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Thread: Front End App for iPad

  1. #41
    Low Bitrate krillin47's Avatar
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    Without interacting with my peers, I don't think I would be able to come up with an app that would be something people would like. I have some good ideas, but those are my ideas, not those that others can put in my mind and get me excited for.

    I can't wait to be able to get my hands on a Sheeva so I can start working with it. My car is a 94 Celica, so I'm stuck on the odb-i but I do have a 2007 Toyota Highlander that I will be testing any odb-ii things I need to do on.

  2. #42
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkndpaintballer View Post
    Here are a few pics of my design showing some ideas that would be cool to have the iPad control.
    Okay, here's my feedback, for whatever it's worth.

    First, I think it's too dark for in car use. It should have white background. Yes, I know it's hard to look cool with a white background, but that's where the challenge should be! Of course, for night time it could be dimmed, or even inversed, but for in car use the priority should be daylight viewability.

    Maybe it's not clear to me from your pictures, but it does look too static to me. I think it reflects most front ends/skins designed in the past (CF, DFX, others). I think we should look at a "blank" customizable background with dynamically added information as needed.

    A bit like MeeGo does - which look a lot like Carwings dynamic, which in turn is based on the Infiniti/Nissan NAV computer, it starts with just two buttons, menu and tools I believe. Garmin MobilePC is like this too, the start screen has only two big giant buttons, where to? and menu or whatever.


    So I mean IF and ONLY WHEN music starts playing is that the song information labels and transport buttons (play/pause/ff/rwd) should appear. Otherwise, no useless play button, that's just a waste of space and a distraction. You could be listening to the OEM radio instead. NEVER assume the iPad will be playing music at all times.

    When music starts playing, then you click on the song title and then more and more info progressively may load and fill the blank space. Album, year, artist, wikipedia bio links, lyrics, more of the same artist, create a pandora station with this song, etc. It would be cool to perhaps relay info to the mp3car server (optional) and display an option to listen to what people from this community are listening (provided you're able to, etc.). Just ideas.


    Same thing with gauges. You could display OBD info on top of the song information, or vice versa. Depends on where you last clicked, depending on how much screen real state you have left (so if lyrics are open, you open the info on top of it, but not if there's enough space, etc.). No new page loading/drawing necessary.

    It would be cool to have a button to search the library with a big on screen keyboard, for when voice search does not work, or when you have a passenger to manage it.

    I may design something on PS to show how it would work, but you can check a video I made for my CF skin (Minimalist flat, in progress). I had the same objectives as above, but CF skin language is too limited to get where I wanted to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LW3o...layer_embedded

    Note the song information that can be expanded, and the main menu functions that are available from ANY screen. That's about it though.

    Just my 2c.

  3. #43
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    .02c does not equal 2c. I think your comments are worth way more than $.0002

  4. #44
    Mod - iPad Forums RipplingHurst's Avatar
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    ha! Thanks for the correction!

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RipplingHurst View Post
    Okay, here's my feedback, for whatever it's worth.

    First, I think it's too dark for in car use. It should have white background. Yes, I know it's hard to look cool with a white background, but that's where the challenge should be! Of course, for night time it could be dimmed, or even inversed, but for in car use the priority should be daylight viewability.

    Maybe it's not clear to me from your pictures, but it does look too static to me. I think it reflects most front ends/skins designed in the past (CF, DFX, others). I think we should look at a "blank" customizable background with dynamically added information as needed.

    A bit like Meego does - which look a lot like Carwings dynamic, which in turn is based on the Infiniti/Nissan NAV computer, it starts with just two buttons, menu and tools I believe. Garmin is like this too, only two big giant buttons, where to? and menu or whatever.


    So I mean IF and ONLY WHEN music start playing is that the song information labels and transport buttons (play/pause/ff/rwd) should appear. Otherwise, no useless play button, that's just a waste of space and a distraction. You could be listening to the OEM radio instead. NEVER assume the iPad will be playing music at all times.

    When music starts playing, then you click on the song title and then more and more info progressively may load and fill the blank space. Album, year, artist, wikipedia bio links, lyrics, more of the same artist, create a pandora station with this song, etc. It would be cool to perhaps relay info to the mp3car server (optional) and listens to what people from this community is listening (provided you're able to, etc.). Just ideas.


