Sunday, January 15, 2012

Version 0.7.6 and a Donate Version

It's been a while since my last post on this blog.
Considering I work on this project on my spare time, I'd rather spend time improving the app than writing here.

A few hours ago I have published the 0.7.6 version of the app. Here's the change log:

New features:

  • Chart Display (Donate Version only)
  • Brazilian Portuguese translation


  • Several minor improvements in graphics rendering
  • Update rate calculation is faster and more accurate
  • Displays are rendered with last know value when screen is rotated

This is an important release for me, as it finally includes some Chart displays. They are very simple for now, but that's my goal: simple and clean design.

It's missing a visual time grid, but honestly I kind of like it like this. In this version the last 20 seconds of data are shown on screen. In the future this will be configurable per display.

Some technical info: the chart is updated as data is received, and the X axis (time) is effectively based on the time the data was received. That means that if there is some time variation between responses, the chart will be plotted correctly.

Here's a current screenshot of all available Displays:

Donate Version:

Some of you will be mad at me because the chart is only available on the Donate Version of the app. I'm sorry, but I'm trying to get some financial retribution for my work.

You might not think so, but I've already spent a few hundred hours (of my free time) on this project. It takes a lot of time to study, implement, test and most importantly to make sure everything is as optimized and correct as possible.

If you like me work please consider buying the Donate Version.

As of today the only difference is that the Donate Version is ad-free and includes the Chart Displays.

I'll do my best to add extra features on the Donate Version.

Thanks everyone and fell free to comment below!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Version 0.5.2 Alpha

Yesterday I've decided to do some work on the User Interface. Some important internal changes were done to make it easier to create new types of gauges.

While full customizable screens aren't available, I've implemented a portrait mode layout for those who need it. Personally, I prefer the landscape mode.

I've also added an Agreement that must be accepted in order to use the application. This is important because playing around with OBD connections might damage your car if done unproperly. The agreement says that I cannot be held responsible for any damages caused by this software, so, be warned :). (I do use it for myself and I don't want my car to burst into flames, if that helps...)

So far I haven't had any feedback from users yet. Please post your findings on this blog, or e-mail me. The e-mail is available on Android Market.

My "todo" list is very long, but I wouldn't mind listening to what features do you need most.

Some new screenshots:
Some improvements on the Gauges. It's still ugly, I know...
New Portrait Mode

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First version


I have just released on the Android Market an alternative for OBD2 data monitoring for the Android platform. There are many things to be done, but I've decided to publish it to get more feedback.

OBD Dashboard is focused on being very efficient (which means being faster while using less battery) and it was initially created based on my own needs. Unfortunatelly I'm only able to work on this on my free time, which hasn't been much lately.

Dashboard screen

OBD Data chooser

For those willing to test, usage should be simple.

Press "Menu" and open Preferences. The first thing you should choose is which Bluetooth Device is the ELM327 compatible adapter.

There are some other interesting settings there:
  1. Auto enable/disable BT
  2. Use GPS
  3. Create Log File: creates a Log File on /sdcard/ObdDashboard
  4. Auto start/stop for Car Dock users
  5. Include debug info on Log: saves raw communication data to help debugging
Changing OBD commands
Currently there are only 2 gauges available on the main screen. To change what OBD command (information) you want to be loaded, long press the gauge. A screen with limited OBD Commands will be shown with live data, and you can choose freely.

Known limitations
As I've said, this is just a beginning. I really wish I had more spare time.
  1. Small set of OBD Commands: only the most interesting commands (for me at least) have been implemented. More will come.
  2. User Interface: those gauges are not exactly top notch. I've already planned some improvements, but I do accept suggestions :).
  3. Fixed layout: custom layouts isn't done as it is a big task to be done correctly. I'm really focused on doing this properly.
  4. Chosen commands not saved: currently, only the standard preferences are saved. I haven't done it because I'd rather wait until custom layouts can be created by users.
  5. No Trouble Codes viewing or clearing: wasn't done as it's not a priority right now. Will come in later versions.
  6. Performance optimization on supported ELM devices: my OBD Bluetooth dongle is one of those cheap chinese you can get everywhere. The timing commands that would allow for much faster update rates do not work properly. I'm currently choosing a better scanner to work on this.
Tested on
Phone: Motorola Milestone (Droid)
Scanner: Cheap Chinese (small blue version)
Cars: Peugeot 206 1.6 Flex 2007 (Brazil) and Peugeot 207 1.6 Flex Automatic 2010 (Brazil)

On this setup I get about 4 updates/second (limited by the cheap scanner), and CPU usage is around 10%. This means that with the proper scanner, and proper configuration, it will be able to handle higher update rates.

Bugs and Suggestions
If you find any bugs or have any suggestions, please comment below.