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App Quarantine – Translators wanted!!!


Previously App Quarantine was not available in lots of languages. This is now about to change as I’m looking forward to get the app translated in all possible languages.

In order to get a quality translation I believe the best way is having it translated by you – the users. You are the ones who know what the app is really doing and what the texts mean, and you are the ones who don’t want to look at crappy machine translated texts.

In the past I was handling few translations through Emails but as you can image this is not very comfortable. So I decided to use Crowdin which is a very nice community translation site. The great advantage over other similar sites is that you don’t have to register for an account. Just login with your Google account and you are ready!

As a little reward for your efforts you will be credit in the app:

AppQuarantineTranslations

So if your native language is missing then jump into the Crowdin site and contribute your translations. Don’t forget to drop me a message so I can assign you as proof reader. This means that you can change translations when there are multiple suggestions or remove wrong ones. Proof readers are also the ones that get credited in the app!

Furthermore, if you are involved in any translation (no matter if you are proof reader or not) then you are privileged to use the PRO version of App Quarantine. If you don’t already have the PRO version then you’ll receive an unlock key to enable all features in the free one!

Now I hope to meet you on Crowdin soon! Start with this link:

http://crowdin.net/project/app-quarantine

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App Quarantine: issues with Root access


Update 25/08/2012:

In the newest versions of App Quarantine (1.25) and App Quarantine Pro (2.5)  root access works now more reliable. However, if you still have an out-dated version of SuperUser then App Quarantine doesn’t work anymore. I used to have some ‘bloat’ code that did some kind of ‘special care’ for the SuperUser app. However this did lead to issues on other devices. In the meanwhile SuperUser doesn’t need this ‘special care’ anymore. So if App Quarantine doesn’t work anymore then just call the SuperUser app, swipe left to the ‘Info’ tab and tap ‘check for updates’:

Now App Quarantine will work again. If you still have issues with SuperUser then please read on and learn what else you can do.

Issues with SuperUser app

I’m receiving more and more reports from users that updated their phone from Android 2.3 to 4.0 and then were unable to use App Quarantine anymore. The “Failed to get root access!” message appears on the screen:

Furthermore, their phones are all rooted properly and all other root apps are still working fine! Of course I have Android 4 running on my own devices (Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Xoom) and I can’t reproduce the error! Almost 6.000 active users are successfully running App Quarantine on Android 4 as well so this is a issue that only happens on some “selected” devices.

The solution!

But there’s a solution to the problem thanks to a nice user who helped to assist me in trying out few things on his phone. In the end we found out it’s just as easy as using the SuperSu app instead of SuperUser. So tell me: why are other root apps still working with SuperUser and why is this damn App Quarantine not working?

What’s going on behind the scenes?

So to explain this issue I have to go into some technical details! If you feel uncomfortable with this then just skip this chapter ! 😉

When a app is disabled or enabled using App Quarantine (or any other freeze app in the market) then a command line tool is used that is part of every Android installation. Obviously this only works when called with superuser privileges. But this tool is not a normal Linux command like for instance all the stuff you get in the busybox collection. It’s slightly more complicated as it first needs to start a new Dalvik instance (like every Android app does as well). This is needed so the tool can access the Android framework. For doing all this the tool relies on a few dependencies. Unfortunately some of these dependencies have changed on newer Android 4 ROMs and it seems the SuperUser app (well, actually the associated su binary) can’t handle this anymore.

You can easily test it on your own and open a terminal emulator on your phone (I’m always using https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jackpal.androidterm) and then type the following:

su
pm disable com.google.earth (or any other app you’d like to test with)

When succeeded then it will say “Package com.google.earth new state: disabled” and when you’re launching App Quarantine you’ll see it got moved into the list of quarantined apps. With the “corrupt” SuperUser dependencies the command will crash and drop some strange error message, hence the app is not getting disabled at all.

Now on the other hand the newly developed SuperSu (which also comes with its own su binary) was developed by Chainfire (a well recognized member on xda-developers) in order to solve some of the problems that seems like they can’t be solved with the SuperUser app. One of these improvements is that it can solve such dependencies just fine!

