GTBee for Android?


#1

Just curious: how is it going? I found this intriguing page in Google cache: it says Success! and the goal date was 25th of April. So… is it coming?


Breaking bad habits/resisting urges with GTBee
IFTTT or SlackBot charge triggers?
Beeminder goal for deadlines
#2

Alas, no, the short answer is that we can’t afford the distraction yet. If anyone else wants to build this (it’s a quite simple app, in theory) they should dive in, by all means.

I’ll repeat my most recent comments on the Uservoice thread:

Here’s a preview of a possible kickstarter-like campaign we were thinking about running for this: https://backer.app.net/preview-483/?preview=8tvc6Ga6 (NB: not live yet!).

 

App.net had made us an offer we couldn’t refuse and were helping us set up that Backer. Then they laid off all their employees and that came to a screeching halt. We still like the idea in theory but it’s not been a top priority. When it makes it to the top of the list here on uservoice – which it eventually will! – then we’ll reconsider it.

I’ll also include @drtall’s reaction for good measure:

Do want!


#3

I probably have a bad memory, at some point I’ve given that uservoice thread 3 votes :stuck_out_tongue: Btw, I think there are some other uservoice items you could clear up, IFTTT in particular.


#4

Thanks! Marked that one complete now.


#5

I’ve been learning android as a summer project, and for my first official app I’d like to take a stab at GTBee for android. The goal is to have a working version by the 25 of June. For everyone who has been waiting, just a few more weeks (hopefully)!


#6

I can’t wait! Excellent news!


#7

Are you Beeminding your progress on it?


#8

I’m currently not beeminding it, simply because it seemed like a difficult thing to beemind. I could beemind the time spent, but I’m not sure if that would be helpful. Or perhaps I could beemind posting updates on how its going?

The commitment device I’m currently employing is telling people that I’m going to build it, with a set deadline. Though ideas on how to integrate beeminder into it would be welcome!


#9

So happy you’re building this, @yixler! Thank you!

As all us programmers (and probably anyone who’s ever interacted with a programmer – or even anyone who makes anything, involving code or not) know, the most likely failure mode here is simply that something will distract you before you get it to the point that it’s ready to ship.

So you may not need to beemind time spent, but in terms of assuring us that this will really happen, I think it’s a great way to do it. Kind of like how @bee committed to spend 20 hours/week [1] on the last 5 autodata integrations until they were done. Which ended up taking 5 months but she was very firmly on the hook to ship eventually, and did.

You may not want that hard of a commitment (and certainly not that amount of time) but if you add a simple “no guarantee I won’t flatten or archive this, subject to the akrasia horizon” then you’re probably retaining plenty of flexibility while still, from our perspective, drastically increasing the probability that Android GTBee will see the light of day. Because I think it’s rare for such projects to get deliberately abandoned. More often the developer gets briefly distracted with still a strong intention to resume work “tomorrow” but then you end up in a “one more day won’t matter” slippery slope of sorrow.

In conclusion, you should totally beemind time spent! Something super conservative that you could only derail on by wandering away altogether. Also it’s just nice to see the metric, right? How many hours will it actually take compared to how many it seems like it should…

Alternatively we could just start a betting pool for when this will ship, and encourage you to participate. (:


[1] With her derailments and initial flat spot the actual average was about 16 hours/week. Oh, and I guess it was deemed fair that the spirit of the commitment was half her Beeminder time, so she was allowed to make the road shallower during a couple trips when she dialed down her main Beeminder meta road from 40 hours/week.


#10

Another serious proposal: if you can throw together an apk file of an app that does something, long before it’s ready to put on Google Play, but something a few of us would be willing to install, you could do exactly what we do with UVIs.

That might even work fine with no apk file – we’d just take your word for it at first.

PS: I guess then it’s back to your idea of beeminding updates. But I think framing it as User-Visible Improvements is better. A bit less fuzzy that way.


