Weathrman 4.0: By Popular Demand

I’ve got a shiny new Xoom, and now you have a shiny new Weathrman client.

The biggest changes here are all around two user stories I’ve heard more than anything else:

  • I installed the app, but it doesn’t do anything and I can’t find it.
  • I need more control over how the application uses data on my device.

To address the former, we’ve got a launcher, dialogs on preview, and an embedded usage guide to help the user get the live wallpaper selected on their devices.

To address the latter, we’ve now got a pretty good story on data controls:

  • We now obey background data settings. If you turn off background data support, you can still refresh the wallpaper manually, but all automated, non-interactive network activity is stopped.
  • Support for disabling use of 2G/3G and WiMAX networks, for those who want wifi-only.
  • Control over walllpaper refresh rate.

Now that we’re allowed a lot fewer search terms, we’re doing a lot more fan-out of requests to flickr; a single user can now result in about 5,000 flickr requests, fired off in under 30 seconds. The pressure is on to find better search terms and filter terms, and so our next steps will be to take advantage of the prediction API and start using machine learning to make better decisions.