Bloo One goes down by end of October. Bloo Too future uncertain and GoogleTV.

October 6, 2010

Update: Bloo is officially off the market with todays announcement for Facebook for Android 1.4.0. Looks like Facebook is in good hands! :) It’s been a trip.

Update: Kate from the comments provided some instructions to get the 6 digit code! Thank you Kate!

1. In your browser, enter in http://m.facebook.com (this will bring up the mobile site)log-in to your facebook account.
2. In the “Search” box at the BOTTOM of the page type in “Bloo for Android” and click on “Search”.
3. Click on the application “Bloo for Android” (NOT the group).
4. Then click on the button that says “Allow”. This will link your Facebook account with Bloo.
5. Now, from your phone go to your Bloo application and click on “Get Code” and it should take you to the code page!
6. Enjoy!

*Note* I used the m.facebook.com site directly from my PC, I didn’t try it on my phone… so if it doesn’t work on your phone, try it on your home computer.

I hope this helps out a lot of people!

Ok, things obviously haven’t been progressing as well as we thought out for Too and from the looks of it neither Bloo One is doing great either. There are a lot of complaints from people who cannot retrieve the 6-digit code anymore. Perhaps because Facebook has probably removed it as it is migrating to much better ways of authenticating the user. New and exciting ways the Bloo Too is using but not Bloo One.

I have reached a decision regarding both the apps. Bloo One will no longer be available on the market by the end of October. Simply because anyone who downloads it will not be able to receive the 6-digit code. As for Too, I am postponing it indefinitely and I am actually considering of releasing what I have, which is a bare bones app that only allows you to change status and share links. Hopefully one of you guys or a team can take over and make it big. One final consideration is to switch back to just create a Facebook Chat client only. The future is uncertain as you can tell and it will all depend on my time available for it. Trust me, I made this app, I love it and I want to continue it but I can’t keep you guys waiting without delivering. I’d rather push back for now and perhaps surprise you in the near future.

As a side note, the project I’ve been working on non-stop has finally been announced today. It’s the Logitech Revue with Google TV. It is very exciting and also responsible (in a good way) for the lack of time for Bloo. I opened up a new blog for it here.

Android has matured and has become an amazing OS to develop for. It looks like the Facebook app is also doing alright! Unfortunately, there are only 24 hours in a day and I am struggling to fit it in all together for you guys. I apologize in advance if you were looking forward for more support and better communication.

-dc


Status Update on Too.

July 19, 2010

Hey everyone!

Just wanted to drop by and post a status update on Bloo Too. Things have been progressing very well for the first release of Bloo Too. We are not there yet but we are working towards our goal. As I mentioned in my first post, the original plan is to release a very basic version that provides only a few features and eventually open source Bloo Too. You will not have all the features that  Bloo One offers, but I am hoping you guys can join in and create the best open source Facebook client there is. Of course, Bloo One will still be there for you until the transition is complete.

First, we are re-writting the notification system to become even better than the latest version of Bloo One. It won’t feel any different than the one you are used to but it will actually be much more battery friendly and generally much better processing your notifications. Unfortunately, push notifications is not currently possible from Facebook (unless you are Apple and have deep pockets!) so we are still using periodic polling. We’ve optimized it as much as we can to give you a great experience.

Second, the login and logout system is already in place and working really well. No more is the 6-digit code required. You login with your Facebook account, accept permissions on the spot and you are good to go! It’s nice to finally lend my phone for someone to login and check their Facebook through Bloo Too.

Third, a new home screen is in place. It follows the classic Facebook app home screen with a grid like view and big icons. However, we are hoping to extend it even further by adding long press capabilities to jump quickly into various different places of Facebook.

Finally, basic version of the new friend list is also in place. Remember we are re-writting some parts so it is a great opportunity for us to optimize and prepare the scaffolding for new features!

That’s it for now, no screenshots yet but I can already see that Bloo Too will be leaps and bounds better than One :)

-dc


Announcing Bloo Too. The first open-source Facebook app for Android. Artists are you out there?

June 29, 2010

Update: Follow me on Twitter for various comments and good times.

Hey all,

After a few weeks of trying to determine the future of Bloo, I finally reached a decision. Before I get started let’s discuss the current the state of things.

