vendredi 4 avril 2014

A better calendar integration.

The last update of Brothers In Games will ask you for a new privilege: read access to your calendar. This is an essential privilege if I want to inform you if you have added the event to your calendar and to launch the correct action. The action icon have also been modified for this purpose.

Now, when you open the tournament detail view, the calendar action icon will display an add to calendar icon.

Tournament display with the add to calendar icon.

If you tap it, you'll see the form to add a new event to your calendar. Keep in mind that this form is provided by your calendar app, Brothers In Games does not have the privilege to add, edit or delete an event. This action is delegated to your native app or anyone you would choose.

Once the event is added to your calendar, the tournament detail view will display a view event icon.

Tournament display with the view event icon.

If you tap this icon, the app will open the event detail on your calendar app. As this is the native calendar app (or the one you prefer), you can edit or delete the event.

As Brothers In Games does not have the write to your calendar privilege, it is impossible for the app to be informed of the addition of the event to your calendar. So, to display the correct icon and launch the right action, the app will check your calendar for the displayed event. If the event exists in your calendar, the view action is shown, otherwise, it is the add event action.

But to work properly, the app must figure out if the event found is the right one. So, the app is looking for events with the same start and end date and time and with the same name. So, if you edit the event in your calendar and change the name or the start or end, the app will consider that the event does not exist in your calendar.

I think that this is the good balance to allow the association of the events and allow some edition but don't bother with confirmations. If you disagree, please, let me know in the comments.

Another update comes from the recent post of Cyril Mottier on Google+. I don't spend too much time on animations for now, but I am aware that some users will not figure out that those icons may be actions. This little animation may be a good trick to draw the attention on them. Once again, let me know what you think about the feature.

jeudi 3 avril 2014

Tournament display update

The last update of Brothers In Games focus on an improvement of the tournaments layout.

Aside of the visual evolution, there are some technical modifications in this update. The most important happen at the first launch of this version. The app requires some additional data to work properly, so, the app need some time to process those at the first launch. This is not the most user-friendly, but it works.

Action icons

The action icons in the previous version.

To be honest, I was not satisfied with the previous icons location in the action bar. First, I consider that the action should be close to the information. Second, those actions should have the same importance so they should all be displayed equally. Located on the Action Bar, on small screen devices, some may be hidden. Finally, as I try to use the system icons, I think that the Web and Map icons are confusing.

Current global layout on a small screen device.

So, now those icons are located next to the information they are concerned with. As another benefit, I think that this way, it is easier to find the kind of information you may be looking for.

Added share and add to calendar

From any tournament details view, you can now share that tournament and add it to your calendar. Both features are exactly the same as those in Brothers In Games T3. So currently, the app does not require any privilege to access your calendar as the event is created trough the calendar app. Unfortunately, this mean that there is no check of your availability or for any duplicate. This will certainly change in the futur.

Up to date tournament information

The tournament details view now displays some real time information. Or at least, as fresh as they are on the remote datasource. Those information are the tournament status and the seats left. Both of them are collected when you view the tournament details and are not cached locally.

Are those features will be added to Brothers In Games T3 ?

In short: yes for some of them. I plan to redesign Brothers In Games T3 so it will be closer to the tournaments view in Brothers In Games. But for now, my main focus is on the features in Brothers In Games so don't expect this kind of upgrade for Brothers In Games T3 soon.