So Now There's An App....
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2018-05-14 14:28 by Karl Denninger
in Small Business , 113 references Ignore this thread
So Now There's An App....
[Comments enabled]

Well, that wasn't all that hard.

I've never previously written a single line of Java, nor developed for Android.  Ported Android itself, yes, but not written apps -- nor used "Android Studio", Google's IDE for it.

A few weeks ago I bought the "Big Nerd Ranch" book on it, and read it.  It's a solid couple inches thick and, if you've never done programming, you'll be lost in the first half-dozen pages.  Figuring out Java at the same time was quite a trick (and one the authors warn against), but being a guy I don't read instructions anyway.

 

But now Beastie (yes, phk, the beer is on me if we are co-resident somewhere) peeks out the window, and the App lives.

 

I find some of the admonitions from Google rather amusing.  They really want you to use their cloud message management system rather than exempt your app from their battery sleep/doze stuff, for example.  I understand why, in many cases, but, in this specific case.... nope, nope and nope.  The impact on power consumption?  Nearly unmeasurable over a full night's sleep with the phone unplugged; according to GSAM consumption is about 1% over 8 hours.

A couple of weeks post-sitting down with this monstrosity and there's an app, complete with power management, background networking, preferences and all that.

HomeDaemon-MCP itself (the server/operational piece) has been taught how to do persistent notifications to mobiles as well, which is very nice.  What that means is that if you "miss one" because you're out of range (for example) as soon as you come back into range you'll get the notification.  Ditto if your phone reboots.  This also means that the complexity of said notifications can be infinite, and is subject to user permissions.

Speaking of which that's one of the big deals.  Multiple users with different permission bit masks are fully supported down to an individual device level for both read and write access flags.

I don't know if I prefer the app over the web interface for HomeDaemon-MCP, to be honest.  The app has its advantages on a phone, not the least of which is its persistence and notification capabilities.  That's real nice; what I used to do for notifications was to have the base system send a text message.  That works of course but this is nicer, easier to customize (choose your tone, do you want vibration or just sound, etc) more-granular, and has less risk of getting lost (yes, carriers do lose text messages on a somewhat-regular basis.)

The "about" page can be read here for the app... I think you'll like it.

If you do, and want to pick up the whole package -- including the App -- for marketing and sale of course, the email link is on the right.  No cloud used, security is completely under the owner's control and licensing is done with privately-CA-issued certificates -- which are damn near bomb-proof and enable both buy-once-use-forever models as well as annual or even monthly subscription-type licenses.  You choose.  And yes, the price for the whole shooting match is reasonable.

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Rollformer
Posts: 297
Incept: 2013-02-13

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Have you considered re-branding this thing? This is America, and you are trying to get people to put a "Daemon" in their house!

(I know what it means, but the people with the purse strings don't know Unix lingo).
Tickerguy
Posts: 152824
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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Thee who buys it can name/brand it however they'd like.

That's what owning something gives you the right to do.

Incidentally, Netflix is powered by Beastie...... as is HomeDaemon's server side.

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Winding it down.

Rollformer
Posts: 297
Incept: 2013-02-13

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And Alexa actually does communicate with the devil...
Flash3200
Posts: 13
Incept: 2010-11-02

Dallas, TX
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Looks pretty legit.
Budget-racer
Posts: 28
Incept: 2016-03-14

Virginia
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Looks great, makes me sorry we have all "dumb" fixtures in the house. One minor typo on the instruction page (feel free to edit my post and delete this when you fix it, if you care)

Quote:
The settings page gives you a number of options to customize the operation fo the app to suit your requirements.
Tickerguy
Posts: 152824
Incept: 2007-06-26
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It's still a bit flaky; I'm still chasing a few bugs here and there, but in general it's working very well.

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Winding it down.
Gauntlet33
Posts: 57
Incept: 2009-03-30

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Karl, looks great! I know your hesitancy because of all the reasons you listed before, but I really hope you do fully develop this into a full-fledged business because I think it would be a shame if you didn't take advantage of what you created. Wish you the best!
Unknownsailor
Posts: 456
Incept: 2009-04-06

Bremerton, WA
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I've been coding in Java for a couple of years, now, for college course work. I have not played with android specific stuff yet, but a quarter on android development is on my schedule, probably winter next year.
Tickerguy
Posts: 152824
Incept: 2007-06-26
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@Gauntlet33
Quote:
Karl, looks great! I know your hesitancy because of all the reasons you listed before, but I really hope you do fully develop this into a full-fledged business because I think it would be a shame if you didn't take advantage of what you created. Wish you the best!

Considering the quite-reasonable asking price I have for this (especially compared against things like "Ring"!) if someone doesn't snap this up and put it on the market it'll be quite an indictment as to the true intent of such "businesses" that are in this space.

After all if the point isn't to help you in your life, save energy and provide you with a security and monitoring option, but rather to spy on you, intrude into your bedroom and other similar nefarious acts, all intended to screw you up the ass, well then......

One of the amusing parts of debugging this thing is getting Android to bugger-off on deferring things that the app has tried to schedule. They do it for "power management" reasons but the reality of what Google has done with getting insanely aggressive in the OS in this regard has had near-zero impact on the bad behavior of apps (many of which leave a network service open and running when you leave focus from them on purpose, and which do a LOT of processing in said thread -- I'm pointing at you Reuters and Twatter) but DOES make implementing a lightweight but NECESSARY persistent service that, if deferred, has BAD effects, quite difficult.

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Winding it down.

Gauntlet33
Posts: 57
Incept: 2009-03-30

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Hey Karl, I hope this doesn't sound silly, but what about pitching your business plan on Shark Tank or to other venture capitalists? I'm sure you have an extensive reach on your blog, but I'm guessing that there's much bigger money out there which you could target?
Tickerguy
Posts: 152824
Incept: 2007-06-26
A True American Patriot!
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The assumption you make is that I'm looking to actually run a company again.

Uh, nope.... would rather someone pick it up who is already doing that.

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Winding it down.
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