Managing Your Contacts with Firefox OS

Since the era of iPhone and Android, you’ll rarely heard cases about “losing contacts” because your phone was lost or just stop working. There’ll be no worry because you just need to get a new device, log in to your (gmail/apple id) account and voila! your contacts is restored. It’s so easy compare to Nokia/Blackberry era when you have to hook up your device to computer and do the manual backup as often as you can.

In this post, I will share about importing contacts from your Google account to your Firefox OS device.

1. Open your contacts app

2014-07-26-11-18-182. Click on the Gear icon on the top right corner of the screen. I have only 1 entry in my contacts.
contact-2014-08-01-00-20-46-b

3. You can choose how your contacts will be displayed in order. Based on last name or first name. You can also sync with Facebook. Click on Import Contacts to start import.contact-2014-08-01-00-20-54

4. There are various sources of contact you can import from. SIM Card, Memory Card, Gmail and Outlook. I’ll use import from Gmail for this article.contact-2014-08-01-00-21-05-b

5. You need to log in to your Google account contact-2014-08-01-00-21-16

6. You need to confirm to start importing contacts from your Google Accountcontact-2014-08-01-00-22-10

7. Firefox OS is starting to look up your Google contactcontact-2014-08-01-00-22-18

8. Firefox OS will display all of contacts in your Google account. You can select which one you want to import. Of you can just simply select them all. You have to click on Import button at the top right corner yo start importing.contact-2014-08-01-00-22-43-b

9. Firefox OS is starting to import contact from your Google accountcontact-2014-08-01-00-22-53

10. Voila! You have your contacts populated in your Firefox OS device :)contact-2014-08-02-09-07-10

Exporting your contacts is a bit old school because you can only export your contacts to memory card of other devices via Bluetooth. I wish at least it can be export/copied to my Google / Mozilla account.

A Week with Firefox OS Flame

Firefox OS Flamedisclaimer:

  • I’m still using the stock version of the o/s shipped with Flame which is 1.3.0.0-prerelease
  • I haven’t hook the device up to my Mac and do something with either AppManager, AppMaker or anything else

Following my previous post about unboxing Firefox OS Flame, it’s now time write a little review about the device. I was using the phone for the past week, not doing much actually. Mostly i used it for making couple of calls (voice and ussd), browsing, trying some apps, taking screenshots and photos.

So here it is.

For a very young O/S, Firefox OS has done pretty well to serve the basic, as a phone O/S. The screen is bright and nice. I hate the vibrate-when-you-press-buttons so i’ve disabled it (did it too on my G2 and Mi3). It’s somewhat different than I am used to, but seem to work fine after playing for a while. The battery is so good IMO. It can be a day phone compare to … my iPhone 5 :) You can leave the Flame unplugged overnight after some playing around with it and it just cost you about 25% of the juice. I was using it in 3G GSM mode most of the time, not yet trying to use it for tethering.

Mail is one of my must-have app. And Firefox OS mail app is doing fine. Setting up account, fetching the mail and reading and compose. Right now, you can only attach video, music or photos from your gallery or taking picture with the camera.

 

As photographer and heavy Instagram user, I use camera a lot. Flame’s camera is decent enough to take pictures but not by my standard. It might be unfair because I’m using iPhone’s and G2’s camera so far. Well leave the metering filter and all the fancy things, it’s nice if you can at least pick your own focus instead of the “auto focus” offered by the camera app. You’ll now what I mean when you try it.

These are some picture i took. Indoor in CGK airport. The light was enough to take pictures without adding flash. And I was surprised that online exif viewer I used said the photos were taken at f/2.6 :) My Mac’s Preview app said it’s f/2.8.

Sample of EXIF reading

These are photos taken with my iPhone 5 for comparison:

Good thing is in Firefox OS 2.0 the camera app seems to have an upgrade. Rara showed me her Flame (which’s been upgraded to 2.0 nightly) camera app can do manual focus selection. You’ll see that green square box showed up when you touch a focus area in your screen. But still. the JPEG output still need a lot of work.

Apps.
Well like i said, i used the Flame for browsing. So i have nothing more to say about the browser. It’s Firefox anyway :D
I’m still using the stock apps. Camera, Messages, Facebook, Twitter and Market Place. Annoying part is when you run an ‘app’ there’s a time when you need to go back to the previous stage/screen of the app. There’s no Back button in place. Instead, there’s a tiny face down white arrow in the bottom right corner of the screen. You have to gently slide/touch it up to bring up the set of back-forward-refresh button.

