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Author Topic: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor  (Read 14889 times)

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Offline gbl08ma

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Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« on: February 22, 2016, 07:58:42 pm »
I talked about this yesterday in the chat, and it generated quite a bit of discussion, so I thought it was worth a forum topic. Lucky CodeWalrus is the first forum to get a topic about...

Clouttery, the smart, cloud-enabled battery monitor which works with every device! (hopefully, one day)
Website: http://clouttery.xyz/

Clouttery currently:
  • Lets you know the battery levels and charging status of your devices, from a single place, even if they are miles away
  • Stores and displays the battery history for those devices
  • Optionally notifies you whenever the battery level of a device goes below or above a certain threshold (when discharging/charging, respectively)
  • Calculates statistics for the batteries, such as charge cycles and calibration count
  • Analyses the battery history and lets you know about potentially damaging usage patterns

It's currently available for Windows and Android, has a Chrome extension, and a web console. The Windows client provides some extra perks, like the ability to show battery percentage and remaining time in the system tray, as well as computation of the remaining time on computers where Windows does not provide it. The Android app also provides battery life estimates, separate from those calculated by certain Android versions.

Clients for more operating systems and platforms are planned; the intention is to support everything, from laptops to embedded devices ("IoT", if you prefer fancy terms), and provide a good user experience across all platforms. The idea is to integrate well with each platform, providing a UI that is recognizable across all of them, and yet doesn't look too far off from the platform's design guidelines.

Some screenshots:
(if the images look "zoomed in", it's because my computer has DPI scaling set to 125%. It's also good news: it means the Windows client supports DPI scaling!)

Web interface:


Windows client:


Android client:


In the future, Clouttery shall:
  • Learn about the battery consumption habits of your gadgets and learn/be taught about your needs, so it can plan ahead of you ("If you want to have your phone usable by 6 pm, you need to stop playing games now. Oh, and enable the battery saver")
  • Detect and warn about malfunctioning/dead batteries
  • Deal with multiple batteries per device (especially important on devices with multiple detachable batteries, like some convertible laptops)
  • Deal with dumb devices that have a (mostly) constant battery drain over time, such as clocks and smoke detectors, reminding you to change their batteries - this would require having the user tell Clouttery whenever batteries are changed
  • ...and more stuff that's a secret for now (even managing to implement all of the above would be quite a feat)

Clouttery currently serves well the following kinds of users:
  • Users who own many devices with Internet access (like a bunch of Android devices for software testing);
  • People who forget to charge a phone after e.g. leaving it for a couple of days on some desk (used to happen to me during holidays)
  • People who would like to get more detailed statistics about the batteries of their gadgets, or who generally like fancy graphs
  • Users who just want the battery percentage on the system tray (yes, some people install it just for this).

I plan to offer a free basic plan for this service, then have plans at multiple price tiers with monthly or yearly billing. The more expensive the plan, the more features it has, the more devices it supports, etc.

But the good news is, a public beta-testing program is ongoing, and everyone who joins this program, and keeps being an active user until it ends, gets free Clouttery for life! Being a beta-tester requires keeping in touch with me in order to know the latest news and install the latest updates, and of course communicate any bugs and give suggestions. The Windows client updates automatically, so it means eating running whatever is shoved down the update line (but don't worry, everything is tested in at least two computers before).

If you are interested in participating, start here: https://clouttery.xyz/signup

Everyone else, feel free to comment!
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 04:18:21 pm by gbl08ma »


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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 10:05:04 pm »
I'm definitively interested and I like the idea. :) For me it might be mainly useful when game consoles and calcs are supported, since I  own a PSP,  PSVita and TI-Nspire CX that can remain unused for weeks then go from 100% charge to 0% in half that time. I might submit an application to beta-test, but I'm pretty busy lately.
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Offline gbl08ma

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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 10:30:11 pm »
I may need to open the API at some point, because there's no way the few devs at Segvault alone are going to be able to develop clients for all those platforms.

It's probably better for us to focus on the major, widely known and used operating systems first, like Windows, Android, Linux, OSX and iOS, etc. and then get to gaming consoles, and finally take care of more niche platforms like calculators. Unless there's a big amount of calc users that wouldn't mind paying for Clouttery, we're generally headed where the money is - you probably understand, running a service like this comes at a cost to us.
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Offline Araidia

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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 11:59:41 pm »
Nice! If you go offline(like for a phone) does it sync when it goes back online?
Just signed up for it--Can't wait to get it!
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Offline gbl08ma

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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 12:02:16 am »
Yes, both the Windows and Android clients do that. They were built  so that going offline is not a problem - on the Android and Windows clients, you will be able to see the most recently obtained data since you went offline, provided you don't close the app. Obviously, certain operations always need an Internet connection.

I will send you an email in a few minutes.
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Offline Jkolade936

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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 12:25:30 am »
I signed up as well! This is cool, and though I do not have an Android, I do have a Windows 10 Laptop with terrible battery life. :P
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Offline gbl08ma

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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 12:54:22 am »
I'm getting a bit tired of having to manually send emails to everyone who requests an account :), and to make things worse most people seem to ignore them and never sign up, so I'm turning this this into a semi-private (i.e. public) beta for the CW community (or rather, anyone who happens to visit this topic).

To get Clouttery access, all you need to do is:
1. Sign up for a dotAccount at https://dotaccount.tny.im/signup.php (unless you happen to have one already)
2. Sign in to the Clouttery management console at http://clouttery.tny.im/manage using your dotAccount.

