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Beta Testflight access to beta version
I also see the benefit of having the remote not interfering with the database browsing. But other users might just be confused by the fact that they cannot just enable the remote and keep using the volume buttons and the positions they were used to. Also clicking next to the remote popup will dismiss it immediately. But the latter is possibly not really a problem, as before the user could just activate some other menu when clicking next to the remote...
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Difficult to find the best solution here, even when one has to decide solely on screenshots.
But I know you have the necessary UX skills to select the best implementation.
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I am few steps further down the road. With the remote change on iPad -- I visually really like this a lot, but I cannot really judge this from usability point of view -- the app setting which sets the top/bottom position for the remote is obsolete for iPad. I anyway felt that the top/bottom feature for the remote is only useful for 1-hand devices like the iPhones. But as the app settings cannot differentiate between iPhone and iPad I now sped up the implementation of two other remote features for the iPhone:
  1. Changing top/bottom position at runtime (users were already confused this needed a change in the app settings).
  2. Save/restore the gesture zone mode and the top/bottom position.
This is a lot more user friendly and also allows to reduce the app settings a bit.

Screenshots: https://abload.de/img/bildschirmfoto2022-0195jwi.png

The downside is that it is always risky to change the code for the remote as there are soooo many corner cases with different devices.
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While checking the functionality in different device simulators I was asking myself what the best size for the remote will be. The screenshot below shows the remote on s small iPad 5G (2nd picture) and large iPad Pro 12.9" 5G (1st picture with size following the device, 3rd picture with fixed size). Somehow I feel like the remote size should adapt to the device's size (like in the 2nd picture): Would be great, if here are users who could comment on the usability of the current remote (which on the large iPads currently is really huge).

Screenshots: https://abload.de/img/bildschirmfoto2022-01k4jw0.png
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My personal preference would be a fixed size of the remote, leaving just more of the background visible on larger iPads. I'm not a big fan of huge buttos and controls. But all this is just my own personal opinion. I fear this again is mostly a matter of personal taste.
By the way, will the remote's location be fix (e.g. centered) or can one move it freely around?
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For a real fixed size (physical same dimensions) I would need to know if the UI px size matches physical size. When using the fixed UI px size I am concerned about having a remote of too small physical size.
And: No, the panel cannot be moved. This is so-called "FormSheet" type which is placed in the center.
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I really had the expectation that it would be easy in iOS to draw something with a fixed dimension (not in pixels, but in a physical dimension). If not, you are right, it’s better to use some size relative to the full screen dimensions.
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Just researched this a bit. It seems most iPads have the same ppi (pixel per inch) and scale factor (physical pixel per UI px). So keeping the same UI px size will result in same physical size. Nevertheless the question is if users prefer to have an increased remote on larger devices. Only tests will tell.
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(2022-01-18, 19:45)amasephy Wrote: I was thinking today about how I actually use the app. May I suggest a feature?

Right now upon launch and connection to a Kodi server the app will display the main menu. Most of the time I simply use the remote control. I’m wondering if an option could be added to the settings where you could set a default pane. Options like main menu, remote, now playing etc.
Here we go: https://abload.de/img/bildschirmfoto2022-01n2jjc.png Smile

This wasn't too hard to resolve. For ease of implementation I decided to fall back to show the main menu incase the user configured an menu item which is not configured as visible (e.g. selecting "Music" when "Show MUSIC" is off). The app enters the configured menu as soon as the connection to the server is established. This happens each time a server is connected successfully.
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1.10 build 3141.42

This is a pure test build, the changes are not merged yet as I want to collect some feedback on the implementation, usability and possible bugs. Screenshots can be found when following the given links.
 
  1. Feature: Global Search (PR#526)
    Huuuuge change. I am really curious how this is received and if there are regressions caused which I was not observing during my local tests. The code changes impact the areas related to library browsing. So please report any stuff which you think is not behaving as expected while database browsing, filtering, sorting, viewing details and such.

  2. Feature: Configurable start menu / view (PR#578)
    The feature is pretty simple: In the App settings menu you can now select the view (from the main menu list) which you want to have started as soon as the connection to Kodi server is up. Remark: The "Global Search" is missing as the changes are not taking this into account yet. All other entries should work. Please test and report back any problems or suggestions on changes to this feature.

  3. Improvement: Changed Remote (PR#577)
    Another huge change. For both iPad and iPhone the mode is now saved and will be restored when calling the remote again. These modes are: gesture zone enabled yes/no, remote position up/bottom (iPhone only). The related settings were removed from the App settings menu.
    For iPhone you can now change the remote position at runtime via a newly added toolbar button (lower right corner).
    For iPad the changes are quite heavy. The remote is not using the same layout as the database browser anymore, but now uses modal style which will work as a popup, always in the middle of the screen, always on top of other views. You can start the Remote from any other menu either via the main menu or via a newly introduced button in the iPad's toolbar. Starting the remote will also not end any ongoing database browsing, it will just show on top.
    As a consequence I needed to add a volume control to the remote. It now looks like the iPhone's remote, with the volume bar on top. Here I really would to hear your feedback from iPad users: How is the usability as you need to use the volume buttons in the toolbar when the remote is not up, and use the volume bar in the remote when it's up.
    Also I decided for this test build to let the remote size follow the iPad's size. It is smaller than before, but still quite big one large iPads. Does this feel right for users of large iPads?
    The possibility to move the remote to top or bottom has been removed for iPad. Main reason was the difficulty to implement this well, but also I felt this feature was only useful for 1-handed devices like iPhones or iPods anyway.