I haven’t test the FM Radio yet.

The voice call is also crisp and clear. But the first major problem i’ve encountered was from the dialler app. I was filing a bug for not being able to make USSD calls using ZTE Open C with Firefox OS 1.1. Now in 1.3, the USSD feature is still buggy.

In Indonesia, USSD is the main course for operators to help their customer accessing their services. Because its menu driven view. My case was:
1. making USSD call to *888# (Telkomsel) to check my balance. OK, hung up.
2. after top up, make call to *888# again and hung up.
3. call to *363# to view the data related services offered by Telkomsel. browse along the menu, and found 1 menu taking too long to get the response. hung up
4. retry #3 and try different menu, found 1 menu too long to response. hung up.
5. retry #3 and after press call suddenly FFOS gave me session expired confirmation.
6. trying different USSD short codes, same behaviour appeared. Session expired message right after you press that green call button.

So i have to do the Blackberry way, take out the battery, wait for couple of seconds, put it back and turn the phone on. USSD back to normal. (????) :P

Once, i left the phone powered off for a whole night. When i turn it on in the morning everything looks normal. I saw the red Thundersoft splash screen followed by the blue firefox os boot up screen. But after that blank. Only a screen with that green grass background, no icons, no text, nothing. I’ve press all the buttons, slide up down left right still no changes. It went back to normal after i turned the phone off and wait for couple of seconds and turn it back on.

I also have a case when my SIM card suddenly not recognised. Back to normal after i set the airplane mode on, wait for couple of seconds and turn the airplane mode off.

Last update, when i’m writing this post, I call to *363#, choose menu #8 and then #1 to check my status, got Radio not Available. Then i enter 9, it should return incorrect keyword but i got stuck in “sending….” status instead. And it went like that for minutes until i took off the battery.

iphone5_480x640_IMG_2067

Stuck in this state for minutes until remove the battery

*yawn* That’s all i can write this time. I think FFOS 1.3 still has many issues, specially the USSD and the O/S stability. I’ll try to play it around a little longer before decide to try the FFOS 2.0 nightly.

Anyone know how to import my Google/iCloud contacts to the Firefox OS contact?

Unboxing Firefox OS Flame

At MozSummit 2013, me and a fellow developer from France asked (or maybe complaint :P) at Chris Heilmann class about the difficulties on getting Firefox OS device. Sometimes simulator is not enough. You need to test your functions, your app in a real device to get the feel and to get to know that it will actually work.

At that time, only Geeksphone selling Keon and Peak to open market. But they seemed to be unable to fulfil the developers’s enthusiasm to get the device. They’re just small company anyway (we’re talking about Samsung, Huawei class of manufacture :P).

Meanwhile, device makers like ZTE/Alcatel only sell the device as part of operator’s bundling program. You need to have contract with the operator (other friends said you must be a citizen of the country where the carrier operates). Even at last MWC Barcelona where Mozilla has a big booth there we couldn’t buy any devices. They were for display and testing only :P

So when I read Asa Dotzler (Director of Firefox OS Participation at Mozilla) post at hacks.mozilla.org that we could pre-order Firefox OS Flame device from everbuying.com for about USD 170. I didn’t think twice. Paid my order on May 28, and got the device in my hand last Friday :)

So, Firefox OS Flame is the reference phone and considered as the flagship of Firefox OS powered device. It’s not a super high end phone, but it is higher end than any of the previous devices such as Geeksphone Keon, ZTE Open C for example. It’s got dual sim cards, front and rear cameras, adjustable memory, etc.

It’s unlock and this is the specs:

  • Qualcomm MSM8210 Snapdragon, 1.2GHZ Dual core processor
  • 4.5” screen (FWVGA 854×480 pixels)
  • Cameras: Rear: 5MP with auto-focus and flash / Front: 2MP
  • Frequency: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
  • UMTS 850/900/1900/2100MHz
  • 8GB memory, MicroSD slot
  • 256MB – 1GB RAM (adjustable by developer)
  • A-GPS, NFC
  • Dual SIM Support
  • Battery capacity: 1,800 mAh
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, Micro USB

I’ll try to use it for a couple of days during mudik and make review of it :)

DHL charged me IDR 281,000 for tax and handling, but i heard Andi @belutz has to pay IDR 400,000. Is it right, Ndi?

a Chromecast. Wait, is that…. FirefoxCast?

