Google Services Is How “The West Was Won”

So, Android has 80% of the Smartphone market, but Google is shooting for 100% of the Mobile Market. Google is taking over the iPhone and making a uber play against Samsung to stop any thoughts of Samsung becoming the next Apple. Nook, Kindle and BlackBerry are Android devices leaving Microsoft as the only outlier. In fact Microsoft has launched an anti-Google Services campaign. Kindle is basically Android without Google Services.

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By using “Google Services” Google is unifying the “Mobile Experience” and it’s not only eliminating the “Android Fragmentation” issue but it’s also looking into obliterating the iOS vs. Android war. For now on, “It’s Google baby”. Yes,  check out Google Services on your iPhone.

PDF and Buzztouch

How to display PDF non-working BTv1.5 (Android) PDF Screen

Possible Solutions:
Convert to HTML

Link via URL

Edit your PDF

Using Acrobat Pro: open the  PDF. Go to Document > Reduce file size

How to email/SMS a PDF Doc from Buzztouch apps:

The email button in the bottom toolbar of buzztouch will use the viewed document as the attachment. I don’t think you can use the built-in function at buzztouch to show one page, and email a different one.

Yes, you can by
create a Right Nav Bar button and link to a share screen and place link to pdf file.
User sees HTML doc (BT Android PDF screen doesn’t work)
but emails link to pdf posted online (website or Dropbox).

Problem: PDF file load time (local, not downloaded) iOS

I’ve got several PDFs in my latest app that are all around 440kb in size. I have them loaded in xCode to be included in the build, and in the xCode simulator, I get the pinwheel for about 1.5 seconds (not bad). This is regardless of if I’ve click on it before (not caching?). I can click on a PDF, go back and click it again, and it still has the delay. The real problem is when I load it on a real device. The pinwheel (load time) is a LOT longer.

Is this normal behavior? is 440kb that big of a task for the iphone to load? or is it inherent to PDFs?

Kinda both things. UIWebViews in iOS are notoriously slow when loading largish files. The trouble with PDF (and any other binary data) is that the UIWebView does not load it progressively like it can and does with HTML. This means it must load it all into memory, then display it. I don’t know of any work-arounds for this short of creating a cool custom view to show a little dancing monkey on top of the pdf while it’s loading. This cold be entertaining enough to help you forget about the slow load.

Its actually just a single page 8.5×11 document. I wanted to keep it in PDF form vs. html so the user could use the email button to send the PDF as-is to someone. Maybe I need to look into compression for the PDFs. They only have a header and a table on plain white background. Maybe its the way I am exporting them. (I used Photoshop’s PDF export function -using the ‘economy’ setting).

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PDF study by @Moto110 6/1/12

I have done some testing and this is what I found.

I created a 14mb test PDF so that it was big enough to have a noticeable difference between opening local or downloading every time I access the screen. Just for reference I’m on a 90mb down internet connection via Wi-Fi on iPhone 4S

1. I added this PDF Document via the PDF Document screen using a URL and setting the document properties setting “Force Refresh” to “No, allow caching”. I tested this multiple times by accessing the PDF document URL screen and waiting about 14 seconds each time as the document was downloaded.

2. I added the same PDF Document via a Custom HTML screen and embedded the PDF in the HTML code. This option took just as long as option one and did not produce a desirable display of the PDF.

3. I added a the same PDF Document via a third PDF Document screen using the Local “BT_Docs” folder option and the file opens within about half a second. I do see the spinning “Loading” icon for a brief moment.

Now that these screens have been loaded on my device I turned on Airplane mode and accessed the PDF screens again.

Here is what I found:

1. Option one displays a network connectivity error and does not load the PDF document.

2. Option two Embedding the PDF in Custom HTML does show the couple lines of HTML text I added before the PDF embed code, but does not display the embedded PDF and gaves a network error.

3. Option three storing the PDF document in the “BT_Docs” folder works as expected displaying the 14mb PDF file within a second or less.

I think I know what I need to do and that is store the PDF local and hope that I don’t need to update it frequently.

On a side note I found this really good website for generating code to embed PDF documents in HTML. It might help someone else on a different app project.

Here is the link:

http://pdfobject.com/generator.php

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My reply:

Try posting PDF on a website/Dropbox and access via Custom URL webpage screen.

Not saying it’ll be better than embedding, just an option.

You can also use Launch Native App (browser) and test the result.

On the sidenote: embedding images into HTML is a useful tool. Hadn’t tried it with the various doc types.

Plus, you could also convert the PDF to HTML.

