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Full Version: New Gemini App: Airmail. Looks nice.
OESF Portables Forum > Model Specific Forums > Gemini PDA > Gemini PDA - Android
Dixit
Hello all,

The Gemini team sent in the announcement of a "new" app: Airmail. I downloaded it right away.
It essentially is a skin on the K9 mail client engine.

It looks nice and it seems that the team has tried to make use of the landscape screen.
That, on its own, is good news. If nobody else cares about the PDA landscape form factor, at least Planet does.

I used to use K9, but now (temporarily ?) switched over to Airmail.

It does have that unique British Planet PDA crapiness:

- It is unstable and crashes. Within the first 30 seconds it brexited itself: I tried the "import settings" feature. *crash*
I am quite amazed: are we all still considered beta testers ? It is also very special that a "skin" onto an otherwise very stable app can crash.

- Just like the other Planet apps: half of it is in Dutch, the other half is in English. Sloppy.

Anyway, Agenda seems to be more stable, so improvement is ongoing. I think I'll tinker with it a bit more.
Da_Blitz
Most of the crashs i have encountered can be fixed by going into the settings menus, apps, airmail and then in hte permissions option, enabling access to contacts and k9mail remote

as far as i can tell it is not set to prompt for these permissions, does not set them up on install and exits when an error is encountered

if you dont do this youc can pu tthe app in a state where it always crashes on startup(ie 'display contacts' in the options), fixing this took me a but to work out without reinstalling it

apart form that i am fairly impressed, there are some ui features that could be fixed up but i like the on the fly font adjustment which really helps with my eyesight these days, if only ic ould work out how to select items without tap and hold i would be happy
salvomic
thank you!
it worked here.

salvo
jornada720
For the life of me, I don't know why Planet is wasting money on developing these apps. They're all buggy and most don't really add anything that other apps don't already do.

They should be spending their time on getting getting LineageOS properly working, making KDE/GNOME function normally and fixing the broken Linux cellphone support.

Or how about fixing the App Bar so it shows running apps and uses icon themes? There are tons of more useful and unique software projects Planet could be embarking on.

This app also is not available in the Yalp store, at least for me.
jakfish
Or roll out Oreo--wasn't Planet promising a December release of Oreo?

Jake
Don H
QUOTE(jakfish @ Dec 11 2018, 11:07 AM) *
Or roll out Oreo--wasn't Planet promising a December release of Oreo?

Jake


I just received an email from them stating that they are working on 8.1, and should have news before Christmas.

As for the Airmail app, I have been using it and so far like it The only thing I cannot figure out is how to set up multiple email addresses for one account. I forwarded all my email to one server, but I would like to be able to reply with the correct address. If I remember K-9, it could be done there...

d
Da_Blitz
Looks like they pushed out an update an hour ago requesting contact and storage permission, with any luck that came from the bug crash info i submitted to them

I suspect the same permission fixes would have also fixed the initial round of ledison crashes where it would crash on an incomming phone call, i have found that permissions seem to be the thing that is always broken with each new app release

i do like the redesigned apps as they make significantly better use of the wider screen, wont be going back to k9mail in any hurry at this point
jdcard
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Dec 11 2018, 06:21 AM) *
Most of the crashs i have encountered can be fixed by going into the settings menus, apps, airmail and then in hte permissions option, enabling access to contacts and k9mail remote

as far as i can tell it is not set to prompt for these permissions, does not set them up on install and exits when an error is encountered

if you dont do this youc can pu tthe app in a state where it always crashes on startup(ie 'display contacts' in the options), fixing this took me a but to work out without reinstalling it

apart form that i am fairly impressed, there are some ui features that could be fixed up but i like the on the fly font adjustment which really helps with my eyesight these days, if only ic ould work out how to select items without tap and hold i would be happy


I believe that the "s" key will select the current item in the message list. I've looked for a a list of keyboard shortcuts somewhere but haven't seen one yet. The other keys I've found so far are "x" force a sync with the server, and "d" (or the more obvious "Del" key) to delete a message. Once you've selected one or more messages what key will invoke the context menu that is available as press-and-hold on the touchscreen?

