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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

4x2 is still going to be there!

I had an email asking if the 4x2 widget was still going to be available, as all the recent screenshots I have shown have been of the larger sizes. Yes, it most definitely is. The default size when you add the widget is 4x2, but you can then drag the edges like any other resizable widget, and make it whatever size you want.

Here is the new 4x2 style on the top, and the current version on the bottom, so you can see how the new one has stretched to use more of the available 4x2 area.

Monday, January 26, 2015

More resizing work...

Improved the Chance of Storm and Thunderstorm conditions while I am doing the resizing. Looks a lot more natural now. This is resized to the maximum 4 x 5 on my Galaxy S5.

It looks even better on my tablet as a full screen widget.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Enhanced Widget Forecast View

More work on the forecasts, when expanded to a very tall size, there was a lot of empty space at the bottom of the forecast area that wasn't being used. The only daily forecast information I have to fill that empty space is humidity and wind direction, without animation they don't look so great.

So why not put the condition name there, instead? Because there isn't enough room... unless I rotate the text!

Having a few issues with the Storm clouds, but should sort that out tonight, then on to the rain.
Also added the ability to switch off the plane and birds, although I will redo their graphics at some point to make them look a bit more realistic.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

More resizable widget work in progress

The resizable weather widget is coming on well after a few false starts. The forecast is now showing when necessary, although it's not fully animated. That puts too much strain on the widget, so it's limited to a rotating sun, animated the rain forecasts etc unfortunately slows the widget down too much.

Anyway it looks great, completed all the clouds scenes now, starting work on the storms, rain and snow scenes.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Started work on resizing..

Well I was pleasantly surprised at the sales of cliMate Weather Widget once it was released; considering I had done no promotion at all it is starting to get picked up and shared, and I had a nice little surge around Christmas time and New Year. 

Sales have now dropped again, so this gives me some motivation to address the issues that have come up in support requests.

The 3 most common complaints are:

1. Its not big enough
2. Its not resizeable
3. The weather detail sucks

I can't do a great deal about 3 at the moment. Open Weather Map is the only service that provides totally free data, so it is was the obvious candidate. The others such as AccuWeather, World Weather Online etc provide free data but with limits to the number of requests, so I don't want to have the situation where customers can't get a weather update because an apparently arbitrary limit has been reached. 

I can't just pay for a service as they charge monthly, so I would have to make more from my cliMate sales than they charge per month in order to make a profit, and would have to do that for the lifetime of the product which is not realistic. If sales fall to nothing, I would still have to pay for the data, thus losing money every month. Im sure there is an another approach, but I am leaving it just of the moment. 

What I can do is 1 and 2. I initially made the widget a fixed 4x2 size as that was the only way I could get the animation to work, the unique selling point of cliMate. Still no one else's widget can do that! ;o)   

After weeks of brainstorming I worked out a way I could get the animation to work and also allow it to be resizeable. Great, but what happens if you resize it too much? Make it much taller than wider for example, and the aspect ratio is all wrong and the countryside and clouds look far too stretched and distorted.  The solution is to keep the widescreen aspect ratio of the countryside scene at the top, and use any spare space below to display the forecast, showing more or less data according to how much spare space there is. 

This does mean I have to redo all the scenes to handle this change, but actually making it resizeable has forced a few extra efficiencies in my code, so it will take nowhere near as long as I had feared, I am hoping a few weeks to a month. 

So voila, here is the first screenshot showing a resized widget that properly fills the width of the screen, and also shows the forecast in action. And yes, of course the forecast is animated!

Just compare it to the current version below.. the new version is much bigger and nicer.

And yes, I am doing a border-less option also, for those who like their Samsung style full-width widgets:

Will be busy again for the next few weeks..