Trouble Updating Android Apps?

If you receive a "Download unsuccessful" message when attempting to download an app, try the following troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue:
  • Restart your phone then try downloading the app again.
  • Try cleaning Market cache like this:
    1. Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications
    2. Open settings for Market app
    3. Tap [Force Stop]
    4. Tap [Clear data]
If you're still unsuccessful, let Google know. Some users have had to Factory Reset their phone to retrieve app updates as a result of the recent Android Market update.

Social Media Policies

I have received an influx of questions pertaining to social media policies lately and I have to ask why? This issue has already been discussed almost 20-years ago when the courts ruled that public employees have fewer rights to free speech under the First Amendment than private citizens. This is because the government has become your direct employer and so the government has a direct interest in regulating the speech of its employees.

As a public employee, your right to speak, even on matters of public concern, is only protected when the value of the speech outweighs the interest of the police department to maintain efficiency, morale and discipline.

The courts have held that police officers should keep in mind the following three principles:
  1. The First Amendment gives officers the right to freely discuss their thoughts on matters of public interest (not of personal concern);
  2. Officers should not make comments that negatively impact the efficiency, effectiveness, or morale of their respective police department;
  3. The merits of 1) should outweigh the merits of 2).
For example, an off-duty police officer would be free to express his or her thoughts on a local issue (taxes, etc) in the public comments portion of a town council meeting, as he or she would be protected under the First Amendment in this case. Such an officer could even publicly criticize his or her department, as long as the complaints touch on matters of public concern and are not personal issues the officer has with his or her agency. As examples, these can include criticisms on whether the department is properly staffed to adequately protect the public, or concerns on whether an investigation was properly handled.

In a different example, a police officer who chooses to bad-mouth his or her agency on issues that have nothing to do with matters of public interest (complaints against his or her agency for personal reasons, publicizing personality conflicts with co-workers or superiors, publicly making bad jokes about the chief’s lousy haircut, etc.) would not only conflict with the first principle outlined above but would conflict with the second as well. As a result, such an officer could be lawfully disciplined by his or her police agency.

A public employee should ask, “Did I speak as a citizen on a matter of public concern?” If the answer is yes, then your employer must justify treating you differently from any other member of the general public.

The rationale for limiting a Government employee's constitutional rights are: (1) government employees can have a greater propensity to adversely affect government operations because public employees often occupy trusted positions in society; and (2) government offices could not function if every important decision became a constitutional matter.

So I ask, what’s the difference between already decided free-speech issues, as it effects public employees, and social media postings? I can think of two:
  1. Posting messages publicly to fellow employees could be construed as “concerted activity” by the NLRB; and
  2. Social media has an immense effect on reaching those that wouldn’t ordinarily be ‘around the water cooler.’
But even these two differences don’t change the aforementioned court decisions regarding the free speech of public employees. Simply put, don't bitch about work publicly through social media. If you have a legitimate gripe or concern, file a grievance. If it's not grievable, you should evaluate whether your gripe is sufficient enough to be vocal about. Remember the rule of thumb, “Comply now, grieve later.”

For supportive case law and details of the “balancing test” and “matter of public concern” analysis, view the Case Law tab and scroll to Internal Investigations > Free Speech Issues.

Android v2.0 and Lower

We're planning to drop support of Android below 2.1 in upcoming weeks. There is a very small number of devices that still have Android versions below 2.1, and supporting those means less features for everyone else. For example we can't do proper animations (including transitions) because they're not available on pre-2.0 Android. Even when we started developing for Android, we couldn't find a device with Android 1.5 to buy for testing. Take a look at latest stats:

As of September 5, 2011, less than 2.8% of all Android users use version 2.0 or lower...

CopCal 'How To' Guide

There seems to be some people experiencing difficulty adding their shift to the work schedule. The main issue is that users are using the end date/time of their daily shift rather than the end date of the work schedule rotation (see “A” below). The end date of the schedule rotation needs to be indicated in this field. An end date is required or else the work schedule would continue forever and couldn’t be changeable when your work schedule is modified.

The next step is to indicate your shift rotation. If you work 4-on/4-off, simply place 4 in the Days on field and 4 in the Days off field.

If you work a 4-on/2-off, 4-on/3-off, 4-on/2-off, 4-on/2-off schedule, the input would appear as it does below...

Once complete, you will receive a confirmation screen to add the work-schedule event to each of the working day (below). Make sure the schedule is correct because if it’s not, you will have to be manually delete each day separately.

Comments (4)

U.S. Cop spotlighted in "10 Top Law Enforcement Apps"

Click here for link to article.

ID Validation Feature Update

In January 2008, the Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule that established minimum standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards in accordance with the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Pursuant to the Department of Homeland Security's REAL ID regulation, States were to be in full compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005 by May 11, 2011. However, in March 7, 2011 they changed the compliance date to January 15, 2013.

That being said, I’m not so sure the depth of my proposed ID Checking Guide will be lucrative. I’d be spending a lot of time and resources into a guide that would go to the wayside in less time than this app has been on the market. I’d rather spend time developing resources for police officers that don’t exist.

In the mean time, you may acquire a paperback version of the I.D. Checking Guide for $28.95 from this link. I tried to develop a collaboration with the President of the Drivers License Guide Company, but he declined to take part in the project after fearing reprisal from the different State agencies.

Rest assured, I won’t leave you empty handed. I’ll figure something out...

