here:

http://www. youtube. com/watch?v=bp67-sWOD3c

And you can download the software from here:

http://ddpb. dauden. vn/

(I have not tested this, I don't have a playbook and will be unable to help in any way)

 

Changes to the Blackberry version against the Android version:

* GPS navigation to sites is not working and has been removed.

* Maps will be slower to load and harder to use, but should work

* Videos will load in the browser instead of the "proper" youtube app

* You cannot "Go plus" with the blackberry version, so you are stuck with the banner adverts

* Handy tools are missing

* UKCS searching probably doesn't work, as they changed the site design slightly after this test version was made. This won't be fixed in the blackberry version.

 

Sorry it didn't work out. I do Android app development "on the side" as a part time hobby. Once the fun goes, there isn't much left, and the effort to work around the blackberry tools' flaws was sucking all the fun out of making this.

 

If you like Caravan Buddy, and are a regular caravanner/motorhomer and want to keep using this app "properly", then you might want to consider a Android phone, which are cheap enough these days. For best performance (not just with Caravan Buddy, but in general), look for these specifications:

* 1ghz processor (at least, the more ghz and cores the better!)

* at least 512mb of RAM, but 1gb or above is preferable.

* Android 4. 0 at least, avoid any phone/device that runs Android 2. x or 1. x

* A screen as big as you like. I prefer around the 4 inches mark, still the right size for your pocket, but the screen should be nice and clear. And of course you can screen mount it easily for satnaving to your site :)

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