Hi HomeGauge-

If you’re an Android user and plan to update to Android 11, we wanted to let you know about something we’re experiencing with the HomeGauge Companion App and the latest Android 11 update from Google.

What’s Happening?

Last month, Google – along with its platform partners and carriers – began to distribute Android 11.

How Does This Impact Android Companion App Users?

Prior to the release of Android 11, HomeGauge recommended the use of third-party party camera apps to reduce the file size of images in order to help facilitate transfer to the cloud more easily.  Android 11 will no longer allow third-party camera apps to be accessible within another third-party application.  

This means that once your device is running on Android 11, you will no longer be able to use a third-party camera app within the HomeGauge (Android) Companion app. Instead, camera access for the Companion app will be limited to Google’s native first-party camera app.  This in turn can result in larger report sizes and may impact your ability to transfer reports to the cloud.

What Actions Can I Take Now?

Lower Photo Resolution Setting for Native Camera App

  • On your device, navigate to the settings for the native, first party camera app.
  • In the settings, check to see if you can reduce the file size or resolution of the images captured by the native camera app.
  • If you can, select the lowest resolution or file size possible (this setting should still be more than adequate for viewing reports – online as webpage, as a PDF or in print).

Transfer Over Wi-Fi

  • Whenever possible try to transfer data using Wi-Fi as it can be faster and more reliable than a cellular data connection.
  • Transferring over Wi-Fi also helps to better preserve battery life.

Transfer Reports via USB

  • If you find your report exceeds the cloud transfer file size consider using a USB cable to directly offload the report from your device to your computer.
  • Instructions on how to do this can be found here.

What’s Next for the Android Companion App?

For some of you – the recommendations outlined above may already be a part of your workflow. But we also recognize that for some, the recommendations noted above may not be ideal, so for those Inspectors, we are actively investigating solutions that will allow us to update the HG Android Companion app, so that these additional steps can be considered optional/recommended; but not required.

We are also planning a temporary increase to the cloud file transfer size to ensure that there is minimal disruption to your current workflow. As of next week, we’ll be supporting cloud transfers of up to 600MB at no additional cost. This should cover even our largest multimedia reports until a formal solution is reached.

Should I Upgrade to Android 11?

The answer to this question will vary from inspector to inspector, and is uniquely dependent on each individual’s personal set of use cases, daily workflows and other circumstances. However, as a general note, mobile operating system updates typically introduce new features, improved performance, better battery life and security updates. These benefits should be balanced against any perceived limitations in order to make the decision that makes the most sense for you. 

We hope you found this information helpful and we plan to continue to provide updates as new information is available.

If you have any questions or any other feedback, please feel free to email us at productfeedback@homegauge.com, or reach out to us by contacting a member of our Support team.

Sincerely,

The Product Team at HomeGauge