March 2, 2010
Update: It seems Android automatically redirects you to touch.facebook.com when you try to get a 6-digit code. Try hitting the link from your PC and type in the code.
Get my 6-digit code for Bloo.
Yes, I am still alive. I work approximately 12 hours a day without a STOP (including sometimes Saturdays). I found sometime to update Bloo. Here is the list of updates:
- Photo notifications now take you to the actual photo in which you were tagged.
- Notification service should not annoy you anymore
- Notification service starts on reboot
- Posts now show up FRIENDS who like it. Please note, it WILL NOT show people who are not on your friends list. Not yet at least.
- Multiple bug fixes on stream
- Fixed a crash with album create
So, it seems that Facebook now allows 3rd party clients to integrate Facebook Chat. I put the widget on hold for a bit and give higher priority to Facebook chat. 1.4.4 has some preliminary work.
Bloo heart still is beating.
p.s You will be very excited to hear what I am working on @ Logitech.
December 8, 2009
Update: Having friends list issues? Send me your log!
As I am working on the next patch of Bloo I figured I should pause and post about the Facebook API limitations. It seems that despite my efforts to inform new or existing Bloo users about certain limitations the API has, I still receive a ton of email and comments regarding certain features that techincally are impossible to implement.
For starters, Facebook API (Application Programming Interface) as the name suggests is an interface which Bloo — and other Facebook apps for that matter — communicate with. It includes a variety of methods that allow apps to perform actions (e..g Like a post). These methods are defined and supported by Facebook. For the sake of security, Facebook has created a permission system in which it allows the user to explicitly allow a 3rd party app to perfom an action. This is why the first time you run Bloo you have to enable these permissions. This has been improved a little bit as you now can add a batch of permissions with one button (something not yet implemented in Bloo but I do have plans for it…) Otherwise, someone could write up an application (for any platform) that possibly could start spamming other Facebook users.
Now, let’s get down to the important stuff. The API does not offer any function to send inbox messages and an extremely limited API fo chat. In fact, there is only one method for chat I have seen and that requires a browser, something that Bloo avoids and also is not able to handle. During a phone conversation I found out that Facebook only offers inbox send functionality to trusted partners. This is why apps like iPhone or BlackBerry can send them. These are official apps and are trusted partners with Facebook. Until this is exposed to 3rd party apps or I somehow magically become a trusted partner of Facebook it is impossible for me to do this. The only workaround to this is to invoke a web page, in which case Bloo will stop and your phones browser launches. However, this would require you to login (on the m.facebook.com site) for a second time, and it goes outside the possibilities and domain of Bloo. I have seen countless of posts as well for people complaining that the web site opens up. Bloo is truly native. The only place a browser is used is when you open a link.
The same applies to other functions such as poking. There are other limitations that I have created enormous workarounds for you guys (e.g. Clicking on a notifications story to take you to the actual post, which still does not work extremely well in the case of photo tagging stories)
I have not overlooked such functions and I do not ignore you guys. I explicitly state that this cannot be done on the Bloo market page. I am hoping the API opens up soon so I can add this functionality for you.
November 27, 2009
Update: Slight delay on 1.4.3b. Things did not turn as easy to complete. I am hoping to have it done tomorrow night.
Update: 1.4.3 is out!
- Photo tagging is back! You may also tag yourself now.
- The birthday icon has changed in the home screen and you can now click on it to see today’s birthdays
- Fixed a friends list bug (thanks to Fabien)
- Ability to setup notification alert style (Sound + Vibrate, Sound Only, Vibrate Only, Mute) – must edit your preferences again!
Unfortunately, neither of my two surprises made it with this release. Fear not 1.4.4 is coming out soon! As always, post here for bugs and comments.
How can I thank you more guys? Your feedback and help has been tremendous in the 1.4 beta version of Bloo! With over 10k downloads in just two days I cannot thank you as much. After passing through the crisis (not only the economic one) I can safely say we are finally back in the game!
This is why I am working on 1.4.3 hopefully out this Sunday, without promising anything. I love lists, so here’s a short list of what I have in mind.
- Bug fixes, yes we need them and I am still collecting data and logs here and there.
- Photo tagging is back! Including the ability to tag yourself.
- A few changes to how the photo caption is rendered, I was not a huge fan of the dialog box
- Ability to choose notification alert type (Sound and Vibrate, Vibrate Only, Sound Only, Mute completely)
- Surprise feature #1, can’t talk about it and you will love it.
- Surprise feature #2, same as #1 but it might not make it in time for 1.4.3!
Keep the feedback coming, Bloo is now free, be constructive. I am here to talk to you and listen. I have sat down with a few people who have even given me their Facebook passwords so I can fix some bugs. The list above is fluid, meaning it can change (most likely for the better!)
Again, thank you all!
November 23, 2009
Update 1.4.2b is out!
