"wX" Android opensource/free weather app - new beta release 3.4

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Joshua Tee, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    wX can be used as a general purpose Android ( vers 4.1 or later on ARM 32 bit hardware )
    weather program but is also has numerous features for those more weather inclined
    ( ie SPC/WPC products, Model output viewer, Sounding/hodo, advanced Radar, advanced vis/ir/wv )

    I've released wX 3.3428 on github as a beta candidate for my upcoming release of wX 3.4
    Since 3.0 much has changed and is outlined in detail on github under file "WHATS_NEW_3.0_to_3.4"
    In brief the following has been added ( but in general pretty much everything was enhanced in some way ):

    - Radar option ( now the default "WXOGL" ) to download binary files from NWS FTP ( Level 3 )
    and Iowa Mesonet ( Level 2 ),decode on device, and display via GLES 2.0 ( ie OpenGL ).
    State lines and highways are minimal in resolution but do allow the radar itself to be the main content.
    Also, TDWR products TV0 and TZL supported. Typical gestures supported including single tap ( zoom out ),
    double tap ( zoom in ), pan, pinch zoom, long press to select different radar site. For L2 please note
    the compressed files can be anywhere from 1MB-10MB per file so those with data limits might want to be careful.

    - Widget used to mimic main screen of app. Can be used as lockscreen widet. Other widgets offered but underlying
    Android bug related to refresh of any bitmap keeps them from working very well. If you use them and notice your
    images don't update the best workaround is to just rotate your screen and the new image will be shown immediately.
    - Polygon warnings and cities as overlays for images that don't offer them ( such as COD or NWS GOES vis )
    - Beta support for Canada, Australia, and New Zealand ( I don't plan on putting to much more effort into these areas for now )
    - Noticeable performance improvements and lower hardware requirements as a result.
    - Copy/paste supported in most activities that are text based.
    - More configurable.

    The file to install can be downloaded from your Android device via the following URL
    https://github.com/joshuat6/wX3.3428/blob/master/bin/wX.apk?raw=true


    NOTE: For those who installed 3.0 you will need to uninstall 3.0 first before installing this beta. This is needed
    as the key used to sign the apk has changed. Sorry for the trouble and this should not be needed again.

    Please let me know if you have any issues or suggestion of things to add.

    thanks
     
  2. plreardon

    plreardon Noob

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    Tried your app for the first time yesterday and thought it was great. I have a Galaxy S5. I'm still exploring all of the menus within menus but I'm impressed with the wealth of information. Getting some of the model pages to function has been tricky but learning how to do that. Suggestions for things to add: a. City IDs within the radar sites, b. Compatibility with the Kindle Fire HD (wouldn't install for whatever reason), c. Upper air maps....and maybe I just haven't found them yet, and 4. A Help guide.

    Excellent Work!
    Pat
     
  3. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Pat,
    Thanks for trying it out and giving some feedback, glad you like it !

    First, I do have the final 3.4 release published and it is available here:
    https://github.com/joshuat6/wX3.4003/blob/master/bin/wX.apk?raw=true

    Some documentation is available here and at some point I hope to make this accessible from within the app itself:
    https://github.com/joshuat6/wX3.4003/blob/master/README.md
    https://github.com/joshuat6/wX3.4003/blob/master/SETTINGS
    https://github.com/joshuat6/wX3.4003/blob/master/WIDGETS

    Regarding the model activity unfortunately COD ( College of DuPage ) changed the filenames ( after beta release ) for some of the images effectively breaking any precipitation data. That is fixed in 3.4003. I also removed NAM 4KM as the last run published on COD's site is 9/26.

    Regarding the Kindle Fire can you tell me what the underlying version of Android it has running? It needs to be at 4.1 or above as the notifications use functionality ( "big views" ) added in 4.1.

    For " a. City IDs within the radar site" can you tell me a little more about what you had in mind?

    For the upper air maps the closest thing would be the interface to the SPC Mesoanalysis site ( SPC tab, bottom row, center icon ). If you have something else in mind I can certainly try and integrate into the next version.

    thanks again,
    Josh
     
  4. plreardon

    plreardon Noob

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    Hi,

    Sorry for the delayed response. I downloaded your latest version and it works good on my Galaxy S5. Not sure what the issue is with my Kindle Fire HD. The app installation response is..."There is a problem parsing the package." That happens with some updates but don't know the cause.

    I've found with the suggestions that I previously posted it was more that I hadn't worked with the app enough yet. The city IDs are there and function good. Appreciate the help guides as well. The SPC upper level maps and skew-Ts are very good for upper air information also.

    You're app is comprehensive and find myself using it first to get my weather information. Again, very good job!

    Pat
     
  5. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Pat,
    Thanks for the feedback again. Can you tell what version of FireOS you are running on the Fire? That error might occur if the underlying Android rev is less then 4.1 which is required by wX.

