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Kevin Barry
Works at TeslaCoil Software
Attended University of Detroit Mercy
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Kevin Barry
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General Discussion  - 
 
On the Google Now Launcher API

There’s been a lot of discussion about this so I wanted to acknowledge it.
We’d love to have Google Now as a page in Nova Launcher. Unfortunately that’s not practical (at least not yet).
Google added an API to allow device manufactures to include Google Now in their launchers, but currently the Google app limits clients to just system apps (the launcher that comes preinstalled on your device) and potentially it’s legally licensed just to Sony.

What about the patriksletmo’s github repository?
This is simply decompiled code from the Sony Launcher. It’s not legal for anyone to distribute and it still only works for system apps. It does not change anything.

What about root?
Technically, in theory, it’d be possible for a cleanly rewritten implementation of the API to be used by a third party launchers like Nova Launcher, if root was used to install the launcher as a system app. But this is not a good idea.
1) It might bother Google. The limit in the API is intentionally done, bypassing that restriction might cause some issues on their end, and make them less interested in working with third party launchers at all.
2) Google could easily break it at any time, either intentionally or accidentally. The API is likely still in development, they might make breaking change and notify Sony but not anyone unofficially using the API. They also easily could block third party launchers in other ways if they decided the system app check was no longer sufficient.
3) It’d break other things. Installing another app as a system app breaks OTA updates, breaks Android Pay and breaks uninstalling. Additionally, most users, even root users, don’t know the implications of installing an app as a system app and don’t know how to do it. +Cliff Wade would be overrun with support requests.

What about the future?
That’s the glimmer of hope. I can’t think of any long term reason why Google would not want third party launchers to include Google Now, and if they’re supporting the API for OEMs anyway they likely will open it up. Hopefully this is a test run, and they release support for third party launchers in the future, without any root shenanigans. Unfortunately things like this don’t always move quickly and it could easily be another year or two before we’d see such a thing.

What can we do?
Plus one this post if you want Google to open the API up for Nova Launcher to use. I’ll send them a link so they can see the interest and hopefully that encourage them to prioritize opening up the API.

Off-topic or obnoxious comments will be deleted.
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Should be done asap,
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Kevin Barry

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Get Nova Launcher Prime for 80% with Play Summer Deals

We're celebrating >= 80ºF weather with >= 80% off of Nova Launcher Prime. Normally $4.99 USD now $0.99 USD (or the equivalent lowest allowed price on the Play Store for your country, there are no geographic restrictions)

Sale runs from June 22nd through July 7th.

Happy summer!

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher.prime
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+Kevin Barry​ just bought nova launcher prime using my sim card. Great Work. +Ronnie Choudhury​ if you have idea sim card you can use googles bill my carrier option to purchase app from play store.
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Kevin Barry

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Nova Launcher at #io16
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Congrats 
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Kevin Barry
owner

Changelogs(DO NOT POST)  - 
 
4.3-beta7 Apr 20, 2016

- Night mode drawer icon (Enable in Night mode settings)
-Improve performance of Android N Preview folder background
-N Preview folder background now supports Android 4.x
-Adjust folder grid style to not be vertically offset when using N Preview background
-Minor UI tweaks and fixes


The new approach for the N folder background performs much better and has negligible impact on memory, this also allows supports android 4.x, so assuming it doesn't cause any new issues it's a big win. It makes me wonder what Google will do with GNL, as the method they're using seems to be similar to the original method that was causing lag for a number of you.

(May take a few hours to appear on your Google Play)
Opt-in to betas at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.teslacoilsw.launcher
Or download the APK http://teslacoilsw.com/tesladirect/download.pl?packageName=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&betaType=public
Older Versions:
Previous Beta APK: 4.3-beta5 Apr 14, 2016 http://teslacoilsw.com/tesladirect/download.pl?packageName=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&betaType=public&versionCode=42907
Latest Stable APK: 4.2.2 Jan 8, 2016 http://teslacoilsw.com/tesladirect/download.pl?packageName=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&betaType=public&versionCode=42200
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What us Tesla?


Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device
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Kevin Barry
owner

Changelogs(DO NOT POST)  - 
 
4.3-beta5 April 14, 2016
Added N Preview style folder background with clipped preview
Custom night mode schedule
Fix some layout issues

Here's what the N Preview folder background looks like, the default style is grid to match the N Preview but of course you can change that to one of Nova's other options.

(May take a few hours to appear on your Google Play)
Opt-in to betas at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.teslacoilsw.launcher
Or download the APK http://teslacoilsw.com/tesladirect/download.pl?packageName=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&betaType=public
Older Versions:
Previous Beta APK: 4.3-beta4 Apr 8, 2016 http://teslacoilsw.com/tesladirect/download.pl?packageName=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&betaType=public&versionCode=42906
Latest Stable APK: 4.2.2 Jan 8, 2016 http://teslacoilsw.com/tesladirect/download.pl?packageName=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&betaType=public&versionCode=42200
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Mike G
 
I have a question and don't know where is best to post it, lol.

