[Android app] Native android volumio client early preview

Hey!

I have started writing android client for volumio some time ago and would love to get some feedback from you, its still very young project and does contain bugs, missing features etc.

I do use it daily on my car when driving to work, so all the usual stuff should work pretty well, like playing a song from the STREAMING services(spotify, tidal, qobuz) etc, i do not have any local music in the car with RPI, so i assume there are several bugs in the handling of local content for now.

Any feedback is welcome!

  • App runs on Android 5.0 and above.
  • Support for multiple volumio device’s.
  • All basic functionality is there now(?)
  • Optimised for tablets(landscape) or phones(portrait), but works in any orientation on both.

Playstore open beta test link.

E: removed old screenshots, as new ones can be seen on playstore app page.

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Good to see app development going on. Any plans to extend to small displays on mobiles … I understand the attraction of tablets for display area?

Yes, once I get core functionality finished, i look into supporting different screen sizes, i have taken that into account when choosing the app architecture so it should be rather easy to support all kind of screen sizes when it’s time for that.

Why it’s tablet only for now, is that this started as project for my private use only, to get something more user friendly to use as car headunit replacement mediaplayer, but i decided I will share it with others aswell, perhaps someone else than only me would then benefit from it in future.

I’ll look into uploading it to playstore for alpha testing, since it would let me push updates etc more easier, if someone decides to use/test it.

Hi,

If you want people to test, please provide a “testplan” or clear overview on what can be tested. This way you avoid negative feedback or endless reports on what is “defect”, since development is not ready yet.
will free up some time to look into it.

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Very good idea, thx! Will do later.

Currently it’s more of sneak peak, preview or whatever it could be called. Will try to get stuff running on weekend, to get something out i could consider alpha version or so, just need to find some time for it.

Small update.

i have made small improvements on the browsing of music service’s, so while it works better i can still see whole alot of improvement on performance of it in some scenarios, also tidal and qobuz browsing needs some work, spotify should be good.

[Crash bug fix]
if you have radio playing or in playlist, the app should not crash now, API for the radios seems to be somewhat different than for other services so playing a radio station is still sadly not possible, and will actually lead to an crash of your volumio device if you try.

[New functionality]

Volume control is functional now! It should work even from backround(app not visible) WHEN your volumio device is playing something, if its not actively playing anything, controlling volume is not possible. When you try to control volume you should see the “system volume control bar” as usual, but it does have similar icon to if you change volume of for example chromecast device. Because i did it as i did it, this should not block you from changing ie. ringer volume of your device when the application is active or in backround.
THERE IS limitation in volume control functionality for now, Max volume is assumed to be 100, where i assume step size is 10, if you have anything else, i have no idea what happens, so be careful with it.

EDIT:
Initial support for smaller screens added, UI should behave correctly for atleast >5" high resolution displays now

Working great on my Oppo Reno 10x zoom!
Only things I dislike so far is the pink color and the horizontal scrolling.

I think it would look better if the accent color was the Volumio native green / sage

Yeah about the pink color… asked my kids which color should I use and never changed it :smile: don’t worry it will be changed and/or made so that it can be user configured.

You are not alone with the horizontal scrolling, i dislike it aswell after using it(felt good idea when developing it, was not), will be changed for sure, when i figure a good way to show all the content categories quickly when browsing, since personally I don’t like the idea of multiple vertical lists, so that you would have to scroll over the first one completely to see next section.

Thx for the input! I will try to get the app on Google store by the end of next week, so that i can push updates more easily, and get crash reports from there to fix bugs more easily, if there are brave enougth people to actually use the app in the current state it is for now.

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I will put the app in “internal testing” on playstore today, benefit of this is that i don’t need to wait for google to review all the APK’s and its up almost instantly they have quite long review time currently, downsides is i will need gmail address of anyone who wants to test the application and receive updates from the store directly. i still continue update the .apk files here aswell, when i remember.

Ive made some improvements on the connecting/reconnecting system, it should behave way better now overall, hopefully force closing the app is needed never again, because of failed connection.