  4. Improvement: Added "up" arrow in details view (PR#576)
    Should be easy to test. For lengthy details (e.g. movie or artist details) there was a "down" arrow available to scroll right to the bottom. Now there is also an "up" button to scroll back up.

  5. Improvement: Show error message in server info view when not connected (PR#575)
    Minor change, but also added to this build. The change results in displaying a warning/error in the recently added server info view, if the server is not connected.

  6. Improvement: Longpress function for recording and music videos in playlist (PR#563)
    Adds the option to shows details after long pressing music videos or recordings in the "Videos Playlist". Remark: For recordings this only works with Kodi server 20.0 or newer.
Just from the amount of text you see that I am most concerned on the user experience with the Remote change, especially from iPad users. Please report your experience, I am really eager to hear back from you.
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@Buschel

Wow, I take a few days away from the forum and you drop this huge update! Looks absolutely amazing.

So first off I love the default menu option. I set it to remote and it feels so natural. I can’t even imagine using the app the old way anymore.

I like that you moved the remote position and gesture pad options into the app itself vs having them in the settings app. I’d love to see every option available within the app someday. Ideally on that far right settings pane.

I see the new server info details window. Nice.

Global Search:

I like this new feature. It seems to show both my movies and tv shows (that’s all I use in Kodi).

If I may make a couple of suggestions… Since global search is first and foremost a search feature might it make sense to enable to search box upon activating global search and thus having the keyboard display immediately? I would guess most people have hundreds of not thousands of items in their libraries and scrolling through them all is not going to be the first choice to navigate this list.

Secondly, if scrolling is desired I think it really makes sense to add that alphabet quick scroller that I mentioned a few days back that had the haptics.

Finally another thank you for adding the up arrow gimmick as you put it. While it may seem like a thing barely worth adding I think from a uix perspective it seems thoughtful. I tested it and I think the position may need some tweaking. I found it a little hard to activate. It was real easy to “fat finger” the list item underneath that button. Since the play button is so close above it I tended to tap a little too low to compensate for avoiding pressing play.

Maybe add some padding above the up arrow and somehow make the menu items less sensitive underneath? Not sure if this is possible.


Thank you for this amazing update!
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Thanks for your feedback.

Remote: Yes, for iPhone users I see absolutely no drawbacks, just improvements. Great to hear this works well for you.

Global Search: Good feedback, let me get into some details.
  1. This feature is really getting interesting when also having music in the database. Artists, albums and songs are also shown and searchable.
  2. For now and out of consistency I handled the Global Search view as any other view. You need to pull down to get the search bar. You are right that this view is for searching, so I could already show the search bar. ButI would avoid activating the keyboard right away. In my opinion it should be a decision of the user whether to search (just one click into the search bar) or not.
  3. Showing an alphabetic index would require a different approach to show the data. Currently the list shows sections of items (e.g. movies, then TV shows, then videos, then artists, ...). The items in each sections are alphabetically sorted. So I -- currently -- could only show the section to jump to. Not sure, if it makes sense to drop this section-wise view and move to fully alphabetically sorted. I need to think through this. Maybe others can also share their opinion.
"Up" arrow: I came around the same "fat finger" issue while testing. The underlying issue also exists for the "down" arrow, but this is typically not shown on top of touchable UI elements. Workaround for now: Touch into the middle of the button (see the image and the frame around in the screenshot below). This worked for me. As an optimization I can enlarge the button around the image and center the "clickable" area better around where the user would expect the touch field.

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@Buschel

I did not realize the global search grouped categories. I have too much stuff in the library to scroll through them all to notice it. I just did a quick search on it and from there I saw a mix of content.

If global search is merely all libraries combined and search is merely a feature like any other view maybe this could be called global library. Global search is fine though.

Showing the search box at least by default would be an improvement but obviously if others could offer an opinion on this it would be best. I don’t really see myself using the feature so take my input lightly on this feature.

I think the up arrow tapable surface enlargement you portray will help significantly. Can this be done on the down arrow? Interestingly this tap conflict issue isn’t a problem when using the alphabetic indexer feature. Maybe you can look at that and see if there is an obvious thing in code that prevents tap conflicts?
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I also like the new version very much and would like to see all these changes in the next baseline. No big issues so far, only minor observations:
  1. Global search: it takes very long (more than 30 seconds) to load all items from my archive and it seems there is no caching of the item list, which renders the feature almost useless for me. When loaded and doing a search, I miss results where e.g. the artist matches. It seems that only titles are currently taken into account by the search algorithm. So e.g. I can find all my Genesis DVDs, but only the album titled "Genesis" is listed. Not what I would expect from a "global" search…
  2. New remote: fantastic on my iPad Air! Right size, I don’t mind the "issue" with the doubled volume controls, since they are completely different in their implementation Smile
Thanks, @Buschel
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