WebGeek DevCup 2014

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WebGeek Philippines, a meta community of Filipino Developers, Startups and dedicated to covering the tech scene in the Philippines has presented the third iteration of their annual Hackthon, The WebGeek DevCup 2015.

WebGeek DevCup gathers developers, designers and creative thinkers for a two day hackathon that aims to disrupt the technology scene in the Philippines.

Mozilla Philippines Community has been committed in helping filipino developers in making the web a place for innovation, create new opportunities and openness.

Firefox OS: It’s hackathons friendly

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One of the contestants, who are a group of college students, has made an app named iAlert, which is now available in the Firefox Marketplace that has been built using Open Web Technologies.

The app has been ported and optimized in less than 10 minutes with the help of mentoring and has uploaded the app within 20 minutes.

Firefox OS Tablet preview

I’ve brought the Firefox OS tablet and have showed it to interested participants to try it out, some of them are even excited to see how apps will be built. The tablet is the result that proves the web’s flexibility on multiple hardware devices and device screens which is powered by an open operating system which is Firefox OS.

Winners

First Place: Sheltr.me – A web app that displays residential listing together with geographical data to help you decide a place that best suits you (by Langitgit: Adrian Peterson Co, Zy Martinez and Rose Anne Concepcion)

Second Place: BizSight -Bizight is a web app where it brings Big Data analytics to small businesses. (by Cash Loans and Good Times: Jonathan Ian Conanan, Roderick Mauricio ane Ralph Jason Aquino)

Third Place: Unearth.js – a node module that sandboxes your application so that it will run along side unearth.js’s own CLI monitoring. (by Ghost Pro: Raven John Lagrimas, Nino Eclarin and Arisa Ochavez)

Fourth Place: Cheers – An app that use semantic analysis to help you understand if your friends are happy or sad recently based on their Facebook posts. (by Xolve Alpha: Hubert Ursua, Alyanna Diavane and John Senosa)

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Truly, the web is an amazing platform for open innovation that keeps on growing. With the help of open technologies, the opportunities and endless and it just keeps on growing since a lot of different communities from different parts of the world are getting involved in evolving the web into a place where one can change the future.

How to browse Internet.org on your Cherry Mobile Ace

Internet.org has been launched in the country last week and it’s a steal if you are already a a Smart, Talk N Text or Sun subscriber on your Cherry Mobile Ace Smartphone.

The world’s affordable smartphone can be used to browse to internet service for  FREE. With Internet.org, you’ll get to access Facebook, Accuweather, JobStreet, Inquirer and other partner sites without any costs within the terms of Internet.org.

So how do you get started? It’s simple! Follow these steps below:

Pre-requisites:

– You should own an active Smart/Talk N Text or SUN Sim Card and you should have these network as your default on your data settings.

Step 1. SMS “Internet” to 9999. Don’t worry, it’s free.

Step 2. Make sure that your data settings should be set to SMART INTERNET

Step 3. Open FIREFOX and visit internet.org, and accept the terms and conditions.

PRO TIP: Access it with ease, add it on your homescreen!

Internet.org is not yet available in the Firefox Marketplace, but it doesn’t stop us from accessing the website easily!

1. Tap the “Star” icon and tap “Add to homescreen”

2. Add a Website name. You can write “Internet.org” and tap the “Add to homescreen” button

3. Press the home button and voila! It’s now on your homescreen. You can tap that app and save time navigating to Internet.org. :)

Enjoy! Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions or if you have any cool hacks and tips that would help our fellow Ace users!

February Challenge: Switch to a Cherry Mobile Windows Phone

In the years, i’ve been switching to different mobile platforms from iOS to BlackBerry 10 and to Android, and i think Android has a great impact to me on my everyday lifestyle.

The former company for where i worked for as an intern mostly relies on Android, and believe it or not, my internship made me curious about the Android platform and has made me decided to make a jump to Android after my internship has ended.

But since i like jumping around to different mobile platforms and discovering cool new stuff on it, i think i’ll be switching to Windows Phone, even just for a month.

Sounds simple, right? But actually, it will be really  hard for me to move away from Android since most of the useful devices that accompanying my phone relies on Android.

I’ll loose the following devices once i made the switch:

Android Wear – A device where you have to charge it for every 2 days, but you can get notifications in a flash without looking at your phone. And that’s okay, for now. Since the technology is new. And it’s the only device you’ll be with for most of the time. It only works on the Android platform.

Cherry Mobile P1 – If you don’t like to use your smartphone on the streets, you can use this phone as a proxy. It’s really useful if you just want to answer important sms and calls on the go.

Of course, that’s just a frost on the cake. I’ll also lose some apps. But i’m willing to find some alternatives.

On March 05 2015, i will write a blog post about my experience. I’ll be using the Cherry Mobile Alpha Luxe as my primary smartphone for a month. I’ve tried a Windows Phone before, but things are different now. Windows Phone has greatly improved and i’m really excited to try new things on this platform.

