TatraApp is dead, here comes QCar
So here it comes. Based on 4 years of experience with TatraApp, we have decided to re-write our front-end application from scratch and created the QCar.
The concept is stil the same - a host application, providing API and environment for plug-ins or modules, that implement particular functionality. Here is the list of new stuff in the main application:
- completely screen size-independent. It is possible to define different layouts of the user interface, with different sizes of the slots. Depending on the size, the main area for activated slot can either be displayed permanently or can only be brought up on request. We tested the application with different screens, 640x480, 800x480, 800x600, even 480x640 (portrait mode). The display calibration can also compensate distortion (i.e. when feeding 800x600 signal into an 800x480 wide screen).
- skinnable. All the classes representing user interface elements are stored in a separate bundle. By changing the bundle, it is easy to completely change the whole look of the application. Multiple skins can be installed at the same time and switched by the user.
- the interface is primarily designed for rotating controllers such as PowerMate or NuLOOQ, but the application also has full support for touch screen.
- much improved internet connectivity. No annoying system error messages, automatic switching between different network connections.
And we will have some new functions in modules as well:
- Bluetooth phone control has been significantly improved. We will most probably have handsfree-calling function as well
- AM/FM Radio, including RDS and TMC - thanks to our Belgian neighbours for great HQCT unit!
- XM and Sirius radio support will be added during Q2 2007
- Navigation - including simplified scroller- and touchscreen-friendly user interface, turn-by-turn instructions and voice output
- The speech synthesis will work for English, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish (although I admit we have few issues with determining the language in setups which are supposed to support more languages at a time.
- OBD II monitoring, including data logging, at first for ELM-chip based devices only
- Support generic NMEA-based GPS receivers (including Bluetooth)
- MP3 Player no longer uses iTunes application, however it does use the iTunes library, including iPod support. Unlike the old player, which only supported playlists, the new version supports iPod-like browsing, direct track selection, loop mode etc.
- Improved online services modules (weather, traffic info, webcams)
- voice memor recorder
- as soon as Leopard has been released, we will also support video capture using iSight or any other DV camera attached to the computer.
And now the not-so-good news ;-) It won't be open source and in most cases it won't be free. We will be releasing an SDK, including detailed documentation and there will also be some demo within a month. Detailed licensing conditions will be released in the beginning of January.
If someone with good knowledge of Cocoa is willing to give us hand, just pm or mail me, we can see whether we can work something out.