We just rolled out the latest version of Cubetube! The big change is that Cubetube now supports the new Photon processors! Hooray! The Photons are an all-round great processor, and they unlock a lot of potential for the cube. They're also a lot simpler and more robust to set up with wifi, and that alone will streamline the most frustrating process for our users: getting set up on wifi for the first time.
The Photons are also much faster to program -- you can program them over wifi in a couple seconds, rather than the ~22 seconds it takes to update the older Core processors. This makes it much easier to build and test your code.
In addition to these sweet features, the Photon is 66% faster than the Cores, the wifi hardware is more stable, and the chip has five times more space for larger and more elaborate programs. It's a much better chip, and it will be the brains of every cube we ship from now on.
IF you backed us on Kickstarter, you probably have a Core in your cubes. You can swap it out for a photon for free! Just pop it into that envelope we included in your kit and mail it to us. Shoot us a quick email at in...@lookingglassfactory.com to let us know that you mailed it, and we'll put a photon in the mail for you. There is one caveat, though -- the first Photons are just inching their way off the assembly line, and we have a shortage for the next month, so we'd like to ask you to please hang on to your cores until August 10. After that, we'll have plenty of Photons in stock, and the exchange will run smoothly. If you're just itching to get a photon and start hacking on it, write us and we can work something out.
From a usability point of view, the layout of the site hasn't changed. Cubetube still works the same way, just with some behind-the-scenes machinery that handles the code differently for a core or a photon.
There are a few quirks with the new photon code. One odd quirk of the photon code is that the photon libraries reserve the words 'max' and 'min', so if you happen to use variables named 'max' or 'min', rename them to any other name, and the code will compile for a photon. The photon also needs the cube.begin() statement in order to initialize the output pin so that it can send data to the LEDs, whereas the core would actually run happily even if you didn't call cube.begin(). If your code gives you a blank cube, double-check that you're calling cube.begin() in setup.
Now that the big architecture is in place, the next steps with cubetube are to improve the usability of the site. Upcoming changes are:
++ adding a delete button to apps
++ filtering and searching through apps in the gallery
++ email notifications (with opt-out) when someone comments on one of your apps
++ more stable streaming
++ improved docs
++ clearer color schemes for the UI
If there's anything else you think we could add/change to the site to make it better, let us know in the comments.
As always, happy cubing!