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HowFarNow App

UPDATE (February 12, 2019): I have unpublished the HowFarNow app on the Google Play Store because the permission to send SMS messages automatically is no longer available to apps that do not serve as the main SMS Messages app and do not fit into other narrow categories defined by Google. Google changed this policy recently in order to eliminate malware apps that scanned one’s SMS messages looking for sensitive security codes, etc. (My app does not do that and never did, but because permission to send SMS messages is no longer available to apps like mine, the HowFarNow app’s ability to automatically deliver text messages in a hands free manner has, in effect, been removed by Google. I did try to convince Google that my app was using the permission in accordance with one of their predefined categories, but did not succeed. I also tried to convince them to create a new category for apps such as mine, but failed there too. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.)

HowFarNow is an app I wrote. As you drive, it automatically sends text updates of your distance from a specific destination to a recipient from your contacts list.


ConstraintLayout Guidelines Want Percentages Expressed as Decimal Value

I find it easy to forget that the “Guideline” element in a ConstraintLayout requires a value from 0 to 1 for its “layout_constraintGuide_percent” attribute:

  app:layout_constraintGuide_percent="0.50" />

Don’t people usually think of numbers between 0 and 100 when they hear the word “percent”?

Android Studio 3.1.2’s layout designer does not seem to warn or complain if you use a value above 1 (e.g. “50”). But when I did that, the layout behaved unexpectedly.


Android Studio 3.0 Released. Woo Hoo.

Took me 4 days to realize it, but they have officially released a stable version of Android Studio 3. Woo hoo.

I’m officially looking forward to the stable release of Android Studio 3.1 now.


Browzacado Is Dead

Sorry. The Google Play Store has informed me that my ad-free, free, non-profit avocado browser app for Android violated the terms and conditions of the store. They have suspended the app.

I meant neither to offend nor to exploit UC Riverside’s excellent avocado database. I only wanted to make it available in a more convenient format for mobile devices. I wish the fine team that created and maintains the UCR Avocado database all the best. I encourage anyone from that UCR team who is interested in having UCR take ownership of the app’s Android Studio project and source code to contact me to facilitate a transfer. Cheers.

Moving on …

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