Today I unpublished BrowseCast and BrowseCast HD from Google Play. Some 4 years and 8 months after it was originally published at version 1.0.
There are a couple of reasons for doing so;
- I haven’t actively developed this app for over a year or so and do not see any reason to continue doing so. The BBC iPlayer Radio app is more than enough for what most people want to do.
- The BBC are changing the way 3rd parties connect to their services. For those that are interested go here.
I currently have no plans to become a fully fledged developer utilising the up and coming Nitro APIs so now is a good time to bow out.
The application started out as a way for me to learn Java programming and more importantly develop an app for my original Android HTC Magic handset. I’d had the idea for the app two years prior to creating it, but had no idea of how to manifest it. Once the low barrier to entry Android Market arrived it was time to get to work!
For the most part I am really proud of what I achieved. Going from nothing to working application was no mean feat! It was a long and steep learning curve, but I’d heartily recommend anyone thinking of ‘having a go’ to just get stuck in and enjoy the ride. It’s grossly frustrating and ellating in equal measure.
Getting that first 5 star rating on the Marketplace made all the months of work so rewarding!
Finally, i’d like to thank all 140,451 people that downloaded this application since 23rd March 2010 and I hope it proved useful for the small amount of functionality it provided.
Thanks for the support and kindness of those that fed back to me over the years.
All the best to you.
Good day to you!
It’s been a long time since I’ve updated this blog, but work/life has been pretty busy the last year and so I haven’t had much chance to post anything. That said, I have managed to develop a new release of BrowseCast. Better known as BrowseCast HD. This version has been re-written specifically for Android 4.x devices. So that’s Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean in user friendly terms.
Below I have put a little FAQ together for you to read.
So come on, what’s changed ?
The main change is to the interface. Since ICS and now JB, Android has changed it’s inferface to a more defined look. And personally I really like the way it looks and feels. In turn developers can develop their applications to conform to this ‘look’. This is exactly what I have aimed to do here.
That said, I haven’t yet coded for tablet devices. This will come in a future release. I had worked on a Honeycomb* version of BrowseCast HD, but this version of Android was soon superceded and support seems to be quite patchy. Going forward I will reinstate the hardwork I put into the Honeycomb version (learning to develop fragments) and bring it into BrowseCast HD.
*Honeycomb was a hybrid tablet/phone OS for those interested.
Other than the main interface changes the application no longer requires Google Listen and can work with any podcatcher that supports the pcast: protocol, which most do.
The new version of Pocket Cast (my favourite podcatcher of all time) now supports this protocol in the latest version of the application. I urge you to splash out on this fantastically designed and developed application. It does everything you want from a podcatcher and more. Also, the developer has a great sense of humour and each release has some very amusing release notes! This app can only get better.
Go get it! <- Google Play link
Why a new version and not upgrade the current BrowseCast?
This was a big quandry and decision for me (not exactly life changing). In order to bring BrowseCast into the ICS/JB look and feel you need to add support for it into the application. I quickly realised that to support the new look for old and new devices would require a lot of extra coding which equals a lot more time to develop and release.
In order to get a release out I made the decision to develop BrowseCast HD for ICS/JB devices in the first instance and then, time permitting, make it backward compatible.
I fully understand that the majority of handsets are on Android 2.x and that is why I will leave the original BrowseCast on Google Play. This isn’t an ideal, but I am not a full time developer and this application is free and ad-free! What more do you want ?!
So what Podcatchers does it support?
As mentioned above, BrowseCast HD supports all podcatchers that use the pcast: protocol. I have tested a number of the major podcatchers and they all seem to work as expected.
Did I mention Pocket Casts?
I hope you enjoy this release, it took me over a long time period to develop and I learnt some interesting stuff along the way. As ever it is free to download and use. I hope you find it useful and it helps you to discover the wealth of BBC Podcasts that are available.
Until next time, be careful out there.
No surprises really as Google haven’t updated the app for a very long time. It’s a shame as Google could of done something great with it, but I guess there are lots of others already doing it *cough* better.
