Friday 19 July 2013

App updated to improve performance

A rainy day gave me the opportunity to improve a few things in the BlueFlyVario app. A new version (0.61b) has been uploaded to Google Play and should push out in the next day.

Performance Improvements
  • A more efficient way to read the incoming bluetooth stream has been implemented.
  • Some code has been added to throttle the frame rate. Previously the app just tried to redraw itself as quickly as possible, and as a consequence sucked up all available cpu cycles. The frame rate is now limited to 20 fps, although you can change this through Menu|Settings|Layout and Display|FPS. If you have a slow old device you might like to slow it to 10 fps or even 5 fps. If you set it too high it will just go as quickly as possible.
  • Some memory optimizations and tuning to reduce the need for garbage collection and improve execution speed.

Stability Improvements
  • Some new code has been added to change the way that Bluetooth connections are made. If you are having problems with a stable Bluetooth connection, or being able to reliably connect, try the following:
    • Start the BlueFlyVario app. Go to the app's Menu|Settings|Bluetooth area. Ensure the normal connection method is set and ensure connect on start is not checked. 
    • Exit the app (fully, by either restarting your phone or force stopping the app)
    • Unpair the BlueFlyVario from within the Settings area of your phone, then restart your phone. At this point you should have no BlueFlyVario record in the bluetooth connections, and when you start the app it should not try to make a connection. 
    • Next, turn on the BlueFlyVario hardware and pair it with the phone from the phone's Settings area. Note that you will not need a pin on newer Android devices.
    • Now, start the BlueFlyVario app and use the Menu|Connect Device to connect. It should connect to the hardware via the 'normal' method and using the pair record from the phones Settings area. 
    • If that does not work (it might not on android 2.3.x devices), change to the 'reflection' connect method.
  • Some bug fixes to avoid very irregular application crashes. 
The best news from all of this is that the performance improvements should increase the phone's battery life while the app is running, perhaps by as much as 30% due to avoiding wasted cpu cycles.