So Google has just announced Android Wear, which will provide some type of ‘official’ support for Android smart watches. This reminded me of something I have wanted to do for a little while … release Wrist Tweets, my Sony LiveView Twitter app, as open source ! Many thanks to everyone who bought the paid version. It didn’t really make much money, but it was fun and rewarding to develop (it covered the cost of buying a Sony LiveView, but not much more). I’ll keep it alive as long as practical with any easy bugfixes, but no promises. If you are one of the handful of people that bought it this year, I’m more than happy to sort out some kind of refund.
Some history: The original Sony LiveView had a very similar purpose to Android Wear devices, and Sony provided their own open source SDK to allow notifications to be pushed to the LiveView ’microdisplay’. The hardware implementation wasn’t all that great though – battery life of the device was poor, it was plagued with Bluetooth connection issues and the design inexplicably didn’t allow charging without removing the band, along with a whole bunch of other usability issues I won’t bore you with. No idea if these were fixed for the “Sony Smartwatch 2” or whatever they called it, since after my experience with the LiveView, I decided to leave smartwatches alone until they matured a little. Hopefully Google and their partner manufacturers get it right with the Moto360 and future Android Wearables …
Twitter has deprecated version 1.0 of their API, and all Twitter clients must now use version 1.1, so I’ve updated Wrist Tweets accordingly (courtesy of JTwitter v2.8.1).
I hate Twitter. They should have become a decentralized open protocol by now (like the oldest killer app of the Internet, good ol’ email), but they continue to be asshats and rather than work toward the obvious end game for short messaging, they are working to further centralize and kill third party Twitter clients. It was uncanny really – literally days after the first release of Wrist Tweets, Ryan Sarver, Twitter’s Platform Director, told developers to stop making third party Twitter clients that “mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience”. Even though Wrist Tweets isn’t really a client that mimics the ‘mainstream Twitter experience’ (it only receives tweets, and doesn’t send them for starters), I would have never started developing it if I’d known Twitter was going to start moving toward becoming a walled garden. Still, I’m happy this little plugin has helped people get more out of their LiveView devices (including me !), and I’m committed to keeping it working for the foreseeable future, as long as Twitter allows that to be possible.
No time to go into detail just now, but … Chomper is now live on Google Play, ready to nibble it’s way onto all your Androids. It’s a clone of one of my favorite Atari 2600 VCS games, Jawbreaker, but with a few tweaks to make the gameplay a little more varied and tricky than the original.
Some API / behaviour changes in Android 4+ (ICS, Jellybean), mean that many Sony LiveView plugins no longer are listed in the LiveView manager. For developers out there that are still supporting LiveView plugins, you should add the intent-filter (below) to your AndroidManifest.xml for the main Preferences activity.