We launched Google Listen through Google Labs in August 2009, to give people a way to discover and listen to podcasts. However, with Google Play, people now have access to a wider variety of podcast apps, so we’ve discontinued Listen. People who have already installed the app can still use it, but after November 1, podcast search won’t function. You can access your podcast subscriptions in Google Reader in the “Listen Subscriptions” folder and download them from the Import/Export tab.
How does this affect BrowseCast ?
In a nutshell not at all. For people that still have it installed they can continue using it. New iterations of BrowseCast have allowed users to send their Podcast subscriptions to any app they wish to.
Bug fix release.
– Fixes broken Radio Schedules.
In this long long long awaited updated update the following has occurred;
– The BBC had recently changed the content of the podcast XML. This caused the parser logic in BrowseCast to fail and show blank stations. This is now fixed.
– Added support for ICS and Jelly Bean
When I next get the chance, I hope to give the interface a lick of ICS style paint. I also want to do something about the podcast selection functionality.
Until next time, have a good summer… If you have a summer where you live, can you please send it to the UK. It appears to of got lost somewhere between July last year and this July.
I have been getting a fair few emails regarding BrowseCast no longer working.
Im presuming that Aunty has changed the podcast xml.
Due to work and personal commitments and this busy time of year I’m not sure when I will be able to investigate this and update the application.
I sincerely apologise for the inconvenience this is causing users and I will update as soon as I am able.
Enjoy the jubilee weekend.
I’m currently in the throws of revising for my next VCP examination. Namely the VCP510. As you know, if your currently studying for the exam, the cut off for current VCP4s is the 29th February 2012. After that, you will have to complete the vSphere 5.0 ICM course prior to taking the VCP510 exam.
Anywho, I have been using a MindMap to help with my studies. I basically add notes/links to each section as I go to remind myself of the different content I need to remember and to link out to sites directly from each section of the blueprint as and when necessary.
The MindMap I have uploaded here is the barebones MindMap of the VCP510 Exam Blueprint v1.4 produced by VMware end of last year. Its yours for free, and I hope anyone that downloads it finds it useful in their respective studies.
Best of luck to anyone currently studying for the VCP5.
Here is the link to the MindMap in XMind format – VCP5
Over at virtualnoob Chadwick has created what can only be called an uber study guide to assist with the VCAP-DCA exam.
It’s size isn’t for the faint of heart, the offline version clocking on at over a gig, but apparently work is progressing on an online version of the guide.
Full respect to him for doing this for the community.
Here’s the link for those that are interested.
Merry Christmas to all.
With the new addition to Google+ of having branded pages. I decided to create one for BrowseCast.
If you’re a Google+ user, and better yet, a BrowseCast user then why not add BrowseCast to your Circles?
I will endeavour to put up useful information and updates on development as and when.
The BrowseCast Google+ page is here – https://plus.google.com/b/103906208250029081417/
Thanks in advance for your interest.
I’ve been in London the past couple of nights so decided to do some development during the lonely nights. Made easier with the consumption of a few beers ;-)….. Anyway…
Another fairly small release in which the following has been added/changed;
– Added BRITify links for directly within the app. This is mainly for Spotify users so that they can get playlists from just about any BBC Radio station and load them straight into Spotify. BRITify is a website developed by Richard Ablewhite. I added this as I use the site frequently and wanted an easier way to get at the listings. It looks a bit messy as the site isn’t geared for mobile traffic, but it works. Hopefully Richard may mobilize the site at some point in the future. If you use the site, maybe drop him a line requesting it!
– Added long press to Stations view to two you directly to that stations mobile website.
– Tidied up the Dashboard and made two icons for Twitter and Blog subscribing.
– Fixed a couple of bugs
Hope this release doesn’t create any issue for anyone. As ever, feel free to drop me a comment on the Blog, positive/negative whatever.
Development now continues on the tablet version of BrowseCast which I hope to release a version of very soon.
Have a good week.