Thursday, August 20, 2015

APHound v1.6 Released

APHound v1.6 is now available.

This release is focused on enhancing the signal survey feature for Plus Edition users:

New Features

  • Signal Surveys can be exported as web pages. Click here to see a sample
  • Signal Surveys can now have free-form text markers dropped on them. Useful for noting important information when the survey measurements are being taken.
  • The access point list now shows a manufacturer name. This is based on the MAC address so may not always match the name the access point is marketed under.
  • Access points can now be assigned a user-defined alias. This helps identification of the access point, especially when multiple access points share the same SSID.

Enhancements

  • User changes to the column widths on the access point list are now saved and restored between APHound runs.
  • Signal Survey now shows the number of measurements made (and number remaining for Free Edition users) and information on any loaded survey background image.
  • Signal Survey now has pop-up tooltips to show measurement values and text marker free-form text.
  • Signal Survey now shows more access point information at the defined location of the access point.
  • Signal Survey now shows directional lines to indicate the progress of the survey.

Visit the APHound website for full details.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

APHound v1.5 Released

APHound v1.5 is now available.

This was originally planned to include updates to the signal survey feature but too much time spent looking at a new website (when will I learn!) resulted in a smaller bug fix and feature update..

New Features

  • Update process is now handled by APHound rather than downloading via a browser.
  • Uninstall of the Free edition now prompts for user feedback.

Defects

  • Supported standards could occasionally be set to an invalid value.
  • v1.4 introduced a bug to the Plus edition where the registration information could be requested every time APHound started.
  • Base standard was not always set for an access point in the access point list (although supported standards were).

Visit the APHound website for full details.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Aaaaargh Websites.

By now I should have been gearing up to release a v1.5 with an expanded signal survey feature. Instead I’m finishing off a maintenance feature before locking v1.5 as, primarily, a small bugfix release.

Where did v1.5 development go wrong? One word - website.

I’d spent some time analysing the analytics from the website as I was reviewing the AdWords campaign and there were a couple of things I wanted to address on the website. This, of course, turned into a completely new website which in turn morphed into a compete time soak because, as a developer, I’m awful at graphic design!

In the end I stopped working on the new website and returned focus to at least making a release during July.

Lesson learned…..again!

But, there was a great moment in the last few weeks – sales!

Whilst the download stats for the Free edition have been very healthy the sales of the Plus edition have been slower to get going. However, having been through the process of releasing a new application before I was completely fine with this. I knew that there wasn’t a big enough feature difference between Free and Plus and I started to address that in v1.4 with the addition of 5Ghz and 802.11ac support for Plus users. The expansion of Plus features will be the primary focus for the next few releases.

One great bit of news - the website mentions that I’d like to use part of the sales income from APHound for charitable donations. Well, that fund has now started. It’s still small, but from tiny acorns…

I’ll post more on the donations fund when it reaches an amount that prompts the first donations.

Friday, June 12, 2015

APHound v1.4 Released

APHound v1.4 is now available.

The main changes for this release were to add support for 5GHz access points and to add support for 802.11ac.

New Features

  • Added support for 5GHz access points to the Plus Edition.
  • Added support for 802.11ac to the Plus Edition.

Enhancements

  • Replaced chart legends with colour coding on the access point list.
  • Save and restore the splitter bar position when the application exits and starts.
  • Added additional fields to the access point information tab.
  • Added a grid to the signal survey when no background image is loaded.

Defects

  • Hidden access points will now always be issued with a consistent “Hidden #n” number.
  • Channel width representation on bar charts was overflowing and appearing too large.

Visit the APHound website for full details.

Friday, June 5, 2015

APHound V1.4 – Dev complete, finally!

Well, that took longer than expected - and in the end I bumped a couple of “would be nice” updates from v1.4 to v1.5.

But, I got the two big items for this release finished – support for 5GHz WiFi and 802.11ac support. Both of those took longer than I’d planned but that was simply because I didn’t like the way the code was evolving and decided to refactor some more of the 2.4GHz code to make it useful to 5GHz.

Apart from those two big items there’s also:

  • A bug fix for the way hidden networks are displayed.
  • Some additional fields on the Access Point Info tab.
  • A grid on the signal survey display when there’s no background image.
  • The main splitter control position is saved between runs of the application.
  • Libcurl has been dropped in to replace native API calls.
  • The chart legend boxes have been removed and the entries on the access point list are now colour coded.

So, a decent mix of changes.

Final testing should hopefully complete over the weekend and a release is planned some time next week.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Lift-off for V1.4

APHound v1.4 development has been slow to get off the ground this month but I’m finally moving it along. The slower start is just down to one of those Micro ISV realities – having two jobs. The bulk of your time is still taken up earning a living, which fortunately for me means doing the thing I enjoy most - software development, and most of your “free” time is taken up with your Micro ISV.

But hey, any excuse to code!

So, v1.4. The main driver for this release is to add support for 5GHz Wi-Fi. I’ll also be finishing off the support for 802.11ac which I started in v1.3. The changes to detect 5GHz, and 802.11ac capable, access points are already up and running and the initial information display and RSSI tracking is good. Next up is handling the channel allocations.

The Trello board for v1.4 has a few other things on it – internal download of updates, additional fields on the access point information tab, some internal refactoring and a couple of minor bug fixes – but the slower than normal start and the desire to keep up the, roughly, monthly release cycle might push some of these things in to v1.5.

The other item of note this month is that I started the first Google AdWords campaign. I purposely waited until I had a couple update releases complete before I undertook any form of advertising since I knew there were some improvements I wanted to make before I was happy with APHound.

The initial AdWord stats are much better than anticipated and, after a few tweaks to the ads and the keywords, the traffic to the website has grown massively. I’ll let the first campaign run its course then sit down and look at the user/website interactions which will help drive the next website update.

Monday, May 4, 2015

V1.3 Released

APHound v1.3 is now available.

This release was, primarily, to add the extended access point information tab but it also includes a number of additional enhancements and fixes.

New Features

  • Added a new tab to show extended access point information for Plus Edition users.
  • Added the capability, for Plus Edition users, to vary the time between Wi-Fi scans.
  • Added the capability to display 40Mhz wide channels on the access point list and channel charts.
  • Added the display of Co-Channel and Channel Overlap counts for Plus Edition users.

Enhancements

  • Display the MAC address on the bars on the channel charts.
  • Reduced flickering on data lists.
  • Selected interface is now remembered.
  • Selected access point is brought to the front of the channel charts.
  • Numerous internal enhancements to improve the responsiveness of the user interface and the handling of data.

Defects

  • Fixed issue where supported data rate information could contain duplicate values.
  • Fixed issue where hidden access points could be displayed with a zero MAC address.
  • Fixed issue where the presence of a 5Ghz access point could cause APHound to crash.
  • Fixed issue where the channel chart doesn’t always show all access points.
  • Fixed issue of out of range value being used for the allocated channel on the access point list.
  • Fixed spacing of adjacent channels on the channel totals chart.

Visit the APHound website for full details.