All posts by Mark

Music loving geek

A Tale of Two Versions (Sorry!)

Dear users,

We pushed out an update to our beloved Windows Phone 7 users over the weekend. Version 3.0.4 addresses the top bugs and shows our commitment to our users on the older version of the OS.

Unfortunately, when pushing this update out, we inadvertently managed to vaporize the Windows Phone 8 application package, containing BringCast 3.8.1!! This manifested itself on user’s devices by the Store offering to “upgrade” our WP8 users to the WP7 version of the app!! Not something we planned, or that you guys wanted, we’re sure…!

So – please accept our apologies. This was a mistake and we’re working fast to fix it. BringCast 3.8.2 for WP8 is currently pending approval, and as soon as it is available, it will fix those users who got downgraded. We can confirm that subscriptions and settings will be restored when 3.8.2 is installed!

If you’re still running BringCast 3.8.1, please do not update from the store until we give the all clear. Sorry again for this mistake! Hopefully everyone will be up and running again in the next day or two.

Just another day in the life of software developers… 🙂

Guests on the Windows Developer Show!

Last week, James and I were guests on the Windows Developer Show! We got to hang out with Ryan and Travis and chat about BringCast. We talked about our future plans, technical challenges and we discussed the future of podcasting in general!

It was great fun being part of the show and we thank the guys for having us. You can listen back to the recording using the link below, or of course by using BringCast 🙂

The interview with us is 26 minutes in. Enjoy!

http://windowsdevelopershow.com/2014/01/episode-146-one-peach-cobbler-away-from-cholesterol-disaster/

BringCast + Car Dash = More Awesomeness!

Our friend Rob has just released an update to his excellent app, Car Dash, which now integrates with BringCast!

Car Dash is a Windows Phone 8 dashboard application for the commuter!

Features: 

* Large touch-friendly interface
* Play music from your phone’s music library using voice commands
* Play music from Nokia MixRadio using voice commands *Nokia Phones only
* Store frequent destinations, with the press of a button launch a navigation app that will route you to your saved destination
* Store frequently used contacts to quick place phone calls
* Buttons to quickly navigate your phones settings menus (WiFi, Cellular, Bluetooth etc)
* Buttons to navigate to frequently used apps (Live Music Access, WPCentral, WhatsApp etc)
* Program an NFC tag to launch the app

The latest version integrates with BringCast, so you can now control podcast playback directly from the app! It also supports voice commands to control various functions. For example, with Car Dash installed, you can start BringCast playback with the following voice command:

“BringCast Play Podcast”

Are you a Windows Phone developer who is looking to integrate with BringCast? Check out the details of how to do so here.

BringCast 3.8.0 Is Available!

Hi everyone,

It’s been a long time since our last post. We’ve been hard at work and we’re back with some great news! BringCast 3.8.0 is now available in the Windows Phone Store!! This is a huge release, bringing lots of great features.

For starters, it’s our first release of BringCast for Windows Phone 8. You’ll notice a beautiful, fast and fluid UI that makes use of every pixel on your device. The app starts up faster, too! We’ve expanded the podcast database, and added many highly-requested features, like customizable seek intervals and automatic clean-up of episode files that are no longer needed.

One new feature we’re super proud of is the ability to use the lock screen / Bluetooth / headphone controls to skip within episodes. When this is enabled, it means you can easily skip through sections of a podcast using your headphone controls, or the Bluetooth controls in your car!

We’ve refined the inbox workflow, too, to make it simpler to use. Now, if you want to listen to every episode of a particular podcast, just flick a switch and new episodes will be added to your player, skipping the inbox completely. For those podcasts where you like to pick and choose what episodes you play, the inbox has been cleaned up to make it super easy to triage what you want and what you don’t.

BringCast 3.8.0 is also the first release to offer integration with other apps. Car Dash (formally known as Car Starter) integrates with us and can start podcast playback in BringCast directly! We also have a completely customizable user interface theme, so you can change the color of the app to suit your mood.

We’re super proud of this release, and hope you love it as much as we’ve enjoyed building it. Screenshots, a video and a full change log are shown below.

There’s so much more BringCast goodness coming in 2014. We can’t wait to share it with you! Follow us on Twitter – @bringcast.

Screenshots

BringCast 3.8 List of subscriptions Exploring the podcast database Skip play Fully customizable Video playback  

Video

Change log for BringCast 3.8.0

  • Support for Windows Phone 8.0
  • Support for larger screen sizes
  • Faster app startup/resume
  • Additional app themes
  • In-app purchases
  • User interface refresh
  • Improved scrubbing control
  • Improved podcast feed parser
  • Improved podcast database searching
  • Customizable seek interval
  • Use lock screen controls to seek
  • Refined inbox triage workflow
  • Mark episodes as listened/watched
  • Improved SkyDrive import/export workflow
  • Clear all episodes in playlist
  • Custom URI protocol for app integration
  • Toggle auto-play of next episode
  • Auto clean-up of old episodes
  • Portable core
  • Bug fixes

BringCast 3.0 Update

Hey everyone!

Mark here. I thought it would be good to jot down some words about the current state of BringCast 3.0 development!

Firstly, apologies that it’s taking a long time. James and I are super busy with our day jobs, so we only get a few hours each week to chip away at BringCast development. But, rest assured the project is still alive and well and we’re ensuring we get everything right.

The last few weeks have seen some UI tweaks – as you guys requested, we’ve toned down the usage of “BringCast green” on all the screens to make things more readable. Here are some screenshots of the latest iteration of the UI:

wp_ss_20130424_0001 wp_ss_20130424_0002 wp_ss_20130424_0003

We’ve also re-branded “What’s New” as the “Inbox”. We figured this was a ubiquitous term that people understood and it can apply to podcast episodes just like it does to email!

A lot of our recent work has been around the RSS feed parser. We’ve decided to make this core part of BringCast completely portable. It has also been re-coded to make it easier to test so that we can more easily fix problem feeds through it that you guys report!

Also, as we talked about previously, BringCast 3.0 for Windows Phone 7.5 will not include cloud mode. That will be deferred until BringCast 4.0, for Windows Phone 8. So, we’ve also been working on making “offline” mode work as seamlessly as possible.

We’re aware from users that BringCast 3.0 Beta 1 recently expired. We plan to ship Beta 2 in the next few days to address this.

Many thanks for all the feedback and support!

Cheers,

Mark & James

Articles Version 1.2 Now Available

Version 1.2 of Articles is now available in the Windows Phone Store! This is a small maintenance release, with the following changes:-

  • Increases timeouts slightly to avoid “cannot refresh” errors
  • Fixed an issue where article tweet length could be over 140 characters
  • Fixed an issue where going “back” to the app could sometimes cause the article to not be rendered
  • Guarded against a few common errors
  • Some synchonrization improvements and optimizations

Get it now!