Android Beta 0.3.2 is available + an update on joining the beta

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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We've just pushed out a new release to the Google Play Store and you should all receive the update notification shortly.  If you have not done so already, please enable auto-updates for the app within the Google Play Store and please update to this version right away.

PLEASE INFORM YOURSELF AND READ THESE RELEASE NOTES CAREFULLY. Thank you!!

(Waiting for Beta approval or wanting to apply? See the note at the bottom of this post)

One important difference between this version and the last: We are no longer showing the icon / notification in the system task tray for "Currently Driving."  Instead, this is shown inside the app itself.  We are removing this for now to avoid confusion between when the app says you're currently driving and when you are actually currently driving.  In some cases this would not line up 1:1, which was leading to many erroneous bug reports.

That being said, we are aware that there are a handful of people who are not getting reliable trips back, or who have issues with trip processing. This version should help out many of those issues, but if you find that the app does not capture a trip at all, or you are stuck in currently processing mode, then please do report it.

Other changes include:
  • Fixed special characters in login & passwords (symbols such as + %, etc no longer result in login failures)
  • Massively reduced data consumption
  • Fixed several bugs which were causing missed trips
  • Better bug logging to help track down issues & solve them faster
Next up in about a week will be 0.4 which is planned to include:

  • "Check Engine Light" A.K.A MIL support.
  • Multi car support
  • Change vehicle color and add details
  • Better "Report a Problem" screen
For those who have asked, yes the Nexus 5 and HTC One devices are supported in this release, you should be able to get through Setup, and the Bluetooth connection should be reliable.

The one caveat is that the OS must be 4.3 or above.  This is not an issue for the Nexus 5 which ships with 4.4, but the HTC One will need to be upgraded to Android OS 4.3 or above before it will work.  If your carrier does not have an update available for you, please contact android.help@automatic.com for further instructions. 

Known Issues
As always, please be aware of the Known Issues post in the Google Group. We keep that up to date. 

Also, it is very likely that "Currently Driving" will not appear in your app until a couple minutes into your drive. This is expected behavior and is because the Android app detects driving via the accelerometer so it takes a few moments of moving for this to kick in. Don't worry, though. The app is smart and will figure out when and where your trip started. The full trip should appear after you end your drive.  

Pending & New Beta Approvals
If you're waiting for your beta approval, thank you for your patience. We have wanted to get the app to a more stable state before letting in a new wave of testers. We believe this update will get us there and once we've observed it for a couple of days we'll start approving Beta requests. 

If you would like to request to join the Android Beta, you can do so in the Google Group.
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Automatic Team, Official Rep

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Posted 4 years ago

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Ryan Rutledge

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The patch notes look promising.

Could you elaborate on "Massively" reduced data consumption?
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Duncan

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Hi Ryan,

Formerly we needed the app to do 2 things:

1. Ping our servers regularly so we could ensure that the app was alive in the background.

2. Send uncompressed data when talking to our servers.

(1) has been removed, and (2) has had compression added. Both will reduce data usage somewhat dramatically.
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Greg S.

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I can explain one idea that will compress your data stream tremendously, without having any downsides IP-wise and not involve a single "compression algorithm". Would be glad to barter for Automatic units!
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Josh Darnell

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My android beta test application says pending, and I didn't even get to fill out anything! No clue why it says pending when I didn't even sign up yet!
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Amy

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Apologies for the delay in responding. Can you clarify what you mean by "application"?
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Neil Clark

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i followed what i thought were the instructions to join the android beta group. but my application to that group is also pending...
"Your membership is pending

Your membership to this group is pending approval."

maybe i need to read more - i don't see where else to apply to the android beta.
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Amy

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Oh, that's it. The Beta is run through the Google Groups and it's closed to new members for now. So all you can do is request to join. We'll be approving new members soon (hopefully by the end of this week) at which time you'll get access to the group and the beta app.
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frankiea

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Awesome, looking forward to this. Hoping to see that pending status changed to approved soon. :)
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Darryl Fern, Champion

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Just found something that is different running the 0.3.2 update..I no longer have to "Force Close" the app to keep the Automatic app from constantly turning on my Bluetooth when I am not using it. Bad thing is I must remember to turn it on before going for a drive.

For me it's good because of the trouble I was having with WiFi and Bluetooth running at the same time with Automatic running in the background.

As far as the "Currently Driving" icon in the notification bar..I kinda liked it popping up...an extra indication that I know the link is communicating with the app.

On reading the notes it brings up a very good question....when does the app or link start monitoring fuel usage? As soon as I start my engine or when I start driving?

