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J1CK Blog

On the go! A fresh look at the web, mobility and user experience

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  • J1CK at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona

    179

    Posted February 12th 2011 under Uncategorized

    — by Jon

    We will be exhibiting at the Mobile World Congress 2011 next week in Barcelona. Our stand (booth) is 7A114, in the App Planet hall. We will be there under our new name: mouin.com.

    We will be demoing our fast app-building system and apps built with it for eight native platforms: Android, iPhone, Blackberry, WAC Widgets, Java/J2ME, Windows Phone 7, Samsung Bada and Symbian. Our system also generates WAP sites, but you can’t call that “native”.

    See you there!

  • The team is growing, and our to-do list too

    174

    Posted May 7th 2010 under Uncategorized

    — by Jon

    Our presence in CEBIT was a great, and we are following up with several international contacts who are interested in our technology. We have also finished a couple more projects in the meantime. We released a self-care mobile application for a small mobile carrier in Spain recently (see http://www.eroskimovil.es/geomv/c/pub/es/J1CK.html, although it won’t be very useful if you are not one of their customers). We are about to release a couple more products in the next few weeks. Social networks, general information, and mobile customer-care are three important sectors where we are happy to gain some presence. We hope to expand into other major sectors in the near future.

    We’ve been incorporating people lately, making the team pictures here on the website now out of date. So meanwhile, here is a picture of the full team we took today (minus external collaborators):

    team-out-500

    On the technical side, we now have a scalable, redundant, load-balancing server architecture, distributed across several data centers, that lets our infrastructure adapt dynamically to the traffic requirements, and that allows our apps and services to survive unplanned outages of different parts of the system while staying up and fully working to our customers. We have also improved the compatibility of our applications, supporting more phone models, and being able to work around more carrier-connectivity issues. And we are now working in making our framework more flexible, allowing us to design and implement the applications for our customers better and in less time.

    We hope to have several more announcements in the near future, and please keep sending us feedback about our apps, it’s invaluable to make them better!

  • J1CK will be exhibiting in CeBIT next week! (Hanover, Germany)

    213

    Posted February 24th 2010 under Uncategorized

    — by Jon

    CeBIT is probably the most important computer technology trade show in Europe. It takes place in Hannover, Germany, and this year it will be open to the public from March 2 (next Tuesday) to March 7 (next Saturday). We are happy to announce that J1CK Mobile Systems will have a small booth there, and we’ll be available to demo our products and talk to you during the full 5 days (yes, even Saturday when kids are allowed entry to the show floor and we will be tired after four full days of exhibiting work!).

    Our booth is located in Hall 6, Stand J15-5, in a part dedicated to tech companies from Spain.

    Here is the front of the flyer we will be giving out at the show:

    j1ck-cebit-flyer

    As you see, the model we’re promoting is very clear and simple: we offer to adapt your web service using our technology to generate native apps for the four main platforms, resulting in a great mobile experience similar to the one j1ck.tweet and our mobile Wikipedia client app provide. Our solution gets you a great customized app, and is more than competitive in time and cost with other options out there. Be sure to check with us if you’d like to discuss the details.

    Hope to see you there!

  • j1ck.tweet and the j1ck wikipedia client ready for Blackberry!

    263

    Posted February 4th 2010 under Uncategorized

    — by Jon

    hojarojaFinally, our two flagship apps are available for Blackberry! Here are the URLs at which you can download them (beta1):

    j1ck.tweet: http://tw.j1ck.com/bb/

    J1CK wikipedia client: http://wikipedia.j1ck.com/bb/

    It will work on all Blackberries with OS 4.3 and above. We have tested all known form factors: the old model with the side-wheel, the modern ones with the thumbtrack, Pearl models with a half-QWERTY keyboard, and the touch-screen bold models.

    We’ve been able to implement a good connectivity solution (what a nightmare this is on Blackberry!). On one hand, RIM finally gave us BIS-B approval last Friday — so these apps will go through RIM’s network (and be included in your regular BB browsing plan, so it could be free of any extra cost to you). On the other hand, we finally got our act together and added a quite powerful connectivity settings menu. By default, things are set to Auto, which defaults to the following connection methods tried: WiFi, BIS-B, BES, WAP, TCP/IP. These are tried in order, and the first that works is used. You can override these options and force a single connection method if you prefer.

    This is Beta 1, it should work fine in most cases (as it’s based on all our previous work, and we’ve tested it a lot internally and in closed beta), but I’m sure there will be a lot of glitches. Please send us your feedback, and we will be happy to address the issues for the 1.0 release due very soon!

  • Out now: J1CK Wikipedia Mobile App, and J1CK.Tweet in 8 More Languages!

