Thursday, 23 December 2010

Time For A Break

It’s almost time for me to hang up my mouse and keyboard and set my ‘out of office’ reply on, but before I do, I will let you know of a few updates to expect over the holidays.

For WiFi File Explorer, expect to see the following updates:
  • Swedish version;
  • French version;
  • Improved use of Proguard to obfuscate the code and trim down the app size.

And for SECuRET applications and GroovyCam, you should see updates that include:
  • A couple of bug fixes to the camera preview validation;
  • Improved use of Proguard to obfuscate the code and trim down the app size;
  • A bit of a polish to the UI;
  • Full resolution still photos;
  • Lots of little bug fixes.
In fact, the SECuRET applications are feeling more stable than ever ... famous last words!!

So I won’t be doing any development over the holidays, just testing these releases and then making the updates at some point, in between gorging on chocolate and recovering from hangovers ;)

I’d also like to think that I will take a much deserved break from answering emails at all hours of the day, but knowing me I will still find time to answer them at some point (much to the annoyance of my girlfriend).

Enjoy your break (if you get one) and I hope you enjoy celebrating in whichever way you choose. I’ll be back adding new features to my applications in the new year – I have huge ‘to-do’ lists, so keep an eye out for update notifications on your Android device.

... And if you want to give me a gift, 5 star ratings and good comments are always welcome :)

So What Do You Use The SECuRET Camera Applications For?

It’s getting close to a year since I released the first of the SECuRET applications; SECuRET SpyCam. In that time I have had quite a few emails from users describing what they use the various SECuRET applications for – ranging from the conventional to the utterly bizarre!

The SECuRET applications are all based on technology that was originally developed for webcams with the intention of being applied to security solutions. As it was all written in Java, it seemed like a good opportunity to port the code to Android in an attempt to get the product ‘out there’. The code for SECuRET fell neatly into 3 products; SpyCam (motion triggered camera application), LiveStream (a wifi-streaming camera appication) and one that could only be done on a phone, RemoteControl (camera application controlled by SMS). Essentially, all 3 SECuRET applications are cameras that allow you to observe, record and monitor events without having to be in direct physical control of the camera.

Now, although the original concept was as ‘security-type’ applications, it was very clear to me at an early stage of development that as it was going to be running on a phone, there could be many more uses ... some that could genuinely help people and some that are just downright mischievous!

So, what are some of the uses I have come across so far? Myself, the most bizarre thing I have used SECuRET LiveStream for is to spy on our guinea pigs when we first got them. One of them was getting bullied (poor old Cecil, centre in the photo above), but every time we tried to get close to them to watch and find out who was responsible, they would scatter back into their huts. So we set up the phone running SECuRET LiveStream and pointed it at the hutch and left the room. We then used the laptop to view the stream from the phone and could see clearly which guinea pig was bullying Cecil – it was Huxley (right in the photo above)!!  There's no way it could have been long-haired Desmond (left in the photo above) - he's far too cool to be a bully ;)

Some of the others I have heard of are:
  • Spying on the squirrels in the attic;
  • Monitoring sheds on a farm;
  • Monitoring a car – and it actually caught someone trying to break in!
  • Security camera for a house – and again, it caught someone coming in the front window!
  • Spying on brothers/sisters;
  • Keeping an eye on misbehaving children;
  • Baby monitor;
  • Help detect deers when out hunting – not sure I designed it with that in mind!
  • And my absolute favourite ... ghost hunting!!!
There are plenty more, but those are just a few of my favourites and the most commons usages. I am very proud that it has actually managed to aid crime prevention in a couple of cases, but I am not so sure I am proud of some of its other uses – I am all up for being mischievous, but there is a limit ;)

So what do you use the SECuRET camera applications for? Please feel free to write about it in the comments section ...

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Motorola Droid X Not Playing Nicely With Camera Applications

It has come to my attention in the past few weeks that the Droid X isn’t exactly reliable when it comes to using its camera; hence it affects my camera applications – the SECuRET applications and GroovyCam Livestream. Various commenters on the Market have left the obligatory negative comment as they tend to do, but also I have had some helpful users contact me via email to try and nail the problem down. Not having a Droid X myself (I only have a Nexus One and an HTC Magic ... with a Nexus S on the way – very excited!) it is difficult for me to debug and test my camera applications on the device, but I have found some interesting information nonetheless...

