It has been over a year since the initial release of some of our projects, well over half a year since our inception, and yet admittedly we seem to have run into an issue. We have over half a dozen applications with more on the way and updates to our current applications, and yet the just do not play as nice with one another as they could. That is why we are re-working the framework behind some of our applications to allow them to better communicate with one another, without compromising security or efficiency. Be on the look out for updates to all of your favorite applications and see how they integrate with one another. Whether you are opening a Dialog box in one application or the Accent color chooser in another, everything in the system should just work well together. Now if only that logic applied to people as much as it did apps!
This is just a quick announcement that we are proud to be partnering with The Android Galaxy, an excellent website for discovering all of the latest and great new, high-quality Android applications! Their website is simple yet effective at providing reviews on numerous Android applications, and in the upcoming days this list will include our applications as well. They have sections for games, tablets, and even developers interested in learning the latest entanglements with the Android SDK. So do check out their website and check back in with us as we make way for another great collaboration.
Recently we posted on XDA Developers looking to know what you think about a WP7/ Metro UI ROM for Android devices. We want everyone’s opinion, so please, whether you are a developer interested in creating such a ROM or an end user that would love (or hate) to see such a ROM come into being, please tell us what you think. While the Seven+ Project is comprised of a number of talented developers, few if any know their way around a custom ROM which is why we need to everyone’s take.
Just this past day alone I have received over 100 emails of people giving me feedback. For that, thank you. I rely on your feedback to improve my applications. However, given the sheer number I feel the need to clarify a feel common questions/ concerns:
- If you only see the clock in the status bar just tap it! This is the default behavior of WP7, not a bug!
- For StatusBar+ Lite users, the only feature available is the ability to toggle on/ off as a means of testing compatibility. It will also remain a number of versions behind the full version. If you want the added functionality and latest version please consider purchasing the full version.
- For those using the paid version, the ability to change the transparency of the status bar’s background color if for rooted users with the ability to hide their normal status bar. Otherwise, this is not a bug that you can see your default status bar though StatusBar+ because of how the application operates. Also note that you must toggle the status bar to change settings, at the moment settings are not updated live.
- If you are using ANY custom ROM I cannot ensure compatibility. I say this because I am well aware that this application does not work on the MIUI ROM. While I do my best to ensure compatibility, there are just too many ROMs to guarantee it for all of them.
- StatusBar+ is still in its alpha phase and there WILL be bugs. If you wish to see these bugs fix please send me a bug report via the Android Market, not in the comments section. Doing so does not allow me to reach out to you and if I do not know precisely what is wrong I cannot fix it.
- StatusBar+ will include more features
like custom notifications, more icons, the ability to hide/ show some icons, etc. However, these will not be added until the beta stage.
With all of that said I encourage anyone to try out StatusBar+ on the Android Market, and if you experience issues, which you likely will, please let me know (but don’t forget to read this prior to sending me an email, as it isn’t always a bug).
Today marks the initial release of StatusBar+, the first custom status bar for any Android device, with no need for a custom ROM or root privileges. StatusBar+ follows your device anywhere on any application, and includes a number of features such as color manipulation, click to drop, automatically disabling swipe to expand the system status bar when the screen is turned off and re-enabling when the device is unlocked, automatically launching on boot, and more coming soon!
With that said we need to point out that this being the initial release of alpha zero, there will be bugs! Before you purchase StatusBar+ check out StatusBar+ Lite to ensure that it functions on your device, and if you run into any issues please do not leave a comment on the Android Market, rather send me an email stating your device, ROM (if applicable), and any other relevant information and we will do my best to fix the issue. Also, the custom status bar remains even in full screen applications. There is simply nothing we can do about this because there is no API for accessing this information. While this status bar does not drain the battery on the devices tested we cannot ensure that it will not do so on yours. Do let us know your thoughts in comments below.
Oh, and did we forget to mention that StatusBar+ is part of the Seven+ Project’s open source initiative! Head over to Tom Barrasso’s StatusBar+ repository on GitHub! Unfortunately this does not mean that the WP7UI Android Library Project will be open sourced, but if developers are interested in learning exactly how this custom status bar was accomplished check out the source. It might even be possible to create a theme-engine driven custom status bar! The source code is released under the Apache 2.0 License so it is free for anyone to use, modify, and distribute!
So I feel the need to address an issue that many have asked about: why do we use the font we do instead of using the actual fonts from Windows Phone 7? Well that font is Vegur by Dot Colon. Allow me to explain my perspective as to why we use Vegur instead of Segoe, and let me know you opinion in the comment section below.
For starters the entire Segoe family is owned by Microsoft, inc and its name is a registered trademark. Now according to US copyright law it is not possible to copyright the shapes of letters; but it is possible to copyright the computer binary that represents a given font. That means that “clean-room reverse engineering” of a font is perfectly legal assuming that the resulting binaries are not identical.
The Vegur font was made by Dot Colon and released into the public domain. That means that we have the legal rights to use and bundle it with any and all of our applications without the need to pay an expensive licensing fee or royalty. It also mitigates any chance of proprietary binaries making their way into out applications, as our entire user interface library is based on clean-room reverse engineering written entirely in the Java programming language using the Android SDK.
Now some have argued that what we are doing might be enough grounds legally speaking to just go all the way with our user interface and use Segoe, but I have a few quarrels with this notion. I should think that my countless ours spent developing this library in another programming language using a separate SDK and for a different operating system protects my work from legal action. I have neither access to internal source code, nor bytecode that could be reverse engineered programmatically. The only time I have used a Windows Phone 7 device was at my local shopping mall, and all development is done on my laptop PC running Ubuntu. It is simply absurd to imagine that I have a leg up over any developer, I just watch videos on YouTube and work my magic.
Many forget what the name of our project represents. The + in Seven+ refers to an improvement, like the increment operator explanation for how C++ got its name. Our applications offer more features and customizations than their predecessors. Rather than be an identical clone, we are an improvement.
The final reason for my choosing Vegur is a desire to help out Dot Colon and organizations like it. Microsoft has enough attention as is and needs no assistance in obtaining more. I hope that our use of the Vegur font will bring Dot Colon more attention to its great work, and perhaps a few donors along the way.
It has been only a bit over a week and yet the Seven+ Project is taking off faster than expected. We have had a number of developers join, and waiting to hear back from many more. Unlike most teams, the Seven+ Project is a collaborative venture meaning that our developers work independently. Every aspect of their application is up to them, we simply provide them with a library of tools for developing with a great, custom user interface.
What does this mean to the end user? Well for one, development speed should be much faster. Going from concept to product will be accelerated. And for developers? It means that you are no longer sand-boxed to the default, lackluster AOSP user interface. For both parties it is a win, win situation.
With all of that said, feel free to contact us via email or Twitter if you have an idea for an application, a bug to report, or are a developer looking to join the project. Keep your eyes open for all of our latest updates on new applications and updates.
Yesterday the Seven+ Project became official. That this website will be your source for all that is good in Android (in spite of the recent lawsuits it is facing). Our goal is to bring high quality, aesthetically pleasing, simple applications to Google’s Android platform by giving each a streamlined, fully customized user interface. With that said we could not do this without you. Whether you are a casual user of one of our applications, or a fanatic that wants to see us create more applications, your time, bug reports, localisations, monetary donations, and general support and invaluable to us. So please, take a look at what we have to offer, give our products a try, and let us know what you think. We’re certain that you’ll be satisfied.