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After beta-testers' thumbs-up, NKCCluster 2.5.7 has been released to Google Play Store on 30th September 2018 and will be gradually rolled out worldwide in the coming week.

This release contains several minor bugfixes. Most notable difference in it is it now comes built for Android Oreo (8.0), but should be backwards-compatible from Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) onwards. This latter change was stipulated in large part due to Google Play policies but it also made sense to start building NKCCluster against more stable and feature-rich platform than thus far.

This, however, means users using Android versions older than 4.1 will no loger be getting NKCCluster updates. This was a hard decision to make. Since its very first release the intention has always been to support as wide range of Android devices as possible (especially bearing in mind the radio hams' proverbial tendency to reuse old tech) but ultimately there comes a point at which there just isn't enough users to justify effort that could better be spent in delivering new functionality and better user experience on newer devices. I believe this is such point. With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean being already 6 years old and with (according to Google Play statistics) fewer than 50 users on platforms older than it, I feel I can no longer justify compromising NKCCluster performance in order to achieve maximum compatibility. If you're one of the affected users, I can only apologise to you and hope you will understand the motivation for this decision.

Please let me know if you should experience any issues with this release. Contact details are on NKCCluster's Google Play Store page.

Kristijan, M0NKC

NKCCluster User Survey was open from the beginning of January until mid-February 2017. We are thankful to over 300 participants, who used this opportunity to have a say. Read what NKCCluster users had to say.

Results >

Perhaps it doesn't come as huge surprise that vast majority of NKCCluster users have been radio hams for more than 10 years. In the era of smart-phones, seamless Internet access and always-on social media, most amateur radio associations around the world seem to be struggling with attracting newcomers to the hobby.

Still, even in these (admittedly very non-scientific) results there is a glimmer of hope. Some 10% of the users have joined radio-amateur ranks in the past 5 years. Perhaps most excitingly there are a few users who aren’t even radio-amateurs yet, who presumably use this application to get a taste of what amateur radio is all about!

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