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Friday, December 23, 2016

Final Version 4.0 of Climate Animated Weather Widget released

After announcing that I am no longer updating Climate, I had been working on some updates for my own entertainment only.

Having finished and enjoying them, and seeing as its Christmas, I don't see why I shouldn't release them to all my paid customers, so this will be the last version before World Weather Online gets switched off in March.

1. When the forecasts are shown on the widget, they are now fully animated instead of static thumbnails.

This took me a long time to get right so that it didn't disturb the performance of the widget, and there is a tiny bit more of a delay when the minute ticks over, but overall it works very well and looks just as nice as the animated forecasts on the main screen.

2. Improved the moon details. Previously there was 8 different phases of the moon, there are now 16 much higher quality images.

3. At night time, on both widget and main screen, any forecast animation that showed the sun now shows the moon instead, with the correct phase for each forecasted day. This leads to nice effects as below, where you can see how the moon changes over each day.

So I hope you enjoy, and a merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.

Friday, November 25, 2016

cliMate Animated Weather Widget Version 3.9 released and sad news

Today version 3.9 of cliMate was released.

This has a huge performance increase when opening the main screen, up to 30% of the previous time for the more complex scenes, and at least 70% of the previous time for the simpler scenes.

So what could take 4 or 5 seconds to open now takes 1 or 2.

However, unfortunately and somewhat ironically given the recent Pirate Ship theme, cliMate has been pirated. Because I have to pay for the World Weather Online weather data, this means that people using the pirated version are getting that weather data for free, but because I don't get any money in sales to offset the cost of that data, I am losing money.

So, I am giving up.

The existing World Weather Online data will continue to be available until March 2017, after the app will continue to work but with the less accurate Open Weather Map data only. There will be no more app development or new versions.

It is just not worth the time and effort any more, especially if I am losing money. Thanks, Pirates, you have effectively driven me out of business.

It a shame, but I have still enjoyed the development process, and do feel I created something beautiful, and may well continue to develop it privately for my family and friends.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

World Weather Online is down!!

The World Weather Online data provider is currently not working, due to an issue with their network.

This is out of my control, hopefully it will be back up soon.

Update: It was back up by the evening. :o)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

New cliMate Animated Weather Widget 3.8.1 bug release

A new version 3.8.1 released today, with two fixes.

  1. The Current Temperature started mysteriously disappearing as of this morning! This was due to a change in the World Weather Online service which (annoyingly) changed the way they reported the temperature with no warning whatsoever. Fixed that to use to the way now.
  2. The Use Google Play Services checkbox was not remembering the change.
Currently working on a new Demo video to show the current state, as the old video is well out of date. After that will think about new features and themes, but frankly the sales are barely covering the cost of the weather data at the moment, so not sure how long I will bother.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

cliMate 3.8 Animated Weather Widget Released!

Last night version 3.8 of cliMate Animated Weather Widget was released.

This has the long awaited new Pirate Theme, with all the usual weather conditions looking out the porthole of a pirate ships cabin onto pitching and rolling seas. Featuring:

Moving sea
Pirate ships
Swinging lantern with a candle that flickers in night and sunset scenes
Moving steering chain

Like the Town House theme, this consists of many layers of complex animation, so is a lot slower to start the main screen than the other themes, but the widget itself is just as fast and smooth as always.
So what is next?
1. First I want to redo the YouTube demo video for the widget, as it is woefully out of date, and doesn't show any of the new features or themes.
2. There is a new Android PercentageLayout technology available that should let me speed up the main screen considerably, so I will have a look at that next.
3. I want to will take another look at the idea of a 6 hour morning, afternoon, evening and night forecast for a particular day.
4. Then after that start on some new themes maybe, not sure yet which I will turn my attention to, but perhaps something that is a bit less complex than the last few, as they take so long to do. Something which is a variation of the existing Countryside theme would be a lot quicker to do, maybe with a cottage or castle in the foreground.
Other ideas for themes I have had:
  • Harry Potter style castle with flying broomsticks
  • Sherlock Holmes' study
  • Airplane porthole
  • Beach Cave
  • Isle of Skye 

Friday, July 15, 2016

New Version 3.7.2 of CliMate Animated Weather Widget released

The new version 3.7.2 was released today.

This fixes the Current Location issue on some devices, by allowing Google Play Services to be used to get the location. There is a new Use Google Play Services checkbox in the Set Location settings screen.

This will be automatically ticked for Android 6.0+ devices, but you can change that at any time. If its not ticked, it uses the old method of getting the location, which is fine for the vast majority of devices.  Just tick the box if you are having trouble getting the location.

Now I will go back to the Pirate Theme, and see if I can speed that up.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Current Location problems..

Had several reports that CliMate Animated Weather Widget's current location setting is no longer working on Android 6.0 devices.

This is really strange, as it works on some devices, but not all. It works perfectly on my friend's S7 Edge, for example, but not on S7's for several customers who contacted me.

It looks like the current CliMate method of getting the location using Android's LocationManager is just no longer reliable on the latest devices running 6.0, even though it should be.

So the newer recommended method using Google Play Services is the way to go. A few users having problems have helped me out by running some tester apps that successfully get the location using Google Play Services.

At the same time I am moving the development environment from Eclipse to Android Studio, so I can take advantage of the easier way of integrating such newer services. This is not trivial, and has given me a lot of headaches but is the way forward.

The new theme such as Townhouse and the forthcoming Pirate theme are pretty slow to start up, because they are using so many layers of views to display the various animations. Using Android Studio, I can start to use some new features such as PercentageLayouts, which will drastically reduce the number of layers I need to show such complex animations.

