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Old April 29th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation PocketPermissions (v2.0) - The app version of my security guide (updated)



update:

PocketPermissions 2.1
has been released!
  • Over 150 new permissions added to the database
  • Bookmarks for permissions
  • All permissions requested by your apps added to DB
  • Improved details screen with more info on each permission
  • New database code for greatly improved performance
  • Improvements to tablet layout


Hey all,

Many of you have read my guide on permissions and security.

And, thanks to some of the great feedback and support on this site, I decided to make an app version. Because, well, where better to read about permissions for your phone, than on your phone?

Before anyone asks though, I still plan on updating the guide on these forums and my site and the downloadble pdf, and that will all stay free.

So who is it for?

Well, lots of us are watching as our less tech-savvy friends grab new Android phones and would like to set them up with some good habits.

It's my hope that this will help people feel more secure and informed and not feel like they've been tossed into the wild west or have to rely soley on anti-virus. The idea is that you can set them up with this app, or keep it as a quick reference for yourself.

As always, please feel free to continue to ask questions and post feedback both here and in the guide, and I will be happy to answer/investigate things as best I can.

Anyways, all the promotion aside, I especially just wanted to say thanks to AF for all the support and interest in the guide. This forum is where I first wrote it and has always had the most updated version, so very sincerely, thank you all.


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The app is $1.99 on the Market.
Requires: Android 2.0 or newer


Web:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alostpacket.pocketpermissions

Phone:
market://details?id=com.alostpacket.pocketpermissions


Amazon:
Amazon.com: PocketPermissions - Android security info on the go: Appstore for Android


FEATURES

Explains permissions and why they matter

Tips on good safety habits

Details the possible dangers out there

Search for permissions

See which apps have requested a specific permission



SCREENSHOTS
















.

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Old May 2nd, 2011, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks guys

Also minor update today, just some typo fixes mostly.
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Old May 2nd, 2011, 01:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Not a bad idea.
Bravo.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 01:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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yep, excellent idea imo.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 04:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks much for the kind words guys.

Working on updates to the free guides this week, but please feel free to make feature suggesstions for the app too.

Currently I have 3 "coming soon" features I plan to implement:
- List of all permissions requested by all apps (a "master list" so to speak)
- Show an "all apps" list
- When clicking on an app, show its permissions

Not sure on the ETA but shouldn't be more than a few weeks tops depending on my schedule.

Thanks again
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Old June 7th, 2011, 02:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Had another request for update to make it easier to read on tablets. This feature is in the works and should be coming soon.
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Old June 14th, 2011, 01:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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1.0.4
- Added much better support for tablet-sized screens
- Many typo fixes and some editing for clarity
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Old July 6th, 2011, 12:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey, Pocket Permissions is a great little app! So glad I got it!!!!
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Old July 6th, 2011, 08:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well I was playing with Pocket Permission and I simply love it! I had originally thought it was an app version of your infamous intro to Android Guide, ALP, but it's so much more! The best feature I love is that after reading up a certain permission in the app, I can then view ALL of the apps that USE that permission. So it gives me more analytical tool as to whether I want the app or not

I think a good feature that you might want to consider is the ability to direct you to the system install/uninstall of that app.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 12:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks much guys!


As for the install/uninstall feature, unfortunately that would require (I think) one of the scariest permissions of all. (Install Packages). Which is something I warn is a critically dangerous permission only to be given to say Amazon AppStore or the Market itself.

And I actually designed the app in such a way as to make sure it always said that it require no permissions to run. I figured an app about permissions....
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Old July 6th, 2011, 01:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alostpacket View Post
Thanks much guys!


As for the install/uninstall feature, unfortunately that would require (I think) one of the scariest permissions of all. (Install Packages). Which is something I warn is a critically dangerous permission only to be given to say Amazon AppStore or the Market itself.

And I actually designed the app in such a way as to make sure it always said that it require no permissions to run. I figured an app about permissions....
What about sending you to the system to install/uninstall app
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Old July 6th, 2011, 01:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roze View Post
What about sending you to the system to install/uninstall app

Ah good call. You know I didn't even think there was an way to do this. But I just looked it up and it looks like as of Gingerbread they added one.

There is a way to send someone to the "general apps settings" page that shows all the apps prior to Gingerbread, so maybe I will add this and see how it goes So both can use it but Gingerbread users will get the much tastier experience

thanks for the tip roze! <3
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Old July 6th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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thanks for the tip roze! <3
No problem
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Old July 6th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Very nice application as i am quite concerned with the infinite permissions some programs have, and this will help me a lot to get a grip on them. I just bought it.
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Old July 6th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks claus1953 Very glad you like it.