Fred

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PDF & iOS

PDF.js

Section 508

Your Guide to Accessible PDF

Virgin Mobile Refer a Friend Program

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* * *
Summary: If I have a $35/month plan and earn the maximum referral fees of $500 per year my mobile phone cost should be almost free. (It’s “almost free” and not “free” because I’ll have some taxes to pay.)
* * *

Need to lower your mobile bill?  One way is to use Virgin Mobile and refer up to 20 friends a year and earn a $25.00 bonus per friend. So go ahead and click on the link and sign up and Virgin Mobile will send me $25, plus Virgin Mobile will also give you a $25 account credit.

Coverage? Virgin Mobile is owned by Sprint and uses Sprint cell towers. The difference in Sprint service and Virgin Mobile service is that Virgin Mobile users don’t roam on Verizon towers.

Reason to love Virgin Mobile:

  • Android™-powered phones from top manufacturers like LG, Samsung, and HTC
  • iPhone (5s, 5c, 5, 4, 4s)
  • Uses the Nationwide Sprint® Network
  • No Contract
  • $35 for 200 minutes and unlimited data & text
  • $45 for 1200 minutes and unlimited data & text
  • $55 for unlimited voice, data & text
  • Refer a Friend Program
  • All plans include 2.5GB/month of high speed data, including 4G speeds in 4G coverage areas for capable devices.

    Note: I regularly hit 2.5 GB of data every three or four months at which point I’m throttled. I usually don’t notice I’m being throttled except when Virgin will send me a text message advising of such. (Adaptive protocol video limited to 3G speeds. Then it’s still unlimited but will be reduced to 3G speeds of 256 Kbps or below for remainder of the monthly plan cycle.)

    How much is 1GB:

  • 500 emails with a 2MB Attachment
  • 200 minutes of video clips
  • 8 hours of streaming music
  • 1000 webpages
  • 3000 emails (100 per day)

    If I use up my minutes midway though the month I can either restart my plan early or wait till the monthly renewal date. During the past two years I’ve gone over my mobile minutes twice and had to restart my monthly plan early. This has cost me an average of $2 extra per month. Normally I don’t use my monthly allotment of 200 minutes since I make most of my calls over Skype. Most of the time I’m using Wi-Fi at home or at business so most of my data doesn’t go over my phone plan. Occasionally I’m at a location where the Wi-Fi is either of such poor quality or it’s not available (password protected) so I’ll use my phone as a hotspot.

    And that’s the biggest reason I love Virgin Mobile. I can use my phone as a Hotspot at no additional charge. This allows me to use my tablet for most of my needs and only occasionally do I use my mobile phone. (On their site it says for $15 more a you can turn your phone into a mobile hotspots, but I use the free Quicker app found in Google Play market and accomplish the same for free.)

    Wireless connectivity is all about location. The big four Telecoms — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile — all have staked out their own territory, so what it boils down to it depends on where you live and work or play, that determines the quality of service you’ll receive. Often you won’t have viable options, so you’ll see a lot of bad reviews and criticism about all of them. I’ve lived in various areas with Sprint or a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) working off of Sprint and haven’t had serious issues. I’ve used Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile over the years and had to change carriers because of a new work location that was not yet covered by the carrier I had at the time. Usually within a few months the old carrier also covered the new area. When traveling out of my area it can be a different issue. Once I was in on the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and my Virgin Mobile phone had coverage and someone with a AT&T phone (and a $140+ monthly phone plan) couldn’t get coverage. As they say about real estate, “It’s all about location, location, location”.

    AT&T announced that it will be doing away with traditional data plans for new customers on October 25th, 2013. Existing customers won’t have to switch to a Mobile Share plan the next time they upgrade. Mobile Share starts at $70 per month for a smartphone with unlimited talk/text and 300MB of data, plus mobile hotspot service are included. You can add other lines to the plan for an additional fee. – Ouch!

    CDMA Carriers – (Don’t use simm cards):

  • Sprint
  • Verizon

    GMS Carriers – (They use simm cards):

  • AT&T $70 for unlimited talk & text, but only 300MB of data
  • T-Mobile $70 2.5 GB + Unlimited Talk after 2.5 GB data is throttled
  • T-Mobile gives tablet owners 200MB of data per month for no cost. Once that’s used up, customers will have the option of paying $5 for 500MB of data for one day or $10 for 1GB of data for a week.
  • Go Red Pocket (Affinity Link)

    Skype Data Usage:
    A high quality video call could use around 4MB per minute each way. So it’s probably safe to assume that each minute you are on a video call (high quality, not HD) you’re using about 10MB of your usage allowance.

    Voice only calling however uses about 25-30MB per hour.
    * * *
    image

    Hi Fred,

    You’ve made your first referral, good job!

    With every friend you refer, you’ll be eligible to receive up a $25 account credit for each qualified referral, up to a total of $500 per calendar year.

    Refer again

    Your Friends at Virgin Mobile 11/3/13

    * * *

    Yes, it’s that easy. Virgin doesn’t tell me whom signed up so I’ll just have to say thanks to the mystery friend out there.

