Hi I'm Toddrick, and I developed an Android app for BYC. I posted this page to support the new "hybrid app with notifications". While previous versions were primarily just a WebView, the hybrid app contains native Android interfaces and features in order to provide a richer and more responsive experience.
If you'd like to install the app you can search for it in the Play store, or click the link below:
1) Upgrade to the Google keyboard from the Play store if you are on Android 4+. This made a HUGE difference on my Droid Razr Maxx, and not just in the app, but the entire phone. Click here to install:
2) If you are using Android 5 (newer devices) make sure you update the WEBVIEW software in the Play store, because this app uses WebView extensively. Failure to update the Chromium WebView can cause this app, and other apps to crash (http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/0...-crashing-says-the-new-version-should-fix-it/). Click here to install:
Trying to make an app work on a dozen versions of Android, and hundreds of platforms is difficult, but I've done everything possible. Here are the current known issues:
->Cannot login: This problem is related to the spellchecker on fsome devices. Make sure you do not select the suggested username/password, and instead click outside of that area.
->Cannot upload images:
If the 'File Chooser' does not appear at all when trying to upload images in ANDROID 4.4.2, then make sure you have the latest system updates, as there is a system issue and there is currently no work-around except to upgrade your OS. Unfortunately, it is up to your providetr to issue updates, and some are not very good at doing that.
->Embedded videos not visible: Due to a long-standing 'Hardware Acceleration' bug in many Android phones, when you play an embedded video there may be sound, but no video. The work-around is to simply expand the video to full screen mode.
->Cannot open 3rd party link: Some versions of Android (i.e 4.4.2) may do nothing when you click a third party link. The work-around is to long touch the link, and select 'Open' or 'Open in Browser'.
Q: Why use the app menu instead of the mobile website menu?
A: It's more responsive. The app menu never disappears when a page is loading, and never has to wait for a page to finish loading to become responsive. The app menu also takes up a lot less space. Plus the most commonly used menu items are always visible, so you don't have to open a menu at all. The main idea is "one touch, anytime".
Q: Why are some app menu items missing?
A: You won't see all the menu options until you login. Also, devices with a HARDWARE menu button will need to press the hardware Menu button to see the full menu.
Q: How do I enable Android notifications?
A: By default notifications are disabled. To turn them on simply touch +Notify from the app menu. The app will automatically query BYC every 30 minutes (on WiFi, 60m otherwise), and notify you if you have new subscription replies [vibrate] or messages [audible alert]. The first check will be only 15 minutes after you leave the app, so that if you are waiting on a message reply, for example, you'll hopefully get notified sooner. You do not need to re-enable notifications after reboot. Disable notifications the same way you enabled them.
*It is possible if you use a browser to temporarily have outdated alerts. Alerts will clear themselves. When you use the app exclusively they will never appear out of sync.
Q: How do I do a quick search?u
A: Just touch the magnifying glass "search" (hardware) button on your phone, or select "search" from the menu, and begin typing. Articles will be displayed by default, since they are more likely to give you reliable information, and load faster. If you want to see thread results, jut click the drop down menu and change the search type.
Q: How do I download an image?
A: Long touch the image, and select Download, or View Full Screen. (You can also download the image from the full screen viewer).
Q: The Desktop/Mobile buttons normally at the bottom of the web page are gone, so how can I switch to Desktop mode?
A: There is a desktop icon on the top right in the app menu. You can more easily toggle modes using this button. The default is Mobile mode, but some features may require the desktop version. Ideally, use the Desktop version temporarily, then toggle back to Mobile mode.
Q: What do I do if the app crashes?
A: Ideally, report it (and include a note telling me what you were trying to do when it happened) when prompted so I can resolve the issue quickly. I do not suggest you uninstall the app, even if it is unusable on your device, because the next automatic update should include fixes for all known bugs.
Q: Is the app secure?
A: Yes. It is virtually the same as any browser. No passwords are saved or accessible in any way to the app. Your encrypted session cookies are kept in the app's cache, same as any browser. After you logon, the app just uses that existing cache to query the website for notifications.
Q: Is this an official BYC Android app?
A: It is technically a third party app at this time. This thread contains the history of how the app came to be: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/865921/byc-android-app.
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