SuperSu – the Superuser access management tool of the future

As you are still reading this you probably want to know more about SuperSu – and no, I’m not getting paid by Chainfire for doing this! 😉

While SuperUser was developed in the early days of Android, SuperSu is brand new and developed from scratch! It’s based on the needs and experiences that were learned when “playing around with root” and now provides a cleaner and more reliable solution for managing root access on your Androids!

You can read all the details in the official thread on xda-develoers here:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1538053

SuperSu installation guide

Please be aware that I’m not responsible for any damanges in case something is wrong on your phone or with SuperSu!

1. if you have ClockworkMod then first do a nandroid backup (just in case)

2. Install SuperSu from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.chainfire.supersu

DO NOT remove the SuperUser app (yet)!

3. Run it, and let it install itself. Then try App Quarantine again. When this is successful (and your other root apps are playing fine as well) then you can remove SuperUser.

4. In case you want to uninstall SuperSU and revert back to SuperUser then you first have to run the original SuperUser app and restore root access by choosing the “update su binary” option in the settings. You should first test and confirm that your ‘old’ Superuser access is working again before uninstalling SuperSu, otherwise you might lose root access!

How often do you update your Android apps?


When looking at the Developer console statistics for APP QUARANTINE I figured out that users don’t always update to the newest versions. Here’s what I found out:

APP QUARANTINE (15K active users):

* 3-4 weeks after publishing a new version only 68% have updated
* 5 weeks after publishing a new version around 91% have updated

For the paid version the results are by far better, however there’s also a smaller user base:

APP QUARANTINE PRO (less than 200 active users):

* 4 days after publishing a new version 88% have updated
* 10 days after publishing a new version 100% have updated

Join the poll!

Now in the I would like to know about your “best practise” considering Android app updates in general!
If you are an Android developer as well feel free to post about your experiences, I’m curious to read them too!

Introducing direct launch mode for 1×1 widget (App Quarantine Pro)


By user request I have added a new option for the 1×1 widget. If the “Widget direct launch” (see screenshot) is enabled in the settings then the behaviour for the 1×1 widget is different. When an app is disabled and you click the widget then it’s automatically enabled and then launched. On the other hand if the app is already enabled and you click it again then it will be disabled. By the way this only works if you have setup a widget with only one app. If you are using a group in the 1×1 widget then the popup appears like usual. But try it out on your own! 😉

APP QUARANTINE PRO is available at Google Play for 1 EURO.


Get it on Google Play

Long awaited 1×1 widget now available in APP QUARANTINE PRO


Some people have been waiting for this quite some time. Now it’s finally here! When hitting the widget then a small screen appears and from there you can disable/enable the apps or launch them immediately, just the same way you already used it when using the old widget with groups.

On the screenshot you see how it looks on Android 4.0

APP QUARANTINE PRO is available at Google Play for 1 EURO.


Get it on Google Play

Added folder navigation for groups in APP QUARANTINE PRO


In the PRO version I have added the ability to support groups. That means you can take all apps which use GPS and put them in a group, take all apps that use Internet in another group, and create a third group which contains only apps that use lots of memory but you don’t need them very often. You can then freeze all apps in a group with one fingertip, and you can put a widget on your homescreen to manage apps which you don’t need very often.

In the new version the navigation in the application was improved. Usually you have quite a long list of apps to scroll through. Now the apps which you have put in a group no longer appear in the list. Instead you just open the group and see the apps in there.

APP QUARANTINE PRO is available in Android Market for 1 EURO.

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.ramdroid.appquarantinepro

 

APP QUARANTINE PRO is out now!


If you already liked the free version of APP QUARANTINE then you will love the new PRO version! There are even more features to slaughter bloatware and improve your battery life!

APP QUARANTINE PRO finally makes it possible to freeze multiple apps with just one fingertip!

You quickly can select your apps and put them together in groups. If you care about your network bandwidth or privacy issues you can filter apps by their permissions. So for instance you can show all apps that are able to access INTERNET and make PHONE CALLS and then from this list choose the apps you want to have in one group.

Of course you can also use your groups from the homescreen widget. So you disable/enable all apps of a group at once. Another way to use groups is to use them as categories. For example you can put together apps that access INTERNET in a group and when you are on the widget you can individually disable/enable one by one just as you need them.

APP QUARANTINE PRO is available in Android Market for 1 EURO.

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.ramdroid.appquarantinepro