#11

I like Beeminding time spent, since it keeps you making progress.
I have a shallow road for the Project Euler integration I’m working on that I retroratchet when I can schedule it in, but I’ll hit the road eventually so I need to remember to keep working on it.


#12

You both make a very convincing case for beeminding time, so here we go!

I also decided to make small blog posts about how it is coming along(which can be found here). I like the idea of releasing APK’s along the way (even if no one bothers to use them), so once I have something I’ll start appending posts with them.

Thanks for the help everyone!


#13

Oh, wow, you’re super serious! (No flat spot, no freebee, a full 20 hours/week. [1]) You’ve completely converted me from “I’ll believe it when I see it” to “edge of seat!” (:


[1] Too bad we don’t have a way to precommit to a high pledge cap. I guess you could always declare such on your blog or here and that would certainly suffice since going back on it would require taking specific action – in other words, you’re promising not to do something which is much easier to keep than promising to do something. Either way, I’d probably reserve the right to archive or flatten the goal. Then you’re firmly on the hook only as long as you rationally decide to be.


#14

And doing it based on tagtime pings, that’s hardcore!


#15

So I have a working version now! Here is the link to the apk file if you are feeling really hardcore*: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uizi3xzpko0w20x/gtbee-android-v2.apk?dl=0

More details:

*Warning: I’ve only been testing this on my android phone, which is the newest version. While in theory older versions should be just fine, there might be weird UI problems. Let me know if you run into any!


#16

Great work.
Downloaded the apk and tried it out for a bit, I’ll put together a message with my feedback later when I get some time.
But it’s looking really good so far.


#17

This is absolutely great. Thank you so much!


#18

Development is going steady! I have a new version for you crazy people who are helping me test this.

What is new:

  • Actionable Notifications - The notifications now have a ‘done’ button so you can mark the task as done without having to open the app.
  • Icons - Now we have a proper app icon, and a notification icon that is different from the beeminder app.
  • Countdown Timer - When you are looking a task, it will display a countdown until the task is due.
  • Test Tasks - Any task with the name “Test”, “Test2”, etc. will always have a penalty of $0. Just so you can get used to how things work without burning freebies.
  • Beeminder Integration - You can create a beeminder goal for X tasks a week, and whenever you create a new task we’ll add to your selected goal.
  • Custom starting penalty - If $5 doesn’t motivate you, then now there is no need to derail X times until you find a motivating amount. I’m unsure if I want to stick with this idea, but I want to play around with it
  • Confirmation on new tasks - Since tasks can now have a large penalty, there is a confirmation dialogue that shows how much money is on the line and when it is due.

What is fixed:

  • The settings screen now has a background, so it works properly when you have tasks waiting to be done.

For more information and pictures, here are my blog posts:

And here is the APK for the hardcore:


Feature idea: Last-minute Commitment Contracts
#19

I’ve started using this and love it! The first thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve been spoiled by zeno polling. I dismissed the reminder that a task was due “in less than a day” expecting it to remind me again as the time neared. Of course that may be less of an issue as I get my whole to-do list into GTBee and I always have a task due date bearing down on me.

Thanks so much for building this, @yixler! I don’t think there’s any reason to hold off longer on getting this on Google Play.


#20

Using and enjoying it.

Minor issues:

-1. I mostly use it for doing things right now – in the next 15 or 30 minutes. When I push “Save”, there are two reminders: “Due in less than one day. DONE!” and “Due in less than one hour! Eek!”.

1a. Two reminders are redundant in this case.
1b. “DONE!” is not supposed to be here – it’s not done yet.
1c. In general, I don’t need a reminder at this moment. I need it later – like, 5 minutes before the deadline (or, an hour before if there is a 24-hour countdown).

-2. The default “PICK TIME” time is now, but obviously it cannot be now, as a popup says (“Due date must be after now”). Wouldn’t it be great to have an option to choose a default time interval? (for me, it almost always would be “15 minutes from now”).

Many thanks again.