Well, it's finally here. After a year of development, over 10,000 beta users, and installations to more than 28,000 devices, Screebl Pro 3.0 finally hit the Google Play store today. You can download it here. Thanks to all of those that participated in the beta. It's taken a bit longer than I expected to get things ready for Pro, as features kept being added and I occasionally put the project on hold for other more urgent work, but I'm pleased with the overall result.
This is a ground-up rewrite of Screebl, with a focus on cool new features, hardware compatibility, battery consumption and simplification. Android is a shifting target lately for an app like Screebl, as Google and hardware manufactures make tweaks to Android builds to squeeze every little second possible out of battery life and improve the overall multitasking experience. Hardware varies dramatically, sensors work differently, and even end-user usage patterns for an app like Screebl vary widely. In the end though, I think that things have reached a point of stability with 3.0 that makes it a no brainer to replace the aging Screebl 2.x code line.
As of version 2.2.0 of Screebl Pro, a new licensing mechanism called Automatic Application Licensing (AAL) has been bundled with the app. The purpose of AAL is to allow painless verification that the user of Screebl Pro actually purchased the app from the Android Market. We've taken this step to attempt to put a stop to the insane levels of piracy that Screebl has seen, and so far, things seem to be working out nicely.
I've received a number of questions over the course of the last few days asking me how AAL works, why we chose to include it in Screebl Pro, and what the implications are for users. This article will cover the details, and describe why we finally decided to pull the trigger on licensing in our mobile apps...
Screebl Pro continues to recieve good reviews. It is now ranked in the top 20 on the Android Market in the Tools category, and in the top 50 overall! Thanks to everyone that has tweeted, emailed, or otherwise shared your love of Screebl. Please keep sharing!
It is generally a very challenging and time-consuming endeavor to review a sophisticated piece of software like Screebl, particularly when it involves changing and evaluating phone usage patterns. The new review site AppRoasters.com recently "roasted" (that's what they call their reviews) Screebl Pro as their first review. It is a very thorough and accurate review, making some good observations about ways that we can improve the product. I was also happy to see that the review has decent coverage of the Locale integration.
Screebl Lite has been cranking along for over three months now. Since it's release a lot has happened, and we've learned a lot about what it takes to nurse a little utility application into a product. Before I go into what is contained in the next major release of Screebl (it's some pretty cool stuff), let me hit on the highlights of what Screebl Lite has done so far...
Screebl Lite has been downloaded over 20,000 times, and thousands of you use it every day.
I've received hundreds of questions, high-fives, suggestions, and death threats. Much of that feedback has made its way directly back in to the product.
Screebl has been localized by native speakers of five different languages.