Is there any risk in sending a nova backup file from one device to a totally different device and applying it? I've done it already and it seems to have worked fine.

I guess I'm wondering if the backup is somewhat "device specific" (like different resolution etc...), or does it work in a simpler way than that?
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Kevin Barry
owner

Changelogs(DO NOT POST)  - 
 
4.3-beta2 Apr 2, 2016

-Night Mode
-Improved search bar configuration
-Bug fixes

Hope you guys enjoyed Holo for April Fools, but didn't get too attached as Holo Mode's now showing it's true face as Night Mode, which is Material Dark, not Holo. No more #33b5e5.


(May take a few hours to appear on your Google Play)
Opt-in to betas at https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.teslacoilsw.launcher
Or download the APK http://teslacoilsw.com/tesladirect/download.pl?packageName=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&betaType=public

Older Versions:
Previous Beta APK: 4.3-beta-april1 Apr 1, 2016 http://teslacoilsw.com/tesladirect/download.pl?packageName=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&betaType=public&versionCode=42903
Latest Stable APK: 4.2.2 Jan 8, 2016 http://teslacoilsw.com/tesladirect/download.pl?packageName=com.teslacoilsw.launcher&betaType=public&versionCode=42200
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Wüiz6u5 und 1
)
 ·  Translate
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Kevin Barry
owner

Changelogs(DO NOT POST)  - 
 
Nova Launcher 4.3 beta april1
- Holo Mode
- Auto Holo Mode, to enable a Holo dark theme after sunset
- Search bar with classic Google logo in full color
- Bug fixes and optimizations

May take a few hours to appear on Google Play
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+Pushkar Gogte it is April 1st release, next update will be probably with material dark theme... I hope so
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Kevin Barry

Shared publicly  - 
 
Checkout the Android billboard featuring Nova Launcher in New York City at Christopher St and 7th Ave.

I'm jealous I can't see it in person, but luckily +Liam Spradlin is there to take a photo.

Google requested permission to use Nova screenshots on the billboard, I was hoping they'd include the Nova logo as well, but apparently no luck. Still clearly Nova though, checkout the different search bar styles, custom grids and icon sizes.
 
Nova Launcher is all over a billboard at Christopher St & 7th Ave!

I took a walk down to the west village tonight to check out the amazing billboard Google has put up for pride featuring a ton of Nova Launcher home screens.

So grateful to be able to work on on such a beloved app with +Kevin Barry, and it's cool to see that droga5's "be together" campaign keeps finding ways to inspire.
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Gracias

 ·  Translate
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Kevin Barry
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Icon theme developers:

Nova 4.3-beta6 adds a Night Mode > Drawer icon. By default this setting will override all app drawer icons with Nova's built in (during night mode only).

However, if your theme is applied in Nova Settings > Look and Feel > Icon theme, you can provide your own night mode drawer icon using the ":LAUNCHER_ACTION_APP_DRAWER_NIGHT" component. The example theme at https://github.com/teslacoil/Example_NovaTheme has been updated to include this.

I'm removing all comments unrelated to development.
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Android N DP2 ShortcutManager API

Disclaimer: The below is a screenshot of Nova Launcher. I borrowed the popup window from Nova's existing long-press menu and borrowed the icon/text layout from other places that Nova uses an icon + title + subtext layout. I have no information on how Google will display this. I also have no information on what gesture will be used (I'm using swipe down as Nova already uses swipe up for custom actions).

A few days ago Google released the second N developer preview and announced the new "Launcher shortcuts" API, with some brief documentation. Unfortunately Google Now Launcher in the N preview doesn't seem to support it yet, and as far as I can tell no apps in the preview provide these shortcuts yet.

Android has actually already had a concept of "Launcher Shortcuts" that were poorly documented and misunderstood. Most launchers no longer refer to them as shortcuts at all, but just call them widgets. This is confusing as they're very different from the normal appwidgets. For the sake of this post I'm going to refer to the existing, pre-N launcher shortcuts as "Icon Widgets". However Nova's widget drawer refers to them as "Shortcuts".

I put together some tests of this new API. What you see below is Nova Launcher and a sample messaging app. Please note the UI (and gesture) is completely up to the launcher. This is also only a preview of Nova, when a release version of Nova includes this functionality it'll likely look like whatever Google is doing in GNL.

Here's how it works:

An app tells the system about some shortcuts at runtime, this means the app has to run before the launcher knows about them. It also means the shortcut list is completely dynamic. The Icon Widget API was based on intents in the AndroidManifest, which meant they were fixed (though could be enabled or disabled, their icons and titles couldn't be changed at runtime).

The launcher requests a list of shortcuts, likely based on the package name. The launcher gets the title, text (subtitle?), and information to load the icon. Importantly, the launcher does not get the intent. Because of this, the launcher can't start the shortcut intent directly but instead asks the system to do so. This is also important because it means that the launcher doesn't need any permissions to launch the activity the intent points too, the activity does not even need to be exported.