The main point to make to any Motorola Droid X users reading this is ... it isn’t my fault! You can find plenty of stuff on the web regarding “Droid X camera problems” – it even seems to effect the native Camera and Camcorder applications. The main symptom seems to be the phone randomly resetting itself when using the camera hardware. As I said previously, it seems to affect all ‘camera-type’ applications, even the native ones, and so it is believed that there is actually a deep-rooted issue with the actual camera hardware/software/drivers in the Droid X itself.

Now one of the reported ‘fixes’ for this is to not run any ‘media-type’ applications in the background whilst you try to run a ‘camera-type’ application. The 2 ‘media-type’ applications that are commonly mentioned are Pandora and Music. Again, I can’t verify this myself, but some of my helpful testers have confirmed this indeed stops (or at least reduces) the random resets. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed I have recently added a warning message to the SECuRET and GroovyCam applications that appears when you press ‘Start’ that says exactly what I have said in this paragraph ... so you have been adequately warned – so no more 1 star ratings and comments of “Doesn’t work on Droid X – Uninstalling!” – deal? Good, thanks!

It does work on the Droid X, it’s just the Droid X’s camera doesn’t work properly! :P

I have also added some new code and tweaked some old code that handles errors from the camera in a more efficient way, as well as interrogating the camera before it’s used to make sure everything is valid. Yet again, I can’t verify this myself, but some of my helpful testers have actually said that they no longer see the random resets at all. Personally, I think that is just a happy coincidence because some users are still getting the problem ... but it’s nice to think I may now be handling any errors from the camera well enough to prevent random resets.

So hopefully this post explains what is going on with the Droid X and I can point any emailers here from now on to answer their questions. Also, it may help you to appreciate just how difficult it is to write camera applications for Android – every new device seems to have some little quirk or strange behaviours that means my code needs to change regularly to ensure compatibility with as many devices as possible.

I think I have done quite well to make my camera applications as widely compatible as they are, considering I only have a pair of HTC devices to my name! ;)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

SECuRET Updates Coming Soon

Seems like a while since I posted anything exciting about the SECuRET range of applications (installing to SD and 'torch mode' don't really count ;) ).

So what have I been working on that you will see in the forthcoming updates?

First of all, in the next set of updates I have made a few 'security' tweaks, as described below:

1)  The BACK button is now disabled when the touch screen is locked on the main camera screen, making it harder for people to get into your phone;
2)  There are some new 'Show Password' check-boxes to allow you to see what you are typing when inputting passwords into the Settings menus. 
3)  The application no longer appears in the 'recent apps' list that you get when long-pressing the home button - so no-one knows you were ever recording them ;)

Following on from that, I am currently developing and testing higher resolution modes for both still photos and video.  I have had both working on my Nexus One without too many issues, so it is looking promising that you'll see these very soon.  I am particularly happy with the higher resolution video recording as this is something people have been asking for since I started these applications ... (it will only be available on Android 2.2 devices and above though).  In a world where no-one is satisfied unless it is 'HD', hopefully this will shift a few more copies ;)

I think as a by-product of using different resolution settings for video recording, it may well of fixed the issue on some Droid X handsets whereby the phone will reset when video recording starts.  I can't confirm this yet as I don't have a Droid X, but if anyone is interested in testing it for me, then let me know (

And finally, another problem that has plagued a handful of users is that when video recording starts, you hear the shutter sound regardless of the 'Shutter Volume' setting.  This can be got around on most phones by putting your phone into 'Silent Mode' in the system settings, but I have now added a 'Put Device in Silent Mode' setting in the SECuRET applications.  Again, I can't confirm this is fixed yet as my phone never had this issue, but anyone who does have the issue, let me know and we'll get you to test the new setting.  Also, by putting the phone in silent mode whenever the SECuRET applications are running, it means the phone stays more discreet whilst it is hidden away, just in case any alarms or ringtones decide to go off!

So a nice set of updates and features coming your way very soon indeed.  And please remember to show some love in the comments section on the Android Market ... the SECuRET SpyCam DEMO could definitely do with a few decent ratings going its way, so take the time to bless it with a 5 star rating - thanks :)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Celebrate Good Times, C'mon!

Yesterday was a gigantic landmark in my Android development journey so far – I passed the mark of 10,000 applications sold, in total! It is also roughly a year since I released my first application, Mate Rater ... when I released Mate Rater a year ago, I’d never have imagined that I’d be able to convince over 10,000 people to part with their cash to buy my applications!

I also passed the mark of 1,000,000 downloads in total in the past couple of months. I was pretty chuffed to reach this landmark as well, although seeing as many of my applications are free, I didn’t feel it was worth celebrating ... it isn’t exactly hard to convince someone to download a free app (although it may be hard to get them to rate it within the context of it being free ;) ).

