Photo Cube Link

Photo Cube Link
Photo Cube Version 3.2 now available!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Name Change..

Well, it seems that I was not alone in seeing a drop in sales. Around 4th July weekend, my sales suddenly tanked. From 12-15 a day and a high of 19 on one day, it just dropped to 3 or 4 a day.

I just assumed it was a summer slump, or because of the holiday. Didn't seem like I could do much about it, so I concentrated on adding new features, trying to make it better and working on other apps.

Then I finally found this:

So everyone else is having the same problem, all from around the same time.

And it seems to be tied into Search Terms. In my case, if people are looking for a cube that shows photos or pictures, they are most likely to search for "photo cube". Despite me having that exact text in my description, searching for "photo cube" doesn't bring up my app.

Searching for "photocube", "photo kube" and "photokube" are all fine, and return my app in the listing, but they are all less likely than the simple "photo cube" which doesn't work. So I think what happened is that Google changed the Search algorithm at the start of July, and my app suffered. Everyone else is reporting the same problems. In many cases even searching for the exact name of their app is failing to return results. There is also a significant difference between searching on the Market App and on the Market web portal.

Frankly, the Google Market is laughably poor, and breaks at the slightest opportunity, with little redress for developers. Almost every bug report or comment is ignored or answered with standardised replies that don't respond to the issue concerned.

Just this morning, my app ratings have been halved in the Market, I went from 22 to 10 for no apparent reason. That is just completely shit.

So in an attempt to resolve my search issue I have renamed to Photo Cube Live Wallpaper. This now at least returns my app when I search for "photo cube" on the Market Web, but still returns nothing on the Market App on my phone.

So will see what happens over the next few days.

Google Market, not impressed! 2/10, must try harder!

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Version 1.14

Thanks to a kind customer who emailed me I was able to fix a very annoying yet rare bug, and uploaded version 1.14 last night.

When running Photokube the code draws the background with the OpenGL command glDrawTexiOES, then draws the cube and panels. However on the Android emulator on my pc, the background has always been displayed in front, obscuring the cube and the floating panels, despite me asking it to be drawn behind the kube.

Since it has always appeared correctly on all the phones I have tested, I assumed that it was some sort of bug with the emulator and Open GL. As no one mentioned the problem in the market, and after searching for similar issues on Google I found a few similar complaints about the emulator I came to the conclusion that it was the emulator at fault.

However, Tim emailed me to let me know he had been having the same issue on his phone, so I was forced to revisit it. Thinking about it again, it was really pretty unlikely that if it was an emulator issue, I would only have found a few references to it, it would have been a known issue.

Anyway, more Googling of glDrawTexiOES and z-order depth brought up quite a few people having issues in general, so I was able to narrow it down to Depth Testing in OpenGL, specifically the GL_DEPTH_TEST.

Previously I had depth testing enabled all the time, which seemed sensible, but what seems to fix the issue on the emulator and also work on phones is disabling Depth Testing when drawing the background, then immediately enabling it again before I draw the cube and panels. This doesn't seem logical to me to be honest, I can see why it is needed for drawing the cube, so the panels appear behind the cube, but I don't see why leaving it enabled also doesn't work for the background. Still, now it works for Tim and hopefully any others who had similar issues.

I don't really have the time at the moment but if I get the chance I will research it in more detail so I can really understand why it behaves this way.

Anyway, hope that solves the issue for anyone else. New version on the Market now.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back from Blighty...

So finished my holiday.. had a nice time in England.

While I was away I released 1.10 and 1.11, to fix some issues with the quick Size and Position screen. Also optimised the memory of the textures used to take advantage of the fact that the Background image is now stored in its own texture, usefully saving 512k memory at runtime.

Just discovered another bug, if you triple tap on the wallpaper then you get the Size and Position screen correctly but the Loading message doesnt get removed, need to fix that. Triple tapping is not that common in general, but if you are playing around with the floating panels, tapping them to make them disappear, it can come up pretty regularly. So will fix that soon, then concentrate a little on another project before starting work on the Album mode and Presets.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Bug fix release 1.10

Discovered several annoying bugs regarding the quick Size and Position screen.

Firstly if you haven't loaded that quick settings screen for a while, it sometimes can take a few seconds to come up after you have double tapped the screen. Hence added a "Loading..." splash screen, to indicate that it has registered your double tap and is on the way. This disappears once the screen is loaded. This should help confusion whether your double tap was effective or not, if you see the loading screen, it was effective. 

Secondly, quite a few bugs surrounding the double tap event itself. If you tap and slide the screen multiple times to change home screen, that could be interpreted as a double tap, which of course we don't want. Also, if your second tap happens to be upon an icon, this will launch that app, so I have to ensure that the second tap doesn't also launch the translucent settings app on top of that newly launched app. I think I got most of them, but there may be another lurking there. 

I wanted to get a new version out though to fix the most annoying sliding screen bug, so 1.10 is on the market as I write this.