echoecho version 1.8 on android – push and lots of other stuff…

ok so with a little bit of delay over the anticipated schedule – I present to you echoecho for android version 1.8.

The new functionalities are numerous – chief amongst them being

PUSH notifications

Or – as google calls them – C2DM (cloud to device messaging). You may think this is not a big deal (after all the application doesn’t look any different because of it) but it’s WAY more efficient from the point of view of network overhead and speed.

Frankly – the average user will not care one iota about network overhead – but they will care about speed. When somebody sends you an echo and you’re using an Android phone (running 2.2 o/s or higher – yeah sorry older android phone user dudes – push functionality is only supported on 2.2+) you will receive the echo within 2-5 seconds (based on our tests)

That’s as good as (if not better) than iphone push notifications. So congrats Google on making a cool system.

BTW – I did write (a looong time ago) about a hybrid type of push system that we were forced to implement for all non-push capable platforms. While this does work fairly well – I’m not sad to see the back of it.

There’s no screenshot for this because it’s an internal functionality – but now that 2.2 android o/s is becoming more and more commonplace – any application developer that is NOT using C2DM will regret it.

So what else is new:

  • Automatic number entry
  • Shake to reset map zoom level
  • Lots of stability fixes

Let me go through them one by one.

Automatic number entry
This one’s fairly easy. As many echoecho users know we have the fastest signup of any location sharing app.
We’ve just made it much faster.

echoecho_signup

echoecho now tries to prefill the number entry screen. The only thing the user has to do is check the number is correct – and click the NEXT button.

It’s not always possible to read the number from the SIM card with 100% reliability – but in our informal tests in US/UK it works fine with 95% of phones. That’s why we still decide to ask the user to verify the data.

Either way – the signup is lightning quick. Takes 15 seconds on my Android phone.

Shake to reset map zoom level
Straight out of the iPhone playbook – we now have shake-to-reset zoom functionality on Android.

What this means is that when you zoom in really close to a friend of yours on a map – to reset the zoom level just….shake the phone.

Lots of stability fixes
This one is the most mundane. Although quite important. There have been a lot of tweaks and new pieces of functionality introduced – so we did a far more thorough quality control testing on this release.

The more eagle-eyed amongst you will notice quicker startup times and far less crashes.

echoecho continues to work on all versions of Android phones – but the experience on Android versions 2.2 o/s and higher is without a doubt superior to the older android flavors.

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