Firstly, a massive, huge, gigantic thanks to all the people that have helped me over this first year (you know who you are) and have aided me in reaching these landmarks – all the testers, the “feedback-givers”, the translators, the “word-spreaders”, the reviewers, the bloggers, the Facebook fans, the Twitterers ... hey, even the idiots that gave my applications low ratings for stupid reasons – it drove me to make my applications better. Many of you have given your time and energy for free and have made massive contributions to the success of my applications – it’s great to see just how many people out there are willing to help; I think the Android platform has a great future ahead of it mainly because of the enthusiastic users and their desire to push things forward.

So what about the year ahead and beyond?

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

WiFi File Explorer In Translation

Due to the kindness of some very helpful volunteers, WiFi File Explorer is being translated to support some new languages.  It has been translated into Spanish already by the author of the blog, Actualidad Android, and there will be an update coming your way this weekend.  As I write, it is also being translated in Portuguese by a member of the rapidly growing Facebook page.  I am also awaiting a translation into French from a user that offered his services via email, so hopefully that will come to fruition soon as well.

So if anyone else out there has the ability to provide a translation for WiFi File Explorer, then please get in contact with me.  I am looking for volunteers to start with, as there isn't a whole lot of text to translate in this application, but if it is successful I will be offering those translators the opportunity to receive payment to translate my other applications, namely the SECuRET range (there's a lot more to translate in those ones).

I am not too sure how much to pay yet for the translation of the SECuRET applications, as it depends on how much the translation of WiFi File Explorer effects sales.  It won't be huge amounts of cash, but enough to make it worthwhile ... what I can say is that it will be a one off payment for the initial translation, and then smaller payments for each subsequent translation when new text is added to the applications. I am happy to negotiate with you :)

So email me at and volunteer your services to translate WiFi File Explorer ... if is is successful you may just get yourself a job ;)

Update: German translation has now been undertaken by another helpful user.

Update: Add to that Italian and Russian!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

WiFi File Explorer Is Currently HOT!

Update: Looks like it's got to number 3!

WiFi File Explorer (the FREE version) is sat at number 5 in the top 10 "Currently hot Android apps" on AppBrain ... considering the sheer number of applications available for Android at the moment (80,000+, I think), I am absolutely delighted that WiFi File Explorer has got to this position!!  I have definitely noticed an increase in sales since this has happened, so thank you to all the people that are raising awareness by downloading the FREE version ... and I hope you all consider getting the PAID version ;)

WiFi File Explorer is enjoying some good success at the moment, especially since the Android Market opened up paid applications to more countries, and I am hoping this exposure on AppBrain will lead to even further success.

Also, thanks to all the people that are joining up on the Facebook page as well; there is 64 people 'liking' it at the moment and I am sure it is helping to raise awareness of the application.  Spread the word!

And finally, "Create Directory" button coming this weekend :)

The dedicated page for WiFi File Explorer on AppBrain can be found here.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Install WiFi File Explorer, SECuRET And GroovyCam To SD Card

UPDATE 28/09/2010:  Sorry for the 2 releases in quick succession but my first attempt at allowing "Install to SD" was causing installation problems on a handful of devices (mainly rooted ones).  Please download the latest updates of WiFi File Explorer and SECuRET SpyCam if this was affecting you.

Due to popular demand, the next update to be released for WiFi File Explorer, all the SECuRET applications and GroovyCam LiveStream, is to allow them to be installed to the SD card on devices running Froyo (Android 2.2).

This will allow for more room on your phone memory and mean you can install more applications on your phone.

Admittedly not the most exciting update I have ever made, but still a mighty useful one and one that is in high demand judging by some recent user comments.

And don't worry, there are more exciting updates coming soon!  The next planned update for WiFi File Explorer is the 'Create Directory' button which a lot of you are looking forward to, and the next planned update for the SECuRET applications is to show thumbnails of the video captures in the Mini Gallery on the start page.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Torch Button Coming To SECuRET

You may be excused for thinking that this blog had become exclusively about WiFi File Explorer in recent weeks, but hey, don't worry SECuRET users ... I am still adding new features for all the SECuRET (and GroovyCam) applications as well!

I have just looked through my road map of feature updates for the range of SECuRET applications and there's enough new features on there to keep the updates coming for at least the next 12 months, but to start off with I'd like to introduce the Torch Button...

