Monday, 12 November 2018

WiFi File Explorer Port Number Change for Amazon Version

Anyone that uses a Kindle Fire and recently had a Fire OS update may have noticed that after applying the system update and then trying to use WiFi File Explorer, the app got stuck on 'Starting...' and never got itself going.

The reason for this is that WiFi File Explorer uses port 8000 to serve on, which is generally unused on most Android devices. However, it appears that Amazon has chosen that same port 8000 for another service on the Fire OS since the last update, and so when WiFi File Explorer tries to use it, it is unable to and so fails to start properly.

By the time you read this there should be a new update available to WiFi File Explorer which changes the default port number to 8001 (which is unused) and so allows the app to operate correctly again.  You can also go into the app settings and configure this number yourself if you are having troubles before you get the update.

This applies to the Amazon version of WiFi File Explorer; so even if you don't have a Kindle Fire, but you downloaded the app onto your Android device from Amazon, then this port number change to 8001 will affect you as well next time you go to use the app.

So just remember: if you downloaded WiFi File Explorer from Amazon, then next time you go to type in the web address to use the app in a web browser, double check that you are typing in the correct address - it should now end with 8001.

Friday, 23 December 2016

SECuRET is Back!

It's been a while, but SECuRET is back and available to download on the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore!

This is an improved version called SECuRET ProCam and it combines the best features from the previous iterations of the three SECuRET applications into just one super-app.

SECuRET has always been a complex camera app that provides motion detection and live streaming functionality. It was initially developed in the early days of Android when phones and tablets were much less powerful than they are today meaning cramming everything into one app and have it perform well was nearly impossible. It was this that led the functionality to be spread across separate apps that all worked together to provide a genuine camera security solution.

However, we are now in a time when our Android devices are much more powerful than those early days and this is why we can offer all these features in just one app now - SECuRET ProCam. There are also some new features that have been added or have replaced older features that had stopped working:

  • This is the big one... you can now motion detect and live stream at the same time!
  • As well as Dropbox support, there is now support to sync your captures with Google Drive.
  • A refresh of the look-and-feel along with new app icons.
  • No more support for email or Twitter uploads as these have been replaced by the Dropbox/Drive functionality.
  • No more reliance on Java applet support in order to stream video to web browsers.
  • MJPEG support, so you can stream to other media players.
  • Performance improvements in live streaming and receiving.

Hopefully you'll enjoy these new features and appreciate having it all in just one application now. It should be simpler to use now and give you more for your investment. If you'd already downloaded the app previously known as SECuRET SpyCam, then this update will arrive free of charge as a regular update. If you only owned other versions of SECuRET then you will have to purchase this new version of SECuRET ProCam. And as before, there's a free demo version to try out that is time-limited, low resolution and black & white.

After taking a break from active development of my Android apps for a while, hopefully this update is well received and I can go on to add more features to SECuRET ProCam. I certainly have a long list of ideas that have been sent to me by the enthusiastic SECuRET users over the years!

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Drag-and-Drop File Uploads in WiFi File Explorer

You are now able to upload files via WiFi File Explorer by using drag-and-drop. The old upload box on the web user interface has been updated to display an area that allows you to drag-and-drop the files you want to upload, to make it quicker and more efficient to transfer files from your computer to your Android device.

So just drag the files from your computer onto the new area labelled "Drop Here" and your files will immediately upload. You can still use the "Select Files" button if you wish to navigate to your files in the more traditional way.

Aside from being a more convenient way of transferring files, another benefit of this update is that is no longer relies on Flash plugins to handle the upload; instead it uses HTML5 and JavaScript. This means that some older web browser may not support the drag-and-drop mechanism, so you should use the "Select Files" button instead... or get a better web browser! As Flash plugins become more and more obsolete, this update helps to future proof WiFi File Explorer as Flash will eventually become unsupported.

Let me know if you have any issues with the new drag-and-drop feature - it's a lot of new code, so there could be bugs I am yet to find through my own testing.

Also, there's a new tidied up and higher resolution icon, and a new font for the logo title, as you can see in the image above.

Friday, 5 June 2015

SD Card Write Access Returns to WiFi File Explorer

Long time users of WiFi File Explorer may remember back in the olden days where you could actually write to the SD card in your Android device - crazy stuff, huh? You'll also remember when Android 4.4 was released and ruined that blissful utopia, taking away SD card write access, meaning a lot of file operations in WiFi File Explorer (and other file-based apps) stopped working as they used to, like upload, delete, rename, etc.

Android 5.0 addresses this to a degree and once again allows SD card write access to third party apps, albeit in a rather convoluted way. The user must grant an app access to a particular area of storage using a folder chooser dialog which is presented via the Android OS. I'll take you through those steps in relation to WiFi File Explorer so that you can once again manage the SD card using the app. Remember though, this only applies to devices running Android 5.0+ and the latest version of WiFi File Explorer; it will not fix the issue on Android 4.4 devices.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Advanced Settings in SECuRET SpyCam

It's long overdue that I detailed exactly what some of the Advanced Settings in SECuRET SpyCam actually do.

They can appear quite cryptic, so hopefully these explanations will make sense and allow you to configure the app for your particular needs. One thing worth pointing out on that subject is that there is no one "perfect configuration"; every single scene is different, so you have to experiment with each setting to find the right balance for you.

