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Clouttery - the smart, cross-platform battery monitor

Started by gbl08ma, February 22, 2016, 07:58:42 pm

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gbl08ma

Today, a major server overhaul was pushed to production. Even though it doesn't yet include any of the two features I mentioned earlier, this is a very important update, as it is the result of major code refactoring, laying down the foundation for more exciting stuff :w00t: It's one of those updates where things stay mostly the same on the surface, but major things happened deep down.

Probably the most important and visible change is that you can now sign in with Twitter, so if you have been put off from using Clouttery because you didn't feel like creating an account on yet another website, that friction is gone. Support for signing in with other services is coming soon, but first I'd like to test the Twitter+dotAccount pair to iron out any remaining bugs on the new authentication code, before adding more services to the mix.

The home page also had significant additions, including:

A help center: https://clouttery.xyz/help
Contact page: https://clouttery.xyz/contact
Security information: https://clouttery.xyz/security

Existing pages changed style to be more consistent with the new pages, as can be seen on the clients (https://clouttery.xyz/apps ) and sign-up pages ( https://clouttery.xyz/signup ).

Let me know what you think.

DJ Omnimaga

I like the "You can contact an human" part a lot. A lot of services have contact forms but are in fact auto-responders and never reply. :P

Anyway the design of the website is very professional there. Good job so far. :) Also the Twitter sign in is nice. :)

CowTipper989

I've been looking for a good cross platform battery manager and finally found Clouttery, I was surprised about how they are almost non-existent as standalone apps. I really like Clouttery so far and can't wait until it will be available on the iPhone and Chrome store. When it becomes available on the iPhone will it still be in beta or will it have to leave beta for testers to get it on the iPhone as Apple has it so locked down?

DJ Omnimaga

July 29, 2016, 07:02:37 am #48 Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 07:05:25 am by DJ Omnimaga
Heya CowTipper989 and welcome to the forums. I feel the same way myself. I'm glad such app exists now and is expanding to have more features.


EDIT: By the way @gbl08ma I tried downloading the setup.exe after signing in with Twitter and when I start the download it stops and says "Interrupted: Network Error" :(. I am using Opera 36 by the way.

gbl08ma

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 07:02:37 am
EDIT: By the way @gbl08ma I tried downloading the setup.exe after signing in with Twitter and when I start the download it stops and says "Interrupted: Network Error" :(. I am using Opera 36 by the way.


That's strange, because I just tested using different browsers, including Opera 38 (the latest version) and setup.exe was correctly downloaded with all of them. And my Internet connection isn't exactly good. Edge warned that "setup.exe is not commonly downloaded" or something like that, but it still let me open the setup, and that's just Microsoft's SmartScreen at work and hopefully it will go away once Clouttery becomes more popular.

Maybe your antivirus or firewall is cutting the connection before it ends?

Quote from: CowTipper989 on July 29, 2016, 05:30:22 am
I've been looking for a good cross platform battery manager and finally found Clouttery, I was surprised about how they are almost non-existent as standalone apps. I really like Clouttery so far and can't wait until it will be available on the iPhone and Chrome store. When it becomes available on the iPhone will it still be in beta or will it have to leave beta for testers to get it on the iPhone as Apple has it so locked down?


Unfortunately, while a native iOS app is definitely in the plans, it would have to wait until I pull enough money out of Clouttery to buy a Mac and a Apple Developer account (which I recall are not cheap, either).

I don't think one needs a dev account to make a web application that can be pinned to the home screen of iOS, and there is now an API for reading the battery level from web pages ( https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Battery_Status_API ), but surprise, surprise: it's not supported in Safari (http://caniuse.com/#feat=battery-status ). So the only way would be a native app (and that's assuming Apple made the APIs available to native apps...).

DJ Omnimaga

July 29, 2016, 04:33:00 pm #50 Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 04:38:48 pm by DJ Omnimaga
Weird, I tried on my phone and it works fine. But on my PC I just tried with Firefox and it fails too. I get this:

QuoteC:\Users\DJOMNI~1\AppData\Local\Temp\XZ3UIzo4.exe.part could not be saved, because the source file could not be read.

Try again later, or contact the server administrator.


Even disabling Avast won't solve the problem.

EDIT: Ok so disabling Windows 10 firewall fixed the problem. You might want to fix that gbl08ma because many people will balk away if they can't run/install/download your app right away, or you could put a warning that your app in particular requires disabling the firewall.

In the 25 years I used Windows, this is the first time I ever had to disable my firewall just to download an application O.O (and normally when it tries to block something it warns me first and ask me permission to unblock it anyway)

Quote from: gbl08ma on July 29, 2016, 11:03:20 am
Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 07:02:37 am
EDIT: By the way @gbl08ma I tried downloading the setup.exe after signing in with Twitter and when I start the download it stops and says "Interrupted: Network Error" :(. I am using Opera 36 by the way.


That's strange, because I just tested using different browsers, including Opera 38 (the latest version) and setup.exe was correctly downloaded with all of them. And my Internet connection isn't exactly good. Edge warned that "setup.exe is not commonly downloaded" or something like that, but it still let me open the setup, and that's just Microsoft's SmartScreen at work and hopefully it will go away once Clouttery becomes more popular.

Maybe your antivirus or firewall is cutting the connection before it ends?

Quote from: CowTipper989 on July 29, 2016, 05:30:22 am
I've been looking for a good cross platform battery manager and finally found Clouttery, I was surprised about how they are almost non-existent as standalone apps. I really like Clouttery so far and can't wait until it will be available on the iPhone and Chrome store. When it becomes available on the iPhone will it still be in beta or will it have to leave beta for testers to get it on the iPhone as Apple has it so locked down?