Now, the Torch Button is a button (enabled via 'Display Settings' in SECuRET on Android 2.0 and above) on the main camera screen that will switch the camera flash LED on or off (if you have an LED of course, duh!).  You may be wondering why on earth you want a great beaming stream of light coming from your phone when the whole idea behind the SECuRET applications is that they should be as discreet and subtle as possible in doing what they are doing ... namely, spying on people!  Admittedly, I wondered the same thing until a few users pointed out that they needed this feature to be able to spy on things other than people ... an animal isn't going to think, "Hey, that LED on that smartphone is a bit suspicious?!"

So, it may not be useful to you (at the very least, you are getting a FREE 'flashlight' application out of it, which will save you spending $0.99 on the Market), but it could be for other users ... remember, no-one is forcing you to use it, so don't do anything stupid like give it a 1 star review and a comment of "Stupid torch mode makes it easily detectable. Uninstalled." ;)

SECuRET SpyCam will be updated this weekend, and the other versions (including GroovyCam) will follow shortly there after.  In a future update, SECuRET LiveStream and GroovyCam LiveStream will also get a remote control button on the webpage to switch the LED on and off as well, which could be fun for winding people up ;)

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Lots And Lots Of Updates To WiFi File Explorer, Tonight

After my recent post (Upcoming Updates To WiFi File Explorer), I set about trying to cram as many in as possible for this latest update ... plus a few extras I thought of.

So tonight (UK time), I will be releasing the latest and greatest versions of WiFi File Explorer which will include all the following goodies:
  • Password support;
  • The ability to configure the port number;
  • 'Type' column to allow sorting by file extension;
  • Better sorting of the items in a directory, i.e. grouping directories and files;
  • Some 'nicer' CSS to make it more visually appealing, but still maintaining the simple-to-use interface;
  • And, finally ... [drum roll, please] ... a REAL progress bar for uploading!!!!
... and it's still only £0.69 and I am determined that it should never cost anymore than that!!

I've been testing all these features for a few days now - hopefully there's no bugs, but if you do find any please let me know via email  I still have plenty of new features to add and ideas I am toying with, so this is one of many regular updates you'll see in the near future.  The more popular WiFi File Explorer gets, the more time I can afford to spend on it, so hopefully it will keep getting better and better and better and better and ... you get the picture ;)

Speaking of which, there is a new link on the top right corner of the WiFi File Explorer web interface that gives you details and links on how to stay connected and updated with it, and how you can help to drive it forward.  I am also asking that users kindly click the Facebook 'Share' and Twitter 'Tweet' buttons to help raise awareness of this application ... I am really starting to believe this application has all the ingredients to be a success (simple, cheap, easy, functional, useful, etc.) and I just think that if people knew that it even existed that we could all drive WiFi File Explorer to the top of the charts.

So who's with me?  There's already 8 people 'Liking' the Facebook page ;)

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

WiFi File Explorer On Facebook!

Those of you that know my personally are aware that I am not the biggest fan of Facebook.  I won't go into all the reasons here, but let's just say that I find using it like being in a noisy pub where everyone is shouting at the top of their voice about their own private business.

Anyway, I am not here to rant, but rather to try and promote a new Facebook page I have just created for WiFi File Explorer (link here and also a box underneath the Pages box on the right hand side of this blog).  The idea is to spread the word about WiFi File Explorer and to keep users (and potential users) up-to-date on the latest developments and updates.  It's VERY sparse at the moment as I have literally just set it up, but I intend to keep it well lubricated with content.  So please help to get it going and pulsating with your involvement by writing on the wall and starting discussions about how much you all love WiFi File Explorer and what fantastic new ideas you guys have for me to implement ;)

So please take a look at it and click the Like button.  And if you know anyone else that has an Android phone that would benefit from having this application (and let's face it, everyone can benefit from WiFi File Explorer ;) ), then don't forget to share it with them and help me to get every Facebook user with an Android phone to download at least the free copy of WiFi File Explorer.

Oh, and by the way ... password protection is nearly finished and should be updated this weekend :)

Friday, 3 September 2010

Upcoming Updates To WiFi File Explorer

After the recent surge in sales of WiFi File Explorer PRO, I also received a surge in emails in parallel to that; some previously undiscovered bugs and some cool new ideas.  I have managed to make a few bug fixes and upgrades in the past couple of days, but before I explain them below, let me just explain something else first...

