Raccoon v4.0 teaser screenshots

Raccoon v3.x is a great APK downloader, but it is also largely a single minded dirty hack that only focuses on performing its core task. Needless to say that I got a lot of feedback and feature requests about adding app management among other things. Unfortunately, the v3.x codebase is beyond hope. It was never meant to be anything else than what it is and building upon that foundation would be an act of masochism instead of serious software development. Accordingly, I spent the last couple of weeks on rewriting the software almost from scratch. I’m still far from having a release candidate, but everything works to a point where I can post screenshots (using the Nimbus theme, other skins are possible):

raccoon-teaser-gplay

The search view. This is the first thing you see after starting Raccoon (well, actually the first thing you will ever see is the setup wizard). Unlike previous versions, it doesn’t have a pager any more. More results are loaded automatically when you scroll down the list. Another big improvement is speed. Everything is done incrementally now.

raccoon-teaser-transfer

The transfer dialog lists the downloads of the current session. It also allows you to to add  downloads directly without the need to search first (e.g. if you want an older version of an app). In Raccoon 3.x you could only do that from the commandline. So a definite improvement there.

raccoon-teaser-appmgr

Finally, the App Manager dialog. This one is a real gem. In the past, Raccoon would simply shove everything into an archive folder. You only got the raw APK files, nothing more, no meta information (name, icon, …) at all. You were on your own from there on. Figuring out what an APK contained and how to to install it on your phone was simply your own problem. That is definitely a thing of the past. As you can see in the screenshot above, there is now an App browser that not only tells you what you have on your hard drive, but also lets you push apps directly to your device via ADB at the click of a button. For those that don’t want to install ADB, there’s a fallback solution that uses QR codes (inspired by FileCast).

Last but not least, you might have noticed that the filter control allows you to select apps by name and by group. Grouping apps really comes in handy when you got a lot of them, several devices and/or flash ROMs regularly. With this feature you can not only categorize your assets (you know, “games”, “paid”, “must haves”,…) put also push entire “working sets” to your phone in one go.

Posted in Android