Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Conversions enhancements and News

After spending time in Colorado for our sweet new granddaughter's birth, I've made more progress on the unit conversion functions in the Cool Conversions and Cool Grader apps, namely in adding new units:

  - Power: BTU per hour, BTU per minute, BTU per second, Foot-pound per minute,
     Foot-pound per second, Horsepower, Horsepower (electrical), Horsepower (metric),
     Kilowatt, Ton of refrigeration, Watt
  - Pressure: Atmosphere, Bar, Inch of mercury, Kilopascal, Millibar, Millimeter of mercury,
     Pascal, Pound per square inch, Technical atmosphere, Torr
  - Length/Distance: Angstrom, Hand, Link, Rod, Span
  - Speed: Light speed, Mach

Two new unit categories were added in these latest updates: Power and Pressure:

"Power" unit conversions
"Pressure" unit conversions

To see a complete list of all units currently supported, please visit the MJ App Factory website.
Also, I'm making progress on the Windows 8 (desktop/tablet) versions of Cool Conversions and Cool Grader.  More news on that later ...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Conversions enhancements

The Cool Grader and Cool Conversions apps have been enhanced to have a simpler user interface for the Conversions page and provide more detailed, useful measurement-unit information.  For one, the page has been changed to no longer display unit information at the bottom; it instead displays the detailed unit information on a separate page.  The new format for the main Conversions page is shown below:

Volume conversions
This new format has more room for displaying the unit lists and the conversion results, making the units easier to select and the results easier to read and more informative. 

To see the detailed unit information, the user may touch the (i) information button for either the From or the To unit, and the information is displayed on a separate page:

Detailed information for Liter
The user may scroll the page to see all the information available for the selected unit:

Remaining information for Liter
In addition, several web links are provided at the bottom for each unit, under the heading "More Information".  For example, touching the "Direct" web-link for the Liter unit displays the following page:

Direct web-link info for Liter
These enhancements to the Conversions page provide more detailed and easier-to-read information for each measurement unit, and a side-effect of the underlying code enhancements is that the page displays and scrolls more quickly and smoothly, especially when using a low-memory phone.

The new app versions containing these enhancements are Cool Grader 2.3.0 and Cool Conversions 1.3.0, which should be publicly available within a few days.  If you wish to view the detailed information for either of these apps in the Windows Phone Store, visit the following links:

Friday, July 5, 2013

Upcoming Conversions app enhancements

I'm about to port the Windows Phone apps (Cool Grader & Cool Conversions) to the Windows 8 / Tablet platform.  In preparation for that process, I've made some underlying code architecture improvements.  More visibly, I'm adding some additional units to the Conversions page (in Energy/Heat, Angles, and Pressure), and I've also enhanced each unit category to display detailed web information for each unit, as shown here:

Detailed unit information is
displayed from the web.
The information button ('i') is available
for both the 'From' and the 'To' units.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cool Conversions™ and Cool Grader™ now available!

The new Cool Conversions (version 1.1.0) and Cool Grader (version 2.1.0) apps are now available in the Windows Phone Store. 
For details, please visit the following links:

Friday, June 14, 2013

Cool Grader 2.1.0 now in beta test phase

Cool Grader now contains the code to support a trial version of the app, which allows people to download and use it for free before they buy it.  The trial version lacks a few important functions but provides some basics and allows the customer use the app before purchasing. 

This new version also contains the Conversions system, which performs conversions between various measurement units, such as Area, Heat, Length, Mass, Speed, Temperature, Time, and Volume:

Conversions now supported
Length/Distance conversions

Beta-testing for Cool Grader 2.1.0 should be complete by this weekend, and pending evaluation and addressing any outstanding issues, the new app upgrade should be publicly available next week.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Search now supported

Based on user requests, I have added a Search function to the Unit Converter, which allows you to search for a measurement unit or unit category, as shown in the following example:

Starting from any point in the Converter screen, you may touch the [Search] button to bring up the Search display:

You may then type some or all of a unit name or category, and the matching items will automatically display:

In the above example, "mp" was typed into the 'Search for' box, and the units or categories that contained "mp" were automatically listed.  When you see the listed unit you are searching for, touch that unit to automatically display it in the Converter:

In the above example, the search item "mile per hour" was selected, and the Converter automatically displayed the "Speed" category and the "Mile per hour" unit.

