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May 11

Lucid Dreaming App v0.7 preview

The version 0.7 of the lucid dreaming app will be coming out on Thursday 05/12/11 or Friday 05/13/11, depending on the amount of testing I have to do.

Update: due to technical difficulties with testing on Friday the 13th, the update will happen during the weekend.

Here’s a list of exciting improvements!

Calibration fix, Display Data fix

I’m pleased to announce that the issue with Lucid Dreaming App not being able to calibrate itself might’ve been resolved in this release. I tested the new “manual calibration” on a Droid phone running Android 2.2, and it works. Please help me confirm if the phones below still have the issue. The new manual calibration takes about 60 seconds, but requires manually moving the phone to get accelerometer events coming in. All phones may use this new calibration mode to save time, and switch to extended calibration if motion artifacts are observed, resulting in poor sleep scoring.

  • Samsung Captivate – reported unable to collect accelerometer data in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Motorola Cliq2 – reported unable to calibrate in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Motorola Droid X – reported unable to calibrate in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Motorola Droid – unable to complete calibration in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Google G1, Android 2.2.1 “The Official” mod, unable to finish calibration in app version 0.6.9.2

Better Smart Timer.

I’ve searched lucid dreaming boards, trying to determine exactly what lucid dreamers want from the timer like app. And here’s my answer:

  • Ability to mix and match reminders for different times of the night. This will allow SmartTimer to play many combinations of sound files.
  • Ability to use vibration alarm. This will allow a phone to vibrate a short text message in Morse code. This produces very distinct sound, which is hard to miss. You get to set the text message.
  • New reminder modes – before suspected REM period (for WILD attempts and WBTB), after movement(for DILD or DEILD) or after REM for general dream recall. Now you can use the vibration reminder to wake you up for WBTB, or wake up after suspected REM for dream recall.

Additionally, I implemented support for multiple smart timer config files. Now you may create a copy of your config file and edit it, effectively creating 2 different smart timer versions. One possible use of this would be sharing configuration files that worked for you with friends, or switching between test and real config files.  I’m currently working on an ability to change configuration files while smart timer is already running – this will prevent the need to re-start the app to make changes.

The most advanced lucid dreaming timer for Android

Introducing WILD Timer

An additional feature that will help with the most dedicated lucid dreaming attempts is the WILD timer.

  • Use it to create a set of reminders at irregular spacing. Use this feature to keep you awake long enough to enter WILD
  • Combine several voice and vibrate reminders to unlock new possibilities. Play step by step guided meditations, relaxation excercises and then jolt your mind awake with a Morse code buzzer 🙂
  • Start or cancel all WILD timer at any time by drawing the “WILD” gesture on the clock screen.
  • Or disable the Smart Timer and create your own set of timers to schedule whenever you want!

WILD attempts are best performed after the 3rd long REM period (~4.5 hours of sleep). With the new smart timer, you may be able to wake yourself up before the 4th long REM episode, set the timer to play several reminders over the next 40 minutes or so and enter your dreams consciously with WILD. Additionally, WILD timer configuration files can be copied, so you can create a set of several timer configurations to switch between at night.

If you prefer DEILD, the timer can be easily adjusted for that technique. Reduce the number of reminders and play with their spacing to deliver the reminder during the next dream.

Create your own list of reminders and schedule/stop them with a single gesture!

 

More stable architecture.

Lucid dreaming app is not split into multiple activities and a service. Together this means that the app will be more resistant to Force Close, as only one activity will die, and it can be revived. Data collection is also more resistant to application errors.

  • At night the graph which updates every minute is not started until the user asks for it. The trade-off is that the first time graph update may take 20 seconds or so. This should result in improved performance and stability, especially on older phones.
  • Minute by minute list activity is also not started until it is requested by the user. Intended to improve stability and performance on slower phones.
  • More efficient communication between activities to fix some key and menu timeout issues.
  • Possibly fixed battery overheating issues (I ran the app for 4 hours in my shirt pocket, the phone was cool).

Now when the app is collecting data, a black warning sign is shown in the notification menu. It remains there as long as the app collects the data (or attempts to – the calibration issue has not been fixed yet).

This should fix issues on these phones:

  • HTC Hero (Android 2.2) reported freezes after several hours in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Huawei Ideos 8510 – freezes after a few hours in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Acer Iconia A500 Tablet (Android 3.0) – reported crash to splash screen after exactly 1 hour in app version 0.6.9.2

 

 

New service based data collection is more stable and memory efficient. Notice black warning sign in the taskbar indicating that the app is running.

Screen brightness controls

I’ve added an option to adjust the brightness of the clock and graph screens when the app is running. Before, facing the side where the phone was laying was uncomfortable due to the screen light. Now you can adjust the brightness of the screen all the way down to 1%, which is really dim! The screen cannot be turned off completely, because this stops the accelerometer from working.

Additionally, I added a black background for the running graph and also added brightness control to it. Now you can sleep with a very dim sleep graph on.

New night time sleep graph with black background!

Voice playback update.

Multiple bugs related to sound playback have been fixed. A couple bugs remain. If you cannot hear sound when the app is running at night, try to check and uncheck the “Play sound reminder” – the very first option in preferences. I’ve seen a weird bug where that preference was not read correctly.

I’ve checked the issues with media player and found 2 possible issues with the MediaPlayer itself:

1) Some high bitrate audio files may not be supported by the older OpenCore media player. If no audio is heard, try some simple file like a ringtone.

http://pixxid.com/annoyances-with-android-mediaplayer-part-1/2010/06/21/

2) Apparently the media players before Android 2.2 had some issues with local file playback. Local file playback is listed as one of the major improvements of the new StageFright media player :

http://developer.android.com/sdk/android-2.2-highlights.html#PlatformTechnologies

I have to stop support for sound issues on Android less than 2.2. While I will keep the app labeled as “Android 1.6 and higher” to let more people enjoy other features of the app, there may be sound issues with older versions of Android which I cannot fix. 🙁

 

Internationalization efforts

I’m working together with a few very enthusiastic individuals to translate the app to other languages. Italian will be the first. Maybe you can help with translating the app into your language?

List of phones with issues

  • Samsung Captivate – reported unable to collect accelerometer data in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Samsung Galaxy S – reported unable to play sound in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Motorola Cliq2 – reported unable to calibrate in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Motorola Droid X – reported unable to calibrate in app version 0.6.9.2
  • HTC Hero (Android 2.2) reported freezes after several hours in app version 0.6.9.2
  • HTC HD2 (Android 2.2) accelerometer malfunction, unreliable readings after long period of operation in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Huawei Ideos 8510 – freezes after a few hours in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Acer Iconia A500 Tablet (Android 3.0) – reported crash to splash screen after exactly 1 hour in app version 0.6.9.2
  • Google G1, Android 2.2.1 “The Official” mod, unable to finish calibration in app version 0.6.9.2

List of phones where the app worked

  • Motorola Dext (2.1.5) app version 0.6.9.2
  • Samsung Moment (M900)
  • HTC HD2 (SuperRAM Froyo V2.2)

 

 

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