Friday, February 5, 2016

Network Browser 2.0 Release Notes

It's been months since the last update of Network Browser, so I thought I would do a post letting you all know what's new, since a lot of people use and rely on the app, and I want to keep you all in the loop.

On the outside, it might not appear as though much has changed, but under the hood there has basically been a complete re-write of the app.  The reason for this is because Google has discontinued support for the Eclipse programming environment, and the project for whatever reason did not transfer over to the new Android Studio very well, so I had to create a new project instead.

Regardless, most code copy/pasted over fine, but there are still some major structural changes under the hood.  For that reason, please be on the lookout for new bugs which may have arisen since the last release.  If you find problems with the app, please post them here on this blog, in the app market comments, or e-mail me at support@ape-apps.com and I will get to them ASAP.

The biggest change in this release is the implementation of the new Permissions system in Android v6.0.  Since I do not own any handsets with Android 6, I have absolutely no idea if this works, so somebody with a newer device please try it out and let me know if I did it right, lol.

Beyond that though, I just want to discuss some of the upcoming changes I have planned for Network Browser.  Also, through the comments section on this post, I want to give you all users the chance to submit requests for features or improvements you would like to see added in the future.

The biggest planned upgrade I have right now is bringing Android TV support to Network Browser.  To me, this is pretty much a logical step, and I've tested it out already on my Nexus Player and it works great for streaming movies from the network to the television.  It's just a matter of me creating a new interface for TV users, because the current style is pretty cumbersome and it's doubtful that it would get approved for distribution by Google in it's current incarnation.

Android TV support also got me thinking that I could have the app automatically look online and fetch meta data/cover art for movies and TV shows, but that's further down the road, and I wont worry about it unless people actually want to see me implement it.

Next, I want to add more file management capabilities to the app, including things like renaming/deleting network files, and also the ability to copy entire folders to/from the network instead of just individual files.

Also, I am going to be adding a built in Image viewer to the app, so that it no longer relies on whatever is already installed on the system.  This will allow you to flip through pictures that are on the network.  I also thought of adding a random shuffle mode to the picture viewer, so that if you had a tablet you could sort of set a network folder up like a digital picture frame.

Similar to the picture viewer, I also want to add a music player to the app, that can play background music, or queue up an entire folder on the network.

Since it seems most people use the app for media consumption, this is the area I want to focus on next, but like I said, if people would like to see it go in another direction instead, just let me know in the comments.  After all, this app is for you guys.

So until next update, thanks for using Network Browser, and enjoy v2.0!

3 comments:

  1. I like your app so far keep up the good work.
    Mdj

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  2. I'm using 6.0 on Moto X Play and struggling with permissions. If I play a music file the App downloads first but there seems no obvious way to delete. Phone Settings seems to be blocked from deleting these files but finally managed it with VLC! Happy everything will be sorted once 6.0 becomes more widespread and thanks for all youe efforts.

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