Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A Break From Active Development

After almost 4 years of developing my Android applications, I am now taking a break from active development of WiFi File Explorer, SECuRET & BabyCam. I'll still be making critical bug fixes as they arise as well as any other necessary maintenance with new Android releases and techniques, but I will not be implementing any new features or requests from users.

I still welcome ideas being sent to me and I keep a to-do list for when/if I do return to actively developing my applications. As more and more people request the same thing, features change in priority on that to-do list until it becomes immediately apparent what I should do next. So thanks for all your ideas that I still frequently receive and they all get duly noted, but as I alluded to, there is no guarantee as to when/if that feature will get implemented.

After spending all that free time developing my applications over the last 4 years, it is now the right time to take a step back, reflect on what I have achieved and enjoy the fruits of my labour. Hopefully I will return to those applications in due time, but for now I am happy concentrating on other projects and spending more time with family and friends!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Free Space - Internal Vs. External Storage

WiFi File Explorer displays a number of statistics in the top right corner of its web UI; battery, WiFi signal and free space. The free space on the device is shown via two filled bars representing the external and internal storage, as well as the actual numerical figures underneath.

The confusion lies in what these actually mean; what is the external and internal storage - flash? SD card? Internal memory? Connected drives? Well, that differs depending on the device and the version of Android, so it's quite a hard question to answer. Basically, those free space statistics are retrieved from the Android OS using a couple of lines of code that are supposed to give the "external" and "internal" storage for the system. Because each Android device may implement its storage solution in a different way, depending on the device manufacturer and version of Android, you may find that what the Android OS thinks of as being external, you may think of as internal, or vice versa. Or it may show the same statistics for external and internal. Or you may not have external, yet it tells you that you do. Confusing, huh? I know... my Nexus 4 does not have what I consider to be external storage, i.e. an SD card, yet it tells me that I have 5.67GB of internal storage AND 5.67GB of external storage.

What's even more confusing is that on my old Nexus S and many other devices I have owned over the years, it would give exactly the statistics I would have expected for external and internal storage. The moral of the story is that those couple of lines of code to retrieve these statistics work on some devices, but don't make an awful lot of sense on others. And as far as I know, because of the many different ways storage is implemented across all Android devices, there is no other universal way that should give accurate readings for external and internal storage.

So it's that old Android case of "works on some, but not on all, and some is better than none". If any developers know of a better way of retrieving these statistics, please get in contact with me and let me know.