App Gatekeeper updated to version 1.1

The new version supports Android 5 & above devices. For Android 5 & above, the user is required to allow App Gatekeeper to access the usage stats, otherwise app monitoring will not work. At any time after usage stats access is turned off, including when App Gatekeeper is first installed, App Gatekeeper will display a dialog message: "Please enable usage access for App Gatekeeper in Settings -> Security -> Apps with usage access". Only after the user has allowed usage access for App Gatekeeper, then the dialog message will not be displayed and the monitoring service will run.

Note: for Android 5 & above devices that have removed "Apps with usage access" from their Settings, it is impossible for App Gatekeeper to have the required permission, and thus the monitoring service will not run in such devices.

There is a slight lag in app monitoring for Android 5 & above devices, which I will explain in next post: Technical details of App Gatekeeper version 1.1.

In this new version, the monitoring service is implemented to run as separate process from the main user interface program. The main benefit is that since the service is forever running, it now consumes much less memory than before, and the Android OS can terminate the main program once its not being used.

In terms of user interface changes, Chinese (simplified) translation is added. (except for Help) In usage history, total usage can be viewed. And, there is a new setting: "System lag", it is enabled only for Android 5 & above devices.

For Android 5 & above devices, there is a slight difference in behavior if the usage access is disallowed. By default, the app queries the monitoring service when user views today's app usage (as the service always has the latest usage result). If the usage access is disallowed, the app will instead read the usage records from the database. Also, the monitoring service will not start on boot if the usage access is disallowed.

For bugs fix, problems in editing limits in certain Android version is fixed. There are a few other minor UI fix.

A rare monitoring service bug is that an app usage record from the previous day is saved to the current day and will remain so if the app is not used at all on the current day. This bug is fixed.

Nexus 7 2012 is used for testing on Android 5 & 5.1 , Nexus 7 2013 is used for testing on Android 6.


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