Major Re‐architecture of OnSign TV Player for Android: Real-time Publishing

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Last year was remarkable for us. In 2014 OnSign TV was translated into 4 new languages, reached more than 50 countries and surpassed the 10000th downloads milestone. We’ve also done major technical improvements and released great new features. Of course none of this would have been possible without your trust!

Now it’s time to think about what we all want for the new year. We wanted to get 2015 off to a good start. That’s why we’ve just published a new version of our Android Player packed full of features: OnSign TV Player 0.11.10. Let’s take a deeper look at all the new features we’ve released.

Real-time Event Reporting and Current Campaign Thumbnail

One of the first things you’ll notice when publishing a new campaign with OnSign TV Player 0.11.10 is that you’ll get the download status of your campaigns instantly. Older versions of our Android Player would only inform you that your campaigns were synchronizing and show their download progress every 5 minutes. In this new version, events get reported immediately without any delay. Besides that, now you can see exactly what’s playing on your player. If you click on your player page in our platform, you’ll see a box that says Now Playing with a thumbnail of the current campaign being displayed.

Campaign Download Progress and Atomic Updates

Now you have a download status bar that displays the exact progress of ongoing downloads both on player-side and server-side. You just have to click on your Player Status to check that out in our digital signage software. This will give you a better idea of how much time you still have to wait until the campaign download is completed and help you diagnose possible problems much faster. Note that the download status bar on player-side will only be displayed at the first time you’re publishing a campaign to a specific player.

If you make any changes to a campaign or campaign playlist that is already published, they won’t stop playing. Firstly, all the new media will be downloaded. Only after those files are added to the existing campaign and all other changes are made that the new campaign will start playing. Meanwhile the old one will be running. Don’t worry, because you’ll never mix an old campaign with a new one. Campaigns will only be updated when they’re completely ready to be shown. If you power off your device in the middle of an update you don’t have to worry: it will continue the update as soon as it powers on and will keep playing the old campaigns in the meantime.

Better Error Reporting and Reduced Memory Usage

It’s now much easier for you to know exactly what happened when any kind of error occurs with your digital signage campaigns. Now you’ll get notified in real-time with an error message on Player Status describing why your player was unable to play a given campaign. We’ll give you an example to make this clear. Let’s say it’s Monday and you publish a campaign scheduled to run only during the weekends.

If your player is on and there are no other campaigns scheduled for Monday, an error will be reported alongside the following description: “No campaign could be played at this time”. You can get even more details about what happened clicking on Understand Why. Whatever the error, it will be reported and explained. Moreover, we’ve also increased memory up to 5 times. This added memory space will allow you to create campaigns with higher resolution images and videos without worrying about errors.

App Watchdog and GPS tracking

In this newest version of our Android player, you don’t run the risk of turning off the application by mistake. We’ve implemented an app watchdog feature. That means you have to confirm you’re shutting down to actually get out of the application. You press Back on your player and then OK to confirm you’re closing the app. This feature ensures your application will restart if the program crashes or hangs.

We’ve also added another long-requested feature to our digital signage software: GPS tracking. It allows you to locate each player on the map and monitor their functioning status. OnSign TV synchronizes with Google Maps to determine the geographic position of your players, which is something very useful for public transportation companies with digital signage networks. You just have to check the Last Location of your player on Player Status. It will be updated every 5 minutes.

OnSign TV Player 0.11.10 was especially designed to enable Real-time Publishing through our digital signage platform. It was a major re‐architecture of OnSign TV Player for Android. It allows a player to instantly get notified of changes you make to your campaigns and starts updating immediately. More than that, Real-time Publishing provides you with valuable information about what your player is doing right at that moment and where it is. It shows you what campaign is being played and the download progress of your campaigns. Real-time Publishing just paves the way for a lot of new features that will be released in the upcoming months. As we’ve mentioned, we’ve planned big things for 2015 and that’s just the start.

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