New Android App for IMMEDIATE ALERTING from Vera.

Hi there,

I’ve written a teeny Android App and would like your feedback on it.

It is NOT a controller - I’m leaving that business to the “big boys” around here.

It is JUST an alerter - so you can set up alerts / notifications to go straight to your 2.2 and above Android phone.

Requirements:

A) Vera

B) Android phone running 2.2 or above (sorry - not my restriction). See settings -> about phone -> Android version to confirm what you have.

C) Not scared of uploading a few things in the “developer” mode.

You will need to do a few things to get this running

  1. Install the “Veralert” app from : http://www.fawepark.com/android-software/veralertfiles (the 1st link). If you are unsure how to get this onto your phone, just use your phone as a browser to navigate to the “.apk” file

  2. Install a “virtual device” in your vera software using files from the link above (the 2nd link down). There will be 4 of them, “D_VeraAlert.xml, I_VeraAlert.xml, S_VeraAlert.xml and D_VeraAlert.json”. Upload all of them to you vera !!

  3. Now create a device in Vera using Mios Developers -> create device. Just put description as “vera alert” and UpnpDevFilename as D_VeraAlert.xml and UpnpImplFilename as I_VeraAlert.xml

Now the fun bit…

Run the app on your phone - it won’t say much - it will just display something like “ALERT ID: xxyyzz” - this code is what you will put into your scene so that the vera-alert knows which phone to send the message too.

Create a scene ; for example I have one “front door open” - now the important thing here is that under “commands” your “Vera alert” device will appear. Choose “Send Alert” from the dropdown, put the text you want to receive in the TOP BOX and your ALERT ID ( from the previous step ) in the bottom box. It has to be EXACT or you will not get the messages.

That’s it !!

Happy tinkering. I will be updating the app over the next few weeks so let me know how you get on. I am also after any help possible in making my vera xml / jsons files a bit more efficient / ergonomic. All help gratefully received !!

Lastly - feel free to contact me directly - richardagreen -you know the sign - gmail.com

Regards,

Richard.

So, this will by-pass the 20 text limit that MiOS has correct?

I didn’t know there was a 20 text limit…

It works via using a server which is running 24/7 which vera talks to, sending the alert id ( ie the phone ) and the alert message (which can be pretty much any length I think).

I am going to enhance it so there are several alert levels - ie “info, warning and GET OUT OF BED NOW” kind of alerts - as well as maybe a few user set ones so that you can have the phone remain silent, or flash flash BLEEP BLEEP etc etc if you’re on holiday and suddenly you find your back door is open.

I’m also toying with the idea of the sensors feeding the server details so you can graph stuff online too - but (unfortunately) I’m not getting much feedback on the app so far :frowning:

Sounds cool. I love that people like yourself are developing neat applications, but even as a computer savy guy much of what you programmers do is over my head, I think there are many like me here, if a particular installation is much tougher than installing a plugin, or if people dont understand how it functions, most will wait until it becomes mainstream, good luck, hope you keep on with your efforts

Thanks - I will put a few more features on it (configurable alerts in terms of sound / volume/ colour etc) and a few stats pages on the cloud server it uses and maybe even create a quick youtube of how to set it up and then it in use and then see if it gets any bites.

One thing I can’t stress enough though is how fast it is, literally open door and the alert gets to the phone and flashes the led before the doors stopped moving…

awesome that would be a nice improvement

I do need to make a youtube of how this thing works though… Not many people trying it yet :frowning:

I would love to try this but I’m running 2.1 with no ability to go to 2.2. Thoughts on getting it to work on 2.1?

OMG that is a FAST alert. I did the setup which wasn’t too painful at all.

Pressed ‘run’ scene to trigger manually and by the time my finger came off the touchpad, the android was going off. WOW!!! Nice!

Here’s a link to the app now in the marketplace

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.fawepark.veralert

Happy Alerting !!

Really sorry but the technique uses stuff that’s only available on Android 2.2 and above. Sorry about that - it’s not my restriction, it’s the Android AP :frowning:

Saw the video - WOW! Going to install it on my Captivate

I suppose it’s a background process, how does it deal with battery?

It uses “cloud to device messaging” - which is basically the same thing that is used for email and other alerts. It doesn’t actually all the time but the phone operating system wakes up and runs the app when the message is received … so saying that, you shouldn’t see any battery performance difference. If you do, let me know and I’ll see if I can improve it.

Richard.

Very interesting… I thought building something like that using a platform like Tropo or Twillio…

Any chance of a child board so I can start soliciting for improvements / enhancements btw?

Thanks,

Richard.

I’ve reconsidered. I can use other alerting mechanisms such as google talk for phones that are not 2.2 yet… Do you use google talk ? If so I’ll put together an alternative alerting mech for that.

I do use google talk as well as google voice.

Ok I’ll throw something in over the next few days and let you know when it’s ready!

The speed that this works at is awesome. Much much better than the built in vera notification which has always been delayed, but lately has been completely unreliable. The one thing I would like to see is some better way to view incoming notifications. Like SMS with history. Also the time received. Being able to get the alert data like you get via sms would be nice also. Is there any way to hook this into the existing notification tab on scenes?

Hi there,

All very good ideas. History of alerts in the app and date/time triggered would not be a problem (I could use vera time, which I hope is synced every so often), I just haven’t put a datastore for alerts created yet, but that would be fairly trivial.

I do like the idea of hooking into the notification tab, but I have no idea where to start with that … would anybody else care to help with that bit ?!