Becoming independent of Play store or App store concerning BETA firmware updates/downgrades

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Unfoolishly
Posts: 297
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 9th, 2021, 1:35 am

Hi All,

Is it possible to set up a simple secure-ftp server with encrypted BETA firmware versions to upgrade or downgrade the Unleashed firmware version using the Unleashed App?
I think it is more cumbersome to go through the validation process of the App store / Play store each time an firmware update is releases to the BETA testers, because I do think the roundtrip experience can be way shorter (hours/days) instead of having some other authority judge if you may spread your firmware to your App users yes or no. Somehow that is a silly approach.

What about a ftp://beta.foolography.com secure ftp server set up with only the login credentials stored in the App (encrypted) and the firmware versions also encrypted as zip files?

Nowadays the updating can take up to one week for approval and more weeks for developing/bug-hunting, before we get something new to test if some problem is fixed or not.

I would recommend to switch to such approach and have two BETA channels:
- experimental updates (trial and error)
- stable updates (acknowledged by BETA users that their problem is fixed).

Then you can provide the BETA users with a software switch within the App if they choose to be an early adopter (with experimental updates) or late adopter (stable BETA updates).
Nowadays the Foolography team THINKS they have found the problem and fixed it, but later discover that it wasn't THAT problem but something else.

What you do with this set up is decrease the roundtrip time involved in looking for that specific bug. And have the users report back more easily their logfiles (upload them to the sftp server per user?).

You can hook up a completely isolated old personal computer to the internet with just one service running: secure ftp, and daily/weekly just update the files with an USB key (or upload them from the public internet as admins) with the latest firmware files. That way nothing can go wrong.

Saves a lot of trouble and a lot of unnecessary waiting on a third party approving the App.

You can still provide the official release Apps with the fully tested firmware. But for the BETA testing program it sure is WAY MORE easier!
The user then can also update/downgrade much easier from within the App.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Retired customer of the Unleashed. I have given up on this project, it's a never-ending story of bugs. Goodbye everyone!
Oliver
Posts: 727
Joined: October 9th, 2018, 4:17 pm

September 9th, 2021, 11:14 am

We're already working something similar, so we can update the firmware any time without releasing an app, but our Apps can just fetch the latest firmware updates from "the cloud". That's ideal for beta testing firmware changes, but also useful for release versions.

But for the apps, that's not going to work, and we wouldn't want to.
And for now, that's also not useful, as we're trying to test the apps as well as firmware, and most bugs are probably going to be in the apps.
Founder & CEO of Foolography, Hardware & Firmware developer.
Unfoolishly
Posts: 297
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 9th, 2021, 11:38 am

Great news!

I meant it only for the firmware of the Unleashed, not the Apps. Apps must be installed from a "trustworthy source" to making sure they are not altered in some way to contain malware. So for the Apps I understand fully that the Play store or App store wants to review them before letting all users update the App.

For BETA testing it sure is much faster to update directly, not shipping the firmware with the App. Only problem is that you need to make sure that App and firmware are in sync when the App is updated to the latest version and the user does a firmware downgrade, for whatever reason.

I hope to see it fully working soon. Saves us a lot of updates over email ;-)

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Retired customer of the Unleashed. I have given up on this project, it's a never-ending story of bugs. Goodbye everyone!
Unfoolishly
Posts: 297
Joined: June 24th, 2020, 2:43 am

September 9th, 2021, 12:31 pm

Maybe it is a good idea to have an extra screen in the App for the BETA updating process apart from the regular updating screen, so that BETA testers can pick and choose what to update (like: only update firmware A, B or C) or revert back to a previous version of the firmware. That way you get a more fine-grained control in the update process. I know and realize that some firmware updates are grouped in order to work for them together. But sometimes you don't have to update firmware A or B or C and only need ONE to update.

At least that way you can hopefully resolve bugs more quickly in the near future and test them out more quickly. Saves you time, saves us time.

Greetings,
Unfoolishly
Retired customer of the Unleashed. I have given up on this project, it's a never-ending story of bugs. Goodbye everyone!
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