    287

    Posted December 16th 2009 under Uncategorized

    — by Jon

    jtlangsandwToday’s a big day for us. We are releasing our Wikipedia mobile app for Java phones, and we are also releasing J1CK.Tweet 1.0 fully translated into the eight following languages: French, Italian, German, Finnish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

    Here are the links you have to type on your Java mobile phone to install each of the versions:

    This translations are done in the J1CK goal of making the web more and more accessible in mobile, including universal platform, phone model, and now user-language support!

    All versions now include a language selection screen from the “Accounts” menu, so all of them can work in all languages. Your phone needs to have the relevant fonts for non-latin-alphabet languages.

    It’s thanks to the following amazing people that we’ve been able to get all the user interface translated in each language:

    • @taike_hk for the Japanese version
    • @kengao for the Traditional Chinese version
    • @danielvieirads for the Brazilian Portuguese version
    • @jovaz21 for the French version
    • Alex Vitores for the Italian version
    • Aitor Elizondo for the German version
    • Jari Nevala for the Finnish version
    • Judy Zhu for the Simplified Chinese version (via Enrique Perez)

    Many thanks to you all, and may a lot of karma fly your way!

    Together with the already released English, Spanish and Basque versions, this means j1ck.tweet is now available in 11 languages. I think I can safely say we are the most multilingual Twitter interface in existence, including the twitter.com web site in the competition : ) We are planning to release other language versions too in the near future. Get in touch if you are interested in a specific version (you can use the support form at j1ck.com).

    You can go to http://j1ck.com/mobile-twitter.php for all the details on j1ck.tweet, links to download each version, etc…

    Apart from this, we are also happy to announce the release our Wikipedia client app for Java phones! It’s a very clean and simple app that searches wikipedia for a term you type (you can choose what Wikipedia language), and lets you see the article adapted for the best mobile viewing. You can go to http://j1ck.com/mobile-wikipedia.php for all the details and the download link (actually, you can just visit wikipedia.j1ck.com on your Java mobile to install it).

    And if you’re into scuba diving or ocean-related info, and you can read Spanish, you can visit bajoelagua.j1ck.com to install our new Bajo El Agua app to access the news from our friends at http://www.bajoelagua.com, the top ocean-related and diving related web site in Spanish.

    We’ll be happy to hear your feedback, including j1ck.tweet translation errors, of course. And now we’re off to cover other platforms and web sites!

  • j1ck.tweet 1.0 for java mobiles is out now!

    216

    Posted December 10th 2009 under Uncategorized

    — by Jon

    And at long last, we are happy to announce version 1.0 of j1ck.tweet, our Twitter client application for Java phones! Here is the official product page:

    http://j1ck.com/mobile-twitter.php

    And here is the address you need to visit on your mobile phone to install the application:

    http://tw.j1ck.com

    We have fixed all critical problems that were reported for Beta 1. We will address the rest of reports and suggestions in future versions. Thanks to everyone who sent feedback!

    collage-500

    Here is a (more or less) complete list of issues we have fixed and areas we have improved:

    • Added “Tweet” to options menu everywhere, so that you can tweet without going back to “Home”
    • Screen rotation properly supported (Nokia 5800, N95, etc…)
    • Fixed issues with non-latin alphabets in retweets and saved searches
    • Better direct-typing support for QWERTY phones in the login screen, uppercase and symbols can be typed now. Also, if you press and hold “#” in this screen, it will bring up a built-in form which should fix any other typing problem
    • Improved touch-support: invisible but larger areas for scrollbars, soft-buttons, etc…
    • Better layout of the log-in form
    • Left/Right now work in list views to move faster than Up/Down
    • Better handling when you cancel a load halfway
    • Better progressive rendering while  a load is in progress
    • Proper tagging of new-style retweets
    • Fixed timestamps in some cases (”1 hour ago”…)
    • Fail whale now shows properly (could disappear quickly in some cases)
    • Improved layout of account options menu on some phones
    • Fixed inserting the reference when doing RT and Reply from other people’s profiles
    • Moved to using port 80, which should fix communication issues with some rare rogue carriers that don’t let you use other ports
    • …and a lot of other improvements which, while minor, should nonetheless help you really enjoy the experience of using j1ck.tweet!

    Hope you enjoy it. The current version out there will start notifying the 1.0 update tomorrow (or maybe on Monday), and existing users will just have to follow the link to update. We don’t want to start rolling it out yet until everything’s settled. But if you go to the installation URL above (tw.j1ck.com), the new version should just install on top of your existing one, keep all the accounts info, and get you all the newest features.

    Watch out for new announcements here in the next few days. The oven is about to finish several interesting things we’ll publish as soon as they’re ready!

  • J1CK and j1ck.tweet on TV and publicly presented

    232

    Posted November 6th 2009 under Uncategorized

    — by Jon

    It’s been an exciting week. We’re almost there with j1ck.tweet 1.0, and we’ve had some media coverage that is always rewarding.