Bloo One (let’s call it like this from now on) was released a year ago and it turned out to be a huge success for Android. You might be tired hearing it, but words cannot express my gratitude for your support and loyalty in my effort to provide you a better Facebook app for Android. It took me approximately 2 months to prepare the first version and I loved every second of it. I loved supporting it and replying to your emails, hearing you out and reading your comments. As it turned out, I joined Logitech and now work as an engineer for Logitech’s version of Google TV. Let’s not start talk about Google TV but I promise you we are putting all our efforts to create a fantastic product for you guys. Ever since I started working my time to develop and support Bloo One has been very limited and when you combine this with Facebook hiccups, things are just aren’t working out very well.

Since my last post I started thinking if I can just throw up the source code on git and let you guys have a shot. However, looking at the code Bloo One uses it did not seem suitable to go open. The code has worked very well but generally speaking it was my first shot for Android and I think I could do things much better. Its been approximately 2 years I’ve been working with Android and my skills with the platform are exponentially better. To put it simply if I had as much free time as I had back then and the skills I have now Bloo would be a superior app to what it is today.

So what’s the deal now? I have a good friend of mine who has already helped me with Bloo One in a few sections and we both decided that it is time to let the “reset” Bloo and start from scratch. Obviously, you are wondering what does this mean? Well, here’s the plan. We will be rebuilding Bloo (named as Bloo Too) and provide a basic version for you out there and then we will open source it. We want to invite the Android community to participate into the development of Bloo.

What’s in the first version? See below:

  • Brand new engine utilizing the new Android Facebook SDK (Open Graph API)
  • New login mechanism. You know you hated it in Bloo One. Now setting up Bloo takes one step to add ALL permissions and get started instantly. Ability to log out and login as different users.
  • New engine for viewing Feeds/Streams for everything (Walls, pages, group walls, event walls and virtually everything the Open Graph allows you to view). Super fast.
  • New Home screen, including (FINALLY) the ability to go instantly back to it without pressing back millions of times.
  • Friends list, you know it, you loved it in Bloo One. Fast load, fast search.
  • Notifications. Yes, they are here just as good (even better) than in Bloo One. Faster and much better battery consumption.
  • New code, much faster, resusable, accessible and structured much better.

It does sound as good as you think, but, you might be wondering where the hell is the rest of the features? Where are my events, inbox and photos? They are all coming. Our intention is to release the first skeleton version of Bloo Too and open source it. We will be adding features quicker when we have you by our side. We both do not have the time to support everything but with you we can make this the best Facebook app on ANY platform. Here’s ideas for you guys that you always wanted and can now be achieved:

  • Widget
  • Event RSVP (thanks to new Open Graph API)
  • Chat (more on that below)
  • Contacts sync
  • @mentions for friends
  • Pokes?

Now, what’s happening to Bloo One? Well, there is a huge change in Facebook policy that might affect it. If Bloo One is deemed unusable with the new policy I am going to have to remove it from the market only for it to be reincarnated by Bloo Too.

As for Chat. There is a floating version of Bloo 1.5 with chat embedded in it. There were a few reasons it was not released. While it was tested, it still did not seem good enough to release it. Bloo One was becoming “fat” with tons of stuff going on, larger size and overall slow experience. I do have Chat project waiting to be plugged in to Bloo Too once the time comes for it.

If you are an artist and you like to participate in Bloo Too please start pumping icons and send them to me via email ( dnkoutso at gmail dot com ). We are looking for the following:

  • Bloo Too logo icon (all sizes)
  • Facebook icons for everything, events, inbox, feeds, walls, friends, anything you like.

Send them to me, I will go over them and contact you so you can participate for Bloo Too and make a great UI for our first version.

Finally, please understand that the future of such an attempt is always uncertain and it really depends on the community involved. As you know, people almost always prefer the official apps in any case. Who knows, perhaps a future update on the official Facebook app could literally prove that there is no such need for an app like Bloo Too. At this time, we are moving forward with this and the future of Bloo will be decided along the way.

Tired or excited?

-dc


The Future of Bloo. (Update)

May 9, 2010

Reminder: Google I/O today and tomorrow. Announcements, don’t we all love them? Follow me on twitter for updates.

Hey everyone,

I have no words to express how I feel. Bloo has been slowly dying with the inevitable (and foreseeable) “fight” against the official app. Do not get me wrong, I am not at war with anyone here…but, the truth of the matter is Bloo is very well declining in both numbers and features compared to the official app. Most features that Bloo is lacking is due to the fact that the API does not support it. Additionally, most of the reasons sometimes Bloo does not operate successfully occurs because of the API is constantly evolving and changing. Admittedly, Facebook does a good job informing developers for future breaking changes to ensure the process of transitioning to new APIs is smooth. The end result is an endless repeat sequence trying to keep up. Of course, this process is ten times worse when I am working full time.

