Some time ago, I wrote something that ended up having a considerable effect on both my hobbies and professional interests. On a whim, I put together what ended up becoming Spark 360, one of the first Xbox Live apps on what was then called Android Market. The app was based on an idea I had thrown around – and initially implemented as a small webpage – of being able to access an Xbox Live profile with full support of a native app.
Fast forward to now, a little over three years later. In that time, Spark 360 went from an amateurish freeware app to a commercial application, got a considerable facelift, got the dubious honor of being one of the most pirated Android apps at a time when no one seemed to care (Google included), saw a short-lived, if full-featured iOS version get released, and finally became open source and free, adding support for PlayStation Network in the process. Somewhere along those events, it even landed me a job as an Android developer.
In short, it’s been quite a ride.
That said, things aren’t as they used to be 3 years ago. There’s now an official Xbox Live client for Android, and it seems doubtful that Xbox One support will ever be coming to the web portal. As a result, Spark’s days are numbered.
The recent issue with PSN caused me to rethink continued work on the app. I almost pulled the plug, but decided to fix PSN for the time being – there were a number of new features and fixes already in the pipeline.
Instead, I will continue fixing bugs and addressing smaller feature requests until the end of August. What will happen after that is anybody’s guess, but there likely won’t be large-scale changes (like today’s PSN fix), and the app will likely be removed from Play starting in September (though it will remain on GitHub).
Today’s release (version 6.30) includes:
- Fix for PSN support
- Ability to view message sender’s profile (Xbox Live)
- Ability to share received messages (Xbox Live)
- Long overdue fix for Xbox Live Status
- Improved message composer for Honeycomb and newer devices (Xbox Live)
- Various other bug fixes