It finally happened! Mizuu 3.0 “Black” has been released. It’s a massive update and I can’t wait to tell you about the changes. It’s impossible to go through all the changes in details, so I’ll stick with the most important ones. Let’s go!
A new design language
First of all, the entire application has been redesigned. I won’t say that this is a “Material design” update – partly because that phrase has been misused ever since Google announced the design concept, and partly because there’s a lot missing in order for it to fully make use of all the new stuff. Having said that, version 3.0 does have some cool elements and I’ve tried to follow the guidelines. Future updates will bring visual improvements as well, so worry not!
Like I said, the entire application has had a makeover, and I’d like to highlight a few of the changes.
The movie and TV show library overviews look a lot different than what you’re used to seeing. The drop-down menu on the top left is now gone and has been replaced with tabs that each show a different view of your content – i.e. favorites, watched content and new releases.
The code for the library views has been completely rewritten and it’s a lot smarter now. One such example is that the tabs are sandboxed. This means that you can search, filter and sort in one tab and leave all the other tabs completely untouched. Also, filters can now stack, meaning that you can set both a genre filter and a release year filter, if you please.
The layout for movie details, TV show details and actors details has been updated as well. It’s more user friendly now and offers a great deal of functionality while looking good. The interface is scrollable, and stuff like actors and TV show seasons are available when scrolling down.
Improved file name recognition
Another big change in version 3.0 is the much improved file name recognition. Everything has been rewritten from scratch, and it’s now capable of handling many new naming conventions as well as multi-episode TV show files. Another welcome change is the possibility to use IMDb ID’s in the filename, and make Mizuu identify a file based on the IMDb ID.
Generally speaking, there’s a lot of new stuff in terms of file name recognition, and I’ve made an effort of documentation everything, so it’s easy to understand and look up. You’ll find the documentation here:
Additionally, I’ve added a setting in Mizuu’s advanced settings that’ll enable you to automatically share file names with me. The aim is to build up a database of thousands of file names, and hopefully be able to gather some information and test data from it. This is disabled by default and it’s 100% anonymous. The filename sharing happens when you run a library update.
Hopefully this is a welcome change, and something that’ll help everyone get much better results with file name recognition!
It’s now free!
I was recently offered a full time job as an Android developer at a Danish mobile network operator, and as such my financial situation changed quite a bit. As a result, there’s no reason why I should be asking people to pay for Mizuu. Starting from today, Mizuu is completely free.
Sure, development takes time, but it’s always been much of a hobby for me. In fact, Mizuu is one of the reasons why I was offered the job to begin with – so yeah, there’s that!
I’m very proud of Mizuu’s excellent rating on Google Play, and I realize that it’ll undoubtedly drop quite a bit by making the application free, but I’ll make my best attempts to accept that. In the end it’s more important to ensure greater availability for a lot of people than care about a number. Hopefully you’ll agree with me on that.
Update on what’s to come for Android TV
Android TV is an important evolution of Android and I have every intention of making Mizuu compatible with the platform and make it feel like a proper app for Android TV.
This naturally also means that version 3.0 does not yet include any features specific to Android TV.
I’m hoping to have something to show in one of the next releases. I’ve ordered a Nexus Player in order to develop for the platform, and it should hopefully arrive mid-January.
Potential issues with Trakt sync
Mizuu still supports synchronization with Trakt.tv, but you may encounter some issues with version 3.0 and any previous versions. This is due to their website and API being revamped and updated yesterday. Additionally, the API was offline, so it was impossible for me to make any last-minute changes.
Most of the functionality should still work as expected, but you may experience issues in the beginning. I hope to release a patched version in the near future that fixes any potential issues and uses the new API rather than the old one. Sorry about any potential issues this may cause.
Update: Trakt support is broken with version 3.0 and all previous versions. It’ll be fixed in a coming update.
What’s with the codename?
Version 3.0 is codenamed “Black” in memory of my dog, Blackie, who had to be humanely euthanized mid-November due to physical issues. He loved Android, as depicted below, and meant the world to me, so it seems right that one of my greatest achievements honor his memory.
Get it now!
I can’t think of much that’s left to be said other than “get it now!” Happy new year to everyone!
A few notes post-release
There’ll be a small update within the next week or so. It’ll fix some of the reported bugs and issues. Also, it’ll fix the very abrupt hiding / showing of the tool bar when swiping in the library overview. It was supposed to be animated, but I simply couldn’t make it in time for the release.
Changelog for version 3.0
The following list is in no way complete, but it’ll give you an idea of the many changes. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.
In no particular order, here’s the list:
- Almost completely redesigned and added lots of small improvements and features throughout the application
- Performance improvements
- Early-access Chromecast support for SMB and UPnP content
- Database structure improvements and changes
- Improved file name recognition
- Added support for DVD ordering for TV shows
- Bug fixes and minor improvements
- Dropped support for Android 3.2 devices
- Improved editing of movies
- Added editing of TV shows and TV show episodes
- Multi-select TV show seasons or episodes and perform actions on all selected items
- Updated Welcome screen
- Added option to automatically share file names in order to improve recognition in the future
- TV shows in your library now open in the app rather than in the browser
- Added play button to the TV show details view for immediate playback
- Added TV show sharing
- Improved error handling for TMDb requests
- Added caching for online content, i.e. actors, similar movies and online movies
- Libraries now refresh automatically when an update is running
- Cover and backdrop images are now downloaded in a much better way
- You can now swipe between TV show seasons
- Improved library updates (additional improvements will come in the next updates)
- You can now view actor details for TV show actors
- Improved support for “phablets”
- Added new filters for movies and TV shows
- Made it possible to create own certifications when editing a movie or TV show
- Added “Random movie” and “Random TV show” menu options
- Added support for bulk management of movies and TV shows
Changelog for version 3.0.1
- Fixed issue with application preferences
- Fixed issue with custom movie cover art and backdrop images on SMB servers
- Fixed issue that could cause some movies to disappear from the library
- Fixed issues with automatic watched status
- Fixed issues with SMB connections and playback
- Improves Canadian and British translations
- Added option to copy database
- Added a leanback launcher intent for Android TV (for convenience)