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Intents to start playback.

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Grant10k
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Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/27/2014 - 07:47
Intents to start playback.

I know this feature has been requested before, but I think it's been long enough where it bears repeating. I would like an intent to start playback in Doggcatcher. I wanted to request this a while back, but someone had done so already. Literally every update I check to see if intent support was added, and ever few months I check to see if it's still on the docket. Today I looked into it with more detail, and it was requested in 4 years ago in 2010, and the only update has been to push it farther and farther back until now I see "Scheduled For Release 2016-11-01". I've got to squeaky-wheel this, add more votes, raise awareness, beg. This is a really useful feature, and I think it deserves a higher priority.

I'll tell you why this feature is so important to me. The main time I listen to podcasts is in the car. This is also the most difficult time to use phone apps, relatively speaking. I get into my car and load up maps to help me get to where I'm going. Turn left, turn right, make a U-Turn, you know the drill. Eventually I hear the phrase "Stay on x highway for 30 miles", and at that point navigation drops way down my list of priorities for the next half hour. Now is the perfect time to start up a podcast, but it's also the hardest time to start up a podcast. I have to turn on my phone, start the podcast player, hope that it starts up on a screen with a play button, and then press that play button. Under mundane circumstances none of this is a problem, but when you're on a highway you can't always spare the time to navigate around the phone without a traffic light to help you out for miles. If Doggcatcher starts up on one of the screens without a play bar at the bottom, I just have to give up. No podcast today. It's just not worth it to try to figure out what screen I'm at relative to a screen with a play button while driving.

Once the app is started, everything is great. You can get to the notification window without looking, and a quick glance gets you to all the player controls front and center (plus at that point all of the bluetooth controls work as well).

If Doggcatcher had intents (or, rather "intent-filters"), getting the podcast to play in the above scenario would be trivial. With Tasker (or a free intent-launcher app) you could make a 1x1 icon/widget to just play. You could put an NFC tag somewhere on your dashboard to just play when your phone gets close. You could use AutoVoice with Tasker and say "Start Podcast", and have it queue right up. All of this without adding any new settings to the settings menu or changing the UI in the slightest.

What becomes the biggest source of friction I have with Doggcatcher becomes a complete non-issue.

The only one I really need is something like com.snoggdoggler.android.doggcatcher.PLAY or intent://play/#Intent;scheme=snoggdoggler;package=com.snoggdoggler.client.android;end (I don't know if that's strictly how the uri is supposed to be formatted, but you get the gist of it.) Obviously adding just PLAY isn't much harder than adding PLAY and FF and REW and UPDATE, but I think it's the most important one.

eric
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Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 11/06/2008 - 22:02
Agreed, this never made it to

Agreed, this never made it to the todo list, event though there have been a few discussions on it. I just added it - http://mantis.doggcatcher.com/view.php?id=1981

Thanks for the feedback.

Grant10k
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Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/27/2014 - 07:47
Thanks.

Thanks.

This has actually been on the todo list for a few years now, at #590. That's why it's a bit frustrating, because the snooze button keeps getting hit, pushing the 'release date' further and further away.

Grant10k
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Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 09/27/2014 - 07:47
My (just about) yearly bump

My (just about) yearly bump for this feature.

I'm glad it's on the todo list, but it's basically been pushed back for 5 years. It feels like it's just a hollow gesture. While I don't know how the Doggcatcher app is built internally, what I know about Intents (and with it, Tasker support) is that they are trivial to implement. The fact that this hasn't been done yet is frustrating.

The requirement that I physically open the app to start playing is the single greatest source of friction I have with this app. I'm having to constantly take my phone out of my pocket while driving to restart a podcast. With Intent support, I could just tell AutoVoice to do it, or use a button on my Bluetooth radio. I'm hesitant to jump ship, having paid for Doggcatcher, but is this feature going to actually be implemented, or am I going to be strung along for another year?

Patric Bechtel
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Last seen: 4 years 7 months ago
Joined: 10/13/2015 - 16:22
Chiming in...

Hi,

I just wanted to second the wish for that (very basic) feature. I'm waiting for it for 4 years at least now... I think public intents are just a great idea which make Android apps unique.

Please reconsider implementing this soon, so users of tasker/pebble etc can complement your great app!

tia,

Patric