Free42 Android Tablet


I just picked up the Acer A500 Android tablet. I've installed the Free42 on it and it works fine, but am having trouble getting the right skin setup.

I mostly use the tablet in a landscape mode and only occansionaly go to portrait mode. I would like for Free 42 to be in standard portrait mode (just like the real 42s). Is there a way to lock free 42 into the same portrait skin whether the tablet is in portrait or landscape mode.




Bill, you can lock the orientation if you have the latest version (1.4.69); there is an auto/portrait/landscape orientation selector in the Preferences screen.

- Thomas


N.B. In case I misunderstood your question, and you don't want to lock Free42 into portrait mode, but just want it to use the same skin in both portrait and landscape modes:

Free42 maintains separate skin selections for portrait and landscape modes. If you want to change both, go to portrait mode, use Menu -> More -> Skin: Other and select the skin you want, then go to landscape mode, and repeat the procedure.

- Thomas



Thanks for help. What I'm seeing is a squished layout when the tablet is in the landscape position. Please send me an email & I'll send you a couple of photos.

I'm thinking that the tablet is squishing/stretching the image when it roates from portrait to landscape. The width of the image in tablet portrait exactly equals the height of the image in landscape mode. It's like it rotates the image and then stretches/shrinks the image to fit te rotated photo frame.

Not sure if there's anyway to really fix this, since it mahe be a factor of my tablet.



Free42 has only one built-in skin at the moment, a portrait skin designed for 320x480 screens. The skin is stretched to fill the available screen space exactly. This works out fine on most screens in portrait mode, as long as they have an aspect ratio that's reasonably close to 2:3, but when you switch to landscape mode, the skin will look awfully squashed, as you've noticed.

If you want to use Free42 in landscape mode, the best thing to do it to load one of the landscape skins from the package. I like 42ct myself, but HP42CY and Voyager42 are also worth a look.

I think I'll add 42ct into the apk in the next release, or maybe something else in case a generous user donates a skin designed specifically for 480x320 screens.

- Thomas


I've tried all the skins in the skin package and agree that the landscape skins look great. But....

What I'm trying to achieve is a vertical HP-42s when the tablet in is in the landscape mode. I guess I would need a special "landscape" skin that looks like a vertical skin. I don't think one exists.

Thanks for your help.



Wait for Thomas to implement an option not to stretch the bitmap. I've already asked for it.


To support using portrait skins in landscape mode properly, there'd have to be additional options to specify how to place the skin on the screen (left-aligned? centered?) and how to stretch it (don't stretch, maximize while maintaining aspect ratio, or stretch to fill?). Don't hold your breath for that just yet!

Meanwhile, modifying a portrait skin for use in landscape mode isn't particularly difficult. Open the bitmap in Paint, make it wider without stretching its contents, paint the added space black. Modify the layout file to reflect the larger size, and if you moved the position of the skin within the bitmap, modify the coordinates in the layout accordingly. A bit of a chore, but not difficult.

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