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Category Archives: Companion

Podcast Companion Weekly Updates







Firmware Updates

Firmware updates for the Companion are pushed out every Friday night, so LEAVE YOUR COMPANION POWERED ON FRIDAY NIGHTS TO RECEIVE THE FIRMWARE UPDATES. Just plug it in, red power light on and connected to the internet and sleep tight! These Friday night updates are very important, because the crew is constantly trying to make your user experience the best it can be.  We’re continuously adding more functionality and bug fixes in the coming months. Don’t miss your Friday night updates.



Update October 26, 2018
Version – 0.28.4

1) When listening to messages, you can now pause during the silent gap between when a message ends playback and before it starts to repeat playback. Prior,  could pause during message playback, but not during the silence between when a message stopped playing and when it started repeating.

Work continues on porting the Companion c++ code to Android. we are not clear when it will be complete, but we are getting a little further each week.


Update October 19, 2018
Version – 0.28.3 has a few more minor updates:

1) Added instant audio feedback when we are in the listen to all answers feed and select back. Before, select back and there was silence, then the back announcement would be repeated, then Companion played question from the feed. Now, select back and instant hear the thinking sound (which is currently sound of a stream), and then hear the questions feed.

2) Making progress on OTA updating. Main issue now is keeping audio out where it should be during and after update.

3) Work continues on porting the Companion c++ code to Android. its not clear when it will be completed, but our current goal is to keep making steady progress.


Update October 12, 2018
Version – 0.28.0 has a few minor updates:

1) Changed work flow of recording new ask-all. After recording has ended, we are taken to ‘dictate custom tag’. The idea is to make it easier to include tags with our ask-alls.

2) Changed “thinking” sound to water stream.

We continue to investigate how the Companion C++ code can be enabled to run on Android devices.


Update October 5, 2018
Version – 0.27.0-rc1 includes a single new feature:

1-TTS fails on startup. It takes less time to establish connection to the audio recordings, it takes longer to connect with Google cloud platform’s TTS service. New power-up strategy is to play the first question without TTS (or play first audio message of the feed you most recently visited). then play TTS on all other questions. This gives TTS the extra time it needs to establish its connection to the cloud.

We are further along in the OTA (over the air) updating. You may notice in settings the ability to check for updates.
I suggest you do not select it, the ‘update complete’ function is not yet live.

We have pushed a few beta updates on the iOS side. we are planning to transition to a subscription model and updating the code. the newer record feature on in Apple’s swift language has more record parameters, and VoiceOver is now going to be silent during recording. We have spent days trying to fix this. three external beta pushes, and almost ten internal betas. documentation for developers for VoiceOver is sparse.

We are seeing how much of the C++ code from the Companion can work on Android devices, also a high priority.


Update September 28, 2018
Version – 0.26.3

Version 0.26.3 includes bug fixes, code optimization and a few new features:

1. New voice commands to dissolve an inbox item: bye bye birdie, delete message, get lost will all dissolve the item. it could be that speech to text engine is more accurate when we speak phrases instead of single words.
2. Continued development of OTA updating. nothing for us to test on this front yet.
3. Fixed a bug that occurred when internet connection dropped while recording
4. Fixed a bug in Inbox that sometimes caused software crashes when dissolving the last or next to last item in question or reply segments of inbox
5. New sound when we start to record
6. Started the process of migrating Companion C++ to Android devices. (not sure if it will work, but we are looking into it further).


Update September 21, 2018
Version – 0.25.2

1- Voice navigation enabled for other parts of the Companion, including podcasts, ask-alls, followed users, and the answers feed. What new voice commands would you like?

2-Added new voice commands that may be easier for the speech to text engine to recognize:
-erase (to dissolve an inbox message)
-jump (to skip forward 30 seconds during message playback)
-fall (to rewind 10 seconds during message playback)

3-Push down dial to speedup playback 1.5x

4-Companion now recalls previous volume level when powering up

5-Added user setting to ignore emojis. Message me if you would like that setting enabled on your Companion.


Update September 14, 2018
Version – 0.24.1

Includes bug fixes, code optimization and a few new features:

1. a new way to initiate voice commands.
.. press & hold touch sensor
.. speak command
.. release

Do you prefer the method associated with the dial to initiate voice commands, or the method that is associated with the touch sensor?

2. New voice commands in the questions and inbox feeds for  ‘rewind’ and ‘forward’. In the future (if useful), we can update to rewind or forward by any number of seconds, eg. forward 10 (seconds). in current version, the default is rewind 10 and forward 30 seconds.

