Archive for the ‘FoundMe’ Category

New Gallery And Languages In FoundMe 1.2

22/02/2010

The February update of FoundMe brings the long planned integration of the mobile.sciphone.net gallery. It is a fantastic collection of wallpapers sized for the iPhone / iPod touch. I highly recommend checking it out.

Though not the entire App, relevant text viewed by the potential finder can now be displayed in many different languages. This is a long needed feature which makes the App more useful in most areas of the world.  Localizing the complete App to Spanish and French is considered for the next update.

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FoundMe 1.0 Demo on The Daily App Show

07/01/2010

Jerad Hill of the Daily App Show produced a fine video review of FoundMe which he published on the website of his App Show. It is a nice tour through the app explaining the main features and operations performed. If you want to learn what FoundMe is about then here is the alternative: Just grab a cup of tea or coffee, assume a relaxed seating position and head over to the Daily App Show for a 5-minute demo of FoundMe. (On the iPhone / iPod touch you get the podcast via iTunes.)
The review does not show GPS-localization yet since it was recorded already early December 2009.

Another thing remains to be added to last year’s things is that I was interviewed by iGadget-News.de about iPhone App development.
The interested reader can find it here (interview is in German though).

FoundMe updated with GPS-tracking

25/11/2009

FoundMe has been updated to version 1.1 to include a possible way of location tracking by push notifications. This means that if your device is locked and the finder slides to unlock FoundMe is launched in a special ‘push mode’. (Otherwise you have to trick the finder to choose ‘View’ in the pushed message pop-up dialog to start FoundMe.) In this ‘push mode’ FoundMe displays all your provided contact information (red screen) while it quietly in the background reports the device’s location back to the Online Portal where it is displayed on a map.

Unfortunately the process of obtaining an exact location depends on the environment and most significant; it takes some time. Therefore a series of up to 4 locations of increasing accuracy can be reported back to the Online-Portal (see the image below). Every location report is converted to an email which is send to the address you registered with.

FoundMe Wallpaper Labeler with Push – FAQs

05/11/2009

FoundMe 1.0This is a list with Frequently Asked Questions about the FoundMe App.

For  an error or bug report please fill out this form

  1. No wallpaper image gets saved when I press the “Save” button. I can’t find the background image I created with FoundMe in my iPhone’s Photo Library or Camera Roll.
  2. What are the advantages of “pushing” notifications to the lost iPhone over conventional text messages?
  3. Is there a demo or light version?
  4. What about a translation to another language?
  5. I have trouble registering for Push Notifications.
  6. What if GPS is not active in the moment a push message arrives? The thief surely won’t activate GPS!
  7. Is it useful for an iPod touch?
  8. My question is not answered here.


1. No wallpaper image gets saved when I press the “Save” button. I can’t find the background image I created with FoundMe in my iPhone’s Photo Library or Camera Roll.

You have to save the actual image to flash memory by performing a “take screenshot” command with your iPhone/iPod touch. In the App before the “Save” button appears, a black-whicht animation is played. It should clarify which button you have to press to take a screenshot:

screenshot how-toIf the blank background image without time and date is shown in the App, first press and keep pressed the HOME button on your device while second you engage the upper LOCK button. The iPhone/iPod touch should now play a camera shutter sound and flash the display shortly. Now the image is saved in your Camera Roll.

Sorry about this nuisance, but this is the simplest way to provide you with a image of high resolution. The alternative way * would blur the text and photo.

* UIImageWriteToSavedPhotosAlbum(...) // this gets lossy JPEG compression!


2. What are the advantages of “pushing” notifications to the lost iPhone over conventional text messages?

  • Push Notifications work even if the SIM card was replaced. (Provided the FoundMe App was not removed from the iPhone.)
  • Push Notifications are transmitted over the Internet and are therefore free of charge.


3. Is there a demo or light version? I want to test FoundMe before purchase, I am not certain that the App is right for me.

No, it is likely that there won’t be a light version. You can learn the steps to create the background image from the video (also on YouTube at the  end of the FAQ).

The functionality of the on-way messenger from the Internet to the lost iPhone is simple and self-explaining. On your device this would look as in these screenshots:

screenshot1 Push message in FoundMe

4. What about a translation to another language?

The line “This iPhone belongs to” which is the first line of the imprint on the wallpaper is translated to many languages. If yours is missing please  provide the translation in your native language here.