So here I am asking you, what is the future of Bloo? I can keep trying to improve the app but my current velocity of doing things will probably end up frustrating you more (’cause I know you are already) rather than really enhancing your experience. A few people have emailed me offering to continue the work, or have proposed to me to go open source which in fact is what I am thinking of pursuing.

My last idea is to stop developing for Bloo and release the Facebook Chat as a stand alone new app, that can integrate well with the rest of the OS and the official Facebook application which seems to be improving over time (probably at a slower pace than Bloo). This would allow me to work on something smaller, more contained and easier to maintain in my spare time as the degree of features is much smaller compared to a full blown client.

With well over 60,000 ACTIVE users (and more than 150,000 downloads) its hard to let go, but its tough to keep going. I am stuck, I need your help.

I understand that with 3rd party apps developers are more responsive and easier to communicate with their fans as to what they want next. However, does it seem the case anymore with Bloo? Trust me, I wish I had all the power in the world to work 24/7 for both my employer and Bloo but it simply cannot happen.

Please respond to me either via email and comments as to what you would like to see happening, I am interested to see your thoughts and finally take a decision, instead of letting you all down.

Update: Your comments and thoughts are well received and appreciated. The decision will be put on hold for another week as Froyo and Google I/O are coming up. Stay tuned, big things next week!

-dc


Problems seeing feeds? Read here.

April 11, 2010

Hey all,

I’ve been coding all weekend for Facebook chat. I have two people currently testing its functionality. It is almost complete. I am just putting an all around polish to the whole experience and trying to fix as many bugs as possible.

So, it seems Facebook has yet again, changed some policy regarding viewing feeds. They now allow you to see the main feed but not your own UNLESS you explicitly allow Bloo to view streams. Unfortunately, their server response does not trigger Bloo to understand that you are missing this permission. Instead, Facebook returns an empty feed and this is why you get this error message.

I am working on a fix for version 1.5. But in the meantime, if you visit and read this blog, click here to enable your extra permission. This will allow you to view all feeds back normally!

I am hoping you will love chat :). I also have plans of redoing the whole login process to streamline it and avoid the 6 digit code.

Thanks for your patience!

-dc


Comments are back! Chat should be out this weekend!

April 7, 2010

Hey everyone,

I am currently at work but I am quickly dropping in to mention that it seems Facebook finally fixed the comments issue. Now, they have not marked my bug report as fixed yet but it seems comments are returning back! If you have problems, please post a comment (ah the irony…) here!

I had great progress on the chat last weekend. I will be sending it for a few people for testing. I am hoping for a weekend release! NO promises though.

That’s it for now!

-dc


Bloo 1.5 Progress Update – Get ready for Chat. Facebook at fault for disappearing comments.

March 7, 2010

Update: Recent Facebook changes made comments disappear for some. Still Facebook has not replied why comments are now disappearing…Check my progress here. They have not responded for a few days now, this is not only frustrating to you but to me as well.

Update: I released v1.4.4d that includes a repetitive notification fix yet again.

Hey all!

I’ve been working a lot for implementing Chat on Bloo. Things are progressing really well but I am not there yet. The next version of Bloo will be 1.5 and it include the first version of Bloo Chat along with some other fixes. I am also working on a few more things, primarily to fix the annoying 6-digit key code issue with facebook redirection and also repeating notifications.

To enable Facebook chat you only have to do one thing! Just allow xmpp_login permission. Bloo of course will ask you if you do not have it but to gain sometime and go straight into chatting you can click the link below to enable this permission!

Enable Facebook chat permission for Bloo!

The moment you upgrade to Bloo 1.5, the Chat service will be start. Wait until it connects and you will be notified that you are online. The Chat service works exactly like Facebook chat. It sits there on the background and you do not require to have Bloo running. Just bring down the notifications bar and select it to view who is online. It works via push technology and so your list is always as up to date as fast as Facebook sends update. Keep in mind, people do not show up immediately online or offline. This is also the exact behavior with real Facebook chat on the browser (you can try it!). It’s just the way push works!

Bloo Chat supports multiple chats. You can slide through the names list on top to switch between chats or shut them off. I am still working out some bugs for it and this is why it is not out yet!

In the meantime, enjoy the screenies! I really like chatting from the phone anywhere!


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