Version 3.0.x series

There is currently a major update going on with ECAS. The ‘target’ Android version (the version for which an app was developed) was changed from 2.1 to 5.0. This has a number of implications, which required a 50% rewrite of ECAS to use new programming interfaces and remove code which is no longer supported in modern Android.

The app is now required to have a title bar for the menu entries, so the navigation moved to the bottom, which is Googles current recommendation for lateral navigation between 3 to 5 pages. Also, since title and navigation take up a lot of space on the screen, auto-hide was implemented for these bars when the meter list is scrolled, like it is now standard for many apps of this type.

Also, the look of buttons (especially the multi-select drop-down buttons) changed due to the changed target version. The system does this automatically without me changing anything in the definition of the UI elements. It’s because ECAS now targets Android 5, it automatically uses material design for the UI. If you don’t like it at first, that’s OK. It’s different. But we have to get used to it. There is no point in trying to work against what Google thinks an app should look like. It is certainly possible, technically, to fiddle with styles and change things here and there, but it will only cause compatibility problems with the next round of updates, so it’s better to stick to the default.

Also, import and export of data is no longer directly done by ECAS, since in modern devices, a standard app can no longer access external storage on its own and cloud data exchange was always wanted by many users. Instead, a new mechanism invented by Google is used to exchange data with other installed apps. These apps can handle data transfer for ECAS, implement any required protocols, and have any required storage access rights to do their job. Examples are data exchange with Google Drive or importing or exporting data with local storage via a suitable file manager like Solid Explorer.

Some apps only support one direction of data transfer, for example Gmail only shows up as a choice during export, while most file managers only show up as a choice during import. Only a few of them can handle both directions without errors. Please see the FAQ for a list of apps which are tested and any problems they experience.

One of the most important news is, that ECAS now takes advantage of Googles backup and restore service, so the database is automatically stored in a safe place in case the device is reset or lost.

If there are any questions or problems arise with the major upgrade, please contact me for further details.

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