    I have posted a new version here that is compatible with Android 5.0:
    https://github.com/joshuat6/wX3.4006/blob/master/bin/wX.apk?raw=true

    Unfortunately there still exists an intermittent bug ( not present in anything below 5.0 ) in which network connections hang for a few minutes if wX is running, the device is "woken up", and the content on the main screen is due for a refresh. Still looking into this but won't have much time in the coming weeks.

    Additionally, the upstream content provider for the US Nexrad Attributes appears to no longer be offering that summarized data. In it's place ( MISC tab, first row, far right ), I've added the SPC Compmap module that was previously in the Beta area.

    thanks,
    Josh
     
    #5 Joshua Tee, Dec 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2014
  6. Steve Miller

    Steve Miller Owner
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    Hey Josh, I am not an android user but do market a few popular weather apps so I'm curious about what you're offering. Do you have screenshots of your latest version you can share? Sounds like a weather Swiss Army knife of an app!
    Thanks in advance.
     
  7. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Steve,
    I'll try to post some screenshots somewhere in the next few days but in the meantime the files README.md, SETTINGS, and WIDGETS located here should be helpful to describe the app:
    https://github.com/joshuat6/wX3.4006

    The main screen shows current conditions, 7 day forecast summary, and current reflectivity for your selected location. You can swipe between tabs which then shows either 9 or 12 tiles which can be used to access additional content. There are 4 tabs total and the tab headings are dynamic so if there are active SPC MCD or watches the SPC tab title gives an indication of this.

    Additionally, the android action bar has icons for vis/wv/ir goes imagery, radar for your location, WFO text product viewer ( AFD is shown by default ), hourly forcast, and a few other things.

    thanks,
    Josh
     
  8. Caleb Grunzke

    Caleb Grunzke Member

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    I just downloaded this app and immediately love it. All the information you can have from NWS, animated satellite imagery (which I had been wanting for a while), to forecast models in one place. Thank you very much!
     
  9. Caleb Grunzke

    Caleb Grunzke Member

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    A few questions/comments:

    1. The SPC soundings page is not updating. Is there something I need to do to get the new 00Z/12Z data for soundings? I'm stuck on the 12/16 00Z soundings.
    2. I have noticed a bug when I am editing Notifications and Widgets within the Settings menu. When I am done editing my preferences in the Notifications and Widgets page and I press the back button to return to the Settings page, I get an "Unfortunately wX has stopped" message. The app does manage to save what I have changed so this is only a small bug.
    3. Navigating around the app can be tricky for a new user. Is there something that can be done to provide user's with information about what buttons do what in the app? (Like for instance, a little pop-up bubble over a button that provides a short description of what the button does.)
    4. Is it alright if I try to get this app some more publicity?
     
  10. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Steve,
    I have some screenshots here but please keep in mind this is just a small fraction of what is offered. Additionally, the device used to make the screenshots is from 2011 and has a lower resolution then what I was targetting. On current phones and tablets the main screen looks better. ( less or no text wrap , etc )
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9OogdTO1kXqeUFVZmxyaFNSZms&usp=sharing

     
  11. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Caleb,
    First, thanks for trying it and glad you like it. Also thanks for the bug report and feature request!

    1. Regarding the soundings the source image used to come from SPC's website but based on comments here on stormtrack I switched to the new URL below. I'll drop them an email to let them know there site is not showing current data. I might also contemplate a setting to either get this from SPC or OU.

    New: http://hoot.metr.ou.edu/upperair/
    Old: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/exper/soundings/




    2. I am really curious about this and have not seen any crashes in settings. Can you send me in private a screenshot from before the crash ( either notif or widget pref is fine ) and your android operating system version and hardware? Email listed in about message in app itself is fine or private mail within stormtrack is fine too.
    3. I will give some thought to this on how to make it better. I do recognize there is a learning curve with the app but I also don't want to clutter it further with to much help data.
    4. I have no problems with this. I wrote this for myself but after while it became apparent other folks might like it. The more the better ...

    thanks,
    Josh

     
  12. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Caleb,
    No need to send any data. I was able to reproduce once I realized you were using the back button at top-left. The workaround is to use the standard android virtual back button at bottom-left instead ( I use this usually and that is why I didn't notice ). I'll get a fix into the next minor release.

    Also, hope to address the very recent change by SPC to the convective outlook D4-8 image in the next minor release as well.

    thanks!
    Josh
     
  13. Caleb Grunzke

    Caleb Grunzke Member

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    I did send a PM with the data. You must not have received it...? Oh well, no worries.
     
  14. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Caleb,
    I see it now, my apologies.

    Josh
     
  15. Wesley Luginbyhl

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    Just picked up this app and was playing around with it. Doesnt take too long to get the hang of after messing with it for a couple minutes. Tons of info and it all seems to load fairly quickly.

    One thing I did find though, is that I couldnt get any of the forecast models for sfc_prec to load. I get a "Invalid parameter or time" error, no matter the model or time I select.
     
