State Capitals 1.1.2

I just fixed a few bugs in State Capitals:

  • I drew the Hawaii state capital star on the wrong island (epic oops)
  • The “Move Known States to Last” preference was ignored, so you could not disable that behavior

I also reworked the graphics for Alaska and Hawaii. These two cards now show the state positions relative to the lower-48 states.

Publishing to the Market

Once I built the StateCapitals.apk file, I decided to announce my progress on Twitter in real time. Here are my updates:

  • Update 1: OK, I just compiled a new build of State Capitals for #android. It is 12:45 PM and I am preparing to upload to the Market.
  • Update 2: It is 12:46PM and the upgrade is published. Now I’ll check my phone. #android
  • Update 3: Yep, 12:47 PM and I’m downloading the update to my phone. #android
  • Update 4: And by 12:48 PM I’ve tested my changes on my phone, all is well. #android

Three minutes was excessive. I had to pause between steps to post those messages to Twitter.

Contrast this experience with other app stores.

As always, State Capitals is free, has no advertisements, and requires zero permissions to run.

Android Storage

The new DROID phone only offers 256 MB for app storage, as Taylor Wimberly points out:

The Motorola Droid will be the most powerful Android phone to date when it launches on November 6, 2009. However, the device still features the same shortcomings of all other Android phones. The Droid ships with a 512 MB ROM which contains only 256 MB available for app storage.

Fair enough. From this starting point, the article quickly devolves into speculation and FUD:

Google does not support installing apps to the SD card (and likely never will), so developers are limited in what they can create.

I question the “and likely never will” claim. Google knows about the issue and I believe they will eventually resolve it. It’s been discussed in public Google forums, and I think people on the outside are assuming the worst. I think it is far more plausible that the Android team has limited resources and this is a very hard problem to solve correctly.

Limited In What We Can Create?

I also question the “…so developers are limited in what they can create.” portion of the above claim. He goes on:

Have you seen all the awesome iPhone and iPod Touch games? Hardly any of them would fit on an Android phone. It is not uncommon for popular titles to easily exceed 100 MB. For example, the game Myst takes up a whopping 727MB.

The solution is easy. Make your app small and download textures and graphics separately to the SD card.

In Summary…

  1. We all want the ability to download apps to the SD card
  2. Google knows about the issue and understands its importance
  3. Google has not officially committed to fixing the issue, or declared a timeline
  4. Without an official Google statement, many members of the Android community assume the worst

Cedric on Testing

I like how Cedric articulates his approach to testing:

Typically, I code a feature, iterate over it a few times and I reach a point when I’m pretty happy with its shape: it’s looking decent, it gets the job done and while there is obviously more work to be done on it, it’s mature enough that writing tests for it at this point will not be a waste.

Fresh Start

Sony gives you the option to remove crapware from certain new Windows 7 PCs. They call it their “Fresh Start” option, as shown here:

Fresh Start

Problems:

  • A crapware-free PC should be the DEFAULT selection, not an easily missed opt-out selection
  • Fresh Start is only available for Win 7 Professional

This leaves me with a very uneasy feeling about Sony. If I were to buy a laptop from them, it would be Win 7 Home Premium. But since Fresh Start is not available with Home Premium, what kind of crap is pre-loaded?