OpenCPN for Android Version 1.0.12 is now available for download from the Google PlayStore.
If enabled on your device, you will receive an automatic upgrade to this Version. Or, you may manually upgrade by visiting the Google PlayStore.
See the Changelog below for details regarding upgrades and improvements.
Thanks very much to the Beta testers who contributed lots of valuable time and energy toward making this Release the best ever.
I look forward to your continued support as we move forward with OpenCPN for Android in the mobile world.
OpenCPN for Android Version 1.0.12 has many improvements affecting performance, reliability, and security. Visible user interface changes include the following:
1. French language support fully implemented.
2. Improved display rendering on high-display-density devices, especially for Vector charts and AIS overlays.
3. Improved user interface for Chart Downloader PlugIn, especially affecting the chart catalog selection tree.
4. Improved support for SDCards, see note below.
5. Support for additional generic USB device inputs, including AMEC-150 AIS receiver.
SDCard support notes:
a) Starting with Android Version 4 (KitKat), access to the SDCard has been limited by the operating system. This was done to improve overall system security, so that one app may not accidentally or intentionally corrupt another app's private data. This change means that it is not possible to write to the card generally, but writing is permitted only in areas (directories) of the card that are allocated to a particular application.
b) As a further complication, the directory referring to an external SDCard within the Android file system is not generally called "sdcard". This name, "sdcard" is reserved for emulated external storage space, and really points to internal storage in the device. The true name for a physical SDCard in Android version 4+ is determined by the device manufacturer, and varies from device to device. This can (and has) made it difficult to load charts from a PC by USB cable, and then later find and attach them to the OpenCPN chart list.
We have added "shortcut" buttons to the directory picker dialog in OpenCPN to allow the user to directly navigate to the normal device file storage area, and also directly to the accessible and writable directory space of any physical SDCard installed. This will affect two common OpenCPN activities.
a) Connect your device to a PC and transfer some charts to the card, in whatever structure suits you. Start OpenCPN, and navigate to the "add charts" function. You will be able to touch the "SDCard" shortcut button to access the assigned area of physical card space. You may then navigate up and down the physical SDCard storage tree to find your new charts. If you get lost in the structure, touch the "SDCard" shortcut button again to reset. Find your new charts, and select that directory. The charts will then be available to OpenCPN. Note that these charts will be "Read-only" to the Android system, unless they are placed in the directory assigned to OpenCPN by the Android system, or a subdirectory of that assigned space. That is fine, since OpenCPN does not need "write" access to the chart directories in order to display the manually loaded charts.
b) The Chart Downloader requires "write" access to the directory subtree containing the charts and catalogs. If you want to store your downloaded charts on the SDCard, and you are using Android Version 5 or higher, you must set the Chart Downloader base directory to the location suggested by the "SDCard" shortcut button in the OpenCPN directory selector dialog, or a subdirectory of that location. For example, on a particular device, the "SDCard" short-cut location may be something like: "/storage/CO2C-1BF1/Android/data/org.opencpn.opencpn/files". The string "CO2C-1BF1" is a UUID associated with this particular card, and will not be the same on your device. You may reasonably create a new directory called "/storage/CO2C-1BF1/Android/data/org.opencpn.opencpn/files/Charts". This directory will be "writable" to Android, and so is suitable for Chart Downloader use. When activated, the Chart Downloader will check to verify that the selected directory is actually "writable" when needed, and show a message dialog to the user if it is not.