The idea behind WiFi File Explorer is one of beautiful simplicity - it's just a quick and easy way to transfer files and directories to and from your phone without the need for cables or removing SD cards.  I decided to keep everything simple and easy to use; no configuration needed, no buttons, easy to read instructions, clean interface and everything just works from the moment you start the application (apart from a couple of small bugs you guys found ;) ).  By having a nice, simple, plain HTML webpage (with a bit of Javascript) I can be sure it will be compatible with all browsers.  So by sticking to these principles of keeping everything simple, clean and efficient, we all have a very reliable application to use day in, day out.  It doesn't try and do anything else other than what it claims to and I think that by sticking to these core principles is what makes it appealing to most users - if things are useful, work easily and don't cost a lot, people will like them.  Simple!  It's also why I can offer it to you for the bargain price of £0.69 - literally a few pennies that could end up saving you a lot of bother when it comes to moving files around.

So because of this philosophy behind WiFi File Explorer, I am not going to go mad by adding too many bells and whistles ... but what I am going to do is add some new features that are simple and efficient, and will help to make it even more of a pleasure to use.  I'll list the bug fixes and new features after the jump:

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The Day Everybody Discovered WiFi File Explorer

So, on Tuesday 31/08/2010, like every other day of the week I logged into my Google Checkout account to see what sort of sales my various applications had achieved.  I expected the usual sort of figures for a Tuesday; about 30 or so orders in the last 24 hours, mainly comprised of SECuRET LiveStream and SpyCam, with a sprinkling of SECuRET RemoteControl and WiFi File Exlorer PRO.  Not hugely exciting numbers, but enough to make all this worthwhile.

Anyway, on this particular Tuesday there was a surprise awaiting me – there had been 10 new orders of WiFi File Explorer in the last 10 minutes!!  Pretty extraordinary based on the usual figures I see.  I assumed that a business owner had just bought a fleet of new Android handsets for his staff and had furnished them all with a copy of WiFi File Explorer PRO, seeing as it’s a pretty useful utility for moving files around.  I checked the addresses of the people ordering the application and they were for all over the world.  So it wasn’t that ... maybe it’s become a featured application on the Android Market?  Nope, not that either.  So I googled ‘WiFi File Explorer’ and there it was - someone had just made a post about it on Life Hacker! I read the post and was very happy with it (although as always I was amused at some of the, shall we say, less insightful comments) and then afterwards went back to my Google Checkout account to hit refresh again ... more orders were flooding in.  Hit refresh again ... more orders.  And more, and more ... sometimes up to 6 per minute!!  Again, these may be pretty normal figures for some developers, but seeing as I get maybe 70 orders in a 24 hour period on a really good day, this was truly exceptional – and all from 1 post on Life Hacker!

All in all, over the course of the 24 hours after the post on Life Hacker was made, WiFi File Explorer PRO clocked up 700+ new orders (to give you an idea, since it’s release in April, it had received just over 1000+ orders in total)!  Also, WiFi File Explorer PRO had jumped from complete obscurity in the ‘Top Paid’ section of the ‘Tools’ category, all the way into the top 25.

So what have I learned from all this that I can pass on to other developers or interested parties?  I’ll set it out in bullets after the jump:

Friday, 27 August 2010

GroovyCam LiveStream - Released!

GroovyCam LiveStream is available now to download from SlideMe and will be up on the Android Market in a few hours from now.

It's not an application that's meant to be taken seriously, it's just for a bit of fun and to muck around with the camera a bit ... so remember that when it comes to rating and commenting on it!

It's also worth noting that you are going to need a pretty decent processor and camera on your handset to be able to get the full effect, because there is quite a lot of work to get through to process each frame in real-time!  You are going to want to use in in well lit conditions as well, otherwise you won't be able to appreciate the effects.

This is the first release and so it could be buggy in places - let me know via email if you find any.  Thanks :)

Oh, and one last thing - I intend to add more effects and custom settings to this in the future and in time the price of the application will rise accordingly.  So get it now while it's at a very reasonable price - only £1.49!!

Here's me with a dose of radioactive poisoning ...

Thursday, 26 August 2010

SECuRET RemoteControl Review

Thanks to the guys at 2 Guys 1 Droid for making the following video and giving such a glowing review of SECuRET RemoteControl.  It is a bit of a confusing application for some, so hopefully this video will give some useful information on how to use it.

Link to the review

Sunday, 22 August 2010

WiFi. Not 3G. WiFi!

More and more people are leaving comments and negative ratings against SECuRET LiveStream on the Android Market because it only uses WiFi, and doesn't use 3G.  You'd have thought that by naming SECuRET LiveStream as 'Camera WiFi LiveStream' on the Android Market (a seemingly fruitless attempt to try and make clear what the application is), that they may have got the massive 'WiFi'-shaped clue in the title.  Just in case they missed it, here it is again ... 'WiFi' ... got it?