A good example of why this new security is important compared to the old approach is the "Direct Dial" Icon Widget. Currently virtually every launcher on the Play Store has the CALL_PHONE permission. This is required for launchers to have because the Phone app has a "Direct Dial" Icon Widget, which returns a raw CALL intent with the desired phone number. Using an actual appwidget, permissions could be handled by the Phone app, but it's more overhead than needed for just a static icon that dials someone. Not requiring the permission for the icon widgets would allow any other app to create their own intents and bypass the CALL_PHONE permission.
Additionally, the Icon Widget method easily lends itself to revealing more information to the launcher than ideal. For Direct Dial, that means the target phone number. The launcher itself is hopefully trustworthy, as it has lots of control over your interacts on the phone. But virtually every launcher, including Google Now Launcher and Nova Launcher, allow other apps (with a declared permission) to read their database. It's important for launchers to allow this so that other launchers can import their settings.

Developers (or crazy enthusiasts), if you want to play with this yourself I've included a preview build of Nova Launcher (which requires Android N DP2) and my Messenderp APK and the Messenderp source code.

You can have Nova popup the shortcut menu by swiping down on the icon. Nothing will happen if the app doesn't have any shortcuts or if the system doesn't see them.

When testing be sure to frequently run:
adb shell cmd shortcut reset-throttling

As Android throttles how often you can update these shortcuts. (Also you probably don't want to delete all and then recreate then in activity onCreate like my example does. Be smarter and more efficient.)

Also before testing from Nova, confirm the system sees your shortcuts with:
adb shell dumpsys shortcut

You'll need Nova Launcher set as the default and need to see ShortcutInfo lines from your app.

Nova N Preview APK: http://novalauncher.com/apk/NovaLauncher_4.3-beta5.npreview.apk

Messenderp Sample: http://novalauncher.com/apk/Messenderp.apk

Messenderp source code: https://github.com/teslacoil/NPreview_ShortcutTest

Note Messenderp hard codes the icons and ids. This wouldn't be practical in a real app, but I was primarily focused on testing the launcher side of things. If you're a developer trying it out feel free to get in touch ( kevin@teslacoilsw.com ) if you have questions.

+Steve Albright of Phandroid has already been experimenting with the API and made a screencast of an example weather app: http://phandroid.com/2016/04/15/android-3d-touch/

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Cannot install Nova N preview apk. There was a problem parsing the package....
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Kevin Barry
owner

General Discussion  - 
 
Constant Crashing or Not Responding

The last Google App betas (5.10.22.19 and 5.10.23.19) contain a bug with the 4x4 Google Now widget. This causes the widget to ask the launcher to update approximately 20 times per second. This will cause crashes, excessive CPU usage, excessive battery usage. This will happen with any launcher that has the widget.

We recommend either downgrading to the stable version of the Google App or removing the widget.

We've contacted Google about the issue and heard back from them that they will look into it. Hopefully we'll see a new Google App beta soon that resolves the problem
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Hmm.. The updated date for Google App on the PlayStore still says Feb 19. Maybe I need to wait for a little while more for the new update to roll out. 
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Kevin Barry
owner

Changelogs(DO NOT POST)  - 
 
TeslaUnread 5.0beta1
Simplified user interface
Improved handling of unread counts from notifications
Improved or added support for several more apps
Added crash and usage analytics (and internet permission) to help identify issues and further improve TeslaUnread

Opt-in for betas at
https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.teslacoilsw.notifier

May take a few hours to appear on your Google Play


This update aims to tackle the top two issues with TeslaUnread.
1) Configuration, it has been incredibly easy to misconfigure TeslaUnread, lead to unreliability. The duplicated list of apps at the top level and in notification listener was the biggest, but not only, problem. Now the interface is simply a list of apps (broken up into common/well-supported and "other" apps)
2) How counts were extracted from notifications, before it was overly generous which mean it was rarely reporting "1" when you the notification contained an unread count, but it could fail by reporting something other then 1 when there was only one message. Now it's more conservative, which means some apps that TeslaUnread previously corrected extracted an unread count from will only show "1", just let us know the app and we can take care of it.

We welcome issue reports, but please please please include the name of the app you are having issues with, along with your device and android version. Additionally there is a debug log we may request available in TeslaUnread Settings > Long-press volume down for Labs > Debug

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32 comments
 
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Miui 7. I downloaded the most recent update. Gmail seems to be working consecutively, Outlook and Instagram are hit and miss. Still no Notification for my stock messaging app. (That one did work before trying the bet version but didn't always show the correct number)
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Work
Occupation
Android App Developer
Employment
  • TeslaCoil Software
    Everything, 2010 - present
  • Grant Street Group
    Software Developer, 2009 - 2010
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Introduction
Send support requests to support@teslacoilsw.com , I don't use Google+ for that.
Education
  • University of Detroit Mercy
    Electrical Engineering, 2003 - 2009
  • Northside College Preparatory High School
    1999 - 2003