I get a repeating crash that requires an uninstall and reinstall to recover if I set Global Settings > Display > Message lists > Preview lines to "0".
Da_Blitz
QUOTE(jdcard @ Dec 13 2018, 03:28 AM) *
QUOTE(Da_Blitz @ Dec 11 2018, 06:21 AM) *
Most of the crashs i have encountered can be fixed by going into the settings menus, apps, airmail and then in hte permissions option, enabling access to contacts and k9mail remote

as far as i can tell it is not set to prompt for these permissions, does not set them up on install and exits when an error is encountered

if you dont do this youc can pu tthe app in a state where it always crashes on startup(ie 'display contacts' in the options), fixing this took me a but to work out without reinstalling it

apart form that i am fairly impressed, there are some ui features that could be fixed up but i like the on the fly font adjustment which really helps with my eyesight these days, if only ic ould work out how to select items without tap and hold i would be happy


I believe that the "s" key will select the current item in the message list. I've looked for a a list of keyboard shortcuts somewhere but haven't seen one yet. The other keys I've found so far are "x" force a sync with the server, and "d" (or the more obvious "Del" key) to delete a message. Once you've selected one or more messages what key will invoke the context menu that is available as press-and-hold on the touchscreen?

I get a repeating crash that requires an uninstall and reinstall to recover if I set Global Settings > Display > Message lists > Preview lines to "0".



looks like 'h' brings up the help
Daniel W
QUOTE(jornada720 @ Dec 11 2018, 03:58 PM) *
For the life of me, I don't know why Planet is wasting money on developing these apps...
One reason is probably so they can offer better support for keyboard shortcuts. As the keyboard is pretty much their claim to fame, they probably want to make the most out of it. Also, as K-9 mail is a community project, Planet Computers may want to maintain a fork of their own, giving them more wiggle room, should some change in K-9 cause issues with Gemini and/or Cosmo devices. Perhaps, but that's just my guess, Planet Computers intends to contribute back to the official K-9 too, because it could be a reasonable thing to do, if you intend to recommend (a version of) it to your customers.

Another reason, maybe, could be that Planet Computers wants to have a set of productivity apps that are know landscape-friendly, visually reasonably consistent and uses the same keyboard shortcuts for the same purposes. Rather than coding it ALL from scratch, it could make sense to, where available, create tweaked forks of existing open-source programs. Now, again, I'm guessing here, just to show what the thinking COULD be like.
jornada720
QUOTE(Daniel W @ Dec 13 2018, 12:43 PM) *
QUOTE(jornada720 @ Dec 11 2018, 03:58 PM) *
For the life of me, I don't know why Planet is wasting money on developing these apps...
One reason is probably so they can offer better support for keyboard shortcuts. As the keyboard is pretty much their claim to fame, they probably want to make the most out of it. Also, as K-9 mail is a community project, Planet Computers may want to maintain a fork of their own, giving them more wiggle room, should some change in K-9 cause issues with Gemini and/or Cosmo devices. Perhaps, but that's just my guess, Planet Computers intends to contribute back to the official K-9 too, because it could be a reasonable thing to do, if you intend to recommend (a version of) it to your customers.

Another reason, maybe, could be that Planet Computers wants to have a set of productivity apps that are know landscape-friendly, visually reasonably consistent and uses the same keyboard shortcuts for the same purposes. Rather than coding it ALL from scratch, it could make sense to, where available, create tweaked forks of existing open-source programs. Now, again, I'm guessing here, just to show what the thinking COULD be like.


There's nothing wrong per se with that idea but it seems such projects should have lower priority than getting Linux fully operational, updating Android, and properly getting Lineage and Sailfish off the ground. LXQt is severely limited compared to GNOME and KDE. You still can't use the earpiece in Linux, etc.

K9 actually has all the same keystrokes, including Ctrl+Backspace to erase the previous word. In Airmail, this inexplicably changes the display font size.

