EZKonvert's Brand New Look
Its been quite a while since EZKonvert has had some attention. Since its release in early 2011 Ezkonvert has remained largely the same, the exception being a recent change to the interface. While this was quite a fundamental change it still retained the old dark theme from the Froyo era, which was fine on release, but now it just seems clunky in comparison to todays sleek new offerings. I decided enough was enough. I needed to keep pace with the rapidly changing design guidelines. I needed to bring measurement conversion wizardry to the phones of tomorrow.
This is what I eventually came up with.
In place of the old dark theme, we now have a pleasant light theme with an orange action bar to match the icon. Instead of the tired old two pane system, Ezkonvert v3.2 features a trendy navigation menu that can be accessed be swiping the left bezel. But it's not just cosmetic changes in this update, oh no. The underlying database has been improved, and the math logic in the code has been refactored to allow for much more accurate conversions. This change is most noticeable between units in the same system (eg: Stones to Pounds). The app will now give you 14 pounds to a stone, whereas before it might have given you some crazy decimal. If that wasn't enough you'll also be impressed to hear that the keyboard finally allows for negative input.
Updating Ezkonvert like this has really given me the chance to try out some of the cool new feature in Android. I was planning on using ActionBarSherlock (a popular compatibility library), but Google actually released their own compatibility library at I/0 which turned out to be much easier to implement and included the shiny new slide out menu. I was a little disgruntled when that was announced at I/O because I had spent hours home-baking my own slide out navigation bar, but in reality Google's solution is a much smoother experience.
The only downside to using crazy new features is that Android v1.6 doesn't support them. Aww!
We have no reason to fear however, because Google added a really useful new feature to the Play Store called "Multiple APK publishing." Multiple WhatPK Publishing I hear you scream. Simply put it's a system that let's me publish different versions of Ezkonvert for different phones depending on characteristics such as: Screen size, CPU type and even Android version. All I had to do was create a separate version that was aimed solely at v1.6 and then target the main app at v2.1 and above. The magic is that average users are none the wiser because the Google Play Store only gives you the version that best fits your phone's specs and on top of that I can keep updating the app for v1.6 users with all the database and accuracy improvements I want.
Thank god for that feature, the last thing I wanted to do was alienate all 11 Ezkonvert users that are still on 1.6.
Update is rolling out as we speak so keep an eye out and enjoy that sweet navigation bar goodness.