Lost in the blur of end-of-the-year holiday activity, our app developers have been busy updating our mobile apps, and our beta testers have been busy checking them out and reporting back on any issues. If there are no big surprises, they should be available before the end of the year.
For ANDROID users, we have Exceptionally Good News! With this update, the Android app will have full feature parity with iOS (Apple) at last. Y'all have been very patient and we appreciate it. The updated app also will support Android tablets — more about that below.
For iOS devices, this will be a less dramatic but satisfying update. We've installed a whole new streaming engine with far superior performance. We've added a "5 button" player control; now you can skip forward and back between tracks within a program, and also skip forward and back between programs in a channel or on a personal playlist.
The operation of the "voiceover on/off" control is now immediate and intuitive — the stream pauses, the voiceover appears or disappears, the stream continues. Nice. Finally, we've added support for the larger iPhone 5 and 5S Retina displays.
We've "ported" the app to the larger screen of tablets, which turned out to be a bigger project than it sounds. We always supported "2X" mode on the iPad, but it only worked in Portrait orientation, which was inconvenient as many apps are designed for Landscape operation, or adapt to both views.
Now we will introduce the initial release of a true tablet version of the HOS app, which we are calling Version 2.5. The first release will still look a lot like a scaled up version of the existing iPhone app, but it will have improved functionality and full feature parity with the smart phone apps; it will support both portrait and landscape orientation; and it will show up when you search for "Hearts of Space” from a tablet in the App Store and Google Play store.
As soon as this initial tablet version of the HOS app is released we will immediately begin work on Version 3 of the mobile apps for both phones and tablets. The goal of this version is full feature parity with our web site. That means 100% archive access to all programs and albums, display of all supporting content, the ability to make and edit personal playlists and favorites, and full account management features. Squeezing all that functionality into an app (vs. a browser) is a big challenge, but we are committed to doing it.
As always, we invite and appreciate your comments right here (please note that they are moderated due to comment spam, so they don't show up immediately), or by email to help(at)hos.com.