Ada yang tahu Chromecast?
Buat yang belum, Chromecast ini adalah perangkat keluaran Google untuk video streaming yang bentuknya ga lebih gede dari USB stick yang kamu punya. Harganya hanya $35, bisa diorder di Amazon atau coba tanya ke toko-toko komputer/elektronik terdekat. Lihat video dibawah ini deh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKG5HDyTW8o

Sudah selesai menyimak video iklannya? Nanti bisa nyambung ke video paling bawah untuk gambaran lebih detil mengenai perangkat ini yah :)

Nah, sekarang beritanya.
Mozilla dikabarkan sedang membuat perangkat sejenis tapi tentu saja dengan Firefox OS sebagai sistem operasinya.

Eh yang beneran nih?
Ummm, proyek ini sih sebenarnya masih misterius dan belum dikonfirmasi. Cuman tweet dari Chris Heilmann 2 hari lalu sepertinya semakin menegaskan keberadaannya :) Perangkatnya sendiri belum ada namanya.

tweet dari Chris Heilmann, Mozilla Developer Evangelist

tweet dari Chris Heilmann, Mozilla Developer Evangelist

Wah, jadi tambah semangat nih buat ngoprek Firefox OS. Pertama Firefox OS phone, kemudian tablet dan PC, sekarang dongle ala Chromecast.

Berikut ini adalah video lebih jauh mengenai Chromecast.

 

#CariMukaKatanya :P

ZTE Open with Firefox OS v1.1 Having Trouble with USSD

My iPhone is still in service center for about 2 weeks now and a MozRep Indonesia is kind enough to lend me Firefox OS phone. Used to all the fancy things iPhone had so far now I have to use a device that doesnt has all that luxury.
It’s a so-so device -compare to my iPhone- (well, the target market is not for people like me), I dont have many comment about it. But this young O/S is fun to play with, specially making mobile app using only HTML5/CSS/JavaScript in the client side.

The only problem, serious problem that I have is the ability to make a USSD call.
USSD is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider’s servers. USSD can be used for WAP browsing, prepaid callback service, mobile-money services, location-based content services, menu-based information services, and as part of configuring the phone on the network (wikipedia).

For example:
Dial *888# to check your prepaid balance
Dial *266# if you want to activate your roaming package offers.
and many things.

The ZTE Open I’m using now unfortunately having problem with USSD operation.

The symptom is whenever you dial a USSD Code (let say *888#) via dialler,
the app only show you “connecting” status for a while
and after that, dialer app is like closing the connection and back to dial pad screen

open dialer app can make USSD call *888# to my operator to check the prepaid balance

open dialer app can make USSD call *888# to my operator to check the prepaid balance

Call is being made. B number not shown for a while

Call is being made. B number not shown for a while

B number finally shown. But after few seconds, the call will be closed and screen back to the dial pad

B number finally shown. But after few seconds, the call will be closed and screen back to the dial pad

When you’re accessing the STK menu (which is more or less is executing USSD command)
You can get the first menu screen. But when you continue selecting any option from the menu, there’s nothing happen.

USSD Success

It supposed to be displaying this kind of information if the USSD is success

Operator in Indonesia use USSD for most of their services because of the easy to use menu and realtime communication with the backend. That’s why it’s a serious problem for Firefox OS/ZTE Open if this issue still occur.

So, is anybody out there using ZTE Open with Firefox OS v1.1?
Do you have the same problem as I do? I’ve posted a bug at bugzilla, but has no response yet.

Firefox OS App – iDanbo

Last weekend I tried to prove that my coding skill is not dull yet.

At the same time, my staff wrote this in his FB timeline. OK, let’s make another kind of webapp, Bin :)

idanbo-bintar

After spend some times reading the Firefox OS App for Dummy things and jquery documentations, I’ve decided to make one.

So here it is, iDanbo.

idanbo_grid_320_502
Previously I name it Pocket Danbo. Meh, too mainstream.
Let just call it iDanbo … i love Danbo :)

This little app will do a very simple task.
It gives you a collection with random Danbo photos. The source now is Instagram.

Why?
1. There are a lot of Danbo photo you could find in Instagram only
2. They have API
3. Square image, you dont have to make effort sizing the image :) Simply choose either 150×150, 306×306 or 612×612.

It’s passed the Firefox Marketplace Validator with no error. Next, register it to Marketplace ^_^

Notes:
– It will hit the Instagram limit access at some point because I’m not authenticating the user