5. I can not register for the Push Notifications

Please check out these instructions (ES / FR / IT / EN) if you have trouble registering for, or receiving push notifications. The same rules as for “WhatsApp” apply to “FoundMe”.

Specific Instructions for FoundMe:

In order to register for Push Notifications a reliable Internet connection is required. If that connection is disturbed FoundMe is programmed to display the description of the error in a blue message box.

To investigate the source of the error, please watch the progress bar: The first half is filled during the period FoundMe waits to reach and get an answer from the Apple servers, the second half is filled up when waiting for the FoundMe Push Server.

There are cases when the built in time out of 25 seconds (up to version 1.1 of FoundMe) for each network request seems to be to small. In that case the lower part of the page will show a large button which leeds to a pre-composed “Error Registration Email”. It will show one of the following error codes:

1 – No Push ID delivered by Apple
2 – FoundMe Server not reachable
3 – Rare internal errors or Apple servers denied request
4 – Time out. Email should contain the Push ID. Please post the email!
5 – Time out occurred repeatedly.

Error code 4 can be lifted by me if I get your Email with the Push ID. Error code 5 will be addressed in the February update (v. 1.2) by extending the communication time out period.

Issues with Jailbreaks / Unlocks:

As a developer I do not have access to those devices. Therefore I like to cite talibunny2008’s iTunes comment for iPushIt concerning a similar issue:

“Push notifications do not work on jail broken / unlocked iPhones. Even pushfix from the cydia store will be of no help! The only single way to make Push work on iPhones with jailbreaks is to restore the jail-broken phone using a valid SIM card (e.g. T-Mobile in Germany) and activate it using the iTunes software.

THEN jail break the iPhone and DISABLE the activation with the pwnage tool. If you wish perform an unlock now. Et voilà push is working with the e-plus mobile provider in Germany on the 3G with OS 3.1.2 with jailbreak. The main thing is the activation with a valid SIM card (T-Mobile in Germany).
In that process the iPhone is assigned a unique ID which Apple needs to deliver the push notifications. By hacktivating with the Pwnage tool Cydia Store random, not with Apple registered ID’s are generated. Push notifications are therefore posted into the Nirvana or totally unknown people’s phones. (Translation done by me. Semmel)

That’s obviously all I want to write on that topic.

6. What if GPS is not active in the moment a push message arrives? The thief surely won’t activate GPS!

Right, the location services can be turned off for the iPhone – in that case choosing to view the push message will not determine the location of the iPhone. However when enabled for the device, GPS is always permitted for FoundMe too. This is since the user is prompted twice to grant FoundMe access to the iPhone’s location during the first run of the app.
So unless the finder disables GPS on the found device, his reaction on the push message will always result in a position measurement. It’s accuracy however depends on how long the FoundMe push page is held open and environmental conditions.

7. Can I track my iPod touch anywhere in the world?

Due to their permanent connection to the mobile carrier iPhones are easier to locate than iPods.

To locate an iPod FoundMe relies on Push Notifications to be delivered and Wireless LAN access.

“Please be aware that an iPod touch turns off the WiFi radio when it is unplugged and in sleep mode (screen turned off). You will not receive new message notifications when your iPod touch is in this state. For the best experience, try to keep your iPod touch connected to power source as much as possible.” (Source: whatsapp.com)

On iPods the location is determined not by GPS satellite signal but by checking surrounding known wireless networks. On an iPod I never evaluated the accuracy of the measured location with respect to the number of WLANs in reach, but I ASSUME that a single network e.g. in a low-populated area might be not sufficient.

Those two principals are the foundation for all Apps which locate stolen iPhones or iPod touch’s. If someone promises you otherwise his/her App must be turned on ALL THE TIME or he/she simply does not tell the truth.

On the iPod touch FoundMe is of course still a great tool to frequently create custom new wallpapers choosing from the terrific mobile.sciphone.net gallery and imprint your personal information on them.


8. My question is not answered here.

Please fill out and submit this form.

