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Android App

RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
edited May 2012 in Everything else LEGO
This has been a while coming, but I'm proud to present the first release candidate of my Android App. Thanks to the extreme generosity of Huw, the app contains the entire Brickset database for offline browsing, so if you're in a store with no wifi you can still access set prices to see if you're getting a good deal. For those with wifi, it also includes links to the Brickset page for each set and any available instructions.

The app is fully integrated with Brickset, meaning that your owned & wanted status can be viewed and updated on the phone, and when you connect to the internet next it'll sync up with Brickset as well as downloading any new set information.

It's quite large (about 30MB) as it includes thumbnails for every app - if you browse the app whilst connected to the internet, it'll download higher quality images on the fly (up to a pre-specified limit that can be set in the app's preferences).

For now I'm releasing this as a manual download only (hoping that this means it'll be tested by the more technical people out there!), but once it's been confirmed that there's no (major) bugs present it'll go onto Google Play (as a free app of course).

If you have any bugs or feature requests, please either post them here or send them to [email protected]. I'm not adding any new features until it's been released officially, but will look at them all and add them to my list!

Without any more ado, the link for the app is:

After logging in, it may take up to 30 seconds to sync up with Brickset and download your set information.

In return for the app, I have a couple of favours:
1. The app is currently called 'myBrickset'. I'm open to new names if anyone has one.
2. The icon's a bit low res and could be something better? Ideas or preferably good quality png files are very welcome!
3. To post on Google Play I require a 512x512 png that'll be used on their site. My abilities as a graphic artist make my niece look like da Vinci, so I'd really appreciate any help with this (will probably be a larger version of the icon?).


  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    Well, this is fantastic.
    It's working correctly on my Evo3D (Android 2.3.4) & Toshiba Thrive (Android 3.2.1)
    But not with my other tablet (Archos 101IT, Android 2.2.1) - It force closes on boot.

    My only complaint is that when I visit a set page on the Honeycomb tablet, the on-screen keyboard pops up automatically. Not sure why (maybe a text box has focus?). It requires two button presses to go back, one to dismiss the keyboard, another to actually go back...

    I can't wait to test the offline set database at my TRU, which has really terrible cell coverage...
  • RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
    Thanks for the report and glad you're liking it!

    Can't think why it would crash on your Archos, it should work fine on anything from 1.6 upwards. If you don't mind, could you mail me on [email protected] and I'll walk you through obtaining the log files.

    I've noticed the same problem with the keyboard on Honeycomb and up, I'm looking into it but don't have a solution yet (as you say, it's probably a focus issue).
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP Member Posts: 1,917
    Wow, a wonderful concept for an app. I've been waiting for one for a while now. Too bad I don't own an Android device. Any chance this app will make it to iOS in the future?
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Member Posts: 2,108
    Thanks @RikTheVeggie that is a really great app. And @Huw for allowing it to happen. Can now use this when Im bored at work :-D.

    I think the offical Brickset icon would be better than the lego head, Although that is perhaps something for you and Huw to sort out. The lego head looks fine just not "bricksetty" if you get my meaning.

    Is there any plans to expand it and add more detail. The more I have a little version of the site for when I am away from the pc the better. So maybe adding how many i want of each on my wanted list and how many I own would be helpful. Creating a kind of lego shopping list in my pocket so going to the local store I can use the app to look at my wanted list and hey I want 5 fire temples and they have 5 in store great can mark it off and when I get home it syncs both ways and updates my list on the site without me having to log on and do it manually. Although how that would work I have no idea and is proberbly complicated. (All I know is shouting at my pc makes it work).

    @LegobrandonCP I thought brickset had its own IOS app already. Could be wrong though. Seem to remember someone mentioning it.
  • RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
    @jwsmart - keyboard issue fixed! It'll be in the next release. Haven't been able to recreate any crashing on 2.2 though.

