For the last few weeks I’ve been working on adding the all important home screen widget to the Unofficial Triple J Now Playing Android app. Things are going quite well but there are a few lessons I’ve learned during my journey of Android discovery that some of you existing users may not like.
The first is that Android does not allow apps that contain widgets to be moved to the SD card. This means that after the app is updated, anyone currently enjoying the app on their SD card may be forced to move it back into phone storage. The app has a relatively small footprint but every kilobyte counts on a portable device. It’s fair to say that I’m not happy about this, but what can I do. One possible solution that I’m toying with is releasing two versions of the app, one with the widget and one without.
The second is that Android is very careful about allowing apps to perform too many or too frequent updates to widgets. The whole nature of this app demands that the song currently on air is displayed when you look at the widget. This means that the widget must be updated at all times in preparation for the user’s quick glance. Overriding the default Android behaviour here has lead me to other problems like battery and data usage. So until I’ve ironed out all of the finer details surrounding the customisation of these features I won’t be releasing the updated version. I’m keen to give people flexibility here to use as much or as little data and battery as they like by fine tuning things like the update frequency.
On a more positive note, the widget will be highly customisable with a few different skins to suit your home screen themes, and various layouts depending on the features you want access to from the home screen.