Amazon AppStore – your turn, Google

Amazon launched their own Android Appstore (name is still under clarification with Apple – but that’s a different topic). It’s only available to Android users in the US for now, but I’m sure this will change soon enough. But the big news (for me, anyway) is that they also accept developers from many different countries – including Romania 🙂 . I couldn’t find a list yet, but I think if you have an Amazon account, you’re eligible).
They withhold the US tax – 30%, but if you have an US Tax ID (one can be obtained relatively easily, for free), it can be as low as 0%, for some countries (depending on tax agreement between US and your country). Of course, you still need to pay the required taxes in your country.

The point is, selling Android apps is more than possible, from all countries, even from a legal point of view… now I’m still confused why Google doesn’t allow it as well yet :(.
I refuse to think they really don’t care (that would be a major dissapointment).

Power Schedule 1.3

Hi all,

I updated Power Schedule to 1.3. I added “Data Connection” schedule as a new feature, and also changed a few texts (for example I renamed “Phone” to “Telephony” – some people thought turning “Phone” off would actually power off your device completely… when I actually meant just the “phone” (GSM /CDMA) part of your Android device). Anyhow, I hope “Telephony” removes some of that confusion.

Data schedule will now let you disable sync during night, for example (if you want to keep your WiFi off and Telephony on, but don’t want to get new e-mails, for example). Of course, it’s up to you to define your schedule.

I am also working on a major overhaul of the UI – making it more… Android-esque? I am also trying to add a few more options for “power users”, who are not satisfied with the standard settings. So update your version and stay tuned for new updates.

Power Schedule 1.2 – Bluetooth support

I just uploaded a version 1.2. I added (preliminary) Bluetooth support – it can now be configure individually. Well, sorta. It seems that if Airplane mode is ON (therefore Phone is off), Bluetooth can’t be started. It’s an Android platform limitation – I’m not sure if it can be resolved at all (but I will do my best).
So, push your update button in the Market 🙂

PS. If you like this app, please recommend it and share your review with other people – I know, it’s far from perfect – but it will be :).

New market stats – thanks Google

I got a surprise this morning with a tweet from Android Developers – it told me to check my Android Market stats. Now the numbers are getting useful: you can see all kinds of information, device types, countries, languages, and of course, app install count over time. Really good stuff. Now if they could only associate the crash reports with a device type and OS version, it would be excelent.

Also, Google, can you please open the paid market for the rest of the world already? I had to buy a prepaid SIM card from Germany to be able to buy some apps I wanted (no, I don’t want to root my phone). I really don’t get it – I have a valid Google Checkout account, so purchasing was easy. Why can’t I do it the proper way?
Ok, not to mention you need to allow developers from other, “non-select”, countries to publish paid apps. Apple does it, so why can’t you?

Thanks.

Back to work

I’m finally back, after a long 3000 km watch-the-laptop drive in Europe. The results? I can’t comment on that (company policy). But I’m just glad it’s over.
So now I’ll have some time for the promised update (now that Power Schedule surpassed 1000 downloads – YAY!).
You can check back from time to time for updates – or easier, follow me on Twitter :).

European Test Drive

I will be away for a week, fighting with snowy roads in Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Germany (the actual route is secret). Why? Duty calls.. um, company duty actually. We’re testing the new multimedia platform for a well-known German car manufacturer (actually more within the same group). I’m not gonna tell you the name, but I can give some hints:
– one of the brands was founded before WW II by some bad guys 😉
– another of the brands has 4 interconnected rings 🙂
– another is Czech
– the last (not least) is Latin and likes fighting with bulls.

Now guess which group is it.

Anyway, I will have some updates for Power Schedule when I get back – UI rework, more flexible schedule and 1 or 2 other things I can’t talk about (competition :P).

See you in a week. Or wait, I might have some WiFi in the hotels.

My favorite new genus : Cocos

I’m not actually talking about the palm tree. I really mean Cocos2D, which is a well known 2D graphics engine, made famous by some iPhone games (see here for a list).
I recently started playing with it, well, with one of its variants: cocos2d-x. This port has taken the developers by storm, because it’s cross-platform. It can run on both Android and iOS, and the progress is quite amazing. More than this, it’s written in C++ :). Which means guys like me, who really are shocked by Objective-C’s “unnatural” syntax, feel right at home ;).

So the fun stuff is (for geeks anyway), I can start Visual Studio, build the project, run it in Windows… Fire up Eclipse, build it for Android and run it on my HTC Desire… then start the *cough* Hackintosh *cough* and recompile everything for iOS… and run in the iPhone emulator (I don’t have an iStuff). Also it supports another platform (uphone), developed by China Unicom, a telecom company.

Anyway, it seems the guys behind the engine itself are a few engineers from China Unicom. So if the project has some funding, it may become the next best thing for mobile game development. Who knows, they may even add support for Windows Phone 7 at some point (although I doubt it now, since we can’t use C++ on it… at least not yet).

So for those interested, yes, I’m also working on a (secret) game 🙂

New devices from HTC

HTC is busy these days at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona. They just launched their first tablet and a series of new smartphones… some which feature a dedicated “Facebook” key. I’m sure people waste too much time on existing devices with Sense, until they get to open Facebook. Therefore, the need for a special key. 🙂
See more here and here

On a side note, Power Schedule has reached 500 downloads – not so bad for my first app (but these Market stats update so slowly – c’mon Google). Anyhow, I plan to release an update these days (1.2) – it’s mainly some UI improvements, to make it more intuitive for new users. If anyone can help with translations in other languages, I would appreciate it. Just drop me a message.

It’s done – Nokia & Microsoft working together

It seems what many anticipated was true – Windows Phone will become Nokia’s main Smartphone platform. It makes sense for Microsoft, as Nokia is the largest mobile phone manufacturer – and well known in Europe (not so much in the US). I guess Nokia wasn’t doing so well, they needed this partnership. After many years developing for Windows Mobile (now Phone), I lost some faith in the platform. Hopefully this will be a breath o fresh air, and an opportunity for Microsoft to make their revamped OS popular again. I may also give it another chance as well.
Read the whole story at Engadget.

development.since.2005