I would much rather have fewer Planet software products if the ones that were released were of better quality.
jakfish
So far, I think this app is pretty good. One bug--I can't get it to export settings.
Jake
Truggin
I can certainly understand that given the Gemini is meant somewhat as a Psion replacement it is attractive to try and replicate and improve on the simplicity and functionality of the Psions. What might have been, indeed, without the Motorola fiasco. This explains Agenda and Data but rather less so for Airmail as Psion did not really get into e-mail.

I have tried Airmail and am puzzled that it seems, at least to me, not as good as the K9 original. K9 has been working very nicely in landscape format on my Gemini whilst I waited in anticipation for Airmail but Airmail does not seem to do anything which K9 does not and what it does do seems often not to perform as well. With K9 I can cut down the message depth to give me 6 at a time viewing whereas I only get 4 with Airmail. I do not understand why there is a top and bottom bar using up screen space on Airmail when K9 only has one at the bottom.

So, a good idea to do a Gemini specific version of K9 but I am puzzled why Planet has not produced version which is recognisably better for the Gemini. Perhaps I am missing something. I would have expected publicity or an ‘about’ sheet to have told me what was better or different, but documentation seems lacking.
Daniel W
QUOTE(jornada720 @ Dec 14 2018, 04:21 AM) *
There's nothing wrong per se with that idea but it seems such projects should have lower priority than getting Linux fully operational
Planet Computers marketing language makes me believe their main focus is Android, with Linux as bonus feature (priorities I don't necessarily agree with), a bit like, say, Dex on Samsung devices, which is nice and useful, but hardly the main attraction. On Indiegogo, the Gemini presentation says "Designed for Android, it also features a dual boot Linux option", while the Cosmo presentation says "runs Android 9 (Pie) and also supports Linux OS". To me, it sounds a bit like when Apple says you can indeed run Windows on a MacBook. Thus, I'm not that surprised when we get updates to LEDison (which still is wonky) before Lineage. According to Is there any practical linux means to make cell phone calls?, the telephony features are working in Sailfish (though, while welcome, that's indeed not equal to getting Linux fully operational).

QUOTE(jakfish @ Dec 14 2018, 09:37 PM) *
So far, I think this app is pretty good. One bug--I can't get it to export settings.
Not that it will solve your problem, but when I export my Airmail settings, it seems to work (though I haven't tried importing them again, as I wouldn't want to mess up my settings, if indeed there is something wrong with my export too).

QUOTE(Truggin @ Dec 15 2018, 02:53 PM) *
So, a good idea to do a Gemini specific version of K9 but I am puzzled why Planet has not produced version which is recognisably better for the Gemini. Perhaps I am missing something. I would have expected publicity or an ‘about’ sheet to have told me what was better or different, but documentation seems lacking.
Hopefully, the Planet Computers homegrown apps will improve, but yes, documentation seems lacking. That seems to be one of those much-harder-than-expected problems, given how many projects, from tiny to huge, are so lacking in documentation.
Dixit
QUOTE(Truggin @ Dec 15 2018, 02:53 PM) *
I can certainly understand that given the Gemini is meant somewhat as a Psion replacement it is attractive to try and replicate and improve on the simplicity and functionality of the Psions. What might have been, indeed, without the Motorola fiasco. This explains Agenda and Data but rather less so for Airmail as Psion did not really get into e-mail.


Ah ?
I actually used the e-mail application a lot on the 5mx (with the brand new Nokia 7110 over IR) and it only got better on the netBook, with the larger screen, keyboard and wifi.

I actually used the netBook well past its 'due time', up until 2016. It was very good to produce a quick e-mail.

Airmail reminds me of this. Fold the device open and just start typing. The interface is rather similar to the Psion application, but this one can actually read full HTML e-mails and their attachments.
Truggin
QUOTE(Dixit @ Dec 19 2018, 08:40 AM) *
QUOTE(Truggin @ Dec 15 2018, 02:53 PM) *
I can certainly understand that given the Gemini is meant somewhat as a Psion replacement it is attractive to try and replicate and improve on the simplicity and functionality of the Psions. What might have been, indeed, without the Motorola fiasco. This explains Agenda and Data but rather less so for Airmail as Psion did not really get into e-mail.


