Changelog - August 31, 2023

Compliance with Android 13: Mandatory Google-Enforced Permissions and Media Notification Layout Updates

Introduction to Android Updates:
Every year, Google releases a new Android version, prompting app developers to target the previous year's version. When the latest Android is unveiled, developers may begin compiling with the new SDK to support its features. This often leads to minor behavior changes, requiring code adjustments.

Transitioning to the New Version:
The transition to a new Android version involves 'targeting this new version'. Often, new restrictions apply, such as requiring permissions for functions that didn't need them before. Sometimes, this means discontinuing certain features, as Google enforces these changes for privacy reasons...

Deadline for Android 13:
The deadline for targeting Android 13 is August 30. I released this update last minute, aware that adding new permissions often leads to negative feedback (1-star reviews and angry emails).

Changes in This Update:

  • A new permission is required to publish notifications. Notifications allow you to control playback, to be aware when new episodes are available, and more.
  • New permissions are required if you use the app to play external audio/video files. To access Audio files the permission is called 'Music and audio' and for Video it's called 'Photos and videos'.
  • The media notification layout has been updated with a large playback toggle button. It now displays the same actions set on the current media session to unify the displays across notifications, Android Wear, and Android Auto.

  • Challenges and Solutions:
    This update presented challenges, particularly with Android Auto, which permits more controls than standard notifications. After significant work, I found a way to maintain separate action lists, minimizing changes to the media notification and avoiding user dissatisfaction...

    Looking Ahead:
    The next step will be compiling the app for Android 14. Even this initial support phase will require some rewriting and may lead to behavior changes, so it might take longer than usual before this happens...

    This version introduces a new permission for posting notifications and a minor layout change to the player notification, without affecting displayed controls.

    Bug fixes

    • Episode reordering in the download manager randomly failing.
    • Automatic chapter artwork feature wasn't working anymore.
    • Sharing episodes with a specific playback position wasn't working anymore.
    • Minor bug fixes.