Archive for the ‘PlaySafe’ Category

Welcome to iOS 7, goodbye to some old friends

October 28, 2013

iOS7

As you surely know by now, Apple recently updated it’s operating system to iOS 7. While the update has been controversial, it’s certainly been incredibly successful in terms of numbers of users that have updated… In fact, it’s probably fair to say that if you’re reading this you’ve already updated…

While some users have complained that it’s just a cosmetic change, there’s actually quite a lot of things that have changed underneath as well – things that have broken many of the apps we all use everyday, including some of our own.

Whenever Apple updates iOS it invariably causes problems with older apps and as a developer, you’re faced with the task of tracking down what’s gone wrong and fixing it. This isn’t always an easy task (especially if the original programmer has moved on) and as iOS has become increasingly complex, we now find some users reporting bugs that we can’t even reproduce, let alone fix.

So this time, we made the difficult decision to remove any apps that didn’t seem to be working properly rather than update them. The time and expense involved just couldn’t be justified, especially since Apple changed the rules regarding App updates. It used to be that an updated app would jump back to the top of the new releases list (which meant a little spike in sales for your efforts) but too many developers were abusing that by releasing ‘fake’ updates… So now, updating our apps has no impact on sales whatsoever – which would be OK if current sales were high enough to cover the cost, but in reality they aren’t.

Apps that have been put out of their misery are: Playlist Alarm Clock, RandomPlay, MyCal, NightTime Plus, PlaySafe and Juiced. We’re sad to see them go, but it’s also nice to know that we don’t have to worry about them anymore…

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iPhone OS 3.1 broke my podcasts

September 20, 2009

NoPodcasts

As many of you may have spotted the recent release of iPhone OS 3.1 seems to have broken podcast support within our PlaySafe and Playlist Alarm Clock apps.

Previously you could select a podcast just like any other song from your music library and listen to it safely in the car, or to send you off to sleep, but ever since 3.1 the podcast section of the music picker is empty…

We’re looking into to try and see what changed and hope we can find a workaround soon rather than wait for Apple to fix it again in OS 3.2. We’ll keep you updated here on the blog.

PlaySafe 1.1

September 19, 2009

The latest version of PlaySafe is now available in the App Store.

Playsafe 1.1 will now warn you if it thinks you’re trying to add too many songs to your playlist. If you choose to ignore the warning message (which is your right as a free thinking human being) and the worst happens ie. PlaySafe crashes the next time you launch it, then all is not lost. Just delete and re-install the app and everything should be fine.

PlaySafe's new warning message

PlaySafe's new warning message

We’re working on a more elegant solution to this problem, but in the meantime this should help a few people.

Drivers ‘distracted by gadgets’

September 17, 2009

A recent BBC feature revealed that almost half of drivers admit they have been distracted by in-car gadgets, sometimes even causing them to crash, according to a survey.

That’s where PlaySafe comes in. PlaySafe turns your whole iPhone (or iPod touch) screen into one huge button allowing you to control the music without even looking at the screen. Just tap to start and stop or swipe to change tracks.

So simple, anybody can use it…

Use PlaySafe to easily control music playback in your car

Use PlaySafe to easily control music playback in your car

A mini update

September 14, 2009

This is just a quick update to let you know what we’ve been up to lately.

PlaySafe. We’ve uploaded an update to our in-car iPhone control app that should help users with large libraries that have been experiencing crashes

StarTime. A corrupt graphic was causing the month of September to disappear from the date display on our Star Trek themed clock. This has been fixed and an update uploaded, but knowing how long Apple are taking to approve things, it’ll probably be October by the time it comes out anyway…

Juiced. Our battery status app has also been uploaded and is awaiting approval. We really like this app – it’s more fun than it should be 🙂

As per usual, we’ll keep you up to date here.

PlaySafe trouble-shooting (updated)

September 4, 2009
Hi Erik
The only thing I can think of that’s causing this is that some (or all) of the songs that were in PlaySafe’s playlist have been removed from the iPhone…
Apple haven’t implemented the song picking ability very elegantly in OS 3.0 – the way it works is like this: when a user creates a new playlist from within an app (other than the iPod app) it creates a fixed playlist rather than a dynamic one. By this I mean it’s impossible for a song to be listed in any of the iPod’s playlists if that song isn’t on the iPhone because the appearance of the song in the playlist is directly linked to the song on the iPhone.
However with other apps (likePlaySafe) it’s a one way link – the song stays in the list even though it’s not on the phone anymore. So when PlaySafe loads its playlist it gets confused to find something’s missing. Then it either, crashes, or takes ages to launch.
We’re still looking into a work around for this problem (which is why we tell people to avoid smart playlists and use dedicated wake and sleep lists)
Things to try:
Delete PlaySafe, sync your phone and then re-install it. When you delete the app you also delete the playlist so any inconsistencies or corruption should also be deleted. Once PlaySafe is re-istalled, choose some new songs for the lists and try again.
This should sort out the problem. Please let us know if it doesn’t and we’ll see what else we can try.
Until we can sort out a fix just try and be aware that the songs that are in PlaySafe’s playlist should remain on your phone
cheers
Dave

A couple of users have come back us with problems with PlaySafe working perfectly at first but then crashing when they try and run it later.

