Friday, July 29, 2016

Dev update #19

Desktop update 1.1.1:  deployed.
Android update 1.1.0b: available in few hours (beta channel)

Phone compatiblity (beta channel)

Making VRidge compatible with every kind of hardware is challenging task. We've been fixing phone hardware specific issues since the first release and we successfully got couple of hundred models working without major problems (other than heat generation).

But there are still some models that require our attention. The most common ones are
  • Asus Zenfone 2 (or other Intel chipset phones)
  • Galaxy S4 (some variants)
  • Huawei Honor 4C and P8 Lite (and possibly more Kirin chipset phones)
  • Redmi Note 2 and 3 (and more MediaTek Helio X10 chipset phones)

Thanks to some tips from cgutman (author of Android's well-known Moonlight) we now have some knowledge why some problems are happening and how to fix them. Moonlight is known to work great on nearly all Android devices and this is an example for us on how to make great streaming app.

This is only small subset of all the chipsets out there
In this beta update we bring many fixes targeted for specific models.We don't expect that everything will now start magically working because it's only first wave of the fixes but we are also adding something that might be really helpful to catch all the streaming and rendering bugs in the future - detailed logging mode.

Detailed logging mode (beta channel)

If you experience high streaming aritfacting and/or crashing and you have one of the devices listed in paragraph above please go to mobile app settings -> Diagnostics and enable diagnostic mode. This will log many VRidge events to a log file stored on your mobile (up to 5MB, don't worry about device space). There is also a button that will simply send all stored events with your GPU & OS info to us. There is no personal information sent - you can review the information sent by tapping [See logs] before sending.

Example diagnostic log

Fixed update failing because of Steam (stable channel)

This is very small fix but we are pushing it into stable channel. Some of you were getting failed updates because Steam was running in the background with a file lock on our driver.

No more "update failed" without a reason

GearVR edition update

The GearVR development is going really well. We ported large majority of our codebase and we already have internal testing version that streams and uses GearVR sensors. It's not a 100% promise but we hope to have a publicly testable version later in August. 

Remember that VRidge purchase is universal unlock. If you bought the unlimited version, you'll get GearVR edition too. No need to pay multiple times for the same product on different platforms.

Beta discount extended

When we released our app we gave all beta testers a discount of 50% valid until one month after release. Unfortunately due to some unforeseen circumstances we weren't able to deliver updates as fast as we wanted so we decided to extend the discount until at least GearVR edition is out in stable form. 

What's next?

GearVR development will continue and we hope to receive many diagnostics logs from you with the new logging option so we can have a better insight on what is happening in your device when VRidge fails. We'll also explore additional payment options because there are many people that can't use PayPal. iOS edition is scheduled for development after GearVR edition is out.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dev update #18

Quick update (beta channel): 
1.1.1 desktop update deployed with minor background fixes. Many phone specific fixes, extended diagnostic mode + blog post coming tomorrow (2016/07/29). 

If you get "Update failed" exit Steam before the RiftCat update begins.

Finally we can release our multi-channel updates. It took us longer than expected but we wanted to make sure that we don't mess anything up with updater because having bugs in update process may result in forced reinstall and we don't want to waste your time with that.

We wrote about it in our previous blog post but here's a copy-paste description of update channels:
  • Beta update branch will be updated few times a month (probably once a week like we used to do in beta phase). Use it if you want to be first to access new features and bug fixes.
  • Stable update branch will be updated less often, every few weeks. We don't want untested changes going live for everyone as forced update.
  • Previous stable updates will contain stable versions from the past. If somehow beta bugs make it into stable branch you will be able to switch back to previous versions and ignore updates.

This will not always work. For example, VR SDKs, graphics drivers or some other condtions can change in a way preventing backwards compatibility. We're not always in control but we will try our best to give you the most options.

What's next?

GearVR version is still in development. Most of boring groundwork is already done and we hope to run some in-office streaming tests in upcoming weeks. We are still on track to release GearVR for public testing this summer. We're also gonna spend some time fixing some incompatible phones so expect some news on that next week (hopefully).