Beta testing for RunPee 1.2 on Android

The app is just about complete and it would be very helpful if you could take the beta for a test drive and report back any issues that you find that I can fix before the public launch next week. If you would like to test the app then just visit: http://polyGeek.com/runpee on your mobile phone. There will be an image there that you can click on to download the beta to your phone and install it.

Note: You must edit your settings to be able to install apps from outside of the marketplace. Just go to Settings -> Applications -> Check “Allow Unknown Sources”.

When you click the icon it will begin downloading the RunPee.apk file. If you pull down the Android Notification Bar – the bar across the top of your screen where the time is displayed – you will see the download progress. Once it is complete you can click on that file and it will ask you if you want to install the RunPee application.

New features and changes to this version:

  •  Vibration for the Timer – The Timer will now vibrate the phone at 2 minutes and 1 minute before a peetime. For this to work the phone must be awake so there is a new lock screen for the timer. Please let me know what you think of the user experience for using these new features.
  • Filmstrip navigation – The navigation is completely changed with a filmstrip of icons along the bottom over each screen. And the up-arrow on the filmstrip-nav will open the navigation up into a vertical view that is more descriptive. What do you think? Is it understandable? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?
  • Facebook integration – There is a new screen to quickly let you post a movie review to your Facebook wall without the need to type anything, unless you want to.
  • Ratings – When you post a review to Facebook your ratings are also saved to the RunPee database so that users can see an average of how users have rated different movies.
  • IMDb integration.
  • Sorting icons for movie list – on the startup screen there are now icons, instead of text, to sort the movies by either release date, or title. Do you Think that is clear enough? There is also an icon to limit the movie list to only the classic movies. New movies will be added periodically.
  • Kindle ad – I’ve added an add for the Amazon Kindle. What do you think? Do you think it will annoy people? Will anyone use it?
  • Flashlight – fairly explanatory.
  • Sounds – This is really added just for the fun of it although a few people may actually use it. I’m still working on the interface on this screen to add the ability to delete a sound file after downloading it. This bit is not quite complete. It works but I’ll update the UX before updating.

If you have any feedback the please feel free to comment here or on Facebook or if you like you can email me directly at polyGeek@RunPee.com.

Beta version of RunPee 1.1.0

If you have an Android phone with version 2.2+ of the OS ( that supports Adobe AIR ) you can download and install a beta version of the update to the RunPee app – version 1.1.0.

It is very easy to install the app. First, on your phone, you need to go into your settings and enable applications from unknown sources: settings -> applications -> unknown sources ( Allow installation of non-Market applications. ) Note: the menus names may be slightly different on your phone.

Now simply download the RunPee.apk file to your phone by browsing to: polygeek.com/air/runpee.apk <- This is my developer blog. For some reason I can’t download .apk files from the server that hosts RunPee.com.

When the download starts you can simply pull your notification bar down from the top and see the download progress.  When the download is complete simply press it and you will be asked if you would like to install this application. Say yes and you’re off and running. At this point you may want to go back into your settings and turn off the Allow unknown sources for security reasons.

The main thing that I’ve added to this version is access to the RottenTomatoes.com data. But this is only for the latest movies. Just select one of the recent releases from the startup screen and at the bottom of the “peetime” screen you’ll see a “Movie Info” button with icons above it. If there is a RottenTomato icon there then when you click on the button you’ll go to a screen that gives you the option to see all the extra info for the movie – youTube videos, RottenTomato ratings, Twitter comments about the movie.

I have also made a few cosmetic changes here and there – yes I know it’s still not very slick but I’m not a designer so it’s the best I can do. 🙂

Hopefully I fixed more bugs than I created. But if you notice anything please let me know in the comments. I’m going to take your feedback and make any needed changes and then on Monday I’ll submit the update to Android/Apple.

The RunPee app is available at iTunes

RunPee for iPhone

The RunPee movie list on iPhone

The new RunPee app has been approved by Apple and is available for download on iTunes – 4Free! Also available on Android and Windows7 Mobile.

Note: this is not an update to the existing RunPee iPhone app. This is a totally new app built by me,  not RockSoftware – now named RockLive. The agreement between myself/RunPee.com and RockLive has ended and now I’m able to create my own apps. Unfortunately due to a technical snafu by Apple the old app can’t be updated. But don’t worry, this app is free.

However, the most important thing – the peetimes – were always done by me and my family so that much remains the same. For the time being you can use either app you want. But later this year the old RunPee app will be discontinued and the peetimes will no longer be available through that app.

What’s new with the RunPee app?

There are a few features that I’ve added. First off we now write a synopsis of the first 5 minutes of the movie for those who are running late. So if you’re late to the theater or caught in the concessions line you’ll know what you missed. We also have a short message from the person who harvested the peetimes letting you know which one we would recommend using and how difficult it was to get peetimes for that movie.