This awesome. I installed the preview app but how does it connect to my volumio? I can’t figure out how the client finds volumio…

Finding and connecting is kind of brute force technique as there is nothing better to offer on Android, i scan all local area devices, and test if any of the devices does respond to rest API call which gives system information if it responds then i try to connect with websocket as i know that no other device should give meaningful response to the rest API call i make, i believe there is no better way currently.

Currently there is limitation of finding and connecting the first device, but i do change it so that it will find all volumio device’s in the network and let’s you select on those when i find time for that.

E: i think the current APK file here does not have the improvements in connection/reconnection system yet which i made earlier.

It could not find my volumio. Why not allow user to enter the IP address on initial app launch?

I will let the user type that in, its just not implemented for now since i never had that kind of proplem. i will try to find some time tomorrow and add an possibility of manually inputting the IP address.

heres updated .apk, now there should be the updated connection system in place. it still wont let you type in IP, but if your volumio device is in the same network as your handset it should find it. if it does not then i dont know why. i have tested the connection system on Volumio 2.8XX and with the buster beta

Here’s version which allows to input the IP address if you want to still try it. It’s trying to automatically find the device, until the button to connect is pressed, and should automatically fall back to automatic search if the IP address provided cant be connected. for easy of use, i decided to save the ip address in persistent storage, and the app will automatically fill the address box on next launch.
I need to re-write the connection/finding code completely, when i do it, i will add ability to automatically connect to last known IP address, at this time it would have been wasted because that part of code is big mess, im sorry for that,

There is also crash bug fix, which occured when anything was selected in Search results.

Awesome work so far. Exactly what I am looking for (a tablet friendly way to control volumio).

Keep up the great work! Keep us up to date with what items you would like to have tested.

Currently, everything that’s in there can be tested, i think what needs more testing is the browsing of music services, using the playback control(pause/play etc) and the ability to change volume via hardware keys.

I’m trying to daily get something done with the app, where i have time.

And actually just noticed couple of crash bugs -.- will fix those now, also it seems that if you close the app via hardware “back” button press, it gets in random state and won’t connect again.(so for now leave the app in backround and exit with the “home” key to do you don’t have to force close the application always, to get it reconnect)

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Probably a dumb question, but how is this better/different than the Volumio app that already exists?

Not a dumb question at all, actually pretty good one.

The aim of this project/app is to provide an user experience what android user would expect(or should i say, what android user expects in my opinion), from the application that he/she uses for controlling music, something that if you use Spotify app or tidal app, you can then start my app and basic functionality is the same.

I want to provide user action’s with gestures, support for remote controls(found on some earphones for example), animations, full hardware key support etc. And of course better overall usability on touchscreen devices.

But this is just all my personal opinions on what’s better for the usability, after all i started developing this application because in my car i have replaced the headunit/radio with 10" Android tablet and I needed a way to control volumio which is usable while driving, in my opinion there was no such thing yet.

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Taking the your achievement sideways a tad…

I’d like a Volumio interface for my “Chromecast with Google TV”, which sits above the amp etc.
I managed to get the existing Volumio app working over the weekend, and other than looking as expected its functionality was horrible to work around.

Just tried your app, visually its obviously different, and I cant see where the cursor is most of the time, but did manage to make it to the album lists, and found the scrolling experience so much better!

I know its not what your developing, and I don’t know the differences between a “pad/mobile app” and a “TV app” but I thought you would like to know it feels like it has more promise than the existing Volumio app…

Im assuming that its just me that would like this ability though :unamused:

We will see if i can support it, i have allready made some design choices that i could support Android TV and Android auto later on, but that Chromecast with Google TV looks like completely another challenge by taking quick look of the available documentations, but at this point i have to say its very unlikely if i don’t replace my older chromecast with the new one.

Here’s another version of the app, many bug fixes included.
Also made the “dialog” which you pop up by long pressing Tracks, albums etc while navigating to actually work, it does also allow to add Tracks on allready existing playlist.

Next on the map is

  • Finish the playlist functionality, need ability to create new list’s and remove items.
  • Favourite handling

Open testing on store is going to be available once they finish reviewing the app.

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