Anyway, I think I better explain why it doesn't use 3G just on the off chance that any of those reckless commenters actually decide to read this and not rate an application poorly for something it doesn't do (thought: I wonder if they also rate Google Maps poorly because it doesn't play videos, or leave an insightful comment about Google Translate lacking any kind of 3D graphics :P )...

The main reason that it doesn't use 3G is because SECuRET LiveStream turns your handset into a web server in order to stream the video; that's how you are able to view the SECuRET LiveStream web page that comes directly from your phone.  The video stream on the web page is just a series of JPEGs; the Java applet in the web page just keeps requesting JPEGs as quickly as possible from the phone's camera to make it look like video.  To do all these web-server-based-shenanigans, your phone needs an accessible and unique IP address which is only possible when it is connected to a WiFi network (most of the time, that is - some public or corporate WiFi networks may not allow you to serve from your phone), and not possible with a 3G connection (when using 3G your address is NAT'd - all phones share an IP address; it's like a massive LAN) ... and ta daaah ... there's the answer - no guaranteed accessible and unique IP address when connected to a 3G network :)  Also, you'll find most network providers frown upon people setting up what amounts to a web server on their network without permission.

It's not impossible to design an application like SECuRET Livetream which uses 3G; you would just push the stream of JPEGs to an intermediary web server somewhere, and then connect to that to pull the JPEGs back to a web page ... I'd imagine this would be petty slow though and would surely use a huge chunk of your monthly data allowance if you were to use it for any prolonged period of time - peer-to-peer using WiFi is the quickest, cheapest and most efficient way to implement the application I set out to create and that thousands of people enjoy using.  Plus, I don't want to maintain an intermediary web server in my spare time.

So, there you go - SECuRET LiveStream a.k.a. Camera WiFi LiveStream has never claimed to, and doesn't use, 3G ... and is very proud to admit that fact :P

GroovyCam LiveStream ... Sample Pics!

It's almost finished and ready to go on the Market.  I had some trouble getting it to perform on less powerful devices, namely my HTC Magic (myTouch), and as such it is only going to work on the more powerful Android devices due to the amout of processing it requires.  If anyone is interested in testing a pre-beta version, then email and I'll get something to you to try out.

Outside my office window


My cramped working conditions ... yes, that is a lava lamp!

My Soundboards

I'm back from my short break (which included a VIP day at Anfield to watch Liverpool vs Arsenal - best day EVER!) and on returning I thought now was a good time to address all my various soundboards currently available on the Android Market.

First, let me start by thanking the thousands (almost a million) of you that have downloaded and used the soundboards - I never expected them to be that popular and from some of the great comments and emails I have received since their release, I can see that some of the sounds have bought back fond memories and emotions.  Thank you.

Secondly, I think I have a fix for the random resetting of some phones that occurs after setting a ringtone from one of my soundboards.  A couple of people have tested it out and confirmed it works for them, but with so many handset available now, I am not going to make any statements saying that it has definitely fixed the problem on all handsets with all their combinations of ringtone apps, hacks and mods.  I will be making the update to all my soundboards very soon and you'll see the updates appearing over the next few weeks.

And finally, that's it for my soundboards ... they will remain on the Android Market, but I will no longer be supporting them.  There's not much more I can do to them and I am being kept very busy with other projects.  It's got to a point where my time is better spent elsewhere and I can't really justify spending any more time trying to support 30+ FREE soundboards.

... Oh, and just one last little thing ... *RANT ALERT* ... I think that all those angry and confused people that have nothing better to do with their time than to direct negative and abusive comments towards a developer who has spent many hours working in his spare time to produce FREE soundboards deserve an honourable mention - well done to all of them and I hope it made them feel big and worthwhile - it certainly kept me entertained to discover the hatred some people can feel towards a couple of MBs of sounds that no-one forced them to download (did I mention the soundboards are F-R-E-E?)

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Got A Question, Idea, Request Or Bug?

Inevitably, there will be lot's of you guys wanting to get in conatct with me to ask questions, tell me about an idea you have, make a request for something or, god forbid, report a bug!

I love hearing from all my users (particularly the ones that are using the paid versions - you're my favourites ;) ) and I always go out of my way to provide support and help.  I also like hearing your great ideas about possible new features for my applications; so much of the SECuRET range is based on user feedback and ideas - some stuff I would never have dreamed up myself.