Häufig gestellte Fragen (FAQ) FoundMe App 1.0 – 1.1

05/11/2009

FoundMe 1.0Hier finden Sie eine Liste mit häufig gestellten Fragen (FAQ) zur Hintergrundbild-App FoundMe.

Fehler können Sie über dieses Formular melden.

  1. Keines der Hintergrundbilder die ich erstelle wird nach Betätigung des Buttons „Speichern“ gespeichert.
  2. Welche Vorteile haben Push-Mitteilungen gegenüber SMS-Mitteilungen auf das verlorene iPhone?
  3. Gibt es eine Demo- oder Light-Version?
  4. Ich kann mich nicht registrieren.
  5. Ich finde die Antwort auf meine Frage hier nicht.


1. Keines der Hintergrundbilder die ich erstelle wird nach Betätigung des Buttons „Speichern“ gespeichert. Habe alle Foto-Ordner im iPhone durchsucht – Nichts, kein neues Hintergrundbild.

Das Problem liegt darin, dass man das Bild per “iPhone-Screenshot (Bildschirmfoto)” in die Filmrolle speichern muss. Bevor rechts oben der Speichern-Knopf auftaucht gibt es so eine kleine Animation mit zwei Fingern, die den Ablauf verdeutlichen soll: screenshot how-to
Wenn das reine Hintergrundbild (ohne Zeit und Datum) angezeigt wird, den HOME-Button vom iPhone gedrückt halten und währenddessen den oberen Lockbutton an der Geräteoberseite drücken. Das iPhone macht dann ein Klickgeräusch und flasht kurz weiss auf. Dann ist es auf jeden Fall in der Filmrolle.
Das geht leider nicht anders, weil nur so die höchste Bildschärfe im gespeicherten Bild erreicht wird, sonst “verwäscht” die Schrift *.

* UIImageWriteToSavedPhotosAlbum(...) // das geht leider nicht!


2. Welche Vorteile haben Push-Mitteilungen gegenüber SMS-Mitteilungen auf das verlorene iPhone?

  • Push funktioniert auch mit gewechselter SIM-Karte. (Voraussetzung ist, das FoundMe nicht vom iPhone entfernt wurde.)
  • Für Push-Nachrichten fallen keine Kosten an.


3. Gibt es eine Demo- oder Light-Version? Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob es die richtige App für mich ist.

Nein, es wird vorrausichtlich keine Demo-/Lightversion geben. Der Ablauf der Erstellung des Hintergrundbildes mit den Besitzerinformationen ist ausführlich im Produktvideo (auf YouTube am FAQ-Ende) dargestellt.

Die Nachrichtenübermittlung auf das verlorene iPhone aus dem Internet ist selbsterklärend und einfach. Auf dem iPhone sieht das dann so wie auf diesen Screens aus:

Push arrives on lock screen (de) Push message in FoundMe (de)


4. Ich kann mich nicht registrieren

Grundsätzlich benötigen Sie zur Registrierung für die Push-Benachrichtigungen eine Verbindung ins Mobilfunknetz und ins Internet. Sollte hier eine Störung vorliegen, erhalten Sie die Fehlermeldung darüber in einer Textbox mit ausführlicher Beschreibung.

Achten Sie auf die Fortschrittsanzeige: Die ersten 50% betreffen die Verbindung über Ihren Mobilfunkbetreiber zu Apple, die zweiten 50% die Kommunikation zu den FoundMe-Servern. Sollte es in seltenen Fällen oder bei Jailbreaks hier zu einem Time-Out kommen wird im unteren Teil der App so ein Fehlerberichtsbutton freigeschaltet, über den Sie mir eine E-Mail mit einem Fehlercode zusenden können. Die Codes haben folgende Bedeutung:

1 – Keine Push-ID von Apple bezogen
2 – FoundMe Server nicht ansprechbar (tritt in dieser Form gar nicht auf)
3 – Seltene interne Fehler oder Apple-Server verweigern Verbindung
4 – Time-Out-Fehler. E-Mail sollte zusätzlich Ihre ID enthalten. Bitte abschicken!
5 – Wiederholter Time-Out ist aufgetreten (Das wussten Sie ja bereits.)

Beim Code 4 ist eigentlich alles in Ordnung, ich registriere Sie dann manuell. Anderenfalls versuchen Sie es bitte noch einmal. Ich hoffe, Fehler 5 im neuen Update im Februar 2010 behoben zu haben!