Make sure the songs in your playlist are on the phone

Make sure the songs in your playlist are on the phone

After some more feedback we’ve realised that there’s two problems here:

Missing songs

If some (or all) of the songs that are in PlaySafe’s playlist have been removed since it was last run PlaySafe might crash. Apple haven’t implemented the song picking ability very elegantly in OS 3.0 – the way it works is like this: when a user creates a new playlist from within an app (other than the iPod app) it creates a fixed playlist rather than a dynamic one. By this we mean it’s impossible for a song to be listed in any of the iPod’s playlists if that song isn’t on the iPhone because the appearance of the song in the playlist is directly linked to the song on the iPhone.

However with other apps (likePlaySafe) it’s a one way link – the song stays in the list even though it’s not on the phone anymore. So when PlaySafe loads its playlist it gets confused to find something’s missing. Then it either, crashes, or takes ages to launch.

Adding All Songs

Some users are choosing to create a playlist by simply adding all their songs to PlaySafe. Depending on the size of their music library and the free memory on their phone this might also cause a crash when PlaySafe is next launched. Basically, the larger the playlist, the bigger the file that has to be read in PlaySafe upon launch.

We hadn’t really envisioned that people would try to create really large playlists – the idea was more to just load up some songs for your journey (like picking a couple of CDs to take with you when you go for a drive…). Until we can see if there’s a fix for this we’d recommend that you don’t ‘Add All Songs’ – try and use smaller playlists instead – 200 songs seems to work fine and should be enough for most journeys :).

We’re still looking into a work around for these issues, but in the meantime, try this:

1. Delete PlaySafe

2. Sync your phone

3. Re-install PlaySafe

When you delete the app you also delete the playlist so any inconsistencies or corruption should also be deleted. Once PlaySafe is re-istalled, choose some new songs for the lists and try again.

This should sort out the problem. Please let us know if it doesn’t and we’ll see what else we can suggest.

Until we can sort out a fix just try and be aware that the songs that are in PlaySafe’s playlist should remain on your phone and don’t try and ‘Add All Songs’.

PlaySafe is here

August 28, 2009

After what seems like an age, PlaySafe is finally available in the App Store.

PlaySafe - isten to your iPod safely when driving

PlaySafe - listen to your iPod safely when driving

PlaySafe was designed purely to make listening to music in the car easier (and therefore safer). If you listen to music (or podcasts) in the car, you need this app. It could save your life.

Instead of fiddling with tiny onscreen controls, we’ve made the whole screen one giant button. Choose what you want to listen to (before you start driving!) and PlaySafe will automatically start playing as soon as it’s launched. Tap anywhere to pause/play the music or swipe left or right to skip tracks. It’s so easy you can do it without looking at the screen!

Although PlaySafe looks pretty simple, we’ve put a lot of thought and effort into it. When you first launch the app you’ll see the set up screen:

PlaySafe - set up screen

PlaySafe - set up screen

Tap the ‘Tunes’ button and choose what you want to listen to, exactly as you would from the iPod app ie. select an album or existing playlist or create your own specific mix for the journey ahead. As soon as you press ‘Done’ the music starts playing.

PlaySafe widescreen mode

PlaySafe widescreen mode

Beautiful on-screen icons fade in and out and the text intelligently scales to make best use of the available space. There’s a widescreen mode so that you can use PlaySafe no matter how your iPhone is mounted.

PlaySafe's built in help screen

PlaySafe's built in help screen

We’ve even added a built in help section in case you get stuck. As per usual, we’d love to know what you think of PlaySafe and what features you’d like us to add to future versions.

PlaySafe - look for it in the App Store now

PlaySafe - look for it in the App Store now

PlaySafe – coming soon

August 13, 2009

We thought we’d give you a quick look at our next iPhone app (already in review in the App Store).

PlaySafe - this app could save your life

PlaySafe - this app could save your life

PlaySafe is designed to make using your iPhone or iPod touch easier to operate when driving (and therefore safer). We’ve made the whole screen one giant button so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road and search for tiny icons. You can easily control your music with simple finger gestures without even looking at the screen! Just tap anywhere on the screen to start or stop the music or swipe sideways to skip to the next or previous tracks.

Just tap anywhere on the screen to start or stop the music or swipe sideways to skip to the next or previous tracks.
If you do decide to sneak a look at the screen you won’t be disappointed – PlaySafe looks great too. It’s minimal interface leaves plenty of room for your cover artwork to shine. Touching the screen causes huge on-screen icons to fade in and out so you can tell at a glance what you’re doing. The track information is displayed in a large font which intelligently scales so you won’t have to squint. PlaySafe looks great even if you don’t have any album cover art – the default display looks better than some of the covers in our collections anyway.Just tap anywhere on the screen to start or stop the music or swipe sideways to skip to the next or previous tracks.

If you do decide to sneak a look at the screen you won’t be disappointed – PlaySafe looks great too. It’s minimal interface leaves plenty of room for your cover artwork to shine. Touching the screen causes huge on-screen icons to fade in and out so you can tell at a glance what you’re doing. The track information is displayed in a large font which intelligently scales so you won’t have to squint. PlaySafe looks great even if you don’t have any album cover art – the default display looks better than some of the covers in our collections anyway.

God (and Apple) willing, this will available in a few days – we’ll keep you posted!