So where am I going with all this? ... (the clue is in the picture) ...

PLEASE, please, please EMAIL ME (pauldyble82@gmail.comwith details on your ideas, requests and bug reports ... questions as well, but always check the FAQs first!

And, NEVER, never, never leave a question or a bug report in any comments section, either on the Android Market or this Blog.  There is no direct way for me to contact you via a comment and it leaves me frustraed at not being able to reply, and you annoyed at getting no reply or not getting your bug fixed.

So talk directly with me (I promise I won't bite :P) and let's work in perfect harmony to make some great applications and not fall foul of trying to communicate via useless comment sections.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Groovy, Man!

With the help of my father, Andy, we have put together (well, it's mainly his work really!) a new camera application, GroovyCam LiveStream, that is very close to being finished.

It's based on the code for SECuRET LiveStream and use the same concept, i.e. streaming a live feed from the phone camera to a web browser using WiFi.  However, where GroovyCam LiveStream is different is the psychedelic and trippy effects that it can embellish on the feed from you phone camera ... I think it's pretty cool!  It allows you to save captures directly from the phone or via a remote control on the web page in the browser.

I won't give any example images just yet; I'll let you have fun yourselves finding out what sort of images you can produce when it is released (but the image above is a good hint!).

GroovyCam LiveStream will be available as a free demo and a full paid version sometime in the next couple of weeks (depending on how much free time I have to work on it ;) ).

Friday, 9 July 2010

Twitter ... Automatic Uploads Via SECuRET SpyCam

I'll be publishing an update in the next few hours that allows SECuRET SpyCam to automatically upload the motion captured still photos (but not videos) it takes directly to Twitter!

Just go to Settings and then Twitter Settings, check the box, enter your Twitter credentials and select your gateway of choice to make the uploads to.  Easy as that!  Then every time SECuRET SpyCam captures a motion it will upload the picture to Twitter immediately.

I know that some users may think this is pretty daft and that they'd rather keep all their pictures private and hidden, but for people using SECuRET SpyCam to play pranks or just to muck around and want to immediately see what is being captured, this provides a good option... So go on, start using it and let's see what everyone is taking snaps of ;)

Oh, and it's quite possible some bugs may arise out of this as I have only manged to test it on a Nexus One and an HTC Magic, so if you spot any then please let me know via email.

Friday, 25 June 2010

WiFi File Explorer Updates Coming Soon

I've been focusing most development effort on the SECuRET applications in recent weeks, but I haven't forgotten about good ol' WiFi File Explorer.  In fact, it's actually the most used application on my phone by far ... it makes transferring development versions of SECuRET from my development PC to my phone so much easier!  Not to mention it's best use; sharing MP3s around - 'sharing' across my various devices of course ;)

Anyway, there's a couple of updates coming very soon that are based on user feedback, and so hopefully will please you guys.  I have added:
  • ZIP support which means you can now upload and download entire directories;
  • And a new function to scan an uploaded file into the appropriate media library when it is uploaded; so pictures will instantly appear in your Gallery and MP3s will instantly appear in your Music application.
Both these new pieces of functionality are only available in the PRO version of WiFi File explorer, so if you want them you will have to part with £0.69 ~ $0.99.  As always, let me know of any bugs via email and not via the comments section of the applications.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Time To Buy!

In order to celebrate reaching 3,000 sales combined from the SECuRET range of applications and WiFi File Explorer PRO, I have decided to reduce the price of SECuRET SpyCam and SECuRET LiveStream for a limited time.

So, until 30th June 2010, SECuRET SpyCam will be priced at £2.99 and SECuRET LiveStream will be priced at £1.99.

There's lot of development work going on with SECuRET at the moment, and as such the regular prices may increase in the near future ... I'd recommend you buy now and get all the cool new stuff that's coming soon for free in the updates instead of waiting and paying a higher price!

Generous, aren't I? ;)

Password Protection Fixed In SECuRET!

After the update a couple of weeks back that introduced password protection into SECuRET, a few users managed to find ways to bypass it and unlock the application; pressing the power button and opening the keyboard in particular.  You'll be glad to know that I have now released the updates that fix these issues!

Now, in my defence, I don't have an Android device with a keyboard, so I would never have found that one ... but I should probably have found the power button one - I'll try and test my updates more thoroughly from now on ;)

However, I can't possibly find all the bugs myself, mainly down to the fact that I will never own every type of Android device to test on.  So as always, I rely on you guys to email me with your bug reports and then help me to remotely debug until we fix the bug together.