    Same thing with gauges. You could display OBD info on top of the song information, or vice versa. Depends on where you last clicked, depending on how much screen real state you have left (so if lyrics are open, you open the info on top of it, but not if there's enough space, etc.). No new page loading/drawing necessary.

    It would be cool to have a button to search the library with a big on screen keyboard, for when voice search does not work, or when you have a passenger to manage it.

    I may design something on PS to show how it would work, but you can check a video I made for my CF skin (Minimalist flat, in progress). I had the same objectives as above, but CF skin language is too limited to get where I wanted to:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LW3o...layer_embedded

    Note the song information that can be expanded, and the main menu functions that are available from ANY screen. That's about it though.

    Just my .02c.
    Ok I'll get to redesigning it with all the suggestions mentioned by you and others. I do have it designed to where the music control bar is a separate section that can be hidden but I just made those pics like that because I figure 95% of people listen to music or some sort of audio 90% of the time they are in their car.

    What would everyone think about a slide in music controller and keyboard, and does anyone have any problems with having the buttons on the top like I have them or is there a way anyone would prefer to switch modes?

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkndpaintballer View Post
    What would everyone think about a slide in music controller and keyboard, and does anyone have any problems with having the buttons on the top like I have them or is there a way anyone would prefer to switch modes?
    Don't let competing demands for skin design bog you down. What you want to do is design the app to be skinnable. In fact, you could use OSDash to provide a skin file service if you wanted to. People could post their skin files, you could access them from a settings menu somewhere, and then download and display it, I think.

    In any case, different people have different preferences and you won't be able to please everyone, so stick with a simple and easy initial design that others can toy with and you'll be just fine.

    That said, I'll make my pitch for gestures once more. The buttons you have along the top of the screen are fine, but they're not necessary. A couple of swipes will take care of all of those controls and they don't require either screen real estate or hand eye coordination while driving.

    Flicktunes is a great way to explore gesture usage.

    The interface isn't perfect, but once stuff is playing, it works so silky smooth, it is effortless to use in the car. Pause? Swipe bottom to top over the album artwork that is playing. Next song? Swipe like you are turning a book page over top of the album artwork. Volume? Swipe down with two fingers or up with two fingers.

    You get the idea.

    If you are going to use buttons, I'd use them for things that are less frequently used so you don't have to take your eyes off the road for very long. That means the buttons should be big and easy to hit.

    Here's how I'd take good ideas from GPS Speed and incorporate music and gestures into it.


    A tap switches modes to reveal the navigation map.


    A button on the map allows you to expand to full screen and two other buttons allow zoom in/out.


    Another tap on the map screen reveals the music that is playing. You could full screen it the same way as the map, or maybe a double tap expands it?


    Gestures allow control of music with swipes, two/three finger swipes to control or mute. All can be customized in the settings pages.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  7. #47
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    the problem with lots of gestures, is that you need to learn them.
    We should consider having a help button always at the bottom that you can tap to see all your gestures for the current screen.

  8. #48
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    Good point. Flicktunes has a nice, quick gesture help screen that you can open and figure out quickly.

    It would be awesome if it read the gestures out loud to you if you made a question mark on the screen or tapped a help button.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  9. #49
    Low Bitrate krillin47's Avatar
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    Good point. Flicktunes has a nice, quick gesture help screen that you can open and figure out quickly.

    It would be awesome if it read the gestures out loud to you if you made a question mark on the screen or tapped a help button.
    I agree, I think a help screen is great, but I'll have to see how to do gesture drawing recognition.

    So, help me out here, what is the first part of this that I should demo to get some feedback on? I don't have any access to odb-ii stuff yet, so it would have to be something that the ipad can already do.

  10. #50
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    Well, the speedo is driven by GPS, so you can do that without OBDII. Also, I think music is of the highest priority. A front end that doesn't do music is...um....not really very useful!

    Also, decide on the main layout of your UI. The one I showed above is sort of a split layout with stuff staying onscreen at the top and things you can change at the bottom. They work independent of each other.

    You may not want to do that. It may simply be easier to go with something like six buttons that lead you to different screens. Totally up to you, but the way you decide to lay it out will determine it's functionality as you go along.

    So, I'd pick 1) a basic layout to go with; 2) work on implementing music functionality into a prototype. Keep the skin modular so others can make alternate skin files if that's possible with the iPad. If it looks hard, just keep it in mind at least.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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