A note for Android developers

Hi, my name is Arbet, and I own an HTC Magic, which I got from my mobile service provider here in the Philippines. As you may be aware of, the Philippines is not part of the initial Android Market rollout, and we don’t have access to Android Market. As such, if you are only going to release your apps via Android Market, we Filipinos cannot install and use your apps.

Take a page from Fring. When Fring released its Android app, I was excited because I like the product/service, but was disappointed because they released it via Android Market. I sent them a message via Twitter, and they gave me a direct download link. Now I use Fring for IM in my Android phone.

Please, a direct download URL would do wonders for us. That’s all I ask for. Thank you.

Originally posted here. I was trying out Foursquare and Gowalla and both claim they have an Android app. I was frustrated because they only distribute their apps via Android Market. I had to scour the Internet for APKs (these are Android app installers); I found one for Foursquare at their Google Code page (good for them), and a static link for a beta of the Gowalla app. While the Foursquare app works, the Gowalla one does not. So if you notice my Twitter account, you can see me Foursquare checkins, but not Gowalla.

If you want your service to succeed, you would want as many people as possible to use your service. Limiting access to your app through a single source that in turn is limited to certain areas won’t help your service.

And that is why I am ready to ditch my iPod touch. But that is a different story.


GMail Custom Time!

When I opened my GMail today, I saw this at the top of the page:

With curiousity piqued, I clicked on the link, and I was directed to this page:

Now, your replies will never be late! To set custom time, click “Set custom time” from the Compose view. If you manage to find it, that is.

Useful or not?


LTO Web site hacked

The Web site of the Land Transportation Office of the Philippines has been hacked. Here is a screen shot of the hacked site:

(Click on image to view full size.)

The page also displays YOUR IP address.

Based on the page, the defacement was done by a Turkish hacker.

(Thanks, Shari, for the tip!)


Random links of interest, 3

Ok, links that might interest you:

* Pioneer is testing a new television service, wherein a user can download from any channel for a fee. The service will also be made available to yet-to-be-announced portable devices. Yeah, Pioneer is targeting cable providers and Apple.
* Well, what do you know? Asus eee PC is turning out to be a diamond in the rough (well, maybe not). If you have an Asus eee PC, you might want to install Mac OSX Leopard, for the sheer, geeky fun out of it. Now if only the price in the Philippines is not as ridiculous as it is now.
* Want free MP3s? Want to listen to relatively-unknown artists? Head over to RCRD LBL!


PayPal intros Secure Card

PayPal introduces another service that aims to solve several problems at one stroke.

Called Secure Card, it is a browser plugin that allows a PayPal user to pay for an item from a Web site that does not accept PayPal. It also helps in filling up payment forms. It also has anti-fraud features to warn users if they are browsing known fraudulent sites.

Probably the most important feature is the Secure Card. Secure Card allows PayPal users and potential PayPal users who don’t own a credit card to make orders online. Using the plugin, a random Mastercard credit card number will be generated, which can be used for that transaction. You will be also prompted by the plugin to Autofill forms at appropriate places, making the checkout experience faster than the usual.

The plugin works for Windows users with Internet Explorer or Firefox installed.

Here are some screenshots of the PayPal plugin at work.

After installation, this screen appears. The plugin icon appears at the address bar.

You are then prompted to select an image for security purposes, just like Yahoo’s anti-phishing mechanism. You can’t use your own photo, though.

You are asked for your PayPal login credentials.

Here is the drop-down menu when the plugin icon is clicked.

When the plugin detects that you are about to enter shipping details, it asks if you want the plugin to autofill the form.