Category Archives: Updates

Google removed the app from the store

Just to let Android users know, the app is no longer available on the Play Store because Google removed it without warning and with no justification.

I have decided to review the future of the app to see if it’s worth continuing supporting the Android version or not. The Android app generates far less revenue than the iOS version and gives me the most grief from users who haven’t a clue what the app does or how it does it.

I will take a few days to consider if i can be bothered to continue supporting it on the Android platform but at the moment it seems to be a lot of work for no real reward, monetary or otherwise.

Android App v1.0.0 Released

TKController, control your GPS/SMS tracker simply and easily

Following a brief beta test with no negative feedback, I’ve now released the app into the live environment on the Google Play store.

The Android app has all the features of the iOS app. It’s not been optimised for tablet use as yet, that’s something I’ll look at after the next iOS release.

If you find the app useful, please rate it/review it in the store, if you have any problems with the app please submit problem reports through the Contact Us page. I can’t really help with problems outside the app such as devices not responding to SMS messages etc… If your device uses an SMS message format or features not available in one of the current device types in the app, please let me know and, if at all possible, include a link to the manual for your device.

Android Beta Testing

By Google - File:Android robot.svg,, CC BY 3.0, took a while but it got there in the end !

I’ve submitted the first version of the Android app to the Play Store for beta testing. I’ve tested the app myself but I only have a single Android device to test with so feedback, both positive and negative from the beta testers is encouraged.

Please make sure any results from the beta test are accompanied by your Android device details as well – Model, Android version and so on. The more information I have the quicker I can resolve any issues.

This is my first Android project so please be gentle with me…

All those that have contacted me previously regarding an Android version of the app should receive an invitation email from Google in the next 24 hours. If you’d like to sign up for beta testing use the contact form or leave a comment on this post.

Android App Progress

Android app map viewI’ve managed to get some more time to work on the Android app this last week or so and made some real progress. It’s very close to being ready for beta test now with just one more settings page to complete.

The bulk of the work has gone into the map view handling from both the main screen and the saved stockades screen. The app now passes all the unit tests I’ve created for these so I can now move onto the last two outstanding items.
All those that have requested beta access or expressed an interest in the Android version will be notified as soon as it is available for testing. I’d anticipate the app being made publicly available within a couple of weeks of the beta test starting, providing feedback is favourable !

Android App Started

Android App ScreenshotI’ve spent my spare time during the last couple of weeks starting the development of an Android version of the TKController App. I’m targeting it to run on any device running API 16 or higher (Jelly Bean). I only have a single real device to test and develop it on (Samsung S5) and so far development is progressing well.

I’m not sure what the timescales will be to release as this is very much a hobby app and work and other commitments will mean that the amount of time I can devote to it will vary.

The Android App will have pretty much the same functionality as the iOS App. The two apps will also share the device data so as new device support is added or amended then the apps on both platforms will update.

iOS Version 1.4

1.4 has been available for beta testers for a while now and seems to be stable and hopefully existing users will not see much immediate difference from the old version.

There are, however, a large number of changes in the core of the app that will allow me to add new devices and roll out new definitions in a much better way than previous methods that were a bit hit and miss due to caching problems.

This also lays the foundation for functions that will allow users to customise their own device definitions. I’m still working on the UX for that and am still not sure if this should be offered as part of the “pro” version or the current free version.

I’m submitting version 1.4 to the app store for review this evening so it should start rolling out to end users in the next week or so.

Android support ?

It is very much in the early stages but work has started on an Android version of the app. I’ll be making the Android version available for testers in the next few months.

The Android version of the app is expected to have the same functionality as the existing iOS app although Google’s map licensing restrictions may mean some of the user interface options have to be dropped – I’m still investigating alternatives at the moment.

The Android version of the app will use the same device definitions as the iOS app so the two apps will support exactly the same range of devices and will “auto update” as and when new devices are added or existing ones changed.

If you’d like to be added to the Android test group, please use the contact us page with the subject “Android Testing” and you’ll be notified as soon as a suitable test build is available. If you can include your device type(s) in the request and the Android version number you are running, that will be a great help.

Device Definition Changes

The latest version of iOS TKController is nearing completion and should be submitted to the app store in the next week or so. This is very much a “behind the scenes” update  as the vast majority of the changes are to do with the way the app loads it’s device definitions rather than anything immediately visible to the end users.

The new device definitions and the way they are stored and updated should lay the foundation for new features in the future including user custom devices.

Pro Version ?

I’d be interested in feedback and suggestions regarding a possible “pro” version of the app.

My current “wish list” is this…

The “pro” app would be a paid for app, a small amount, say £0.49 or equivalent. Hopefully the revenue from this would cover the cost of the Apple developer license and web site hosting.

It would not have banner advertising.

Users of the pro app would be able to create their own custom devices and commands within the app. This would include the ability to define the use, visibility and title of all the buttons.

Users of the pro app can submit their custom device definitions for other app users (pro and free) to use. These would be checked prior to being made publicly available.

Users of the pro app will be able to share their custom devices, via email or posted on forums, with other pro users (possibly free users too) who can install them  in their app.

Device Definition Update

This is the next item on the “road map” for the TKController app and beta testers should get the opportunity to try it out in the next few weeks. This will become v1.4 of the app.

The current device definition file is a simple static file, served from the web site on demand. The app checks this file once every couple of days (when it’s launched) and updates itself. This was really only ever intended as a “quick fix” and in the longer term poses a number of problems, not the least being that the caching of the file can make updates unpredictable.

I am in the process of changing this static file into a web service that will also allow trusted users to log in and add/change the device definitions when needed. It will reduce the amount of data being transferred as only new/changed devices will need to be downloaded.

In the longer term this will also support the “pro” version of the app that is currently in the planning stages, allowing users to add their own custom devices through the app in a special customising screen. This will allow users to move the buttons around and define which commands they would like to have on the buttons.

In addition to the above, the next version of the app will be compiled against iOS 8.1. This should also mean that the app can be released to beta testers via the app store using the new Apple Testflight facility which means that I will no longer need to embed specific iPhone IDs into the test apps.