    * * *

    T-Mobile refer a friend program Hey, Please note that I (the Referrer) and you (the Referee) may each receive a Promotion Card for a successful referral.

    Sprint refer a friend Program Hey, Please note that I (the Referrer) and you (the Referee) may each receive a $25 Promotion Card for a successful referral.

    AT&T refer a friend Program Hey, Please note that I (the Referrer) and you (the Referee) may each receive a $25 AT&T Promotion Card for a successful referral.

    Version Referral Rewards Program

    imageAllPrepaidPlans.com Not a affinity link, just good info.

    Fred@MySkylla.com

  • Android 4.4 KitKat

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    “It’s our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.”

    Android KitKat. Prepare for a sweet new treat. Android is the operating system that powers over 1 billion smartphones and tablets. Since these devices make our lives so sweet, each Android version is named after a dessert: Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich …

    That’s certainly a bit vague, but the statement does line up with earlier rumors that suggested Google plans to use its next Android release in smartwatches, gaming consoles, low-cost smartphones, and even laptops.

    The latest email from Google gives the upcoming features as:

  • Just say “Ok Google”
    • You don’t need to touch the screen to get things done. When on your home screen or in Google Now, just say “Ok Google” to launch voice search, send a text, get directions or even play a song. (We already have “Ok Glass“, perhaps “Ok Watch” is next.)

  • Google Wallet
    • KitKat will enable Google Wallet without the need for your carrier’s approval because Android is storing your payment information within KitKat, therefore you won’t have to rely on NFC security elements to make a transaction.

  • Faster multitasking
    • Android 4.4 takes system performance to an all-time high by optimizing memory usage in every major component. That means you can run more of your favorite apps and switch between them faster than ever.

  • Project Svelte
    • Project Svelte is designed to make KitKat run smoothly and efficiently even on low-end devices with as little as 512MB of RAM. As a result, Kit Kat uses 16 percent less memory than its predecessor, Jelly Bean, and there are additional features that allow developer to disable any features that use up more memory than needed.

  • The future is calling
    • The new phone app automatically prioritizes your contacts based on the people you talk to the most. You can also search for nearby places and businesses, your contacts, or people in your Google Apps domain.

  • A smarter caller ID
    • Whenever you get a call from a phone number not in your contacts, your phone will look for matches from businesses with a local listing on Google Maps.

  • Hangouts – All your messages in the same place
    • Never miss a message, no matter how your friend sends it. With the new Hangouts app, all of your SMS and MMS messages are together in the same app, alongside your other conversations and video calls. And with the new Hangouts, you can even share your location and send animated GIFs.

    • Emoji, the more elaborate cousins of emoticons, are now included in Hangouts and text-based chats, which have a smooth and cartoonlike feel.

  • Print wherever, whenever
    • Now you can print photos, documents, and web pages from your phone or tablet. You can print to any printer connected to Google Cloud Print, to HP ePrint printers, and to other printers that have apps in the Google Play Store.

  • KitKat ships with Quickoffice
    • Quickoffice lets you edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations on the go, without paying a dime, straight out of the box.

    For App Developers

  • WebView in Android 4.4

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    KitKat will be pushed to certain devices soon. If you’re in a hurry you could grab a copy from Google’s Factory Images for Nexus Devices page.

    Android 4.4 (KitKat) update for Nexus devices

    Nexus 5 available on Google Play

  • The new Nexus 5 comes with Android 4.4 pre-installed. Note that you will be prompted to install a small update when you set up your device.
  • The Hangouts app is the only pre-installed SMS/MMS app on your device.
  • Verizon’s CDMA network is out of the question, but it is compatible with AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile LTE bands.

    Nexus 4, Nexus 7, & Nexus 10

  • Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 will be receiving the Android 4.4 update. The latest version will be available in the coming weeks. Once the update is released, it can take up to two weeks for it to reach your device.

    Galaxy Nexus

  • Galaxy Nexus will not be receiving the Android 4.4 update, because it was released over 24 months ago and falls outside of the 18-month update window when Google and others traditionally update devices. Perhaps evervolv will come to the rescue.

    by Fred@www.myskylla.com

  • Apps for Kindle Fire & Amazon Market

    Publishing Kindle Fire Apps by Fred@MySkylla.com

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    The Kindle Fire is a tablet device, most Android tablet apps will run on the various Kindle Fire devices, subject to different screen sizes, hardware features, and software implementations. Specifications The current Kindle Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”, is built from the Android open source kernel (Android 4.2.2 – Jellybean) and runtime libraries. Per Amazon, 75% of the tablet apps tested that run on Android also run on Fire OS, with no Additional Development Required The easiest process of making your app available to the Kindle Fire is to join the Amazon Store. Amazon will automatically scan the app to see if it’s suitable for the Kindle Fire OS. The submission process is similar to submitting to Google Play (Market) or the BlackBerry PlayBook Market.