    @LegobrandonCP - I don't have an iOS device so wouldn't be able to code for one. You could try the existing app, and ask the developer to add any missing features (I think caching the db for offline access is the biggie). From the images it looks a bit prettier than my app, but I've not had the chance to see it in action.

    @Redbullgivesuwind - using it in TRU normally leaves me sad at all the over-priced sets. Tho' in Canada the Cargo Train is quite cheap (and is 'temporarily unavailable' during the current 20% off sale..).

    Back on topic.. didn't want to ask Huw if I could use his logo and become the 'official' app, personally I think the more apps we have the better and I don't want to discourage anyone else! I'd also like at some point to maybe put non-Brickset stuff in (like an automated bricklink price minimiser, but that's a long way off yet and I want to get a working PC version first).

    I've got a bunch of features lined up to be added (user notes & scanning barcodes the two main) but most of what I add depends on Huw updating the webservice API to give me access to the data.

    The shopping list idea is a neat one.. would updating the wanted list to have a 'quantity wanted' field (which wouldn't sync with Brickset unfortunately as the site doesn't have such a field) be enough, or would you prefer an actual separate list that you can just add items to and say how many of each? (and/or in the set screen press 'add to shopping list').

    Syncing with Brickset is already in the app - it uses the Background Sync service to ensure the database always has the latest set info and that your owned & wanted data matches what's on the website (if you change details for a set on both, the phone takes precedence). You can request a manual sync too from the main screen.
  • khmellymelkhmellymel Member Posts: 1,313
    Thanks for creating this! I've totally been pining for a way to view my collection on my phone. I'm gonna install and test it right now :D
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Member Posts: 2,108
    @RiktheVegitarian That makes complete sense. Oh I like the fact that they sync together thats very useful.

    With the shopping list I think it would be nice to have a seperate list that you could place sets in and if your feeling brave parts along with the quanity needed that way rather than write it all down you have a picture of the set or more usefully when at the PAB wall a picture of the parts you want. However I would test the desire for that as I dont know if it would be popular with anyone aside from me. :-D
  • khmellymelkhmellymel Member Posts: 1,313

    The app looks really good and is smooth and easy to use! I'm running into a bit of difficulty though, because I can't seem to get the sync working. I've tried using the sync from the main screen, too. Am I doing something incorrectly? Thanks for all your hard work!
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    @RikTheVeggie - Excellent. I'm going to give it another shot on that tablet - I ended up wiping it and reloading it last night for unrelated reasons.
  • RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
    edited May 2012
    @khmellymel - the first time you log in it should auto-sync with Brickset, and you can also force a sync by pressing the refresh icon on the main screen as you seem to have done. It uses Android's Background Service Provider, which means it syncs the same way as Google Mail etc. So you need to have 'Background data' turned on, and 'auto-sync' if you want it to sync automatically.

    To check everything's ok, go into Android's Settings | Accounts and sync. There should be a myBrickset account (lego head and your Brickset name). This needs to say 'sync is on'.

    If you think everything's ok and it's still not syncing, please mail me on [email protected] and I'll walk you through obtaining the log files.
  • khmellymelkhmellymel Member Posts: 1,313
    @RikTheVeggie - thanks! I didn't realise there was a sync under Accounts too. That got it working, but I did try getting it from the refresh on the main screen first, and when that didn't work, I signed out, signed back in, and finally uninstalled and reinstalled it. The sync under Accounts was the only thing that worked for me, but now that it works, it runs beautifully!

    Thanks again, this is a great app! Thanks to Huw too!
  • RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
    @khmellymel - if you have to go into the settings to update the app then it sounds like something's not set up correctly. If autosync & background data are on, the app should automatically sync whenever it needs to. Or if autosync is off but background data is on, you can sync by pressing refresh. Both of these require that sync is on for the the brickset account though (this should be the case if you've not changed its settings).
  • khmellymelkhmellymel Member Posts: 1,313

    Background data on my phone is always on, though I don't believe autosync is. I haven't changed any Brickset settings, but for some reason I still can't refresh from the main page. I turned autosync on (at least I think I did, this version of Android isn't very clear when it comes to autosync)... but no love either.

