Use with caution.
These public beta programs contain new fixes and new features that haven't been fully tested. I need you to tell me if you find any problems with these program or even if the changes listed work as you expect.
joejoe Jan-29-15 2:07 PM CST
It's done. ArsClip Mini is now feature complete. Besides doing more torture testing, the changes to ad support still remain. The last decision will be how ads will be shown for the Google Play version.
joejoe Jan-27-15 2:26 PM CST
The first beta version of ArsClip Mini has been uploaded. All required functionality has been implemented, but there will be changes.
The current ToDo list includes:
- rework icons
- tweak backgrouns
- think about adding separate landscape layouts
- think about using a single swipe-able header
- create advanced settings page
- test on more virtual devices
joejoe Jan-27-15 12:03 AM CST
The idea for favorite clips for ArsClip Mini has been implemented. The interface is a bit clunky, but the header for the list does support swipe gestures. The Edit tab had to be re-designed to support moving clips to a favorite group.
The next step is to fix all the bugs with Favorites, add the missing Favorites features, and tweak the interface.
joejoe Jan-22-15 9:47 PM CST
The latest prototype (technically an Alpha version) is one step away from being beta. Alpha means that all features are not present and Beta means that all features are present. Usually, the terms are used to describe stability, but the app is currently stable on new versions of Android.
Once the app hits beta, testing on multitple virtual Android devices will begin. Currently, only 2 virtual and 1 real Android device is used for testing. Support for smaller screens will be addressed. Studying common practices like this will take some time.
The last feature is still Favorites. Figuring out how to move clips to the Favorites groups is the big problem. Likely, the Edit tab will be used to select multiple clips and click a Move button. There's not much room left for smaller devices, so this might be an issue. A separate Move/Share tab might, since these tasks are less used. Having it 2 swipes away from the home tab wouldn't be too bad.
joejoe Jan-20-15 9:16 PM CST
More Prototypes, Almost Beta
The program is getting close to beta. The last major remaining task is to implement Permanent Clips Groups and think of a new name, maybe Favorite Groups.
The new "Copy" button will find text in the clicked textbox and copy it to the clipboard. This is the same as a long-click, select all, and copy. The major difference is there's instance feedback, instead of clicking the wrong spot and waiting for nothing to happen.
When the "Edit" or "More" button is pressed, the popup switches to edit mode. By default, you can click several clips and merge them or delete them. Merge combines several clips into one and places them on the clipboard. This will show up as a new clip on the popup as well.
The major design choice will be how to implement Favorite Groups. Swipe could be implemented to change groups. This means there would be no option to implement swipe to delete or swipe to move. Swipe to change content seems the intuitive choice, so it's the likely winner.
Things like "share" and "filter" will be minor tasks. Sending a clip to another application, using the standard "share" type button should be simple. Filtering will do tasks like show clips from a single program (via icons) or find links in the current clips.
joejoe Jan-16-15 11:32 PM CST
An Update for Android
The second test of ArsClip Mini for Android is available. This update includes clipboard history and a functional popup. This has taken a huge amount of hours to develop, but the outcome seems worth it.
The program can't automatically detect text boxes, but can get the name of the controls. This means that a list of controls will have to be created and managed. Apps that use the standard edit control are fully compatible.
ACM can sometimes detect clicks on input boxes in some browsers, but it uses a dirty trick to do so. These controls don't support pasting, but it does show the popup button. The address bars seem to be fully compatible.
features still missing or likely to be researched:
- Edit Clips (and older clips)
- Permanent Groups (and likely a name change)
- support for Androids "Share" feature
- more popup window features
- dynamic popup button, context sensitive
- detect highlighted URLs
To help with the design flow, a set of rules has been created for adding features to ACMini.
1- clipboard HELPER, not copy/paste automation
2- fast, easy, intutive popup
3- minimal options, advanced data editor
4- no-clutter popup button
5- no log ins
The first rule defines what the purpose of the program. Only newer versions of Android support auto-pasting, so a full automation util isn't possible. Creating a custom keyboard just to simulate "CTRL+V" is a bad idea.
The second rule defines the job of the popup. It must make tasks damn easy to perform, and "long presses" are terrible.
The third rule will help keep the program simple, but also keep options from being "hard coded". A database of settings is used for how the program works, so tweaking on-the-fly will be possible.
The forth rule will make sure the popup button doesn't become bloated. Anything added to it must be done so in an intuitive and intelligent way. For example, it might make sense to show a "paste" button also for a few seconds after a popup item was clicked. This will be researched.
The fifth rule is just a repeat of the first rule. There are great options for this already available and being in the "security" business isn't a goal.
Feedback, I'll need it. There is only a small amount of users that read this page and are Android users,
joejoe Jan-15-15 12:38 AM CST
ArsClip Mini for Android
Only the most basic features have been implemented. Clipboard history and the actual popup will be implemented next. The current upload is mostly a compatibility test. The app has been tested on a virtual Android and a physical 4.4 Kitkat tablet. Last years donations and ads helped pay for this tablet.
Only a few features from ArsClip for Windows will be included. Some things just don't make sense on an Android OS designed for consuming data, and not producing it. ACMini will not be a copy/paste automation tool, but instead will be a clipboard helper. Like all other programs, a set of rules will define the scope of the program.
Only Android 4.3 and above will be able to support automatic pasting.
One of the unfortunate choices was to include an ad in this app when downloaded, for free, from the Play store. This goes against my general philosophy, even though it is rarely seen and non-intrusive.
To counter this, an ad free version will be offered at no cost, likely directly from this website.
The popup button had to be made static. It can be dragged and moved, but the OS did not reliably report the position of the of the text box. To ease clutter issues, the button only lasts a few seconds and is partially transparent.
Some options for the popup button are planned for later, like button size and a time "easy paste" feature after a copy operation.
Cloud support is planned but not researched. The idea is to be able to look at data from other devices, but each install's data would be separated. Maybe some permanent clip groups could be made global.
joejoe Jan-11-15 9:16 PM CST
The Bad News
The good news is I may have something unique for Android. The bad news is there's tons of work left.
The current prototype app does nothing.
In the above screen capture, the app globally detects a click on a text box and shows the AC popup button. It can either be clicked to activate or dragged to dismiss. The placement is an issue, since there are several cases where the text box can shift or report a position that's different from what's seen on screen.
The "easy" fix is to use a static position on the screen to show the popup button. If the button is dragged to reposition, this solves many problems.
There's just one architecture thing left to research. The rest of the research will all be just decisions for starting features, like if it should support the "cloud" for multiple devices. Only a small subset of ArsClip features will belong in an Android environment, so the blueprint will be easy to create. The Android only features may take some time to discover.
joejoe Jan-10-15 2:33 AM CST
Still Slow Research
There's been quite a bit of success, but Android testing is extremely slow. At this point, only a clickable glyph is shown when a text box is clicked in the current App. That's it, but it took many hours and many tricks to accomplish.
Android version support will be an issue. Only 4.0 and above will work, but there are some features the program could really use that only exist in higher versions. Features like automatic pasting is an example. Supporting 4.0 as a minimum includes about 90% of all devices, but most run on 4.4, 4.2, and 4.1.
Finally, the prototype made only serves one purpose: to compare against other methods. Copy and Paste needs on a consumer device are way different than on a producer device, like a PC.