  16. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Wesley,
    Thanks for trying it out and reporting on this.
    Can you confirm your version? The upstream content provider ( COD ) did change the URLs some time ago so want to confirm. For example the top choice under GFS now shows prec_prec.


    thanks,
    Josh

     
  17. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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  18. Wesley Luginbyhl

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    I am using version 3.4003. This was found after clicking the top left thumbnail under the MISC W (9, 1,2) tab. I can add some screenshots if needed.
     
  19. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Wesley,
    Please do, private mail is fine. Also, please indicate the full text selected from the left navigation menu.

    thanks,
    Josh
     
  20. Wesley Luginbyhl

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    I might have solved the issue I was having. I didnt know about the left menu. Once I clicked that the graphics started showing up. A "how to" of sorts, even a very basic one, would help out with those type of things as Caleb mentioned. Even just explaining how to get to the main features might be enough to get people through most of the app if they got hung up, sort of like I did. This really might become my quick "go to" for models or just about anything weather.
     
  21. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    Thanks Wesley for the feedback. I'll be working on in-app help in the next month or two and will include info on the navigation drawer that slides out from the left side. One thing to note and its rather subtle: screens that have such a pull out nav drawer will have 3 horizontal lines to the left of the program icon at top left. Activities that don't will just have the back arrow to the left of the blue icon.

    Josh
     
  22. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    The remaining bug caused by Android 5.0 ( network connections sometimes hang when device comes out of sleep mode ) is now fixed and version 3.4010 is available here:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9OogdTO1kXqTG9xRU5SeXRUc2c&authuser=0

    I also added some additional QPF graphics in the pull-down under MISC tab specifically 1-2, 1-3 and 5 and 7 day total.

    The source code is here and from now on I'll try to post to github every 1-2 months as well:

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9OogdTO1kXqYzktaHZzdGdQSEk&usp=sharing

    thanks
     
  23. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    The latest version 3.4018 has been uploaded to the URL below as "wX.apk". The next oldest version has been renamed to include the version number.

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9OogdTO1kXqYzktaHZzdGdQSEk&usp=sharing

    Changes:
    - For those running on Android 5.0 the theme has been changed from Holo to the new "Material Design"
    - SPC outlook for D4-8 has now been fixed to accomodate the format change done by SPC around Dec 16.
    - Previously the back button on the main screen was not allowed to exit the app ( to prevent accidental closure ). Now, a toast pops up to inform that a second tap of the back button will quit the app.
    - In the model interface , 2 new params were added for HRRR ( 10m Wind Gust and Lightning Threat )
    - In the model interface, a bug was fixed in RAP preventing auto-detection of the current run.
    - In location settings, in addition to a toast message when the location is saved one has been added for when the process is started ( see below )

    NOTE: The spinning circle at top used to show network activity ( download of an image, etc ) is no longer available in Android 5.0 when using the Material Design theme. At this point i'm only going to implement a substitute for operations which take longer then normal ( like saving a new location )

    Next up is to work on an in-app help system.

    thanks,
    Josh
     
    #23 Joshua Tee, Dec 31, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2014
  24. Joshua Tee

    Joshua Tee Member

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    The latest version 3.4027 has been uploaded to the URL below as "wX.apk". The next oldest version has been renamed to include the version number.

    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9OogdTO1kXqYzktaHZzdGdQSEk&usp=sharing

    Changes:
    - Framekwork for help system is now in place along with help content for tile icons and icons/menu items in the action bar. To enable "help mode" select it from the menu. After that, tap any icon in the main tabbed screen for help content. Select the help option again to disable "help mode". I'll be working on help content quantity and quality over the next few months but the initial content should be helpful.
    - Models interface: COD has added some additional sector views for GFS, NAM, RAP, and HRRR and so they have been added. For example GFS now has Pacific/Atlantic and a world view. Not every parameter is available for these new views but at a minimum 500mb wind and SLP are.
    - If running under Android 5.0 many of the activities especially with large amounts of text shown will auto-hide the action bar at top as you scroll down to provide more screen real estate. Scrolling up a small amount will bring the action bar back.
    - New launcher icon - simpler and more modern
    - Observations activity accessible from action bar menu has additional images added.
    - Minor change with long explanation: In the action bar the lightning icon has been moved to the left of the cloud icon. Google has removed the functionality of the split action bar when using Material design theme in Android 5.0 so for those who upgrade to 5.0 ( and are using a phone ) you will notice the icons are no longer at the bottom but instead at the top ( similar to how it looks when using a tablet ). Unfortunately, less icons are displayed and more are moved to the "overflow" menu. This change ensures the radar icon is available in case only one icon is shown ( I observed this in the Android emulator with a small resolution ). Long term I'll move to the new "toolbar" which replaces the deprecated "action bar" but not sure when.

    thanks,
    Josh
     
    #24 Joshua Tee, Jan 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2015
  25. Caleb Grunzke

    Caleb Grunzke Member

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    New version is great! Thanks for your hard work!
     

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