I'll be working on some of the suggestions tomorrow probably (such as Rose's eggcellento one)
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Old July 7th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #16 (permalink)
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OK, I just uploaded 1.0.6
(may take a bit for the market to update and show the latest)

This has Roze's feature idea for clicking an app in the list -- it will take you to that app's detail page. You can then see all its permissions and force close it/uninstall it/clear cache/etc

I was only able to test this feature on Android 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3. So if anyone encounters a problem please don't hesistate to let me know!
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Old July 7th, 2011, 10:19 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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OK, I just uploaded 1.0.6 (may take a bit for the market to update and show the latest)
I can confirm that 1.0.6 is currently up on the Market.
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Old July 13th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #18 (permalink)
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PocketPermissions is now also avaible through the Amazon AppStore

Link:
Amazon.com: PocketPermissions - Android security info on the go: Appstore for Android
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Old July 13th, 2011, 11:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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PocketPermissions is now also avaible through the Amazon AppStore

Link:
Amazon.com: PocketPermissions - Android security info on the go: Appstore for Android

Nice! Would you do the deal a day for your app?
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Old July 14th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yeah definitely. I think the exposure would outweigh the lost revenue by a mile....and a half.

You actually end up gaining money too if 5x as many people buy your app that day, so I think free app of the day would get me more that 5-10 downloads heh
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Old July 14th, 2011, 10:04 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Yeah definitely. I think the exposure would outweigh the lost revenue by a mile....and a half.

You actually end up gaining money too if 5x as many people buy your app that day, so I think free app of the day would get me more that 5-10 downloads heh
It will definitely give you good exposure
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Old July 14th, 2011, 01:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
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It will definitely give you good exposure
Wait... what parts of me are we talking about exposing?

*cue 70s music*
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Old August 10th, 2011, 02:58 PM   #23 (permalink)
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My very first download everrr on my android... woot!

Thank you!

So being a newbie, how do I know if you have updated the app so that we can update/repurchase... ?
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Old August 10th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #24 (permalink)
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You wont ever have to repurchase, and the Android Market will notify you if there are any updates. It checks all apps for you (usually 1 time per day).
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Old August 10th, 2011, 03:02 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
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You wont ever have to repurchase, and the Android Market will notify you if there are any updates. It checks all apps for you (usually 1 time per day).
I did it at amazon, does the reply still apply?

Or did I done screwed this up ALREADY! aahhh hahaha....
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Old August 10th, 2011, 03:22 PM   #26 (permalink)
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yup, works the same way on Amazon.

In fact the Amazon version is a bit out of date so you will see an update there soon. It's just a minor feature update though. (you're not missing anything major)
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Old August 10th, 2011, 03:27 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Okiedokie, thank you VERY much for your help today!
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Old August 10th, 2011, 03:28 PM   #28 (permalink)
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You're welcome
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Old August 11th, 2011, 06:14 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Somehow missed this at the time. Brilliant idea. Purchased and 5-starred.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 06:16 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Thanks much appreciated!
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 01:33 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Just released 1.1 to the Android Market!

(it may take a few hours to show as updated)



Changes:

-New: Font size option in preferences
-New: "Show all permissions" option in preferences
-New: "Show tech details" about each permission, to see the official developer documentation about a permission
-New: Color coded permission list to show importance
-Improvement: more consisten font styles/some graphics tweaks



(previous)
After searching by permission, click to be taken to the appilcation settings page.
Updated "make phone calls"
Better support for tablet-sized screens
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 03:50 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Oops, almost forgot: also posted the update to the Amazon app store so both version will be the same as soon as they approve the update.
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Old September 5th, 2011, 03:23 PM   #33 (permalink)
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AF forum member MiscBec suggested a new feature:

At the end of a Permission description, add a list of permissions that are commonly requested with it.

This is under consideration for addition. Time permitting it will very likely be added over the next few weeks. Please feel free to suggest more!

(Thanks for the great idea MiscBec )
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Old September 11th, 2011, 04:36 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Just wanted to post a sneak preview of what I'm working on now

PocketPermissions tablet preview:

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Old September 11th, 2011, 08:40 PM   #35 (permalink)
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A tablet version! Outstanding!
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Old September 12th, 2011, 01:04 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Default Very helpful!

I just bought this on Amazon and gave it a five star rating. It is very helpful and helps to put my mind at ease. I'm very careful about what I download but somehow I am still getting someone else's pictures in my gallery (mostly adidas shoe ads). I'm hoping that by looking closer at some of the permissions, I'll figure out which app is accessing control of my sd card. Thanks for a great app!
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Old September 12th, 2011, 07:50 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Suggestion: why not colour the warning signs to show permission importance instead the shaded corner?
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Old September 12th, 2011, 08:19 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveybaby View Post
Suggestion: why not colour the warning signs to show permission importance instead the shaded corner?

Dunno, I guess just a graphic style / UI thing. One of my plans is to add more information to that list -- so the look may very well change.

I'm considering rating on two factors: Importance, and potential impact. That is, certain things are important, but perhaps only have a moderate chance of causing harm, or vice versa. But I'm not sure if that creates more confusion. I also plan on adding a "sort by importance" feature

It's an idea I'm am toying with in my head, so we'll see -- I'll definitely keep your suggestion in mind in the process
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 03:57 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I took the plunge and installed PocketPermissions, now that I've rooted my phone and am trying to squeeze out performance improvements. The list of apps with "start at boot" alone is worth the 99c, as was the list of users of the "read system logs" privilege (didn't know I'd installed so many -- though most are by indie devs who want to fix compatibility problems).