    We were interviewed for NickDutNik, a show from Basque TV station ETB3 which treats Internet initiatives in the Basque country. The interview was aired on Wednesday (Nov. 4th, 2009), and here it is embedded for your viewing pleasure. Most of it is in “euskera” (the Basque language), although some parts are in Spanish with Basque subtitles. At least, you will be able to meet our team and get a glimpse of our working environment.

    (link to the source page)

    You can see all other shows they’ve aired on their main page. Thanks to ETB3, Factoria Crossmedia, Arantza and Sara, and congrats on a great job with the local Internet and start-up scene!

    Apart from this, we presented J1CK and j1ck.tweet at a local “Beers & Blogs”-like event. The official name is “BBTGasteiz”, from “Beers, Blogs and Tweets in Gasteiz” (Gasteiz being the Basque name of our town). It was a lot of fun, we demonstrated j1ck.tweet and other internal prototypes, and gathered interesting feedback from attendees. We honored the name of the event with the tweets and beers during the event, and now we’re blogging about it to give it its full name. Here is a picture tweeted during the event:

    bbtgasteiz500

    Thanks to @logela and @maripuchi for organizing the event and inviting us to present. And thanks to everyone for attending! Watch out for #bbtgasteiz for any related news.

    And we look forward to presenting at other events in the coming months!

  • Preview screenshots of j1ck.tweet on Blackberry

    240

    Posted October 30th 2009 under Uncategorized

    — by Jon

    bblogo-200We’re giving the final touches to the Blackberry version of j1ck.tweet, our Twitter client, and we will hopefully be able to release it very soon. Meanwhile, here is some preliminary info and screenshots to whet your appetite!

    The J2ME version for general Java phones is already out there and being used quite extensively. The public version is Beta 1, and we’re finalizing some fixes to officially release 1.0 (very soon!). For the Blackberry, we could have used a simply adapted version: Blackberries support J2ME apps. But that would never let us create a great user experience on a Blackberry, so we decided to go the extra mile and implement a native BB version.

    In the last couple of weeks we’ve finished integrating native Blackberry menus and a UI that respects platform conventions. We’ve also been able to make camera support work seamlessly. The main remaining point is getting RIM’s help to provide BIS-B connectivity: it’s quite surprising that app connectivity is so confusing on the Blackberry, and that you need to pay hefty fees and get RIM’s approval to provide a decent user experience connectivity-wise. Anyhow, we hope to jump over this last remaining hurdle shortly.

    We support all Blackberry form factors: the older side-thumbwheel models like the 8700, the newer trackball ones, Pearl models with half-QWERTY keyboards, and the latest touch-screen Storm models. It’s proved to be quite some effort, but we’re really happy with the result. Seamless user-experience is our goal, and good input support is half of this. The other half is display, and we hope the captures below speak for themselves. We’ve had to require a minimum version 4.2 of the RIM Blackberry OS, which should be met by nearly all modern Blackberries out there (and you can upgrade at least some of the others!). 4.1 was giving us too much trouble with poor rendering support and it didn’t seem worthwhile fighting that battle.

    TimeLine9000-250AccountsMenuPearl-200TweetStorm-250TimeLine9000Menu-250BB8700-250

    There are already several good Blackberry Twitter clients out there, and we don’t really want to compete with them: our focus is different. We aim for a simple and clear user experience, and we hope to appeal to the segment of the market that values most the beauty of simplicity.

    With regards to the remaining steps, if anyone can get us a good contact at RIM to help with the BIS-B approval process, we will be very grateful. And meanwhile, we’ll keep navigating the Canadian labyrinth, and hope to announce a public beta 1 soon!

  • First week of a whale-hunting mobile twitter app!

    242

    Posted October 23rd 2009 under Uncategorized

    — by Jon

    We released the first public beta of j1ck.tweet, the twitter client built on our J1CK platform, last week (see here). Our intention was just to reach a few dozen users to test compatibility and the stability of the server. We decided to announce it only on the blog and still not add a product page to the main j1ck.com web site. After announcing the release on the blog and tweeting it, a few people started checking it out, and retweeting about it. All was smooth saling. But on Sunday night, we were surprised to find out that @taike_hk had already posted a review on his posterous blog:

    1st-review

    http://taikenobu.posterous.com/new-twitter-client-java-called-j1ck-beta-1-tw

    A very positive review. Well, except the Japanese part, for which we don’t get all the subtleties! Of course, we were flattered.