    Amazon has turned the Kindle into a multi-media tablet from its original incarnation as simply an e-book reader. Amazon promotes their market as having "Powerful Marketing Features: Market your apps to tens of millions of customers using Amazon’s proven marketing and merchandising capabilities. Submit your app once for the potential to reach customers on Kindle Fire, the Amazon Appstore mobile client, and online at the Amazon Appstore."

    So you might ask why the Amazon Kindle Fire? Well the answer is that PC sales are caving with Smartphone and Tablet sales dominating the Consumer Electronics market. iPad sales are being cannibalize by the iPad mini, and Android smartphone & tablets are dominating the market.

    I went to several stores and asked about the various tablets trying to get an understanding of which devices users were choosing and why. I understand that my observations are very limited but they have the thing of truth. The general consensus was that Apple users wanted the iPad mini. Book readers wanted the Kindle. Users that choose Android wanted the freedom. The 7″ Samsung tablet is currently more popular than the Nexus 7″. The Nook seems dead in the water with little to no sales. The Microsoft Surface tablet has some interest. Many are waiting for expected releases of new tablets for the upcoming Christmas Shopping season. From this I concluded that the Kindle Fire is an important player in the tablet market and that App Developers need to learn to the skills to release their apps for the Amazon Kindle Fire Market.

    10 Tips to Optimize Android Apps for Amazon & Kindle Fire HDX by uTest

    Kindle phone coming soon, but not yet.

    imageC|NET Article: “A bunch of new Kindle Fire tablets are on the way, according to NPD DisplaySearch. Watch your back, Google.”

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    Kindle Fire doesn’t use Google services, so it does not have Google Play (Market) installed. Instead, it uses Amazon’s Appstore for Android. Kindle Fire users can add most Android app's via the Amazon Appstore or by Sideloading. Sideloading is basically just going outside the Amazon Market, something most Android users are familiar with. There are fewer apps available for the Kindle Fire but most of the popular ones are available.

    Nexus 7 (2) vs Kindle Fire HDX

    Kindle Fire HDX review

    Kindle Fire review

    Amazon Kindle Fire 6.2.1 Update Dec. 21st, 2011

    Kindle Fire Update Removes Root Access

    Nook vs. Kindle

    Unboxing the Amazon Kindle Fire

    Here and excellent articles that talk’s about the compatibility issues. Nov 15th PCMAG Mobile, “How To Run Almost Any Android App On the Kindle Fire“.

    Getting Started With Kindle Fire Development by tuts+

    In App Purchase

    Install Any App on Kindle Fire

    Tablet Market Share (2Q13)

    • iOS 50.7%
    • Android
      • Google Play
      • PlayBook – Blackberry
      • Kindle Fire – Amazon 4.6%
      • Nook – Barnes & Noble
    • Windows

    Kindle App Development

    • Development Environment – Eclipse
    • Testing Your App
    • Amazon's Developer Program costs: Free, There is no registration cost. You can create an app developer account for free and submit your app.
    • No Google – Kindle Fire has no Google Services.
      When developing Kindle Fire apps you must use the Android API and not the Google APIs version. Any Google specific intents will fail.

      Official Google apps that require logins won’t work. Translate, YouTube and Maps work, because they don’t require logins. However the new versions of Google Maps uses Google Services therefore they won’t work.
      Here’s what doesn’t run.

      • Google Play (Android Market)
      • Google Books
      • Gmail 
      • Google Maps
      • Hint: Use Amazon Maps

    • Hardware & OS
      Kindle Fire apps will runs on devices with different screen sizes, hardware features, and software implementations. To help ensure that your app works well across a broad array of devices, query the features of the device hardware or software and be responsive to the features that are available.

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    News:

    Amazon’s New Kindle Fires Land in a More Competitive Tablet Market

    iOS Kids Apps Section

    Apple has a new Section in the App Store which means it has amended it’s iOS App Store Review Guidelines.

    Apple’s new guidelines cover four key points:

    * * * *
    24. Kids Apps

    24.1 Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 must include a privacy policy

    24.2 Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 may not include behavioral advertising (e.g. the advertiser may not serve ads based on the user’s activity within the App), and any contextual ads presented in the App must be appropriate for kids

    24.3 Apps primarily intended for use by kids under 13 must get parental permission or use a parental gate before allowing the user to link out of the app or engage in commerce

    24.4 Apps in the Kids Category must be made specifically for kids ages 5 and under, ages 6-8, or ages 9-11

    * * * *

    For the iOS App Review Guidelines with commentary click here

    So this brings up the question, ‘Do you have a privacy policy?’