You may also use the Search function to select a unit category.  For example, touch the [Search] button and scroll to the category you want:

If you want to see Mass units in the Converter, touch the "Mass" item in the search list, and the Converter will display that category with the previously-selected units:

Monday, June 3, 2013

Conversion table now supported

The Converter now supports display of a conversion table, which contains a list of converted values for all units in the currently-displayed unit category.  For example, if the Temperature category is displayed, a conversion result may be:

You may touch the [Table] button to display a conversion table, which in this example would look like this:
You may then touch any displayed information to copy the table to the clipboard, which allows the conversion table to be pasted into other apps, such as e-mail, a document, etc.  The format of the clipboard text in this example is:
Temperature Conversion Table

0 °Celsius (°C) =

150 °Delisle  (°D)
32 °Fahrenheit  (°F)
273.15 kelvin  (K)
0 °Newton  (°N)
491.67 °Rankine  (°Ra)
0 °Réaumur  (°Ré)
7.5 °Rømer  (°Rø)


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Unit Converter -- near completion!

Finally completed initial set of conversion units in the Cool Grader Converter!  After some finishing touches and additional testing, I will publish the converter in both a Cool Grader update and in a new, separate app, dedicated to unit conversion (name to be announced at publishing).  Additional conversion units and measurement categories will be added in future app upgrades.

The initial set of conversion units includes:

acre (ac), hectare (ha), section (sect), square centimeter (cm^2), square foot (sq ft), square inch (sq in), square kilometer (km^2), square meter (m^2), square microinch (µin^2), square micrometer (µm^2), square micron (µm^2), square mile (sq mi), square millimeter (mm^2), square nautical mile (sq NM), square yard (sq yd), survey acre (ac [survey])

British thermal unit (Btu), calorie (cal), Food calorie (kcal), joule (J)

astronomical unit (au), chain (ch), centimeter (cm), decimeter (dm), foot (ft), furlong (fur), inch (in), kilometer (km), league (lea), light year (ly), meter (m), microinch (µin), micrometer (µm), micron (µm), mile (mi), millimeter (mm), nanometer (nm), nautical mile (NM), parsec (pc), picometer (pm), survey foot (ft [survey]), survey mile (mi [survey]), survey yard (yd [survey]), yard (yd)

carat/metric carat (ct), grain (gr), gram (g), hundredweight long UK (cwt), hundredweight short US (cwt-s), kilogram (kg), long ton (ton), metric hundredweight (cwt-m), microgram (µg or mcg), milligram (mg), nanogram (ng), Newton (N), ounce (oz), pennyweight (dwt), picogram (pg), pound (lb), short ton (ton-s), stone (st), tonne/metric ton (t), troy ounce (oz-t), troy pound (lb-t)

foot per second (ft/s), kilometer per hour (km/h), kilometer per second (km/s), knot (kn), meter per second (m/s), mile per hour (mph), mile per second (mi/s)

Celsius (°C), Delisle (°D), Fahrenheit (°F), kelvin (K), Newton (°N), Rankine (°Ra), Réaumur (°Ré), Rømer (°Rø)

century (c.), day (d), decade (dc), hour (h), microsecond (µs), millenium (mn), millisecond (ms), minute (min), calendar month (mo), nanosecond (ns), second (s), week (wk), year (yr)

bushel (Imperial) (Imp. bsh), bushel (US) (US bsh), cubic centimeter (cc), cubic decimeter (dm^3), cubic foot (ft^3), cubic inch (in^3), cubic meter (m^3), cubic millimeter (mm^3), cubic yard (yd^3), cup (US) (cup), cup (metric) (cup-m), dry gallon (dry gal), dry pint (dry pt), dry quart (dry qt), fluid ounce (Imperial) (Imp. fl oz), fluid ounce (US) (US fl oz), gallon (Imperial) (Imp. gal), gallon (US) (US gal), gill (Imperial) (Imp. gi), gill (US) (US gi), kiloliter (kL), liter (L), microliter (µL), milliliter (mL), peck (Imperial) (Imp. pk), peck (US) (US pk), pint (Imperial) (Imp. pt), pint (US) (liq pt), quart (Imperial) (Imp. qt), quart (US) (US qt), tablespoon (Tbsp), tablespoon (Australian) (Tbsp (A)), teaspoon (tsp)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Converter integration with Calculator

I've integrated the Converter with the Calculator to allow passing values between them.  This allows for entry and editing of values in standard scientific notation (ex: 1.234E18 [1.234 x 10^18]) and for performing calculations on values in the Calculator and passing them back into the Converter.