Unfortunately, while a native iOS app is definitely in the plans, it would have to wait until I pull enough money out of Clouttery to buy a Mac and a Apple Developer account (which I recall are not cheap, either).

I don't think one needs a dev account to make a web application that can be pinned to the home screen of iOS, and there is now an API for reading the battery level from web pages ( https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Battery_Status_API ), but surprise, surprise: it's not supported in Safari (http://caniuse.com/#feat=battery-status ). So the only way would be a native app (and that's assuming Apple made the APIs available to native apps...).



This is the same reason why the CodeWalrus shoutbox still lacks iOS compatibility for the most part. We cannot afford to buy a working Mac+iOS emu and/or iOS device to test WIRC code on it.

gbl08ma

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 04:33:00 pmEDIT: Ok so disabling Windows 10 firewall fixed the problem. You might want to fix that gbl08ma because many people will balk away if they can't run/install/download your app right away, or you could put a warning that your app in particular requires disabling the firewall.


I did all my tests on Windows 10 and that didn't happen, other people have also downloaded it on Windows 10 so I'm not sure what's going on. Perhaps it has something to do with downloading the file over HTTP vs HTTPS? But the "source file could not be read" part makes me believe the browser is successfully downloading the file to a temporary folder, but when it tries to move it to its final destination, it is no longer there (presumably because something else deleted or moved it before). That's more the work of an antivirus than a firewall IMO, but in Windows 10 they merged MS Security Essentials even more and made it a core part of the OS, so I don't even know anymore. Using HTTPS should prevent the firewall from seeing it's a EXE file before it is written to the disk.

Quote from: DJ Omnimaga on July 29, 2016, 04:33:00 pmThis is the same reason why the CodeWalrus shoutbox still lacks iOS compatibility for the most part. We cannot afford to buy a working Mac+iOS emu and/or iOS device to test WIRC code on it.


AFAIK even if you have a iOS device you still need a Mac to compile native apps. Even things like Microsoft's Xamarin that allows for developing for iOS with .NET and VS (on Windows) need a Mac build server. If you just wanted to make a web app the device alone would be enough, though.

DJ Omnimaga

Yeah I suspect it's an HTTP vs HTTPS issue (in my case your site defaults to HTTPS). But yeah it's definitively not Avast, because otherwise disabling it would have fixed the problem. The problem went away immediately when I disabled Windows firewall.

gbl08ma

I said the plan was to implement that exciting feature that was going to be selected ( https://codewalr.us/index.php?topic=1140.msg42016#msg42016 ) and to release the Linux client. But after that, the necessary and important "behind the scenes" server update of the last week, followed by another less important one today, got in the way. Additionally, I'm having some problems with the Linux client which I'm not really sure how to solve. I'll either need to switch software stacks or I'll need to do some serious debugging on the GTK bindings I'm using.

To avoid leaving Linux users in the dark for much longer, and because a few users like @CowTipper989 expressed interest in the Chrome extension, I decided to shift focus to it.

In an initial phase, the Chrome extension will only allow you to see notifications and information about the devices in your account. It will not read information about the battery level of the current device. However, there's no technical reason why it won't later be able to do so - be it a Windows PC, Mac or Linux machine (including ChromeOS). It's merely a choice I made to get something out of the door sooner.

I also need to see how much a Chrome Webstore dev account costs, and whether it can be shared with the Android dev account (I guess not). Last time I checked those were not exactly cheap (they were expensive in the sense they would cost almost as much as the new SSD I bought for my laptop). Unlike what happens with Android apps, with Chrome the online store is pretty much the only way to distribute extensions. Previously, crx files could be installed from random websites, but that was disabled some time ago for security reasons. There is still the option to load unpacked extensions (which is what I'm using for development) but that doesn't scale to more than a handful of users.

DJ Omnimaga

Sorry to hear about the Linux issues. If you need specific help about that you could make a topic about it in the PC section (and on Cemetech/other places). Hopefully the issue is solved soon. Good luck!


As for Chrome, I am sure that a Webstore dev account is much less than what it costs to submit stuff to Apple Store. It would be weird if it couldn't be shared with Android, considering both Chrome and Android are made by Google, but I wouldn't bee surprised. It definitively sucks that we have to pay in order to release apps for specific platforms. I had the same issue with music, although thankfully there is now a non-scam service that is free (Bandcamp) for that.

gbl08ma

The Chrome Web Store and Google Play publisher accounts are indeed separate. The account registration fee for the Chrome one is $5; for Google Play, $25. The first one I can swallow (it's basically two months of tny.im advertising revenue, but whatever - it's pocket money) but the second one is five times that amount and before I consider it a worthy investment, I'd like to get some more users...

DJ Omnimaga

Yeah I agree. If for a service you pay a one time fee for multiple apps and you plan to release multiple ones, but otherwise it's not worth it.

At least on calcs it's free :P

gbl08ma

Does anyone on Codewalrus have a Chrome OS device? Even though I'm pretty sure everything will work alright, it would be interesting to confirm that an extension can read the battery level on a Chromebook (or other Chrome OS device with battery).

DJ Omnimaga

I think @alexgt has a Chromebook, but he isn't around often (including checking his private messages, since it sometimes take weeks before he replies to mine)

gbl08ma

August 05, 2016, 12:06:58 pm #59 Last Edit: August 05, 2016, 09:08:30 pm by gbl08ma
Those willing to test the Chrome extension can do so now, by downloading the CRX

An initial version of the Clouttery client for Chrome has been released to the Chrome Web Store. You should be able to install it from:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/clouttery/gikhlibmdfgcfbinclomljjbnbfdlodf

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