The Windows client setup can be initiated by running the following executable (yes, it will probably give security warnings - proceed at your own risk, I can't force you to trust me, so...): http://clouttery.tny.im/clickonce/setup.exe
This is not a conventional setup wizard (of the "Next, Next, Accept, Finish" kind), so pay close attention.

The main UI of the Windows app is... the tray icon. Everything revolves around it.

After installing and pairing the Windows client, the first thing you should do is go into Settings (right click the tray icon and press Settings), then scroll to the bottom and tick "Start Clouttery on system startup". This ensures you won't forget to start Clouttery; it is most useful if it is running whenever the OS is running. It only uses about 10 MB of RAM and little to no CPU (I mean, otherwise it would be a battery hog itself...). Feel free to explore the other settings; everything should work!

The Android client needs some explanation, and since it doesn't auto-update, it also requires that I stay in closer contact with the beta-testers, to send them new APKs. Because of this, it is not available to everyone right now. Contact me if you want access.
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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 12:55:57 am »
I may need to open the API at some point, because there's no way the few devs at Segvault alone are going to be able to develop clients for all those platforms.

It's probably better for us to focus on the major, widely known and used operating systems first, like Windows, Android, Linux, OSX and iOS, etc. and then get to gaming consoles, and finally take care of more niche platforms like calculators. Unless there's a big amount of calc users that wouldn't mind paying for Clouttery, we're generally headed where the money is - you probably understand, running a service like this comes at a cost to us.
Especially if it gets popular and your web server suffers from severe lag and has 1% uptime as a result of its popularity >.< (requiring a better hosting plan)

But yeah calc users paying for this are unlikely, because 99% of calc programmers are under 18 and/or have no money. That's unless they can convince their parents to pay for this service.
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Offline gbl08ma

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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 09:28:54 pm »
I was talking about open-sourcing the API, not open-sourcing the server. The backend is designed to be scalable so there should not be availability problems; if worse comes to worst, we can always adjust the client sync frequency so they don't poll the servers so often.

Consoles and calcs are hard to support, because these can't run the client in the background or while in standby, which means they would only sync when the user opens the client - this would be pretty useless for the "let them sit in a drawer" use case. These devices will probably be better treated as dumb devices - with "battery forecasting", with occasional user-input datapoints for better results. In the case of consoles, these manual inputs could occur after a gaming session so Clouttery knows they had a higher battery draw, and adjust accordingly. In fact, "battery forecasting" is a good idea even for computers and tablets, since these are completely turned off often, and yet still empty their batteries over time.
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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2016, 12:48:33 am »
Yeah I guess you're right. They would need to be treated as dumb devices IMHO. For console peripherals or consoles themselves that can't support Clouttery, you would need to find documentation on how long the battery lasts on those devices, while letting the user calibrate if, for example, he knows his device eats battery more or less than usual. That said, if you can at least support phones and tablets then that helps the user already, since he has fewer devices to monitor, then.
  • Calculators owned: TI-57, 73, TI-80 (broken), TI-81, TI-82, TI-83, TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+ (broken), TI-83+SE (broken), TI-84+, TI-84+CSE, TI-84+CE, TI-85, TI-86, TI-89T, TI-92, TI-Nspire, TI-Nspire CX (semi-broken), HP 39gII, HP Prime, Casio fx-7000G, fx-7400G+, fx-7700GE, fx-9750G+, fx-9750GII, fx-9860G, cfx-9850G, FX-1.0+, fx-CG10, fx-CP400
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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2016, 12:57:43 am »
Is this post used solely for announcements, or will/can there be bug reports, etc. here as well?
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Offline gbl08ma

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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2016, 04:57:43 pm »
All kinds of on-topic discussion are accepted, including bug reports. Just make sure to provide details on how to reproduce the bug. I will then add it to the adequate private issue tracker.
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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2016, 12:54:50 am »
Okay. I have some feedback. So far, I like using the app. I've tried the online thing and the Android client. I have a Windows computer, but it's a desktop, so it doesn't need a battery. They both work perfectly, and I can't wait for the features to come!
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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2016, 01:13:00 am »
Glad you like it :)

The Windows client, as initially thought, was planned to support being a view-only client (that is, with no battery attached, it just displays information about other devices). However, this functionality is yet to be developed. There's some support for computers without battery but at this point, after so many changes to the code and no testing of that part, it's possible that it will just outright crash when installed on a computer without battery.

I should note that, just as you posted that, a update for the Android app has been released. I pushed a notification to all users which you can click for information on how to update. If someone managed to clear the notification before opening it, contact me and I'll give you the link, or push the notification again...
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Re: Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2016, 01:34:07 am »
Glad you like it :)

The Windows client, as initially thought, was planned to support being a view-only client (that is, with no battery attached, it just displays information about other devices). However, this functionality is yet to be developed. There's some support for computers without battery but at this point, after so many changes to the code and no testing of that part, it's possible that it will just outright crash when installed on a computer without battery.

I should note that, just as you posted that, a update for the Android app has been released. I pushed a notification to all users which you can click for information on how to update. If someone managed to clear the notification before opening it, contact me and I'll give you the link, or push the notification again...
Thanks for the update, I've received it. And there's not much that I'd need it for on the desktop, but if you'd like me to test it, I can.
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