So, wish me luck. :)

On old Android phones and Firefox OS

Yesterday, i bought an old Google Nexus S and it’s a phone that runs on Android 4.1.2, it’s probably the last phone update it can get from Google’s Android and once i got my hands on it, i took my USB cable out and downloaded the latest Firefox OS builds you can get from the XDA website and flashed it with Firefox OS.

After a few minutes of patience, i saw the potential of the device. The phone runs Firefox OS 2.2. Since it’s the same version that you can get on a Firefox Flame, it also has the privacy panel app that you can use to locate your device, although i haven’t fully explored it yet. It’s pretty slick, and it always amaze me that this 2010 phone can run the very best of Firefox OS.

You can get a mid-tier phone experience from a low end hardware. In my case, i only bought the phone for less than 70 USD and performance wise, it’s almost the same with the Flame. And it always amaze me that software plays a big role on a smartphone device. Who would have thought that you can make an obsolete phone awesome again with a new Operating System?

The future of Firefox OS is exciting! I’m really hoping that OEMs will manufacture more mid-tier phones that feels like a premium device when you use it. I believe a LOT of people are willing to buy it, specially in today’s market where a LOT of affordable high end Android devices are fighting together to win the low and mid market.

Can Firefox OS change the way we use smartphones? Maybe. But it has already made an impact to thousands of early adopters worldwide and gave breath to devices that has run out of updates.

Register your new Cherry Mobile phone on eWarranty

It’s that time of the year again, christmas season! It’s the time where most of the consumer will buy a new smartphone as a gift (or just want to have that shiny new gadget anyway), and if you’re lucky enough, You might have received one!

Now that you might have now enjoying your new Cherry Mobile Smartphone. Did you know that you can extend your usual 12-months warranty and upgrade it for another 3 months by just registering to Cherry Mobile’s eWarranty? That’s 15-months of support!

eWarranty is an innovative service that replaces the traditional warranty card.

It’s a pre-bundled app on every new Cherry Mobile phones and it is available on Android, Firefox OS Smartphones and on featurephones. You will only need at least P. 5.00 load credits in order for you to register.

Go ahead, register and take advantage of this awesome service that Cherry Mobile is giving away to their consumers. :)

Cherry Mobile Ace FAQs and Hacks

It has been a while since the Cherry Mobile Ace User Groups has been established on Facebook and the group is growing day by day from consumers to app developers who owns, will own or just a fan of the Cherry Mobile Ace.

Cherry Mobile Ace is a new device and no doubt that consumers who are trying out the platform will have some questions about the device. But since these questions are usually being asked everytime, i have collected most of the Q’s here and i will do my best to answer it straightforward and clear.

If you think there is a lack of clarity in my answers, feel free to drop it in the comments section. Without further ado, here is the list of Cherry Mobile Ace FAQs:

“Is Cherry Mobile Ace an Android device?”

Answer: No, it’s not. It runs on Firefox OS 1.3T

“Can i update my device to Firefox OS 2.0?”

Answer: Not yet. Firefox  OS 1.3 is the current stable release of Firefox at the time of this writing.

Firefox OS 2.0 is currently being offered to developer devices and it’s not ready for prime time just yet. Same goes to Firefox OS 1.4, 2.0, 2.1 and 2.2.

“What are the APN settings for Firefox OS? I want to connect to the Internet!”

Answer: More here http://www.yugatech.com/apn-settings-for-globe-smart-sun-cellular/

“Will Clash of Clans or any other Android games will run on my Cherry Mobile Ace?”

Answer: It depends. Not all Android games can run in Firefox OS, true.  BUT some of the most popular game publishers and content providers are porting their games to Firefox OS. To name a few, you can play: Cut the Rope (By ZeptoLab) , Fix-It-Felix (By Disney) and among others.

If you want your favorite app to be ported in Firefox OS, why not give the developer a shout out and ask them to port it? (But ask gently, of course. 😉 )

“Can i root my Firefox OS device?”

Answer: No.

“Can i install apps through an .APK on my phone?”

Answer: Nope. Only Android can read and install APK files. Firefox doesn’t have a file extension.

Here’s why: With Firefox OS, you can literally install a website on the go by visiting a website that supports Firefox OS app install feature.

So imagine you’re visiting your favorite website and it will offer you to install it in your phone. Imagine the time saved from opening the Marketplace to searching the app you want and tapping the download button.

“How do you take a screenshot on this device?”

Answer: Hold the POWER BUTTON + Home button (The circular button at lower part of the phone) at the same time.

“Why is it that my phone takes me to the future (or past) by giving me the wrong date?”

Answer: This happens everytime your device has been turned off. And the “Set automatically” option usually doesn’t work if your telco doesn’t support it.

To solve this, set the time manually and turn off the automatic time adjustment feature.

“I’m getting SMS or call notification even though i have seen it before”

Answer: Related to the former question, it has something to do with the time adjusting itself automatically when you turn off your device. Make sure to set the time manually and try again.

