Author Archives: Christoph Zens

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.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Version 2.4.x series

ECAS recently changed from a 2.3 to a 2.4 version. The new feature in 2.4 is the display of absolute time and value deltas between readings on the reading list page. Since this feature required a layout change, the opportunity was taken to review and improve layout throughout the program and provide better support for various screen sizes and densities.

Version 2.4.1 followed up with more layout fixes and added a new option for meters to declare them as production meters.

Version 2.4.2 adds a Slovenian translation provided by Tomi.

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Version 2.3.13

After a long time without any updates, a small bugfix release was uploaded today. It includes a fix for negative usage values which could occur when using bidirectional meters and the reading delta between two readings exceeded 10000.

Also, a small update problem with the Totals line on the reading list page was fixed and the Czech translation was updated with a new file submitted by a user a long time ago. Sorry for the delay.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Version 2.3.12

A new version is available, adding support for Spanish language as well as negative cost values. It should also fix a force close when the screen is rotated while a background operation like a virtual meter update or CSV import is running.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Version 2.3.11

Uploaded a new version today. This version fixes the calculation of virtual meters when they include bidirectional meters (actually running backwards from time to time), or meters which contain manual meter changes.

Please open the virtual meter editor and press “Save Changes” to trigger a complete recalculation of your virtual meter in case it was affected by this problem.

This version also fixes the calculation of the total sum on the reading list page for bidirectional meters or meters which contain manual meter changes.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Version 2.3.10

A small bugfix version was uploaded today to fix compatibility with Android 4.3, which caused ECAS to display english month names even on devices running other locales, as well as a small fix for the ‘first reading’ checkbox, which disappeared during screen orientation changes.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Android 4.3

Android 4.3 is rolling out to Nexus devices now. It turns out that it introduces a bug which breaks the localized month names as shown for example on the time axis of the trend graph when the zoom setting is in the range of months. The function used by ECAS to get the localized names worked from Android 2.1 up to 4.2.2 without problems, so I assume a bug in 4.3. However, I will investigate and try to find a workaround. Until then, please don’t mind the english month names (in case your device is not set to english anyways).

Posted in News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Version 2.3.9 uploaded

Small update for ECAS today: Finally the new french translation was integrated, and the help text which appears on an empty meter list page was updated to help people find the menu button. Since many modern devices no longer provide a dedicated menu button in hardware, the user needs to touch the action overflow (the three vertical dots) to access the menu. While this is quite common also in other apps, some people still can’t figure it out by themselves.

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Version 2.3.8

There were a few updates recently, mostly for new languages but also smaller internal code improvements, the latest version being 2.3.8. Note that version 2.3.7 has a problem with the menu button on Android handsets running OS 4.0 or newer. This problem was fixed in 2.3.8. If you are missing the menu button, please update to the latest version.

Updates to ECAS may currently not be as regular as they were before. This is because a new family member which arrived mid July is keeping us busy… However, there will be time to work on ECAS again in the future. Maintenance is of course still going on as time permits.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Version 2.3.5 uploaded

A small update was published today. It includes a Czech translation generously provided by Jachym. Also, it has some code changes to handle very small Y-axis scaling a little bit better and guard against unwanted effects they may have.

Posted in News | Leave a comment