So why not next time you find a bug, be brave and email me with the details and let's fix it together?  Please please please, don't do what some users do and leave a comment on the Market  - I have absolutely no way of responding to comments and I will never be able to address the bug or issue.  And if we do get it fixed, you may even get a mention in the 'Thank you' section of the application (what an honour!).

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Photo Resolution Settings & Password Protection Coming Soon

I am now back from my holiday and ready to start giving you some more updates ... and these should prove popular to most of you!

Since SECuRET SpyCam was first released in beta, a lot of users have been asking for an increase in resolution and password protection ... and finally I have got round to implementing both.  It's not the native resolution and it's not the standard locking mechanism (see here and here), but it's certainly an improvement over what is currently available.

Photo resolution settings will be available in SECuRET SpyCam and SECuRET RemoteControl, password protection will be available in all SECuRET applications.  The updates will be available during the course of the next few weeks so keep an eye out.

Oh, and there will also be fixes for the bug in SECuRET RemoteControl and SECuRET LiveStream that prevents video recording from working ... and because the 'user is always right' I have lifted some of the more pointless restrictions in the demo versions, although the time limit obviously remains.

As always, let me know of any bugs before you resort to leaving a bad rating; I will fix them :)

Update: I am aware of the bug on the Motorola Droid when using the 'screen size' photo resolution.  I have made a fix and have had it confirmed working and am just in the process of tidying it up (along with some other updates to try and make it perform better when using a higher resolution).

Thursday, 20 May 2010

SECuRET SpyCam Video Recording Broken After Update To Android 2.1

I have had a couple of reports that after updating to Android 2.1, SECuRET SpyCam has failed to successfully start the video recording on motion triggers.  I have no idea what is causing this and it's not something I can easily reproduce myself.

However, the work around seems to be pretty simple; uninstall and then reinstall SECuRET SpyCam.  Easy huh?

I have so far had no reports of similar effects for SECuRET LiveStream or SECuRET RemoteControl.  A lot of the code base is shared between the 3 applications so they may suffer the same symptoms, but then neither uses video recording like SECuRET SpyCam, so they may not.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Hey There, Good Looking

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that the various screenshots and icons scattered around on this blog are not the same as what your versions of SECuRET currently have.  Well, that's because I have been beavering away by tweaking the UI and trying to apply some polish to enhance the cosmetic appearance of SECuRET.  No major changes to layout if I'm honest, just a bit of 'makeup'.

A few gradients here, a bit of shine there, a cheeky drop-shadow and a more consistent colour scheme ... I think it looks the business, but my girlfriend didn't even notice the difference!  Oh, apart from the new icons ... she preferred the old ones :(

I'll be releasing the whole range of new look-and-feel SECuRET applications over the next couple of days, so make sure you check the Android Market (or SlideMe) for update notifications.  Feel free to give me feedback, if you notice any difference of course!

Climbing The Charts

I monitor user feedback and positioning of all my applications regularly via the Android Market application on my phone, but I rarely check out the Android Market website.  That was until I read this article and decided to take another look at the website.

I was delighted to see that both SECuRET SpyCam and SECuRET LiveStream had made it into the Top Paid section for their category of Multimedia.  I also discovered that the demo versions for both those applications had made it into the Top Free section for their category of Demo.

Monday, 17 May 2010

FAQs Section Added

So, I reached a point at which I had received enough questions on my applications to recognise what is being asked on a frequent basis.  Hence, the birth of the FAQs page.

Please visit here before you contact me ... but don't worry, if you do have a question that isn't answered here, I am more than willing to help and support you via email.

I would say "there's no question too dumb", but that isn't necessarily true :P

Thursday, 13 May 2010

SECuRET Webcam Help

Since releasing SECuRET SpyCam I have had lots of emails from users asking how to configure their webcams and I would always give a standard response of advising them to try and find some webcam software that suits them and that I had nothing to recommend ... well, that has changed now as I have found some brilliant free software that works perfectly together with SECuRET SpyCam.  It's called Yawcam and you can find out how to configure it here.

I have also added a link in the 'Pages' section, SECuRET Webcam Help.

First Post ... "Welcome!!"

This is a place for users of my Android applications (SECuRET, WiFi File Explorer, etc.) to get information and instructions as well as news on updates and forthcoming developments.  Also, please give me feedback and ideas for new features; lots of the features you already see in my applications are based on user feedback and requests ... so don't be afraid to ask, because if it's possible (and I find the time), you may just see your idea in one of my applications ;)