I would only ask for a couple of small enhancements:
* Can you make the app movable to SD? It doesn't seem to have any functions that would preclude it.
* When I read about a permission and hit the Back button, I'm back at the top of the list. Any chance you could return me to where I came from?

I'll post a 5-star rating ASAP. It's a shame the app doesn't have more downloads -- especially among rooters. Just because you know the permissions, doesn't mean you didn't let something slip past you when you were anxious to start angering those birds.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 07:59 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RobertB-DC View Post
I took the plunge and installed PocketPermissions, now that I've rooted my phone and am trying to squeeze out performance improvements. The list of apps with "start at boot" alone is worth the 99c, as was the list of users of the "read system logs" privilege (didn't know I'd installed so many -- though most are by indie devs who want to fix compatibility problems).

I would only ask for a couple of small enhancements:
* Can you make the app movable to SD? It doesn't seem to have any functions that would preclude it.
* When I read about a permission and hit the Back button, I'm back at the top of the list. Any chance you could return me to where I came from?

I'll post a 5-star rating ASAP. It's a shame the app doesn't have more downloads -- especially among rooters. Just because you know the permissions, doesn't mean you didn't let something slip past you when you were anxious to start angering those birds.

Thanks RobertB-DC -- these are quite the compliments, and are much appreciated Seriously -- it's really great to hear stuff like this.



As for your suggestions:

Quote:
* Can you make the app movable to SD? It doesn't seem to have any functions that would preclude it.
Technically it is movable to the SD, but the Android OS thinks it isn't because it targets Android 1.6. Android did not add the "move to SD" function natively until 2.2. However, with an outside app, or just a little ADB, you can certainly move it to the SD if you wish.

If you've rooted your device, I'm guessing you might know some adb commands.

Code:

C:\your_folder_for_android_SDK\platform_tools> ADB Shell
This will start the SDK command shell running. (you will probably see a dollar sign prompt $ next instead of the windows "greater than >"

Then enter the command:
Code:


$ pm setInstallLocation 2
This was from a helpful post in our Nexus One forums but should work on any android phone. You will now be able to move almost any app to the SD, (unless the dev specifically codes it to disallow).

Link: The Nexus One and it's limited internal memory




Quote:
* When I read about a permission and hit the Back button, I'm back at the top of the list. Any chance you could return me to where I came from?
Yes! This will probably come after the tablet version is finished though, so hopefully just before the holidays.


Thanks again
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 11:38 AM   #41 (permalink)
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I didn't quite go to that low a level... I let Titanium move it for me. In fact, I never even had to learn to use ADB, thanks to Z4Root. (I journaled my noob rooting experience here.)

So, if you do set the bit in the installation package that says "movable to SD", does that prevent the app from being installed on Android 1.6? That would definitely be an issue for an app like yours, that by its nature needs to support as many Android versions as possible.
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 11:58 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Yeah that's basically it -- I cannot set the value for allowing the move to SD, (or disallowing), and support 1.6 at the same time. I double check but I'm pretty sure it caused it to crash on launch for 1.6 devices.

If I targeted Android 2.2 and up I could specify "auto", "prefer external" or "internal only"


With the adb trick, the only apps you wont be able to move are the ones that set it as "internal only"
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Old November 23rd, 2011, 02:01 PM   #43 (permalink)
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You know, after further investigating this I think the move to SD thing was an issue only with Android 1.5 which I no longer support.

I'll see about adding this when the next update comes out (tablet version)
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 08:40 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Guess who is the newest buyer of this app!

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Old December 4th, 2011, 02:59 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Guess who is the newest buyer of this app!


Thanks Much appreciated. Working on the tablet version now hopefully soon it will be ready. Managed to fix a few major flaws preventing release yesterday so things are looking good
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Old February 21st, 2012, 02:43 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Oops, looks like i accidentally uploaded the new version 2.0!


I may have to accidentally bump this thread again in the morning -- anyways, thanks again all.

I hope I dont wake up to tons of bug reports
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Old February 21st, 2012, 09:17 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Fixed a nasty bug with the search feature, sorry about that

new build uploaded: 2.0.1
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Old February 21st, 2012, 05:36 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Should we be seeing this update on Amazon soon as well, or is that out of your hands? I've noticed they seem to be quicker about updates lately for some other apps.
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Old February 21st, 2012, 06:28 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Yep, absolutely. It will definitely be coming to Amazon soon.

I wanted to give it a few days on the Android Market first to be sure I caught all the little/hard to find bugs. Since the publish process is faster it's easier to fix whatever minor bugs are left first (I already fixed one within hours of release) then go through the more lengthy Amazon process.

But with a little luck it will be submitted to Amazon by the end of the week. At present I only know of 1-2 very minor bugs. But I can't promise anything of course, I'd rather make sure it's the best it can be
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 08:50 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Updated to 2.0.3

Mostly some minor bug fixes and performance enhancements
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