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possible interaction between MobileSheets and the PageFlip Cicada
#1
I have both a PageFlip Cicada and an AirTurn BT-105. I've been using the AirTurn for band rehearsals and concerts, and the Cicada only for practising at home, because I could never get the Cicada to respond reliably and repeatably -- sometimes it works perfectly, but other times I need to press the pedal twice before it will register.

While trying to research this online, I saw various reports that the Cicada times out if left idle for a few minutes (different sources report different delay times, typically between 3 and 5 minutes). This partly matched my experience, but it was subjective and I was never sure whether it was a problem with the pedal itself, or whether I just wasn't pressing it far enough to register.

...but recently I've been doing more extensive testing, and I've found a way to reproduce the problem reliably and consistently:

1) open any multipage piece in MobileSheets

2) power up the Cicada and wait for it to connect

3) press the pedals (either direction) to verify that it's working

4) press the home button on the tablet

5) press the MobileSheets icon to resume the app

6) press either pedal on the Cicada; nothing happens

7) press either pedal on the Cicada a second time, and this time it responds exactly as it should

In principle this could be a flaw in the Cicada, not least because the Airturn BT-105 doesn't exhibit the same behaviour -- that one responds to the first press, every time, including after leaving and returning to MobileSheets.

However, I ran through the same test described above with the Cicada and using Adobe Acrobat Reader (which happens to be preinstalled on my tablet, so it made a good point for comparison) -- and with this combination, leaving the app via the home button and then returning does /not/ cause a pedal press to be lost, as it does with MobileSheets.

Hence I suspect that the cause of this problem is some kind of interaction between the app and the pedal.

- Steven
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#2
I will have to try this test myself to see if I have the same behavior on my tablets. When you leave Adobe, go to the home screen, and then return, does it load a new instance of adobe, or return to the one you already loaded?

Thanks,
Mike
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#3
Although I have not spent time testing it, Steven's experience seems seems to be the same as mine in terms of how the Cicada handles MS.
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#4
(07-26-2013, 04:08 PM)Zuberman Wrote: When you leave Adobe, go to the home screen, and then return, does it load a new instance of adobe, or return to the one you already loaded?

That's an excellent question. :-)

On Linux I'd just check the process ID number, but how can I test that on Android?

For what it's worth, Adobe comes back to the same document in the same position, but that doesn't necessarily prove anything.

- Steven
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#5
There is a way to test it using the adb, which can list off all the processes with id's, but I'm not sure how you would validate it otherwise. The only reason I asked is because MobileSheets is set up to only ever allow one instance, so it will always reuse a running instance, whereas adobe may allow multiple instances. I'm not sure if this matters or not - it's just a useful data point. I really hope there is something I can do to fix this.
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#6
(07-27-2013, 07:02 AM)Zuberman Wrote: There is a way to test it using the adb, which can list off all the processes with id's, but I'm not sure how you would validate it otherwise.

It turns out that an app called "Quick System Info" reports PIDs on Android. I just used that, and now I can verify that yes, it is the same instance of Adobe Acrobat Reader.


(07-27-2013, 07:02 AM)Zuberman Wrote: I really hope there is something I can do to fix this.

I reported the same findings to support@pageflip.com last night, so they may be looking into this also. I've found them very responsive so far (they even sent me a second Cicada to use for testing, in case there had been a defect in the original one I bought), so they may well be willing to work with you on tracking this down if it that would be helpful.

- Steven
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#7
On my Android 4.0.3 tablet, I did not experience the problem listed above with my Cicada. I will have to do more testing with my Nexus 10 and other tablets to see if this problem only occurs with certain versions of the OS. From the sounds of it, if I upgrade my Nexus 10 to the latest, I may not be able to use the pedal at all...
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#8
(08-05-2013, 04:36 AM)Zuberman Wrote: On my Android 4.0.3 tablet, I did not experience the problem listed above with my Cicada.

Between this and the generalized Bluetooth issues with Android 4.3, it's beginning to look like it's closely related to the specific Bluetooth implementations on different tablets. My 4.0.3 tablet is a Toshiba "Excite 13"; I don't have a different model available for testing.

- Steven
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#9
I also did not see this problem with Android 4.3. It must be specific to certain tablets. What did you guys test with?

Mike
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#10
(08-05-2013, 10:08 AM)Zuberman Wrote: I also did not see this problem with Android 4.3. It must be specific to certain tablets. What did you guys test with?

Mike

Sure, but again, Android 4.3 seems to have a very different Bluetooth stack than earlier versions.

In any case, my tests were done with a Toshiba "Excite 13", since that's the only Android tablet I have (or have access to).

- Steven
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