Also, you can see from the image – upper-right – that movies are divided out by month, or first letter, so that it should be much easier to find the movie you’re looking for. In the next update – by the end of July – I’ll add the ability to do a text search for any movie in the database.

The new RunPee Timer

The biggest change comes in the Timer. Instead of just showing you how long the timer has been running you can now see a progress bar with the peetimes marked off. I also show you how many minutes you need to wait until the next peetime so that you can see at a glance how long you need to wait. In addition the cue for the upcoming peetime is displayed so that you never have to leave the timer.

Unfortunately at this time there is no vibration alert built into the timer. But that will be coming in an update probably in September/October. ( This app is built using Adobe AIR which currently does not have the ability to vibrate the phone. However AIR 3.0 due in a few months will have that ability and I’ll update the app pronto when it does. )

related: Why use Adobe AIR?

I have also added an “About Page” so that if you care you can read a little bit about the people who go and get the peetimes for the app.

If you would like to be on the beta-testing team send me an email – to polyGeek@RunPee.com – with the UDID number of your iPhone/iPad.

As always don’t hesitate to suggest improvements or new features. Many of the new additions to the app came from users like yourself.

Thank you for your time and support of RunPee.com. Please remember to tell your friends and family about the app because as we all know, “A bladder is a terrible thing to hold.”

Why use Adobe AIR?

RunPee on Adobe AIR

Something tells me Adobe marketing wouldn't approve of this image. 🙂

I’ll try to explain the reasons behind the decision to use Adobe AIR to build the RunPee mobile apps.

First, I have been a Flash/Actionscript developer for over a decade so using Adobe AIR is very easy for me to pick up and work with.

Second, and most importantly, the Android and iPhone apps use one code base. If I were to build the apps using the native languages and tools for both Android and iPhone then I would have two entirely different code bases to work on. They wouldn’t share a single line of code between them. That would effectively double the work.

Plus it simplifies testing to have just one code base. I only need to do rigorous testing on one platform and then do a quick check on the other to make sure something funky isn’t going on with AIR – which rarely happens. In fact I don’t even have an iPhone. I do all the testing on my two Android phones and then ask users/family to do a quick run through on their iPhones.

It goes without saying that every update to the apps that I make would also have to be done twice. In the end that becomes overwhelming to keep up with. I’m not a team or a company. I’m just one guy working with the time limitations of personal projects like RunPee and client work that pays the bills.

Thirdly, I would have to learn both Java – for Android – and Objective C – for iPhone – to be able to write native apps. There are many developers who can work in both languages, plus ActionScript. And I salute them. But I’m really not interested in putting for all that effort to write apps that only work on one platform. And it would be a huge effort. I’m not even sure it’s possible to write iPhone apps on a PC and there is a zero percent chance I would ever use Mac. To put it quite bluntly I’d give up using computers altogether if my only option were Mac.

So there you have it. If it weren’t for Adobe AIR there would be no RunPee app.

Acting All-Stars with Business Backgrounds

Not every movie star only has good lucks and a low IQ. In fact, most are incredibly smart, and those we hear of frequently enough to dub “celebrities” have learned to properly manage themselves and their careers to stay on top. The study of business has proven to be incredibly beneficial to many actors and actresses, and although many obtained these degrees decades ago, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few up-and-comings pursuing business through the University of Phoenix online. Even if you want to pursue acting, you should consider also getting an online mba. Learning the ins and outs of business never hurt anyone, and it definitely benefited the following actors:

Clint Eastwood

Eastwood’s education in business could be a partial cause for his mogul status. In addition to acting, Eastwood has written, directed, and produced numerous films which have allowed him to become one of the most recognized names in Hollywood. Million Dollar Baby and Dirty Harry are just a couple of his renowned films, and although he may not have completed his business degree, we can definitely say that the little education he did receive definitely paid off.

Kevin Costner

Tin Cup, WaterWorld, Dances with Wolves, what excellent movie hasn’t Kevin Costner been in? Not only has Kevin Costner had many great successes throughout his career, but he has also had a long one which may be in part to him being more business oriented. Costner holds a degree in business from California State Univeristy and even spent a few weeks as a marketing director.

Cate Blanchett

Even actors from across the Pacific have chosen to pursue more business minded endeavors in conjunction with their acting studies. Cate Blanchett who has starred in movies such as Notes on a Scandal and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, first became acquainted with acting at the Methodist Ladies’ College; however chose to pursue Economics while she attended the University of Melbourne. It wasn’t until after she graduated, that Cate decided to attend the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney.

Benicio del Toro

Pursuing higher education definitely paid off for this actor. Benicio del Toro has won multiple awards including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, and has landed rolls in cult classics such as The Usual Suspects and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Originally he enrolled in the University of California – San Diego as a business student only later to pursue acting courses.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

This may come as a surprise, but Mr. Schwarzenegger holds a degree in Business and International Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. In addition to rocking out rolls in high action movies such as Terminator, Schwarzenegger’s business side has actually paid off co-opening Planet Hollywood with Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Sylvester Stallone, and using it to help him run California as Governor.

