SmartThings Community

LANNouncer and Permissions... or the Evil (Google) Empire and Functionality


#1

Google de-listed LANNouncer because they changed their Privacy Policy, and now you must insist the user see it rather than allow you too. A few years ago, the issue they were delisting apps for was that the Privacy Policy wasn’t available, but now it must be nearly a click-through.

But they’ve also changed permissions. So, in updating LANNouncer, I’ve had to make a ton of additional changes just to keep it running. Specifically, Google now expects you to approve every action the first time you do it, or not.

Which could mean, you configure LANNouncer, put it in a closet (as I have done) with speakers, and then wonder why it’s not working, only to see that a permission request has blocked it and crashed the device.

I could ask for all permissions up-front, but (1) Google doesn’t like that idea, (2) what if you refuse or revoke them? You don’t NEED LANNouncer to have access to the camera, but it can’t act as a security camera or alarm strobe if you don’t. But… do you really want to have it fail to take a photo of the arsonist or attacker because you didn’t grant permissions right then, due to the new Google policies?

I’m largely just annoyed. I built LANNouncer for my needs, put it out there because I consider it a bit cool, and Google is making it too complex for an app that costs more to run than it garners in donations. But which model would you prefer - it asks up front and crashes if you then ask it to do something you denied it, or it asks when needed which means it seemingly hangs on a question when it really matters?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

Can you get away with less restrictions by not using Play Store?


#3

Could you have a set of tick boxes (or whatever) for any functionality requiring special permissions that all default to off, and then request and revoke permissions based on the functionality the user has chosen to enable? (*)

Or do Google expect you to wait until the actual point of use?

(*) And also check the permissions in case the user has tweaked things outside the app and disable any functionality that is no longer available.


#4

Yes, and the current version is still downloadable from the website, just not from the Playstore.

@orangebucket, I’m trying to avoid doing a lot of additional programming to support these changes. I wrote the first version of LANNouncer (called LANDroid initially, but Google decided the name wouldn’t be allowed because it has “android” in it) over a four-day weekend. Doing several days of programming just to make Google happy makes me unhappy.


#5

Is anyone still using the SMS connector? I was pretty pleased with that when I wrote it three years ago, allowing you to receive LANNouncer messages on your phone from SmartThings while not using / having data, but since it supports GCM (Google Cloud Messaging) now and has for a while, I don’t see the benefit. Thoughts?


#6

Anyone? Bueller?

The new LANNouncer is on the Play store. It should be a bit more reliable, but I haven’t had any troubles with the current version.


(Andrew Newton) #7

Hi

First thing is thanks for a brilliant app… great idea and as Ive only just discovered and installed it Ive seen none of the google issues … luckily. However I have found that even with Bigtalker2 installed Lannouncer doesnt show in Bigtalker 2 despite trying everything and reinstalling. Also I foudn if the Android phone is not active . as in blank screen … None of the features siren, strobe etc work. Wake up the device and all works ok… Question is are there any fixes for these two issues please ? Many thanks Andy


#8

I’ve not tried the latest LANnouncer app, having decided to go with a bespoke AutoRemote/Tasker solution instead, but I do recognise the problems with LANnouncer not responding when the screen is off. I think in my case it may have been the ‘Auto-start Manager’ app on the old Asus tablet I was testing things with getting in the way, but otherwise I’d be looking at any app or setting that blocks or terminates apps in the name of battery or memory saving or performance enhancement and telling them to leave LANnouncer alone. I also had issues with the LANnouncer app quietly crashing but that was a previous version and it seemed to calm down eventually.

With regard to BigTalker, after installing the LANnouncer device handler and creating the device in the IDE did you then go through the ‘Add a Thing’ process in the SmartThings Classic app? Even though the device will already be visible in the SmartThings app and seem to be working perfectly happily, the app will still find it as a new device waiting to be paired and things seem to work better once you do. That’s all I can think of that I might have had to do.


#9

Hi, could it be that a permission problem is blocking my text to speech function in LAnnouncer?

Chimes and Alarm work, while TTS doesn’t. I’m using it on a Fire 8, and the TTS is sent by WebCore.

I have also a Fire 7 and on that everything works…