ChikkaFOX – The Chikka SMS API Simulator in Firefox OS

ChikkaFOX

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. =)

An Open Web App sample that controls your music by just waving

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Since the dawn of “Touch less” music navigation has begun from different phone manufacturers, i was curious enough to replicate the feature to Firefox OS by using the Proximity API.

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Meet “Air Wave” a sample Open Web App that lets you pause or play a music file by just waving your hand near the proximity sensor of a phone.

Thanks to WebAPI, you can create awesome innovations that involves information from your phones hardware!

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Here’s a video demo (Instagram Video): http://instagram.com/p/qp7KbBiMUR

If you want to play with the code, you can get it on GitHub: https://github.com/aaroncajes/airwave

Happy Hacking! :)

Tren 1.1 for Android has been released!

 

It’s just 10 days after tren has been first released on Google Play, from the start we promise to deliver relevant features to our consumers by bringing innovation on the table and better refinements to the app experience. Now, enough chit chats!

What’s new in TREN 1.1 for Android?

  • TREN Alerts (BETA): We’re launching Tren Alerts. Get the latest news and scoop from us via “Push Notification” so you can get the up-to-date announcements from LRT/MRT and PNR. How cool is that? ;)
  • Simplified User Interface: We’ve made some minor U.I changes. We’ve added a new tab for the “About” section.
  • Better performance: 20% faster than before. It’s a huge performance deal breaker here.

I hope you’ll like this new version. If you’ve seen some bugs, you can e-mail me at: thetrenapp@gmail.com

Like TREN on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trenapp

Follow Tren on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/usetren

Join our TREN Commuter Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/trenph/

Tren: Behind the scenes

I want to talk about “Behind the scenes” of Tren, my newest app that you can download for free on Google Play, Windows Phone Marketplace and Firefox Marketplace.

When did you started developing Tren?

Tren is a weekend app. I started planning and coding the mock-ups on March 28 2014 (Friday). Worked really hard on each feature on March 29-30 (Saturday and Sunday) and sunday night, i already have the alpha app for testing. My friends are my guinea pigs (and i love them, truly they have an eye for quality). And on Monday, i have been busy testing the BETA app for release. Making sure that the app won’t crash on my device, and won’t make my testers unhappy.

And on April 1 2014, tren has finally launched in Google Play. It’s a living proof that April Fools Day is not only just for pranks. :P

Why did you focused on developing Tren?

I have a LOT of app ideas in my mind. But these ideas are needed to be cultured, it needs to be planned. A perfect way to launch an app is timing and research. I think it’s the best time to launch a train guide to serve better my fellow countrymen and the fact that  the growing need for info app focusing on public transportation is becoming a necessity.

Why is the CCTV feature NOT built-in on the app?

I’ve been getting the same question right before i’ve launched the app. It’s simply because it’s MRT’s property. I don’t like the idea of serving a feature and have to sneak on their system just to make that feature work. I respect the whole organization. But if ever they would offer an API access for third party developers, like me. I’ll be more willing to cooperate.

Are you seeking partnership?

Yes. Specially if the offer would really benefit the users. If you have a proposal, you can E-mail me instead.

Is Tren really FREE? How do you earn?

Tren will always be FREE to use. I’ll earn through Google’s Ads. I’ll use the money to buy me some coffee. Or a small meal when i’m hungry coding.

Why is iOS not supported from Day 1?

Technical stuff. But hopefully, i would launch an “Up-to-date” version of the app at the end of the year.

That’s it! I hope you liked reading this behind the scene post. I’d like to thank a good friend Bea Fel, My mom, My Uncle and all of my friends who helped and supported my app. I appreciate all of your efforts! You guys are awesome!

Introducing Tren: Your guide to manila transit

What was your first train trip felt like?

We all have this first train trip experience. I bet before your first trip was all excitement and expectations. Everyone does. But it all goes down to the frequently asked questions before that awesome experience. And possibly, you may have asked these questions yourself:

What are the next few stations before we reach our destination?

How much would a single journey ticket cost?

I’ve been riding different train stations everyday for the last 5 years and i’m still asking some of those questions. Not until, i made Tren.

