Sunday, May 20, 2007

Java Clients v0.3.0 are out.

These fixes a few more bugs, the most significant being the course and speed information that has been missing for some time due to something wrong that was not right...

Also this version has some minor design changes prompted by the Nokia N95 now being the prime test device (see previous post). Among other things, the file system access has been simplified. In the prior versions several read operations were performed per map tile while loading from the file system, to make sure the maximum disk usage limit was not exceeded. In phones who only grant one-shot file system access to untrusted MIDlets (such as most Nokias), this meant that using file system cache was almost impossible. Now, maximum disk usage is no longer monitored, and only one security prompt per tile is required when loading from cache (plus one when loading an uncached tile from the net and writing it to the file system). While it is still annoying, requiring 9 clicks to load a full map from the file system (assuming 240x320 display), it is at least almost bearable. The proper fix is to go through a verification program, obtaining a security signature, giving the NavXS MIDlet status as trusted and thus dispensing with the security prompts altogether. This is not an option for a development beta-versions such as the current, but as things are starting to come together nicely, maybe it's about time to make a final release...

Anyhoo: the new clients can be downloaded here:

PS for Nokia N95 users: Make sure you configure the file system to cache tiles to the Micro-SD card, as untrusted MIDlets (such as the NavXS beta clients) do not have any access to the phone memory at all.

I got myself a Nokia N95 a short while ago. A truly impressive telephone, especially the camera: I will probably never buy a dedicated digital camera again! And with the combination built-in GPS plus high-speed connectivity (3G, HSDPA, WLAN) it is a nice platform for NavXS.

I must admit that I am a bit disappointed by the built-in GPS receiver though, which is hardly better than the one in my almost 2 years old Siemens SXG-75. To be fair, it does have slightly better accuracy and does not jump around so much as the SXG, but I expect this is more due to the Siemens guys not finding the time to add a little software filtering. The time to get a fix is just as long for the N95 as the SXG, if not longer. Hopefully future firmware updates can bring improvements (through better handling of almanac data perhaps). Another advantage of the SXG, from a developer's point of view, was that it had much more relaxed security implementations, allowing the user to grant untrusted MIDlets file system access for an entire session, rather than just one-shot access. Having to grant explicit rights to each single read or write, makes caching of map tiles to the file system in the N95 (and other Nokias) a real pain! But then again, this is a good incentive to make an “official” release of a signed, trusted NavXS MIDlet.

But all in all: The N95 is a kick-ass phone :-)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

New Java versions are available!

New in v0.2.9:
  • Improved map tile loading (see screenshot).
  • A few menu new icons.
  • Sending and receiving locations now works as it should.
  • Some new (preliminary) help screens.
  • And fixes for a bunch of non-critical but annoying bugs...
Get your update here: