Life Signal

Hi, I know I did not write for a long time.

Reason was that the spring was very warm and sunny, so there’s less reason to be at the keyboard… Well unless there are bugs to fix (unfortunately they pop up when they are most unexpected or unwelcome) or users request a feature that (at least at first) looks easy to implement.

Both of these, as well as rainy weather happened.

So right now, YACO can show the optimum at the least space I can think of (OK, one improvement could be to combine the mobile connection type and the activity arrows like Android is doing it), and I think I can lean back a bit and hope for better weather.

And enjoy users that like the app(s). Thank you all!

Oreo… Android P???

I have just adapted YACO code to Oreo (and with a lot of internal reorganization of a very inorganically grown code), I read about Android P, that there will probably be more restrictions for apps with “background” execution.

That means for me that maybe Kitty can’t be further developed because Google makes it too hard for me to maintain a free app for their every growing restrictions.

With YACO the ambition was first and I use it myself every day (ok, Kitty too.. sigh)!

Wait and see, but I find Google’s path questionable.



There are much more changes to Oreo than I thought. Now that I bought a PC with an Intel CPU I can run the emulator (Samsung was not able to supply Oreo on the S8 yet) I see all the problems appearing…

Well they become too restrictive for me – background processes may not start services, the overlay window may not be above all other windows including the decorations (notification bar, …) – these changes are bad for YACO as well as Personal Sunrise and Kitty. All apps with background service needs. If Google continues that way, some developers will stop developing fine versions, just because it is not possible any more, or it is a lot of hassle to support all different versions.

I will try, but I’m a bit pissed off at the moment.

So right now, PERSONAL SUNRISE is not really compatible to Oreo. I am working on it, and I am looking for beta testers.

Google’s new App Developer rules – pro and cons

Well Google will change some rules at the end of 2018 for the Play Store. The main rule – at least for me and my children apps – is that new apps (and updated ones) have to target at least the API version below the new one.

I see this as mixed blessings.


  • If this comes with lower rating of unchanged and older “leftover” apps in the store, I – as a user of Android devices – see an advantage finding more up-to-date apps. There’s the needle-in-a-haystack search in the Play Store right now to find a good app.


  • Google has put an increasing amount of limitations for apps that use internal Alarms, and are more and more restrictive for background use (Timer, Alarm… yeah, what my apps use)
  • APIs may change their function (yes!) when an API target version is changed in the build system, so if some (optimistically: documented) side-effects are overlooked, the functionality breaks like that timers become unreliable, or do not appear at all. Yes, I had my share…
  • this may also discourage some developers from updating older apps if it becomes too much work to support API changes with each passing year.

YACO’s heartbeat is the customer

I did add two suggestions in the last weeks:

  • moon phase, and
  • week of year (computed in ISO or localized rule)

Thank you all for helping me with these suggestions (or a few bugfixes!)

What I did try to implement, but gave up:

  • weather forecast (as there’s no way a multi-day forecast can be put in very few icons)