For example, suppose you have the following conversion from light years to meters:

You can then change the light-years value by first swapping the units (touch either "From" or "To"):

Then touch the [Calculator] button to send the light-years value to the Calculator:

Perform a calculation on the value (ex: divide it by 1000):

You may then touch the result value in the display area to copy the value to the clipboard, touch the [Done] button, and paste the new value into the Converter's "From" value box:

A new conversion will be performed and the result will be displayed automatically:

This is of course a simplistic, contrived example.  Another use of the Calculator integration is to enter a number in scientific notation.  For example, you may touch the [Calculator] button, enter a new value, and touch it to copy to the clipboard, such as:

Touch [Done] to return to the Converter and paste the new value into the "From" value box.  This will automatically perform a new conversion:

More later ...

Current Converter status

In terms of time, I'm about half way done with the Converter screen in Cool Grader.  The Converter now supports converting between the following units:  
Mass Length Volume
hundredweight long UK
hundredweight short US
long ton
metric hundredweight
short ton
troy ounce
troy pound
astronomical unit
light year
nautical mile
survey foot
survey mile
survey yard
bushel (Imperial)
bushel (US)
cubic centimeter
cubic decimeter
cubic foot
cubic inch
cubic meter
cubic millimeter
cubic yard
cup (US)
cup (metric)
dry gallon
dry pint
dry quart
fluid ounce (Imperial)
fluid ounce (US)
gallon (Imperial)
gallon (US)
gill (Imperial)
gill (US)
peck (Imperial)
peck (US)
pint (Imperial)
pint (US)
quart (Imperial)
quart (US)
tablespoon (Australian)
Area (incomplete)    
square foot
square inch
square meter
square mile
square yard
survey acre

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cool Grader 2.1 upcoming release

I've been working hard on the unit-converter to be included in the upcoming release 2.1 of Cool Grader.  The initial unit-conversion tabs to be included on the Converter page are Mass/Weight, Volume, Area, Temperature/Heat, Length/Distance, Speed, and Time/Date.  Here's a sample from the Mass/Weight tab:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cool Grader app, version 2.0.1, now published

A minor update to Cool Grader is now published in the Windows Store.  This update addresses some minor bugs involving screen swiping and adds an Auto-save option to the built-in camera.  You may view detail about this release, or obtain the app, at Cool Grader 2.0.1

The new Auto-save option is explained on our website (at Cool Grader):


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cool Grader app, version 2.0, now published

The new version 2.0 of the Cool Grader app is now available in the Windows Store.  You may view the store information on the following page: Cool Grader 2.0.  You may also see our website with detailed app information on the following page: MJ App Factory.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cool Grader - publication status and website

The Cool Grader version 2.0 app upgrade has been submitted to Microsoft for certification and publishing.  We expect it to be available in the Windows Store for phones by this coming weekend.

Our website has been updated with detailed information about the new Cool Grader.  You may see it by selecting the following link: MJ App Factory.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cool Grader - final screens

I am now in the field-testing phase of the app, and here are the final screen shots.  Please note that the background image is customizable -- the user may choose whatever picture they want for the background from photos saved on their device or from a new image captured with the camera built into the app.

Main panels

Main screen - HomeMain screen - Settings
Main screen - About 



CalculatorCalculator Detail - Operations
Calculator Detail - Status
Text color
Text color - select from color name listText color - select from color palette

Text color - customize the selected color

Background image
Background image - snap new photo or select a saved imageBackground image - Adjustments

Background image - Save to camera roll or rotate pictureBackground image - Choose album from which to get new image
Background image - Select a new image from all existing picturesBackground image - Select a new image from a picture list sorted by date

Information about the app

About the app - Calculator infoAbout the app - Summary

Friday, April 5, 2013

New calculator-detail screen

I have implemented a new screen in the Cool Grader calculator to display the calculator detail, as shown below.  This finally makes the initial version 2.0 of Cool Grader "feature complete", since no new major functions are planned for this next product release.

At this point, I am having "beta test" teachers use the app to grade their student assignments.  When this testing phase is done, the app should be ready for publication in the Windows Phone marketplace.