Verhalten bei Jailbreaks / Unlock:

Da ich als Entwickler selbst keinen Zugang zu solchen Geräten habe, kann ich hier nur aus einem iTunes-Kommentar zu ipushit zitieren:

“Push-Benachrichtigungen funktionieren nicht auf jailbroken / unlocked iphones. Da hilft auch kein pushfix aus dem cydia store! Das macht’s nur noch schlimmer. googelt mal jailbreak,iPhone,pushfix! Die einzige Möglichkeit, Push- Benachrichtigungen auch auf iphones mit Jailbreak zum Laufen zu bringen: das jailbroken iphone wiederherstellen – mit irgendeiner einer gültigen SIM von Timo Beil (T-Mobile Anm. hinzugefügt) über iTunes aktivieren –

DANACH das iPhone jail breaken und im pwnage-tool die Aktivierung (Hacktivierung) AUSSCHALTEN !!! – wer braucht, kann jetzt noch das unlock durchführen. voila, push funktioniert jetzt auch auf dem 3G mit OS 3.1.2 mit jailbreak und unlock im e-plus Netz. Das wichtige ist die einmalige Aktivierung mit einer t – mobile Karte.
Dabei wird dem iPhone über Apple eine einmalige ID zugeteilt, die Apple dann zur Zustellung von Push Notifications braucht. Beim Hacktivieren durch das Pwnagetool Cydia Store werden zufällige ID’s vergeben, die nicht bei Apple registrien werden – die Push-Benachrichtigungen enden dann irgendwo im Nirwana oder einfach bei wildfremden leuten auf dem iPhone.”

Mehr mag ich aus nahe liegenden Gründen nicht dazu schreiben.

5. Ich finde die Antwort auf meine Frage hier nicht.

Bitte füllen Sie dieses Formular aus.

FoundMe 1.0 available on the App Store

03/11/2009

icon_english_64-AppStoreThis weekend Apple decided that FoundMe is finally fit for distribution through the App Store. Though I had to axe the integration of mobile.sciphone.net because of legal issues. However, I guess this wallpaper gallery will reappear soon in the first update.

Screenshot 2009.11.1

For everyone who changes his wallpaper frequently and likes to have a bit of reassurance that if lost the finder of your iPhone learns that he is the owner, FoundMe is a must have.

As I just confirmed, the FoundMe Online Portal enables you to get into touch with your iPhone even if it’s SIM-card was replaced. This is because the transmission is driven by the Push Notification technology introduced with iPhone OS 3.0. These Push Notifications are bound to a particular iPhone together with a particular App – not to the SIM-Card as traditional phone calls or text messages would be.

With Apple’s Push Notifications working reliable in the few tests I performed, please tell if you would like to see in the FoundMe Online Portal – the place where you can send your phone a message – a map service showing the location of your lost phone. This is a feature which is planned as an update.

The video shows the wallpaper labeling with FoundMe; how to apply your personal info to your phone’s lock screen.

FoundMe App – A Wallpaper Labeler for the iPhone With Text Messaging

03/10/2009

icon_english_64-AppStoreFoundMe is a comfortable wallpaper editor for the iPhone or iPod touch combined with a one-way online messenger to contact your lost or stolen iPhone or iPod touch. It integrates the owner’s contact data on the lock screen of the iPhone. What makes it stand out from other wallpaper editors are

  • the sleek designed interface,
  • the in color, transparency, position and orientation customizable text layer,
  • the integration of two wallpaper galleries,
  • the ability to receive “push” text notifications on the device even if the SIM card was replaced and you can not reach your device by text message or phone call.

screenshot1

You feel a lot safer if your contact data is prominently placed on your iPhone’s screen. So in case you lose your phone a potential finder could call or email you quickly. Even if you setup a pass code lock.

The whole thing is really something Apple should have provided.  But with FoundMe it is more fun!

To frequently change your wallpaper depending on your mood while maintaining your contact data is just a breeze. The two galleries give you a wide selection of wallpapers to choose from. You can freely tune the colors of the text and background and even rotate the text by +/- 90 degrees.

The homepage of FoundMe is setup here: http://foundme-app.com.