Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cover Art Downloader hits 50k downloads

If you use your Android device to listen to music, Cover Art Downloader is an essential application that will automatically retrieve your missing album cover art. It works with the stock Android music player as well as many popular 3rd-party players and has many useful features.

In less than two months since release, Cover Art Downloader for Android has reached a new milestone of 50,000 downloads. It is currently positioned at #22 in the Music & Audio category on the Android Market (#14 on AppBrain) with other top apps such as Pandora, Shazam, PowerAMP, Winamp, Soundhound and doubleTwist and is the top rated app of its kind.

Thanks to all who have downloaded and rated/commented. If you have yet to try it out, download it free today and lets see it hit the next milestone of 250,000 downloads and top 10 in 2011.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cover Art Downloader developer interview

The Apple Google, a iOS news and app review site who recently began doing some Android coverage picked me as the target for their first Android Developer Interview. Check it out @ http://goo.gl/LBU2G

New website for Android apps

So I can keep this blog relevant to Linux, Android and programming how-to's and tips, I have created a new website for my Android apps. Check it out at http://www.appsbybirbeck.com/. Although there may be some crossover here, the latest news on my Android apps can be found via the website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Monday, December 6, 2010

April fools in December?

I was hacking away last night to rewrite Wallpaper Slideshow, and I needed to reference a java file in the Android source code. I noticed the file had changed, and that a new commit had been made. The Gingerbread was done baking before the timer went off, which it did this morning with Andy Rubin's big announcement.

So on my lunch break today I thought I would upgrade to the latest SDK and spoil my dinner with some tasty new Google treats. The good thing is my applications work wonderfully, the bad thing is, this must be some kind of joke.

Here is a screenshot of the upcoming Wallpaper Slideshow settings screen in Froyo (spoiler alert, be warned):

Looks normal, and has looked the same since API level 3. Now Google hired some big name user interface designers for Gingerbread to give it a new fresh look, so I was pretty excited to try it in action. Imagine then my shock and dismay when I was greeted with the following screen:

Yes folks, THIS IS GINGERBREAD. And that doesn't even show the worst of it, the buttons, the menus, the widgets and my personal least favorite, the progress bar, all look extremely horrible. Overall the entire OS has a flat, black, pixelated and blurry look to it. It is just unbelievable in the worst sense of the word.

I can only hope that this is not a final release, that the emulator lacks some required hardware video acceleration, or Google is just playing a joke on us because this is outright atrocious. Now I will reserve full judgement until I have a Nexus S in my hand, but if this is the way it's intended to look, be ready for some well deserved ridicule from the community.


Ok, so my emulator was using MDPI resources instead of HDPI. When increasing the pixel density it actually looks 100x better. I'm still not really a fan of the widgets, or the transparent options menu, but it's no where as bad as I thought initially... at least not for HDPI. I hope lower resolutions won't suffer the same pixelation as we see in the emulator, but I do look forward to the day when I can test this out on a real device.