We are currently in the process of converting our award wining app MobileNotes – Todo on to the iPhone. Look out for more exiting apps for the iPhone in the future.
We are very proud to have been given the trust to work with Rebtel to create their first Android app. Rebtel is a revolutionary telephony service that eliminates the high fees of international calling by routing the calls over the Internet. The result of our collaboration is truly remarkable. We think that this app may have great impact on the way people make international phone calls and really shake up the concept of international roaming.
Thanks to the openness of the Android platform we have been able to make an app that can make use of Rebtel’s calling service without altering their existing calling behavior in any way. This will give anyone with an Android phone a way to save big money on international calls just by installing the Android app and singing up for Rebtel. And to top it all off: if both ends of the call use the Rebtel Android app, the international part of your call will be completely free!
MobisleApps and Rebtel are really proud of this accomplishment and hope you will like it as much as we do. Please make sure to check out the Beta release, just now presented at the DEMO Conference and very soon available on the Android Market. Search for “Rebtel” or scan the barcode below.
Due to the latest problems with corrupted databases we have made some change to how data is stored in MobisleNotes. In order to avoid any similar situations in the future we have made sure that the app automatically makes a copy of the database on to the SD-card (if there is no SD-card you will get a warning). Everything is done automatically after installation and no special settings are required. If there is an older copy of the MobisleApps database on the SD-card the first time you start the app after installation you will get a prompt asking you if you what to import that database.
You also have the option to move the database to another phone. This is easiest done with the “manual backup” feature available under the settings menu. There you can request the app to save your database to a manual file which you then can import into the new phone. Please remember that the database on the new phone will be overwritten.
This feature is available in the new update, 1.35 in the Android Market.
//MobisleApps – Team
First off we would like to apologize for the latest problems that occurred since our last update.
Many people have requested that we should remove the copy protection of the app and since it’s free we didn’t see a problem with this. In the last update we made some minor changes to Mobisle Notes but nothing that would harm the apps database structure. What we did do was to remove the copy protection which is done in the developer console in Android market. We did this at the same time as we released the update.
What we have come to learn is that when we removed the copy protection some of the databases got corrupted. Unfortunately, despite all our efforts, we are not able to make any updates that fixes this problem. We are not in the habit of blaming some else but this problem has occured for other developers, Link1, Link2, Link3, and nothing has been done to deal with it. It extremely unfortunate that this happens to our valuable users and it makes us very sad. Only with your help can we put pressure on Google to avoid this in the future. We have narrowed it down to being only Android 1.5 (IRIS, Hero etc).
As a fellow developer puts it:
“In fact, that’s the worst part about this whole thing – devs get totally blindsided by this bug, because they can’t actually try and install their own paid apps, therefore can never see that the Market DRM changed the app’s UID. By the time we figure out what happened, dozens or hundreds of users have downloaded the changed app and seen buggy prefs or instant force closes, and they blame us, not the Market.”
Now to the worst part. To fix this problem you will need to reinstall the application which will cause all data within the app to be lost. I can once again assure you that we have tried our hardest to come up with a solution which will not erase all data but there is no way.
We are currently working hard to extend Mobisle Notes with an automatic backup of the database on the SD-card which will remove the danger of something similar happening again.
We are very grateful for your understanding and hope that you will keep using Mobisle Notes.
//MobisleApps – Team
As a developer I try out a lot of different phones all the time for different reasons. Mostly to test our apps and make sure they work properly across all available phones (which is not always the case even though they have the same version of Android). I’m currently trying out the Motorola Droid (or Milestone) which runs a basic version of Android 2.0. Normally (or side by side) I use the HTC Hero which has HTC’s own skinned UI, Sense UI, which I have become quite accustomed to. Using these phones at the same time I have come to realize a few cool features in Sense that it’s hard to live without once you have become used to them.