GPS Location Feature Added to Android

The GPS location coordinates feature was added to Android today. Next up is the Photo Evidence feature.

Side note: There are now over 22,000 apps being used on iOS/Android. Happy hunting my fellow LEOS!

Retrieving previously purchased applications

Your application purchases are tied to your Google Account and can be installed an unlimited amount of times on any device. So, for example, if you remove 'My Favorite Game' to save memory, you can reinstall it at a later date with no charge by simply visiting My Downloads. Note: free applications are not saved to My Downloads after you remove them.

If you change devices, you can install previous purchases by making sure you sign into your device with the same Google Account you used on your previous phone.

Additionally, if Android Market is attempting to charge you for an application you have already purchased on an existing phone, your device may have been reset and a new username and password created. Because the application is associated with a different Google Account, you are being charged to purchase it again. Please note, if you would like to continue using the device with your current Google Account, you will need to purchase the application again.

If you would like to access your application without purchasing it again, reset your phone and sign in using the Google Account used at the time of purchase. To complete this process, you will need to complete the following steps:
  • For Android 1.6 devices, visit Settings > SD Card and phone storage > Factory data reset. For Android 2.0 devices, visit Settings > Privacy > Factory data reset. This will wipe all data on your device; the SD/memory card will not be touched.

  • Sign in to your phone using the username and password of the Google Account you originally used to purchase your applications. If you do not know the password for this account, please visit the Google Checkout Help Center article about Passwords for instructions to reset the password.

  • Reinstall the application by visiting My Downloads.

Will the Ohio Basic Code be added to the Ohio Cop app?

The Ohio Basic Code ("OBC") is a misnomer to many because there is no universal 'basic code' in Ohio. The OBC is offered by American Legal Publishing and Walter H. Drane Company.  Both offer codified ordinances for dozens of cities (ALP / Walter).

Using the offense of Speeding as an example, the code is different in many jurisdictions under the OBC.  I selected four random cities and listed them below.

New Carlisle: 434.03
Dublin: 73.15
Waynesville: 73.10
Sidney: 333.03

As you can see, although Speeding is a universal violation, there is no universal code for the violation. This is why I cannot put the OBC in my app.

Will state laws be added to U.S. Cop?

The short There are plenty of apps out there in both the Android Market and iTunes App Store that include the respective state laws. Most of them have more than one developer offering multiple resources. Also, apps in the the Apple App Store are limited to 20 MB in size. If the file size exceeds 20 MB, the user is required to have a WiFi connection to purchase the app, which would result in a decrease in sales. Adding the different state laws natively on the phone would cause me to exceed this size cap.

In the Android Market, the two biggest developers for state laws: CCJR Mobile, LLC and BigTwit Software, LLC.

In the Apple App Store, there are three developers for state laws: Tekk Inovations, LLC, Mike Kinney, and PDA Wizzard.

Android Version 1.0 Build 6 Released

An update on Android for both U.S. Cop and Ohio Cop was released today. This fixes the issue of a black screen appearing that would sometimes result in the app crashing.

Run Android apps on Windows

Ever wanted to try out an Android app but don’t have an actual Android device handy? An iOS user and often wondered how the other half lives? If the answer is yes, then BlueStacks is for you.

What BlueStacks does is fairly simple. It’s basically virtualization for Android. Install BlueStacks on your Windows machine and the software allows you to run an instance of Android right inside the app. From here the experience is just like having an Android device – except the phone calling thing.

Virtualization is nothing new, we’ve been doing it for years with VMware or Parallels but this is the first time a mobile operating system has been invited to the party.

Right now the
BlueStacks website isn’t quite behaving itself and downloading the virtualization software is easier said than done, but if Android on Windows is your particular bag then keep trying, we’re assured it does work eventually!


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Test Drive Google Android OS on Windows 7


RSS Feed for Known Issues

A RSS Feed for version-specific known issues has been created. Please click the links below to view the feeds:

Android known issues (RSS Feed)
Apple known issues (RSS Feed)

U.S. Cop Featured in POLICE Magazine

March 17, 2011
App Review: U.S. Cop (Android)
Mark Brooks' app is chock full of information for the working cop, and it's organized in a logical manner.
by Tim Meacham

Mark Brooks, a software developer and working police officer, developed U.S. Cop, which is one of the best apps on the Android platform for officers. This app is chock full of information for the working cop, and it's organized in a logical manner.

When you launch the app, you'll see tabs labeled Index, Case Law, Training, and Messages. Under Index, you'll find links for updates to his program, News and Alerts, Traffic, DUI, Drugs, Spanish, and Miranda Warning.

As one example, the Traffic section has subsections for information concerning states that require front license plates, accident investigation helps, traffic-stop case law, a tire's size-speed difference, window tint laws, CMV (Commercial Moving Vehicle) out-of-service orders, CMV company snapshots, and LIDAR instructions.

There are subsections within the accident investigation section that provide interview reminders, as well as equations for speed, braking, and friction. The DUI section provides information and instructions on Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).

Planned updates for this program include a report template, work calendar, photo evidence, state ID card security features, field interview cards, and Spanish voice translation. This app will be the patrolman's best friend once the developer completes his updates.

Link to article



Will other State-specific apps be created?

The Ohio Cop app only exists because it was the first app created for my home state. U.S. Cop was a derivative of Ohio Cop, with all the same content short of Ohio-specific material. There will be no other state-specific apps created (unless I move there).

U.S. Cop mentioned in "Is There An App for That"

Click here for link to article
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