All the settings can be found in the app under Settings > Advanced:

Detections For Trigger
This number represents the number of frames in a row that must contain motion in order for a motion trigger to be fired, and therefore perform a capture. So if you want to detect motion that is more pronounced, set this to a higher value so you can be sure some genuine and interesting motion occurred. For example, if you set this to 10 then each of 10 successive frames from the camera input must contain motion in order for a picture (or video) to be taken.

Processing Scale
Each frame from the camera contains lots of pixels to process, so it is wise to scale this down in order to speed up processing. So lowering this value makes the frame to be processed more pixelated (you can see this on the Mini-Preview within the app as the camera is running) and thus means less processing time/power. It also means the frame contains less information so you risk missing the more subtle motions in the scene (although this of course might be a good thing for your needs). So if you want to process faster and become less accurate, set this to a lower value.

How sensitive to motion the app is. Can't say more than that really!

Frame Delay
The gap between the frames that actually get processed. So rather than processing every available frame, only process the available frame every certain amount of milliseconds. Similar to Processing Scale, this means less processing time/power needed to run the app. Of course it also means that you can catch more prolonged motion to cause a trigger. For example, you could set this to be 1000ms and Detections For Trigger to be 10 which would mean only motion that has occurred for roughly 10 seconds (10 x 1000ms) would take a photo (or video).

This smooths out the current frame to be processed in order to reduce noise in the picture. It means slightly more processing time/power is required though, which is the trade off for using this setting.

So combine these settings to match the needs of your scene. However, there is no combination of settings that I know of that can ignore the motion of trees - the app can't distinguish between what type of object is actually moving, so there is no "Ignore Trees" setting I am afraid... all you can do is try adjusting these settings to try and lessen the amount of times moving trees to cause a trigger. A moving tree is motion after all!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

SECuRET LiveStream, BabyCam Monitor and Java Security Settings

Some users will likely be experiencing problems using both SECuRET LiveStream and BabyCam Monitor due to the latest security features of Java. Both SECuRET LiveStream and BabyCam Monitor use Java Applets running inside the web browser to provide the video and audio feeds directly from your Android device. When you try and access the web page served up from either app, you will now likely see this popup error message:

The problem is that the apps act like mini web servers running on your Android device, i.e. you aren't connecting to a remote web server on the internet, but rather a local web server on your Android device. Java does not recognise the location of your local web server and is presented with no certificate to verify it, and now that Java is more strict in the latest versions, it blocks the app from running.

The way around this is to add the web address given to you by either SECuRET LiveStream or BabyCam Monitor to a list of security exceptions in the Java Settings. This implies that you trust the source of the Java Applet as you know the source is a local web server on your Android device as part of either SECuRET LiveStream or BabyCam Monitor.

In Windows, the settings can be found by going to the Windows Control Panel > Java > Security tab and then add the web address given to you by either SECuRET LiveStream or BabyCam Monitor to the Exception Site List, e.g. something that looks like

You can also set the Java Security Level slider (on the same Security tab as the Exception Site List) down to medium and this should have the same effect, but may be less secure when browsing the regular internet.

Then you should be able to initialise either SECuRET LiveStream or BabyCam Monitor and have them work as expected.

Please let me know if you need more assistance or have any concerns with performing this workaround.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Emails Not Sending in SECuRET SpyCam: SMTP Errors

Common errors when trying to send automatic emails of your photo captures in SECuRET SpyCam are "SMTP error 535" or "SMTP error 534". You will receive notification of this error within the app via a popup message stating the "Capture could NOT be emailed!" along with the error details.

SMTP error 535 means your login credentials are incorrect, so please ensure you have entered the correct details into the app settings. The settings you must verify are in Settings > General > Photo Settings > Email, and then in the Login section please enter you full Gmail address and case sensitive password.

SMTP error 534 is supposed to mean the message is too big, however I have seen this fixed in two ways not relating to file size. First is to double check your login credentials as described above for SMTP error 535. The other is that you may have 2 factor authentication enabled on your Google Account and the protocol within the app used to send the email is not capable of handling that, hence you may need to disable it on your Google Account if you wish to use this functionality. You may find that is what also causes SMTP error 535 in some cases.

Essentially, if you receive either of these SMTP error messages, please double check you Gmail login credentials and ensure you are not using 2 factor authentication. If you receive any other SMTP errors, simply perform a Google search ("SMTP error nnn") for that particular error code.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

A Break From Active Development

After almost 4 years of developing my Android applications, I am now taking a break from active development of WiFi File Explorer, SECuRET & BabyCam. I'll still be making critical bug fixes as they arise as well as any other necessary maintenance with new Android releases and techniques, but I will not be implementing any new features or requests from users.

I still welcome ideas being sent to me and I keep a to-do list for when/if I do return to actively developing my applications. As more and more people request the same thing, features change in priority on that to-do list until it becomes immediately apparent what I should do next. So thanks for all your ideas that I still frequently receive and they all get duly noted, but as I alluded to, there is no guarantee as to when/if that feature will get implemented.

After spending all that free time developing my applications over the last 4 years, it is now the right time to take a step back, reflect on what I have achieved and enjoy the fruits of my labour. Hopefully I will return to those applications in due time, but for now I am happy concentrating on other projects and spending more time with family and friends!