“I want to develop apps on my Phone”

Answer: Visit https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Apps/Quickstart/Build/Your_first_app

“I’m developing an app and my computer can’t find my phone”

Answer: Please check this guide: http://www.stramaxon.com/2014/10/debug-intex-cloudfx-firefoxos.html

And…

“I’m having issues with my device.”

Answer: Please contact Cherry Mobile Customer Support. Visit https://www.facebook.com/cherrymobilecustomersolutions

ChikkaFOX – The Chikka SMS API Simulator in Firefox OS

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I’ve been playing around recently with the Chikka SMS API and i’m amazed on how easy it is to integrate the API on your existing apps or try the API by creating a small app that would simulate it. That is exactly what i did with ChikkaFox.

ChikkaFox is an open source app in Firefox OS that would let you send SMS to any mobile phone number.

All you need to do is to add your api info into the following variables in main.js:

var sCode = “”; // Short code
var cID = “”; // Client ID

var sKey = “” // Secret Key

To test the app, you have to format a mobile number by adding: +639XXXXXXXXX.

Message ID is used to track a request status. You can put any numbers you like for testing. (Example: 01)

The great thing about the Chikka SMS API is that you can buy airtime credits using your SMART Prepaid load and the minimum package you can avail is only 100 pesos (Up to 250 SMS). Talk about convenience and affordability.

Cherry Mobile Ace: An end to the Gingerbread Era

Cherry Mobile Ace photo

Cherry Mobile has announced a new set of devices for this month of November and i think it’s the best line up yet for both consumers and developers.

It’s nothing new that Cherry Mobile has been actively releasing new devices every now and then but this time, in my own opinion, they wanted to point out that they are working really hard to put balance in modern hardware and reasonably priced devices.

The end of Android Gingerbread

The current line-up of Cherry Mobile smartphones has abandoned Android 2.3 a.k.a “Gingerbread” and that’s okay. Gingerbread has been here for a very very long time. It was first introduced in December 6, 2010. That’s nearly 4 years ago!

The most affordable Cherry Mobile Android Phone runs Android 4.1 a.k.a “Jelly Bean”

Firefox OS is here to fill the gap

Now that Android Gingerbread is retiring, something needs to fill out the gap.

And now they are offering the Cherry Mobile Ace now runs Firefox OS 1.3.

With Firefox OS, you get a modern operating system with a modern browser. It’s an operating system which has been made with Web Technologies at its heart. Whichmeans you can get more apps because most the apps are lightweight when compared to a native Android app.

I’ve been using Firefox OS for almost a year now and i can safely say that the O.S has been improved dramatically since its inception. And Mozilla is doing a good job on enhancing the operating system. In fact, if you own a Geeksphone Keon or Peak, you can try out Firefox OS 2.1 on your device.

I just bought a unit today and will update my blog on how to test your Firefox OS apps and setting up the development environment using the new Cherry Mobile Ace. So please stay tuned. :)

Tren for Android, now available at the Pinoy AppShop

trenmarketingmaterialI am pleased to announce that Tren for Android is now available for download the Pinoy AppShop for Free!

Pinoy AppShop is a marketplace that offers easy access to a variety of mobile applications/games which are specially selected for Filipino. It’s a great platform to get a sweet spotlight in the ocean of apps in the Android universe.

This is also a great platform for Android developers who wants to target the local market with groundbreaking innovative apps. The app marketplace is pre-installed with every Cherry Mobile device and if you’re not using a Cherry Mobile smartphone, you can download it at Google Play.

If you want to install Pinoy AppShop in your Android phone, head on to this link. You can also like Pinoy AppShop on Facebook and show your support in cultivating locally made apps.

 

Next chapters ahead

Just last week, i have finally signed my contract with Cherry Mobile. And i’ll be working at Cosmic Digital Universe, their associte company for all things digital solutions! (We are still hiring!)

History made me

Since 2011, all of my efforst are being poured into deep research about how mobile works and since then i always wanted to focus on creating cool stuff on the device you can actually lift.

It has been almost 3 years since i began developing apps on mobile, even if i was a college student back then, i have at least created up to 10 apps from top mobile platforms. I’ve been also busy in the past few years promoting and helping student developers for all things app development.

Why Cherry Mobile?

My passion for mobile never stops in college. I’m always interested with mobile. In fact, i have spend my internship with SMART Communications Inc and i learned a LOT! And i also believe that i can grow with a company that ships affordable consumer phones to the filipino market. I know, i can learn a lot with Cherry Mobile.

What’s next?

From time to time, i can still blog and tweet. I’ll be busy more than ever, but i won’t give up from where i have started. I’m also sticking with Mozilla as a Non-paid volunteer and might help you out if you have any questions with Firefox OS App Development. (You can join our local dev group here.)

And of couse, expect Cherry Mobile stuff on my blog. =)

I’m pretty much excited with what life can offer me together with Cherry. =)