An update from the Tidbyt team

An update from the Tidbyt team

Hi everyone!

We wanted to share some of our plans with all of you on what we are up to and where we are investing to make the Tidbyt a better experience. We also want to thank everyone for continuing to provide feedback and feature requests in these forums. We don’t always have time to respond to everything but we do read it, and it’s also what helps inform our roadmaps. So please continue to provide feedback and feature requests!

With this post, we hope that we can start answering some of those questions, and we want to start sharing these on a more regular cadence.

Developer Community

An area that has really exploded for us over the past year is the growth of our community, and the amount of apps you all have been releasing. We have been amazed with the apps and the creativity that we have seen come out from the developer community, and in the end, how it helps the Tidbyt become more useful for people all over the world.

This is also an area that has been a bit painful for both us and the developers in the community.

It takes a long time for apps to get published in the Tidbyt app and there is some level of quality control that we would like to improve. The reality on our side is that it takes a lot of time to review code, test app functionality and do some basic quality control. We want to make this process faster for both the community and ourselves.

Tied to that, we also want to provide better documentation and guides around building apps. We have realized that this is quite powerful in terms of reaching areas we just would never be able to get to ourselves, e.g. transit apps in different countries and cities, which in the end makes the Tidbyt a lot more useful for everyone. The Tidbyt is a fun device to develop on, and we want to make sure that it’s inclusive for even more people to build high quality and complex apps for the device.

balmer-opt

Scheduling and app prioritization

One of the biggest areas of feedback we have is around the need of having more flexible scheduling and prioritization of apps. While we do provide some basic scheduling for each app, like what time to display and if it should run on Weekdays only, it is a bit limited. We also understand the need of prioritizing some apps over others, for example, you might want one app to take over the screen completely for a period of time, like now playing on Spotify. Or being able to display information that is not limited to 15 seconds, looking at you cmarkham20.

All of this sounds pretty straightforward, but it’s also a complex area to provide a good UX around while not getting into a big mess. We are going to start iterating on different features in this area to see what works and what does not work.

Next steps

These are two of the main areas we want to start making improvements in, while we don’t yet have any concrete timelines, we hope to start sharing some more details on that once we have a clearer picture on exactly how we are going to tackle these.

24 Likes

These all sound great, I think the being able to stay on an app and what not is gong to help with development a lot too (less time playing with exact timing!!!)

I think another nice thing on the dev side could be app versions (or at least allow for a version number to be input by the dev) or something to help with breakage and quality control and to minimize breakage for existing installations on all ends of the process.

1 Like

Awesome update, can’t wait to experience it!

I think we should be able to enable/disable any app without removing it. One good example of this is the “Vertical Message” app, it has a “Hide Message” feature that essential enables/disables the app.

2 Likes

If you can do something about simplifying setting up PIXLET for Windows, that would be great. Over the last couple of months I have gone through various paths to get the program on my computer (Docker containers, Linux, etc…) but have never gotten it to run via any of these routes. If you can simplify installing this software on Windows machines, that would be great. I have the ideas, just missing the platform to build them.

4 Likes

I think variable app screen time is essential. Some apps simply require more screen time than others because they are displaying more information.

6 Likes

Sounds good but I would like to ask you to look into stability and spend more time on the community. Some of ua are having problems with updating time apps. see:

Tidbyt losing connection, clock dat hangs - Support - Tidbyt

Tidbyt gets stuck at a certain time - Support - Tidbyt

2 Likes

Some info on clock skew can be found here. May not solve your particular issue, but nonetheless helpful info.

Clock Skew.

still an issue, wonder if the team reads this.