Monday, December 19, 2011

Badass Battery Monitor - Free vs. Paid & the Kindle Fire

We have released a paid version (currently $1.99) of Badass Battery Monitor.    The free version of Badass Battery Monitor is still free, and will continue to get updates.  Why a Paid version?  Read on...

Badass Battery Monitor has become quite popular on the Kindle Fire for monitoring the Fire's battery.
  • As of this post, it was #189 on Amazon Appstore for all free apps.  
  • 80% of the downloads from Amazon Appstore are coming from Kindle Fire users (for this particular App).
  • Badass Battery Monitor recently got written up by Sharon Vaknin in her c|net blog about the Kindle Fire.

Kindle users tend to be a different breed from the average Android user.  They have very different expectations, and are looking for apps that fit their particular device.  While the Kindle Fire is using Android as it's underlying operating system, it is a very unique device, and apps designed for Android Phones - particularly Battery Monitoring apps fail miserably on the Kindle.  Even though Badass Battery Monitor is popular on the Kinde Fire, we've received lots of enhancement requests.  Chief amongst those are:
  1. Time estimates are way off.   Because the kindle has no phone (who's radio constantly chews up battery on most Android devices), estimating the time remaining is very tricky.  You can't estimate based purely on how long the device has been on since last charged/unplugged, because the Kindle has a very long standby time.  Put it in standby for a day, come back, and you'll find it's lost maybe 1% of the battery (if that).  Telling the user they have 700 hours left isn't very helpful.  Technically they do if they leave it in standby, but they really want to know how much Active time they have remaining.
  2. The layout is optimized for a phone - make a version that fits my 7" tablet screen:  Designing for a tablet vs. a phone is very different.  We designed Badass Battery Monitor originally for phones.  How can we take advantage of the bigger screen size and make it more usable?
So why release a Paid version?

The Kindle users have been very vocal - it's a good thing.  Enhancing an application for a specific device however takes quite a bit of effort (not to mention having to get a hold of the device itself for testing).  It was time to recoup at least some of our development costs, and in-app advertisement is so annoying (and not particularly profitable).   We'll see how this works - it's our first Paid app.  Are the features available in the Paid version worth the $1.99?  Hopefully some people think so - if not, just think of it as a donation for work you appreciate!  The goal is to keep the free version ad-free...

Badass Battery Monitor (Kindle Fire Edition) available on Amazon Appstore (soon hopefully - pending their Approval) and Professional Edition (on Google's Android Market) address most enhancement requests we've received to-date.  Keep them coming!

27 comments:

  1. What's the difference between the Kindle version and the Pro version. The former is not yet in the amazon store, but the latter is. Same price. Can I just grab the Pro version for my Kindle?

    p.s. Man, is it a pain to leave a comment here!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Pro and Kindle versions are functionally the same. The Kindle version is tweaked slightly to accommodate the Amazon Appstore rules, but the user shouldn't notice a difference.

    If you have the Google Market installed on your Kindle, then by all means use the Pro version available in the Google Market. You'll get faster updates to the app going this route as Amazon goes through an approval process for all their apps (including updates).

    Amazon takes a long time (it's been over 2 weeks) to approve new Apps (the Kindle version is classified as a new app). Hopefully it gets approved soon! I'll post an update to the twitter feed when it's up. (https://twitter.com/#!/badassbattery)

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  3. Is there a place where users post the battery times using the app

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  4. Good stuff man. Need apps like this to make my phone last longer

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  5. It is a huge mystery to me why there are only 250 reviews of this app in the play store. I've tried out at least a dozen battery apps and this one put an end to my search. Finally, a monitor that provides a ton of information in a way that can be easily grasped. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite tools. This one should be flying off the shelves because it will appeal to both mainstream users and uber geeks. Badass indeed. Excellent work, developer dude.

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  6. It blows my mind that this app hasn't been downloaded and reviewed a million times. Of the dozen battery monitors I've tried, this is the only one worth sticking with. Damn near perfect.

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  7. Great app, I only miss an option to disable the existing battery notification icon.

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately without a custom ROM it's not possible with Android to disable the stock notification icon. CyanogenMod and other ROMs do support that feature.