I’m a commuter myself. I love riding the train! And i want an app that would help me with my ride. I want instant answers when i needed the most. So that’s the main reason i started tren in the first place.

What can Tren do for me?

Tren was created for commuters like YOU and ME. It was crafted to answer quickly. We don’t usually ask train questions, but when the time we needed to. That’s when we needed the answers FAST.

From the planning stage, i want tren to…

  • List the stations on a certain train line (LRT 1 & 2, MRT 3 and PNR)
  • List the daily operation schedule of each train line
  • Solve the train metric fare for you
  • Some train reminders
  • …and contact information from every train line you ride.

And i’ve also included a link from the official CCTV  of MRT-3, so you can take a peak at the current condition of a station before you take a ride. Pretty sweat, right? :)

And most of all, this app is FREE. Free to use, feel free to love. Share the good news to your friends and family who are also commuting via train!

What’s next for Tren?

Tren doesn’t stop at this version. It’s a continuous work. I’ve made a solid roadmap for the app and looking forward for the right steps ahead. But for now, you can always count on tren. :)

TREN is available for download at these platforms:

Tren for Android

Tren for Windows Phone 8

Tren for Firefox Marketplace

Tren for iOS is currently in the works and will be released soon.

If you liked it, don’t forget to rate it. If you need technical support or if you want to suggest a feature, kindly email us at: thetrenapp[at]gmail[dot]com.

Attend the Firefox Automation Training Days online!

If you’re interested in testing software and writing code to test code on Firefox, the Mozilla QA Team is organizing a two day online automations training! For FREE!

All you need is a stable internet connection, a browser (Well, don’t be shy to use Firefox!) to attend the training.

You can check out the Public Etherpad for useful resources online, join the video conference on Vidyo, and join the others on IRC (If you don’t know how to install IRC, you can check it out how here) #automation channel.

This is an awesome opportunity if you want to contribute to Mozilla. Help test software, report bugs and make Firefox more awesome!

See you at the Automations training!

Should you stop building on web and just build on mobile?

I recently came across a quote from a friend:

Stop building on web, start building on mobile.

If you’re a big fan of the web,  it could rage spark. But if you think deeply, and analyze the quote and the current situation of the web. The ‘web’ and ‘mobile’ is actually asynchronous. If mobile will evolve, so is the web.

Remember the Symbian phones?

Forget about Smartphones! Let’s go back to the days where Nokia rules the world. I can remember that i have been using a web browser to download Java games from a telco website.

As far as i remember, the website that i have been browsing on is not the same site that you will stumble upon these days using a smartphone. It’s responsive. It’s finger friendly. And it’s expensive because back then, there is no such thing as “unlimited” internet. It’s all KB charge, baby!

It’s the iPhone that changed the web

When the first iPhone was launched, it promised to carry a full blown browser on your fingertips. Steve Jobs once said that developers doesn’t need an SDK to build apps on the iPhone. Just use Safari, and you’re good to go.

But things got different when Apple introduced the App Store. And i believe that the unified application store is the only reason why the platform took off.

The web back then has no offline support

Back when the web was young and ‘unlimited’ internet was a dream, users wanted to use apps offline. The iPhone offers safari and developers then can build web apps. But developers aren’t happy. Users aren’t also happy. So Apple took the opportunity to revive the old symbian way on using your app. Get it from an ‘application platform’ and use it offline.

But things are different now.

Firefox OS is here.

Firefox OS is a great example of Web and Mobile working together in harmony. It’s not a dream, nor a beta project. But it’s a real open product. It exist. It’s a living proof that the Web is dead.

In fact, Firefox OS offers an Application Marketplace that is available on both Firefox OS and Firefox for Android, you are not tied to one platform. Firefox OS also offers offline capabilities for your apps. WebGL is also an interesting technology that works on Firefox OS when making advanced graphics. Firefox OS also offers cross platform notification that works on all platform.

And if you really want to monetize your ‘web app’ you can simply use Apache Cordova to port it to other platforms.

The web is matured and it keeps getting better

The web is accessible for all. It keeps getting better and better. It’s an open platform that everyone can dive in and contribute.

Instead of choosing and comparing Apple and Oranges, wouldn’t be nice if we just use the right tools for the right job?

Everything: Mobile