So the next steps:

  • Convert CliMate to run under Android Studio
  • Add the new Google Play Services to get the current location
  • Test and the publish the update so customers having issues get the fix

  • Use PercentageLayout on the partially completed Pirate Theme
  • Finish the Pirate Theme
  • Publish an update
  • Change the Townhouse and other themes to use PercentageLayout.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

More pirates...

Work continues on the Pirate Theme... here is the scene for the Partly Cloudy Sunset weather condition:

So what's new? First off the foreground is finished, and tweaked so that the forecast animations are clearly visible in front of the table and its contents.
Then there is a brand new lantern style on the top left, and at night and sunset times it has a flickering candle, which in turns cast a flickering light on the left corner of the cabin. And of course the lantern still swings as the ship pitches and rolls.
In the sea, the pirate ship in the distance now has a smoothly animated wake, matching the white tops colour of the current sea.
I can't do a great deal more with the animations, there is already so much going on and so many layers required to create these special effects that its pushing even my trusty Samsung S5.
I may consider an island in the distance, but that was pretty hard to get looking nice at first so I temporarily abandoned it.
Anyway, still enjoying this, and probably the best looking and most dramatic widget theme yet.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pirate Foreground almost complete

Pretty happy with the new theme foreground now.

  • Redid the sword, pistol and map
  • Made the brass porthole smaller so it fits better into the standard 4x2 widget size.
  • Added a sextant and a nice rope on a cleat.
  • Added a smoothly animating steering chain at the top, that slides in and out. This simulates the control of the ships steering wheel, that used to be attached via chains or rope to the actual steering board at the back of the ship.
Here is the current widget in Weather Only mode:

And in the main screen:

Now all that remains on the foreground is to improve the swinging lantern on the left, I want something with a bit more realism for the 18th Century period, the current one looks too much like a miner's lamp.

Then I will quickly do a night/sunset variation, to see if it looks good. maybe will give the lantern a flickering candle if possible.

Then on to the sea, coast and ships visible through the porthole! 

Friday, April 8, 2016

More Pirates..

Avast! Work going well on the pirate theme. Changed the map around and added a chest, coins, a goblet, a pirate hat (tricorn) and a different porthole style.

Here is the widget in full size, in Weather Only mode so you can see the full background image..

Here it is in the main screen, with weather details and forecast..


Monday, April 4, 2016

3.7.1 Bug Fix Release

Just released a new version 3.7.1, this was to fix an annoying problem discovered by a correspondent for the new Townhouse theme.

In the Raining and Rain Showers weather conditions, the sunset and the night scenes had been mistakenly swapped rounded, so at night the sunset scene was showing and vice versa. This new version fixes that.

In the meantime, work continues apace on the Pirate theme, I am really enjoying this and it looks like its going to be the best looking theme yet.
Will do an improved porthole shortly and still playing around with ideas for the cabin foreground, as you can see below, the sextant, swords and pistols will be improved once I have the correct placement:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New version 3.7 released!

So the new version 3.7 of cliMate Animated Weather Widget was released on Monday 29th.

What's new?

First fixed a problem with the fonts on the forecast part of the widget, this only occurred when using Next 3D Launcher, due to a bug in that launcher. I finally developed a work around, and the fonts are perfect now.
Then there were a few issues when using the Weather Only setting, the idea here being that no text at all is shown. There were two problems, the Refreshing icon was still showing, and the there was a grey background in the forecast area showing for some weather conditions, as it was expecting to use that to make the forecast details show up better. As there is no need for either of those during Weather Only, they are now hidden.
The Font on the wind speed units was not scaling correctly to the screen size, that is now fixed.

Then I improved the 
Rain Shower and and Snow Shower forecast thumbnails, made the falling rain and snow bigger and easier to see, and the sun and clouds more clear.

And finally, there is a brand new Town House theme. This is actually based on the view from my parent's house in England. It features the usual weather conditions, birds and plane in the background, but in the foreground we have an Audi driving up the driveway, cars driving past on the High Street in the distance, and the flag of your current country waving from the top of the tower behind the trees. The cars have headlights at night. Finally, there is a little solar powered flower toy that moves its leaves based on the amount of sunlight available.

This theme was a labour of love and originally just going to be for my parents and nieces, but I decided to share it with everyone as its a lot of fun!

So now started work on something completely different, a pirate theme!
This simulates the view from a porthole on a pirate ship. The whole view outside the window moves and rotates as if the ship is moving in the sea, looks super realistic. There will be islands and ships moving past, seagulls, maybe dolphins or sharks or a whale, and inside the cabin will be lots of piratical stuff, like chests of gold, treasure maps and cutlasses. The below is a sneak peak of a proof of concept to see how the movement worked. Will start in earnest on that next week.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

World Weather Online issues resolved!

The World Weather Online API has resolved its issues, it seemed to be due to server maintenance.

The normal method I used for accessing their API didn't work over the last weekend for some unknown reason, but using slightly different JAVA code access their data did work, so I released a new version 3.6.1 with that variation.

Now, the server has gone back to normal, and the normal method works once again. Nonetheless I am sticking with the new access method for the moment.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Problems with WorldWeatherOnline Weather

There seems to be some problems with the WorldWeatherOnline Weather Provider, it is returning errors since yesterday, you will see a "Please try again later" response.

Apologies for this, I am trying to find out what is going on, it seems like they are doing server maintenance and that might be the cause.

In the meantime you can change Weather Provider to Open Weather Map in the Set Location part of the Setting screen, click on Preferred Weather Data and select Open Weather Map.