      Delete
  8. I bought the app thinking I was going to be able to put the batter status percentage in the upper part of screen of my Kindle Fire. It keeps telling be that I need to pick a different icon theme and try again? Is there a way around this or is this the way it is?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Byron:

      The 'Badass Battery Icon Pack' is what you'll need. The icon pack works in tandem with the monitor, and when you select one of the icon sets from the icon pack, the 'Overlay' option will work and have the icon show up in the top right corner overlaying the stock battery icon.

      It was important to release the icon pack support as a separate app to avoid having to set the permissions needed on the battery monitor too high. Specifically, the icon pack requires the "display system-level alerts" permission (to support the overlay) which I didn't want to force all battery monitor users to have to accept.

      Delete
  9. So if I bought the Kindle version for my Fire, do I have to purchase the Pro version for my Android phone separately? It seems I can't install the Kindle Fire version to my Android phone. (I thought I did so once on my Evo 4G but since I got a new phone at the beginning of June, I've only been able to install the Free version on my Evo 4G LTE.)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cherie:

      Unfortunately, the amazon appstore doesn't allow you to access Kindle Fire specific apps on non Kindles. There is an easy way around this though - and the app will work just find on your phone as well as on your kindle. The only caveat is that you won't get updates to your phone - so you'll need to repeat the procedure when an update gets released.

      The following website walks you through how to 'sideload' an app onto the kindle. You basically have to reverse the procedure to get it onto your phone:

      http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/11/kindle-fire-sideload/

      In short - take something like AndroExplorer (available in the appstore): My Programs -> Long click the app -> Backup -> Navigate to a folder of your choice (sdcard) -> Paste.

      This will create a copy of the '.apk' file. You now need to get that file onto your phone and install it.

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    2. Hiya! Thanks for your reply. Yeah, I'm familiar with sideloading... my mobile is rooted actually so I'm pretty tech savvy. :) However, even though I also have Battery Monitor Widget Pro and System Tuner Pro on my mobile (HTC Evo 4G LTE), and even Juice Defender Ultimate, I haven't found any other battery app that presents the info so concisely the way Badass does.

      So before I sideload the Kindle version over to my Evo LTE, I'm wondering if the Kindle Fire version from the Amazon Appstore is functionally equivalent to the Professional version available from the Google Play store... because I'd much rather just use the version I already got and spend that money on getting one of the icon packs and doing some of the overlay stuff on my mobile instead. :) I seem to recall that when the Kindle version loaded on my original Evo when I first bought it (before Amazon put the restriction in place), I believe it did show cell data, and other stuff that the Kindle doesn't have. That stuff isn't stripped out of the Kindle version now, is it?

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    3. Hi Cherie:

      Yes - if you run the Kindle Fire edition on you phone, you will get the same functionality as if you had the Pro version from the Google Play Store. It will show cell data, bluetooth, etc.

      You will need to have the Amazon Appstore app installed on your Evo using the same username you use on your Kindle - and then things should work just fine.

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  10. I am speechless...! Why on earth can't I buy this app for my kindle fire because I live in the UK?

    "We are sorry...
    We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase."

    Graham

    (select profile?!!! I ended up being Anon!)

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  11. Hi Graham:

    Please contact Amazon about this. They have opened up a UK store, and so should fully support purchase in the UK.

    Regards,

    -George (GSam Labs)

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  12. I am liking your Gsam Battery Monitor, and I like to 'vote with my money' in favor of excellent freeware. I just have one problem... total of $3 is a bit of a step up, IMO. I would prefer to see $1 for Pro and $1 for Icon Overlay, and an all-in-one choice for the $2. Had you offered that, I might have gone straight to paid for my FireHD, especially for the sake of simplicity. As it is, I will need to wait awhile to see if I need the Pro/Fire version, really.

    One other note: as I have gotten LOTS of apps from Amazon, and none from Google, and as Google is not allowing me to use Play with my Kindle, I suggest you design your Amazon Appstore apps that DO work with non-Kindle devices to reflect that fact to the interface - I own a lot of apps that work with both my several Fires and my kids' smartphones, so it is possible.

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  13. Ever since installing he latest update I'm getting erroneous high temp warnings on my Droid Razr. I'm calling them erroneous because the app is telling me that the battery temp is 177 degrees when the phone is absolutely cool to the touch.

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    ReplyDelete
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