I noticed a decrease in MPG when we got this bitterly cold weather and had to warm my car up and clean of the ice and snow before driving. Sometimes a half an hour of it. I was normally getting 18 MPG now only 13.
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alexnz

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I've noticed the lower MPG too. I assume it records as soon as you start the car as I'll usually get a Currently Driving status in the app when I do.

I thought that was expected behavior as you're technically wasting that gas by not going anywhere.
It would be nice to have temperature data and possibly info regarding road conditions to help qualify the data being recorded.
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Amy

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We agree. There's a lot more useful data that we could display to help analyze and make more sense of the current data. All in good time! :)

Darryl - it starts detecting fuel usage immediately even if the app UI hasn't detected that you're driving yet.
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Darryl Fern, Champion

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Would explain the lower MPG
It has been going up with the shorter warmup periods I noticed..Thanks for getting back to me Amy
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Amy

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No problem, Darryl. Sorry for the delay. I was out with the flu most of last week and am still catching up on everything! :)
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Dan Feigenbaum

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Would have preferred keeping the notification icon vs only showing status via the app.
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Eagle One

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I miss the little icon on the status bar. :( Please bring it back...
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Eagle One

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I've noticed that while my trips are recording the score is staying at 100. I touch the 100 and it doesn't offer any info. Since all trips eventually download to my iPad I checked and the score is still 100 but I can touch it and get it to tell how truly awesome I am compared to all the less than 100 crowd even though my trips have hard acel and hard brake notices sprinkled liberally about.

Cheers,
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Amy

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Hey Eagle One. Are you using the Android app now? If so, the score detail feature hasn't been implemented yet. However, the staying at 100 if you have had some hard events isn't right.
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Eagle One

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Yeah i figured that was a bug. It's cool showing off those 100s. :)
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Dan Feigenbaum

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Hard braking sensitivity seems to result in more hits. I've received them coasting to a stop at between 5-10 mph and having to brake to a full stop and been dinged. In most cases I'll take my foot of the gas long before the need to stop, effectively saving gas but then get dinged for the last bit of braking that's needed.
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Eagle One

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@Dan I've noted that as well. Of course since the score stopped working I'm always at 100 no matter how often it dings. Yeah!
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Dan Feigenbaum

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So true. 100 is a 100 is a 100. Must be grading on the curve
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Amy

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So you're both having the 100 score issue?
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Dan Feigenbaum

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Amy, yes. My score is 100 regardless of the number of driving faults found.
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Amy

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Ok, I just confirmed that it's a known issue. It's being investigated.
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Neil Clark

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I'm trying to join the android beta. I have an lg e970 running cyanogen 4.3 android.
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Amy

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Hi Neil. We're working on another app update to address some recent problems we've discovered with a few phones. Hoping to open the beta back up this week, though!
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Dan Feigenbaum

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Just received an update to the app, but nothing appears to have changed, including the version number 3.2.
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Amy

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A small hot fix was pushed that doesn't result in any visible change for users so the version number is the same and no announcement was made. Can't put one past you, though! ;)
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Amy

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Hey everyone. We know those of you still waiting to join the beta are antsy to get access and we apologize that we've had to keep it closed longer than we'd originally anticipated. We wanted to keep our user base at a minimal size initially so that we could support all those users while addressing the "low hanging fruit" that we knew was inevitable. Over the last month we've managed to address some pretty big bugs and accommodate many more phones than we originally could. We've got another significant bug that we discovered with Samsung phones this week that we're resolving. Once our fix has passed QA we'll reopen the Beta.

We'll be approving all the pending requests as soon as we can push that fix. We'll also be sending an email to all pending testers so keep your eye out for that, please!
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Blake Majewski

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How will we know if we are approved or not in the test group? I'm eager to join!
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Ani, Customer Care Lead

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You'll get an email the moment you are approved. Hang in there, the wait is almost over!
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Amy

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A note from our Android Devs:

We've just pushed a new Beta release which will hit your phones soon--it includes two major fixes for the majority of missed trips we've been seeing, specifically:


  • Android should no longer stop our background service from running (when it does this, many trips in a row may be missed)

  • Phones which have issues with activity detection are now working correctly (Samsung phones specifically had this issue, which caused missed trips)



In parallel, we have been working on the upcoming 0.4 release, which is coming in the next week or so, and will include the Check Engine feature, fixed Drive Scores, and the car color selection screen.
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Amy

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We have a new Android Beta update topic so I'm going to close this one.

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