3. Added voice navigation to other parts of app (profile view, subscribed questions, and listen to all answers feed)


Update September 7, 2018
Version – 0.23.0
1-can use voice commands on the questions feed. plan is each week to add more voice commands, until eventually we can do everything on the Companion through voice.
2-can use keyboard to navigate the Companion. type ‘h’ on your keyboard to hear what letters or arrows do which command. plan is to introduce entry level Companion without any physical controls, that would be at a lower price.
3-dissolve keeps your place in the inbox instead of returning us to top of the inbox feed


Update August 31, 2018
Version – 0.22.0

1-enhancement of voice navigation, can work the inbox with voice commands, such as ‘respond’ and ‘dissolve’.
2-can start up Companion without mic attached
3-under the hood improvements to memory management

Question one: how do you like voice commands in the inbox? would you like to see it changed? should we add ability to do voice navigation in questions feed?

Question two: are you able to start your Companion without usb mic or usb headset attached? we are still tweaking this feature, it is likely to work on some Companions but not others.


Update August 24, 2018
Version – 0.21.0

Version 0.21.0 enhancements and bug fixes:

1 – Navigation by voice. Press down the main dial until you hear the START SPEAKING notification.
If you hold down the dial, listen for a tone and say HELP or ASSIST, you will hear a list of current commands.


Update August 17, 2018
Version – 0.20.0

Version 0.20.0 enhancements and bug fixes:

1 –  fixed inbox bug (sometimes the uploaded message would dissolve)
2 – fixed inbox bug causing the Companion to crash when replying to a message
3 – added new menu item to indicate feed of ask-alls from only the people I follow.
In this release we call it ‘followed users’, in future version planning to call it
‘voices i love’


Update August 10, 2018
Version – 0.19.0

Version 0.19.0 enhancements and bug fixes:

.. ‘both upload and dissolve’ option added to ‘Send message’ recording menus (we are taking steps to reduce the number of dial clicks and turns needed to navigate the Companion). Eventually you will be able to navigate by voice.
..  added an audible indication added after dial press
..  T-T-S added to subscriptions feed
..  ‘1 day(s) ago’ changed to ‘yesterday’ on T-T-S timestamps
.. avoid T-T-S filename collisions that could lead to wrong T-T-S associated with a message
.. enabled T-T-S to automatically retry after failing to connect with google backend services.


Update August 3, 2018
Version – 0.18.0

Version 0.18.0 enhancements and bug fixes:

New Features:
1- You can add an answer to your ask-all from within the inbox. Create an ask-all. answers come to your inbox. hear the answer, and you can reply to the person privately, or publicly by adding a new answer to your ask-all.
2- Added ‘mute bin’ and ‘mute thread’ functionality
3- Changed order of like feed to show most recently active on top
4- Plays sound effect when in “listen” to all answers feed and land on newest or oldest answer
5- Firmware version number now available in Settings feed.

Biggest bug fix:
Changed and fixed the way T-T-S  (text-to-speech) behaves when it cannot get a fast enough internet connection. This issue caused a bug with previous build.


Update July 27, 2018
Version – 0.17.0

Version 0.17.0 enhancements and bug fixes:

1. Your history of ask-alls can be downloaded to any device or computer

2. Text to speech reading of name and tag is now available on questions feed and is gender specific, male voice for ask-alls created by men, female voice for ask-alls created by women. text to speech reading of name also added in listen to all answers feed.

3. When dictating tags of unlimited length, there is now a sound effect when starting and stopping dictation, and the gap between ending dictation and being able to edit the tag or upload the recording has been shortened considerably

4. The listen to answers feed is now circular.  for example, if you are on the oldest answer (bottom of the feed), turning the dial clockwise plays newer answers, one after another, but turning the dial one position counter clockwise plays the newest answer (top of the feed). as before, if you let an answer play to completion, the answer after it will auto play.

5. Tapping the touch switch to pause/resume now works during tts playback, and in the silent gaps between tts playback repeating itself.

6. Poetry feed has been added into the ‘change feeds’ menu.

Recap of enhancements included in past Companion updates:

.. fast forward and rewind
.. pause/resume recording
.. bookmark
.. unlimited number of characters allowed in tag, can add up to three tags
.. non-ephemeral inbox (ephemeral – lasting a very short time)
.. podcast feed (by top and by genres) with Vorail type discovery
.. owners only feed
.. pleasant five minute chime instead of double horn blast


Update July 20, 2018

Version 0.16.0 enhancements and bug fixes:

You can now dictate custom tags. Two known issues here: 1 – there is no beep or indication that the Companion is recording your dictated tag. 2 – After you dictate your tag, the Companion will go silent while it converts your speech-to-text. Give the companion 2 full minutes before giving up. There is a lot of silence while we wait for speech to text to complete.

The most notable bug fix in this release is you don’t have to push the main dial twice to select a menu item. Now all menu items can be selected on the first click, without having to click a second time.

Related Pages

About the Podcast Companion

Setting Up Your Podcast Companion

Podcast Companion Survey

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