The 4.1.630 Beta Test release of OpenCPN
for Android is available for download now.
5. Improve RouteManagerDialog sizing and rotation behaviour. (FS#1757, FS#1755)
16. Correct crash using the "back" button on dialogs (FS#1756)
17. Implement new "Basic/Expert" setting dialogs.
18. Implement ActionBar with persistent icons, menus, and chart type switching actions.
19. Implement improved FileChooser dialogs.
20. Improve and harmonize data storage
options to be consistent with Android standards.
Now on /mnt/sdcard/opencpn....Where to ?
21. Correct action of navigation
22. Correct navobj update policy to avoid orphan waypoint artifacts. (FS#1788)
23. Correct application shutdown logic to properly restore position/scale on next restart(FS#1786)
24. Correct restart logic after screen
25. Implement GPS
support for device without NMEA
17/18. This is important. We have introduced a "Basic/Expert" modality to the UI. "Expert" mode is what you expect to see on Desktop
OCPN, with full configurability through the traditional OCPN settings dialog tree.
"Basic" mode is the default (i.e. new-install) mode for Android.
Basic mode contains the following:
a. No traditional OCPN toolbar. Completely invisible.
b. Simplified context menus, for easier access to common functions..
Along with both of these modes comes the new, Android-standard "ActionBar". The Action bar and its associated "overflow menu" allows access to a few common UI actions (MOB, Auto-follow, Create Route
, etc.). It also allows fast switching between raster and vector chart type.
The new ActionBar menu item of most interest is the "Android-ified" OCPN settings activity. This activity is a simplified version of the standard OCPN settings dialog tree, encompassing again the most often required configuration changes. This is also where one enables/disables "Expert" mode.
The ActionBar is always enabled, and cannot be disabled. It is the "anchor point" for modern Android apps.
So, one thing we wish to learn from testing is this:
"Have we added the correct actions to the ActionBar/menu/OCPN Settings activity to allow functional utility for beginners and experienced daily users in Basic mode, without showing the OCPN toolbar?"
We can add more things to the settings and menu list. But the idea is to be non-intimidating to a new user, while being useful and non-frustrating to experienced users such as the Beta test group. Comments solicited here. I encourage you to spend some time in Basic mode, and find out what works and doesn't.
19. A new file chooser dialog, Android-style, with a more human sized interface. No more confetti. This interface is used for all file/directory picking actions.
20. More thoughts on data storage
. What this Beta does is this:
a. Uses the private, inaccessible Android internal file structure for all "static" OCPN items, like the app itself, all resources like bitmaps, GSHHS database, etc. Also in the internal file system are the various cache files, like SENC files, Raster texture caches, etc.
b. Uses the fixed directory "/mnt/sdcard/opencpn" for all dynamic user data, including logfiles, config files, navobj.xml, and chartlist.dat.
The reason we choose this arrangement is so that upgrading OA will not destroy all the user's collected data like tracks, routes, etc. This data of course must survive across upgrades, without tedious export/import options required. We especially did not choose the recommended "/mnt/sdcard/Android/data/org.opencpn.opencp" directory for persistent user data, because this data will be destroyed when the app is updated.
Unfortunately, this strategy means that the Android system settings option "App->Clear Data" will not actually clear all OCPN data from the device. This may be inconvenient, but I see no other solution given the Android philosophy of app isolation and neophyte user paranoia.
If your device allows it, the app may be "moved to SDCARD". However, on most modern devices, this will not allow an un-rooted user to access the OCPN static data, so there is no real functional advantage to be gained. It simply reduces the the amount of device internal storage space consumed by OCPN. The dynamic user data is still at "/mnt/sdcard/opencpn".
Finally, you may add UserIcons and layers to the "/mnt/sdcard/opencpn" directory, and they will be recognized on load.
Hackers please note: If you want to manually edit the "opencon.conf" file. you must make sure that OA is not actually running in the background, else your changes will be overwritten. Simple way to be sure is to go to AndroidSettings->Apps->OpenCPN->ForceStop.....
Please check and clear your Flyspray tasks for the OA Beta, if possible.
Thanks in advance for all your valuable feedback.