Ah ?
I actually used the e-mail application a lot on the 5mx (with the brand new Nokia 7110 over IR) and it only got better on the netBook, with the larger screen, keyboard and wifi.

I actually used the netBook well past its 'due time', up until 2016. It was very good to produce a quick e-mail.

Airmail reminds me of this. Fold the device open and just start typing. The interface is rather similar to the Psion application, but this one can actually read full HTML e-mails and their attachments.


I stand corrected. I never used the email with my Netbook as I did not have a portable modem. You beat me in using a physical Netbook as the various machines I had (from Ebay etc) kept going wrong due to the (dreaded) screen cable becoming damaged. I probably stopped in 2014. I am still using the Emulator version for Agenda and abp5 the banking program but really should stop copying the entries to Google and thence to K9 or Airmail every so often but take the plunge and give up Agenda - much as I like its ease of use.
jornada720
QUOTE(Truggin @ Dec 19 2018, 12:53 PM) *
QUOTE(Dixit @ Dec 19 2018, 08:40 AM) *
QUOTE(Truggin @ Dec 15 2018, 02:53 PM) *
I can certainly understand that given the Gemini is meant somewhat as a Psion replacement it is attractive to try and replicate and improve on the simplicity and functionality of the Psions. What might have been, indeed, without the Motorola fiasco. This explains Agenda and Data but rather less so for Airmail as Psion did not really get into e-mail.


Ah ?
I actually used the e-mail application a lot on the 5mx (with the brand new Nokia 7110 over IR) and it only got better on the netBook, with the larger screen, keyboard and wifi.

I actually used the netBook well past its 'due time', up until 2016. It was very good to produce a quick e-mail.

Airmail reminds me of this. Fold the device open and just start typing. The interface is rather similar to the Psion application, but this one can actually read full HTML e-mails and their attachments.


I stand corrected. I never used the email with my Netbook as I did not have a portable modem. You beat me in using a physical Netbook as the various machines I had (from Ebay etc) kept going wrong due to the (dreaded) screen cable becoming damaged. I probably stopped in 2014. I am still using the Emulator version for Agenda and abp5 the banking program but really should stop copying the entries to Google and thence to K9 or Airmail every so often but take the plunge and give up Agenda - much as I like its ease of use.


I don't have time to find the citation but I've read that Janko Mrsic-Flogel, the Planet Computers founder, was also involved in the development of the Psion email app.

Hopefully, he'll get Airmail's awful cursor movement keys fixed stat. Currently:
  • Pushing Ctrl left or right arrow changes the font sizes instead of moving word by word to left or right
  • Pushing Ctrl backspace shrinks the font size of the message

These are non standard behaviors that are not present in K9 Mail. They make composing emails in Airmail absolutely dreadful.
zsalab2
I cannot even try - Airmail crashes on Gemini immediately after start.
shinkamui
QUOTE(Dixit @ Dec 11 2018, 02:35 AM) *
Hello all,

The Gemini team sent in the announcement of a "new" app: Airmail. I downloaded it right away.
It essentially is a skin on the K9 mail client engine.

It looks nice and it seems that the team has tried to make use of the landscape screen.
That, on its own, is good news. If nobody else cares about the PDA landscape form factor, at least Planet does.

I used to use K9, but now (temporarily ?) switched over to Airmail.

It does have that unique British Planet PDA crapiness:

- It is unstable and crashes. Within the first 30 seconds it brexited itself: I tried the "import settings" feature. *crash*
I am quite amazed: are we all still considered beta testers ? It is also very special that a "skin" onto an otherwise very stable app can crash.

- Just like the other Planet apps: half of it is in Dutch, the other half is in English. Sloppy.

Anyway, Agenda seems to be more stable, so improvement is ongoing. I think I'll tinker with it a bit more.



I shouldn't be laughing, but the references and the humor touched me just right. I enjoyed it smile.gif .
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