    I honestly think it's just my phone. If you want though, maybe track the issue in case you get other reports? I'm running an (unrooted) Android version 2.3.4 on a Motorola Atrix :)
  • RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
    New version to try and fix sync issues, please let me know how you get on.

    Sync has been reworked a little so it might 'just work'. If not, go into settings and activate 'force refresh' then hit the refresh icon on the main screen. If that doesn't work (I've had a reported issue on HTC Desire), activate 'manual refresh' and hit the refresh icon again.
  • ludzikludzik Member Posts: 429
    Woohoo! Cool app! :)
  • RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
    Now on Google Play!

    If you previously manually installed, you may need to uninstall the old version first.
  • HuwHuw Administrator Posts: 7,075
    Excellent, well done and thank you. I will post on the home page, and also get that date problem we discussed sorted :-)
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,825
    Hiya. Struggling with this release. Installed the first and second beta, no problem and actually thought was really useful. With this official release however, having installed, logged in, checked the 'sync settings' etc., I cannot for the life of me get any search results back using the app. I don't own any sets nor want any. I can't seatch for sets, I just get 'No results' back. I have no doubt the problem is mine, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is.
  • Russell844Russell844 Member Posts: 2,390
    I am using an original Droid. The same thing happens with this release that it did for the betas. It unexpectedly quits when it tries to log me in.
  • RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
    @flump6523 - try pressing 'menu', select 'log out' then log back in. Think I need to find a better way of upgrading releases, I'm guessing atm your user data was lost during the upgrade (and the app won't show anything if it can't find any user data).

    @Russell844 - I don't know why the app is crashing for you, can you contact me on [email protected] and I'll talk you through getting the log files. It could be there's something I'm not accounting for with older handsets (obviously, being a solo developer on a not-for-profit hobby project I only have very limited access to hardware for testing).
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,825
    @RikTheVeggie - Thanks for you assistance. It didn't work though. I should point out that the handset I am using now, whereas is technically the same in every way as the one I was running the beta version on isn't physically the same - I broke the last one. This actual phone is the first time I have attempted to install and run the app.
  • Russell844Russell844 Member Posts: 2,390
    @RikTheVeggie, email sent. Thanks!
  • RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
    @flump6523 - hmm, that's odd. If you're logged in ok, there shouldn't be any reason why you can't see anything. Can you mail me please ([email protected]), I may need to send you a custom version that includes additional logging to try and figure out what's going on.

    @Russell844 - got it thanks, will mail you shortly.
  • LegoboyLegoboy Member Posts: 8,825
    Hey @RikTheVeggie, with a little patience and uninstalling and reinstalling and restarting and repeating tbe process again, it seems to be working okay now.

    Have to say, it's a fantastic app. Many thanks for providing it.

  • RikTheVeggieRikTheVeggie Member Posts: 356
    @flump6523 - good to hear, not sure what happened - I guess something went wrong with the upgrade. Let me know if it happens again and I'll look into it some more.

    Glad you like the app, feel free to give me 5 stars on Google Play :) 21 active installs currently, tell all your LEGO loving Android wielding friends!

    Work's getting in the way of development plans atm, but please keep all your feature requests / UI redesigns / whatever coming in.
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    5 Stars... Done.
    Thanks again for the app!
  • Russell844Russell844 Member Posts: 2,390
    I want to give public thanks to @RikTheVeggie for helping me offline. We are getting there!
  • martynmartyn Member Posts: 148
    ^ +1 with the thanks for @RikTheVeggie for helping offline.
  • caperberrycaperberry Member Posts: 2,226
    I just wish I'd gone Android when I bought my last phone. :O(
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