Movie review : Zookeeper

There’s nothing funnier than talking animals. I see that Zookeeper is being panned to death but they’re wrong, very very wrong……Talking animals AND Kevin James made for a hysterical movie. The kids in the theater were having a great time watching it and the parents, despite their efforts not laugh, had to give a big chuckle to the monkey. The plot was transparent, but who cares, great acting and dialog was worth the price of admission.

Movie review : Horrible Bosses

Horrible Bosses has something in it that everyone can relate to. People you hate to work with. In this case each of the characters have extremely horrible bosses keeping them down in one way or another. Over drinks Nick, Dale and Kurt hatch a plan to kill their bosses. Once they have their plan in motion, anything that can go wrong, does. This movie is a non-stop laugh riot. Funny lines delivered by even funnier people. The casting was an amazing job, right down to the ever pouncing cat at Mr. Harkins house. I saw the first show of the day and the theater was full. I noticed that not one person got up to leave. The laughter keeps you glued to your seat. It is a short movie that doesn’t come up short on LOLs

Movie review : Bad Teacher

[ No Spoilers  ]

If you’re wondering if Bad Teacher really earned it’s R-rating then worry no longer. It did. In spades. It brought the raunchy as good as any movie I can remember seeing.

This is one of those movies that’s hard to capture in the previews because the best parts are exactly the things you can’t put in previews. So don’t go and see this movie expecting a warm, uplifting story like Stand and Deliver – you know, the movie with Edward James Olmos about teaching inner city kids math. It’s not cute; It’s not uplifting and I hope it’s not inspiring to anyone.

Now, was the movie any good? Like all things that depends. I was in a nearly sold out theater and the audience laugh often and hard. There were quite a few moments in the movie where I’m sure most people will be left thinking, “She didn’t just say that did she? Oh crap. She did.” So it has funny covered.

The story was, ehhhh. Nothing to get worked up about. There is hardly any sympathy for any of the characters so it’s difficult to get wrapped up in what happens to them.

And don’t go see it just if you’re a big Justin Timberlake fan. Not that he was anything but good in his roll. It’s just that he doesn’t have much of a roll in the movie. He’s maybe the 4th most important character.

I am very impressed with the job that Cameron Diaz did. She’s an amazingly talented actress who can do comedy and drama equally well.

New and improved timer for the RunPee app

Now that I’m building the RunPee app – instead of RockSoftware – I’ll be able to add features that I’ve wanted for ages. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the work I’m doing. Probably the thing that will change the most is the timer. Currently the timer just gives you a count of how much time has elapsed in the movie.

Now at a glance you will be able to see:

  • Time elapsed
  • Progress-bar of time elapsed
  • Where the peetimes occur in the movie shown over the progress-bar
  • A countdown for how many minutes until the next peetime
  • A display of the cue for the next peetime that you can press to see the synopsis

So you can see that with this timer you can start it and then at a glance see where the peetimes are in the movie and how much time is left until the next one. What could be better?

Well, there is one little thing that’s left out. The phone won’t vibrate when the timer is getting close to a peetime. I’m sorry but that’s just not currently possible with Adobe AIR for mobile. But it will be an option later this summer that I can add. For now you’ll just have to peak at it.

Before the app is launched I’ll add some controls to let you adjust the time on the timer – in case you forget to start the timer when the movie starts. So you’ll be able to increment the time or have it synch up with the current cue. So for instance if you forget to start the timer you can just wait for the first peetime, hit a button, and the timer will jump to that peetime so that you’ll be set for the remaining peetimes.

This app will be coming to Android at the end of the month – June. I’ll have it out in time for Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon which is OVER 2 1/2 hours long! I’m uncertain when it will be available for the iPhone. That depends on the transfer of the app from RockSoftware to myself.

I’m adding a lot of other new features to this app as well. Stay tuned for updates.

Movie review : Green Lantern

The power of the Green Lantern gives the wearer the ability to make anything imaginable become reality. The writers/director used their power to conjure up every imaginable cliche ever used to make a super hero comic adaptation. Wait, I take that back. There’s no side kick in this story so they missed maybe one cliche.

Lets run down the list:

  • Under achiever given gift of great power – check
  • Failed relationships – check
  • Childhood friend of eventual enemy – check
  • Techie brilliant friend – check ( wait, he’s sort of a side kick. )
  • Bad guy just wants to be loved – check
  • Rekindling former relationship – check

I can’t think of anything redeeming about this movie. Just wait until it’s on Netflix so you can watch the first half and then quit without actually paying anything for it.

With all that being said I can’t really find any fault with Ryan Reynolds’ performance. He did fine as the Green Lantern. I don’t think anyone could have done a better job in his role. But like my moma says, “It’s hard to not stink when you’re covered in shit.”