Of course I know there are a lot of patent issues that might come in the way of this actually happening, but I still want to point out what’s really good:
1. First off is the “Smart dial” feature. This awesome way to find your way through your contacts beats the standard Android way by miles. If you would like to dial someone in the standard UI you will have to go through 3 different screens and numerous of touch-clicks before you can start looking for your contacts.
On the Sense you simply start typing the contacts name, if you are in the dialer, and it looks through your contacts right away (see image).
2. The way information is sorted in Sense under each contact is very good and logical in my opinion. You can even get your exchange mail sorted in “conversations” which is very handy if your like that. I would anticipate that Google will not incorporate social media with the OS and rather let independent developers do that but the way it’s done in Sense UI is really good and works seamlessly.
3. A small but convenient thing is that the call history has been flipped around. In my opinion you are more likely to want to call someone right away when clicking on their name than looking into more details about the call or getting their contact details. In the Sense UI you will call someone right away when clicking the name and need to press to the right in order to get info about them. On Google’s standard UI it’s the other way around.
4. The way HTC has been able to get allot of new language (which are not supported in vanilla Android) in to the different devices is impressive as well.*Update – Got a Nexus One yesterday* Now when i’m using the Nexus One trying to write in Swedish it makes it almost impossible to text in an efficient way. Especially when compared to the almost “Swype“-like qwerty on the Sense. I can just hit keys “as precise as possible” and it figures out what word I meant.
This is a few of the smart features HTC has implemented in their version of Android and surely one of the reasons for their popularity. All in all it feels like HTC has had a bit longer time to perfect their UI since the Sense has been developed long back on the Windows Mobile devices. Hopefully some of that experience will spill over on the standard version of the Android OS.
I have read numerous articles complaining that the Android Market does not give developers the best possible conditions to make a living out of being an Android developer. While they are doing a good job pushing for the Android platform to become more widely spread and are making incremental updates to the Android Market, there are still some major obstacles to overcome to make it a more competitive market for developers. The first one is actually letting all developers to charge for their apps.
There are many ways to improve downloads through the market and get your potential users’ attention. One of the best ways to be successful in the market must be scoring high in Android Developer Challenge. This will give your app great exposure and surely the download frequency will go up. When the ADC 2 now is on the way and the top 200 apps have been presented, the attention to these apps will naturally go up. In normal cases this will be a very good thing but not for the developers around the world located in a country not able to register for a “Google Merchant Checkout account”. Of course this is good in some ways for these developers, but they miss out on a very important part of the benefits of the “free” exposure. They are not able to earn money from it.
Every potential customer that goes to the market to download one of the apps that they know a lot of other people think is good, including the judges at Google, will be unable to find the app, and a customer will be lost. This is in my mind catastrophic for the fairly newly born community of Android developers. Especially for those companies with salaries to pay that try to focus on Android. Why Google doesn’t put more effort in this is still a mystery to me but they must have their reasons. Hopefuly they will not take to long to fix this problem because developers are bleeding around the world!
So what can a developer do while waiting for Google to act? Well there are a few things you could to. When we entered the ADC 2 with our app MobisleNotes and the first round of judging began we got a few e-mails asking for the app. We then decided to make an “ADC 2 version” of the app to satisfy our fans. This is a great way to keep the buzz up and not loose potential costumers. We have all the basic features in this but are saving some killer-app features for the paid version. We decided to keep this app on the market as a free version since the Merchant account is still absent in Sweden despite promises of an October release. We will probably keep it as a free version to promote upcoming apps and a way to test MobisleNotes before buying the paid version.
Another, and much more complicated solution, is to start a company in one of the countries that lets you create merchant accounts. We have been looking in to this possibility, but even if its quite easy to set up a company in, lets say, England, you will still have significantly bigger problems setting up a bank account and are required to have an accountant that will set you back at least $2000 (probably more). You need to sell a few apps for that.
Hopefully with enough pressure from the community we can make Google realize the importance of this possibility for developers to actually get paid for their job. At least if they wan’t to be able to compete with the iPhone in the app-field, which really is the core of the platform. At the moment developers are loosing opportunities in the Android market!