New in 1.4.2b:
- Fixes a problem with users having not being able to view photos
- Adds the ability to set Vibrate only for notifications.
- Fixes a crash with friends list. Special thanks to Marcel Bennett for the log hint!)
- Fixes a crash with photo swiping.
- Events now do not linkify items and hence you can click on them.
- When you post a link it now says “Bloo for Android”.
Known issues, things to know:
- Help make Bloo better! Does it crash on you when you do a specific action? Send me the log at dnkoutso at gmail dot com. This is how I fix bugs quickly and release updates daily.
- Loading of feed photos starts ONLY if you scroll. This is to make feed loading as fast as possible on the first run!
- Photo uploading is done by long pressing on an Album
- Notifications are not marked as read on Facebook. This is intentional as sometimes it causes you to retrieve multiple notifications again and again.
- I mentioned this a few times. Facebook API does not allow posting back inbox messages. Bloo is not exactly lacking this feature.
Update 1.4.1 Beta changelog:
- Post photo comments!
- Fixed a status update issue
- Fixed when a new album is created an error would occur when you long press
- Some optimizations here and there 🙂
Bloo 1.4.2 is the latest release.
It is done and it is now free. After being Number 1 Top Paid Social Networking app, I present you the free version of Bloo
- Live folder for Bloo friends. Instantly access your friends streams from your Home screen.
- Photo comments, yes they are here.
- Photo swiping, no longer back and forth when viewing images.
- Brand new media section. Faster, better looking and easier to use. Fixes errors people had to deal with (mostly recently registered Facebook users).
- Yet again an update on the Stream engine. The feed optimizer is removed completely. Every feed now loads the necessary data and any media (profile pictures, photo attachments and video previews) will load as you scroll. This means the feed will always load faster because it will only load text. If I was to put it in numbers I would say at least 40% faster loading, of course this varies on your connection.
- Some links contain links to events or pictures, now these will successfully load through Bloo. If there are web browser links they will open in your browser.
- Ability to setup notification refresh time for people who pay for data or for people who want to conserve battery.
- Events now are ordered with the most recent event on top.
- This is a beta version of Bloo. There were a few bugs found in tagging and posting photo comments and hence those were removed. Fixes coming in 1.4.1 which should be out before Thanksgiving.
November 18, 2009
Update: Should be out by midnight PST. Fixing some final bugs I just found out on the photo section (sneaky ones…). No earthquakes so release is good to go.
I can’t find a better way to start this blog post. I will be finally free to continue development on Bloo! Since this has been a huge fiasco for the release of 1.4 from now and on Bloo will be free.
There is also a few other features I am very proud to introduce in 1.4 which you’ve been waiting for. Comes Friday, I will focus on releasing 1.4 by Sunday this weekend. You will have it, unless an earthquake occurs.
I hope this is good enough for those who still care about the app. It will become my side hobby as my full time job takes a lot of time.
Should I say I apologize again? Maybe not, it has lost its value after so many times. Right?
October 26, 2009
So before you lynch me or try to hack my PC to get the current build of 1.4 please read the following.
There has been a combination of things that occured that have incredibly delayed the release of 1.4. To start of I have started to work on a new project (a full time job) information which I cannot disclose as I am on a NDA agreement. At first, I was not allowed to publish further updates or work on Bloo and thus I was unable to continue working on it. I think this is about to change though as I have initiated the process to work on Bloo. I am literally working 15 hours a day without any time to put at Bloo.
Second, the recent Facebook status update has caused some minor or major problems to the feed, something that I want to take care before I can release 1.4. This shouldn’t be a huge problem though.
Third, the dev phone is dead. I am waiting for a new one and working on the emulator is NOT good enough for testing. I need to always test the app on the road to “simulate” real world scenarios.
Version 1.4 is almost complete without a lot of coding needed to be done. There are some bureaucratic issues as well as some new bugs that came up.
You have waited long enough for this version. I understand the frustration and I would be furious as well but its hard to overcome some obstacles.
October 12, 2009
Update 10/19/09 : Birthday today and first day at work. I am trying to finish 1.4. A few more stuff on the media section.
Update 10/17/09 : Anyone who is experiencing problems updating their status, please email me a log from your phone. I would like to include a fix for 1.4.
Hey guys, here’s a relatively sad update…
As I am typing this I am working on Bloo 1.4, and the changes have been tremendous for the app. As I mentioned there is a brand new feed and a new media section. In order for those to work correctly a lot must be changed. However, they are not yet complete and when I say complete i mean to a good satisfactory level for you to enjoy the app. Trust me, you will see a huge difference in Bloo 1.4, at least for the feed and media section and hopefully you will like it!
I really apologize for not sticking up to my words. I have finally found a job, I am trying to move to a new place and things have been really busy here in San Francisco.
Please be patient, it will be out. I won’t promise the day again but it won’t be far. I am almost done with it and I need to test it. Perhaps I can redeem myself with a few screenshots!