Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bookmark label colors, sharing fixes, chapter navigation, Romanian and Japanese (2.2)


Now you can assign colors to your bookmark labels. It's now even easier to organize your bookmarks!

Change the colors by long-pressing on a label on the bookmarks screen.


When you see the list of bookmarks, the labels will be colored, too!



There was long-standing issue on sharing of verses. Normally, sharing text works on any sharing destinations that declare themselves to receive data of text/plain type. However, for some unknown reason, Facebook declines sharing of plain text. Facebook only receives plain text that forms a URL. Unfortunately, there is no way for an Android app to know which sharing destination the user selects if (using Intent.createChooser()). This has prevented us to share to Facebook correctly.

The only way feasible for now is to create our own sharing screen. Starting from this release, Bible for Android will use its own sharing screen, which IMHO better than the default sharing screen. It loads the list and the app icons in the background, so it doesn't lag like the default sharing screen :D

Moreover, and most importantly, we know when the user selects Facebook as the destination. We can treat it specially and give a URL instead of verse text.


We also added an option to use volume buttons to navigate between chapters. This was suggested by +Rony Gabriel, thanks! An excellent suggestion.

Last but not least, now there is two different Bible versions available as optional download: Romanian (Corneliscu's translation) and Japanese (口語訳 – colloquial translation). +Liviu Foltut helped in providing the Romanian Bible translation and also translating the app into Romanian.



As you can see, the Japanese version has identation (for quotations and poems) and paragraph break. This is processed from the perfect XML files provided by bible.salterrae.net.

Support for Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) in 2.2

With the advent of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), Google has put a single OS for both phones and tablets. All the enhancements of Honeycomb are now available on phones, which mostly good, but it means that we need to update our applications to correctly support the new UI.

Most relevant to us are:
  • Action bar is now available on phones, our icons are no longer suitable to put there, it's too big and has Android 2.2 style.
  • The width of action bar is limited on phones, we can't cramp so many buttons into it. Some of them needs to be put in the overflow menu.
  • And most importantly, some ICS users experienced flicker when opening preferences and going back to the main screen. It is to the extent that the app is unusable. After some investigation, it was due to setting locale forcefully interferes with setting of the locale from the OS, unlike in previous releases. 
The new icons are used for Android 2.3 and above. Android 2.2 and lower will get the old icons.


Thanks to +Alta Falconeri for the help of reporting and testing this issue.