Fuzzy Watchfaces for Sony SmartWatch2 update

I published an update of the Fuzzy Watchfaces app for Sony SmartWatch2, which features a typo in the German Watchface, and adds a new language – Macedonian. These Watchfaces are my favourite, and the ones I most often use on my watch.

I was unpleasantly surprised to see the Sony SmartWatch2 app missing from Google’s Play Store (if you need it, you can download it from Sony’s site)… That just speaks of the abandonment of this platform by Sony itself.

SmartWatch2 is the best smart watch I’ve used, and also the best smart watch platform, in my opinion.

Thus, this is a sad development of events. I assume the reason are the new policies enforced by Google:

  1. The Play Store requires all new updates to target at least Android 8.0, while
  2. Android 8.0 is more restrictive towards background processes, and hinders the SmartWatch apps from functioning properly.

Therefore, there will be no updates to the SmartWatch apps, as I won’t be able to publish a functional version on the Play Store.

That said, if you happen to be a user of the Fuzzy Watchfaces app, and face any issues with the latest update, write me an email and I will provide you with an APK, which is unacceptable on the Play Store, but it’s perfectly functional on all Android devices.

End of support for Garmin Connect IQ apps

I have to announce the end of support for the Garmin Connect IQ apps I have developed. The overall user experience has proved to be not pleasing. The main reason for this is the way the Garmin watches communicate with the phone. In order to save energy and increase battery life, the Bluetooth communication between the Garmin watches and the Garmin host app on the phone is reduced to a pretty low frequency. That is enough for simple data exchange, but this proves to be overall insufficient for the type of apps I develop, where it is expected that this Bluetooth communication is instantaneous. With a little patience, this all works out well in general, but it seems that on many devices it takes more time waiting for the connection to be established than the actual operation that should be taking place. Since there is nothing I can do to improve this behaviour, I made the decision to remove my apps from the store.

Here’s a reminder how this could work fine.

iOS and dialing companion apps removed from the App Store

Unfortunately, I had to remove my iOS Companion app for Garmin Connect IQ and Pebble from the Apple App Store. The reason are the recent changes in the iOS system that pose additional restrictions to dialing apps, by requiring that the requested number dialing is confirmed by tapping on the phone screen, which defies the sole purpose for the existence of these dialing apps that I had developed.

The restrictions were neither present nor announced at the time I developed and published my apps on the App Store, thus I could not have been aware that my apps would be rendered useless due to some new iOS modifications.

Apart from that, I experienced attempts to block the development of companion apps for Garmin devices. The mere existence of the Garmin API in the app was a reason for my apps to be rejected from the App Store. That was also something new for me, which hindered me to publish any updates. The reason for the rejection was:

We were required to install Garmin Connect Mobile before we could use your app. Apps should be able to run on launch, without requiring additional apps to be installed.

The reason for the rejection is contrary to the developer documentation for the Garmin Connect IQ API, and renders this whole chapter useless: http://developer.garmin.com/connect-iq/programmers-guide/ios-sdk-guide/

I addressed Garmin at many levels, and they were not able to help me with this issue.

Sony SmartWatch and BlackBerry 10

Not so long ago, I got an amazing Z10 from Marmalade (thanks to them once again), and it’s such nice hardware and OS, I’m using it as my main device ever since. One of the things I missed, however, was my SmartWatch, which works only with Android devices.

However, not much was needed for it to be able to work with BlackBerry 10’s Android player, main thing was Bluetooth. Thus, I was really excited when I heard the announcement that the next version of BB10 would include Bluetooth support. And when I found a leaked version of that OS, it only took some repackaging and simple tweaks to get the SmartWatch connected to the phone.

Here’s a video demo, which uses some of my apps: the Dialer, SMS Composer and Sound Meter.

[youtube CqxXBn8KRDo]

Not everything works, as there are still some BlackBerry limitations on its Android player, but if Sony and BlackBerry fancy this combination, all that can be overcame very easily.


Хотел представить небольшую статистику использования и популярности различных приложениях православного календаря для Андроид. Мог бы дать субъективное заключение что из-за этого что программа Eir3 Apps установлена на двойном количестве устройств чем прочих, так как и количество голосования наибольшее – она может быть названа самая популярная программа Православного Календаря для Андроид. Но, в любом случае, это только нынешнее состояние, которое можно быт изменено в будущем. Увидим.

A bug in the Android dialer makes an international call by mistake

Android robot logo.
Image via Wikipedia

While doing some tests with the stock dialer of my LG GT540 I discovered that it could easily make an international call by mistake. How? Lets say I have a friend in Belgium, his name is Peter, and his number is +32 123 4567 and that’s how I have it stored on my phone. Now, if I have another friend, let his name be Andrew, who lives in my hometown, I have his number saved as: 1234567. (Yes, ridiculous numbers, but just to be easier to follow.)

Now, the bug: when I want to call Andrew, I find his name in the contacts list and press the button to call him, but the dialer starts an international call to Belgium, and says I’m dialing Peter, showing also the number: +32 123 4567!

How can this be? It’s a stupid bug. Pity LG left it in. It seems very unlikely that someone has contacts with numbers, similar as in this example, but the bug exists.

Normally, when you press the call button, you are sure you dialed the number that you just saw, and very likely, you immediately put your phone next to your ear. You’d be surprised when you hear who’s answering 🙂

My LG GT540 still runs on Android 1.6, I’m wondering if the same thing exists in the 2.1?

Is this happening also on your Android phones?

UPDATE: The problem is reported to exist on other devices as well.