    After this, NokiaMobileTalk.com picked the news and also published a very positive review:

    2nd-review

    http://www.nokiamobiletalk.com/2009/11/twitter-j1cktweet/

    From here on, things started going a bit crazy very quickly. The viral nature of Twitter in action is certainly impressive. Hundreds of people started downloading it, tweeting and retweeting about it, sending in suggestions, reviewing it on their blogs and sites, etc… it seems our design approach of keeping things clear, simple and readable has resonated with many people. Here are some of the reviews and reactions out there:

    [KuApp, English] http://kuapp.com/2009/10/21/j1ck-tweet-free-java-twitter-application-support-5800.html
    [FAQ4Mobiles, German] http://www.faq4mobiles.de/forum/neuvorstellungen-und-updates/63840-j1ck-tweet-ein-toller-twitter-client-fuer-java-handys.html
    [ShiftDelete.net, Turkish] http://shiftdelete.net/cepten-twitter-kullandiran-uygulama-15363.html
    [MobileBlog.it, Italian] http://www.mobileblog.it/post/9759/j1ckun-nuovo-ed-ottimo-client-twitter-per-tutti-i-cellulari-java
    [MobileFone.in, English - India] http://mobilefone.in/mobile-software/j1ck-twitter-client-for-java-enabled-devices/
    [HiAPK, Chinese] http://www.hiapk.com/bbs/thread-36577-1-1.html
    [MyNokiaMobileBlog, English] http://mynokiamobile.org/2009/10/20/j1cktweet-free-tweete-application-for-nokia/
    [Gogo409, Japanese] http://gogo409.blogspot.com/2009/10/1twitterj1ck-tweet.html
    [Symbian SmashPop, English] http://symbian.smashpop.net/j1cktweet-a-twitter-app-for-all-phones
    [BlogDoDan, Brazilian Portuguese] http://www.danielvieirads.com/2009/10/j1cktweet.html

    Not bad for zero press releases or marketing effort. But what we like even more is the kinds of things some enthusiastic people are tweeting about j1ck.tweet:

    tweet1tweet2tweet3tweet4

    We’re very happy that so many people are already using and enjoying j1ck.tweet, and we’re happy that we’ve only found minor issues in the beta process. Both compatibility and stability are already quite good. We’re now tying a few loose ends, and we’ll be able to officially launch 1.0 very soon, probably in a matter of days. The official launch will include proper product and support pages, sending in notices to popular mobile app bloggers, etc… But right now, we’re fixing a few things and implementing the last functionality for 1.0:

    • Proper rotation support for phones that support that
    • Fixing some problems with text input in the login screen
    • Fixing display of non-Latin text in some cases (Twitter options when configured in Japanese, retweeting tweets in far east writing systems…)
    • And better problem reporting.

    For this last point, we’ve been in the unlikely situation of trying to stumble into a fail-whale, to check that the code to display it in all its glory worked fine. Javier, the dev responsible for this part, joked that he was hunting whales! Putting the whale into a tiny phone was definitely a big effort: we’ve measured the twitter whale to weigh exactly 87 tons, 3 more than the largest blue whale ever. But in less time than it took to find Moby Dick, we were able to get this:

    sgh-f480-whale

    A proper Twitter client wouldn’t be complete without it!

  • j1ck.tweet – Beta 1 of our Java Twitter client ready!

    256

    Posted October 14th 2009 under twitter

    — by Jon

    hoops-and-yoyo-with-jt-beta-1So, finally, with the help of Hoops and Yoyo (on the left), the first public beta of our Java Twitter client is ready. The simplest way to install is to open your Java-enabled phone’s web (or WAP) browser and type the following URL:

    tw.j1ck.com

    You’ll get to a simple page where you can choose the appropriate version for your phone, click on the relevant link, and the app will be downloaded and installed on your phone. After this, we hope using the app is rather self-explanatory.

    The font size of that page is too small on some phones (esp. Nokia), but there is not much we can do until we customize it for each phone. Rest assured, fonts in the app are big and readable! That is actually one of the main design goals of  j1ck.tweet and our whole system.

    I hate feature lists. I think app design should be about the user experience. But of course not everybody thinks alike, and knowing whether some required functionality is supported is often useful. So here it goes, summary of j1ck.tweet features:

    • All standard functionality: timeline, @mentions, DMs, favorites, following/followers, follow/unfollow, profiles… and of course tweeting!
    • Simple, no-nonsense interface. Up/Down/Click and using a menu is all you need to know.
    • Quick Reply / Retweet / Favorite in each tweet
    • Trending Topics / Saved searches support
    • Multiple-account support.
    • Twitpic support: you’ll see the picture without having to navigate over there
    • Camera support! Take a snapshot from the tweeting form itself and have it automatically uploaded to Twitpic. Great to share where you are in a moment.
    • Pretty good support for touch-screen phones (we’re testing mainly on Nokia 5800 and Samsung F480)
    • Support for QWERTY keyboard phones (Nokia E71 is currently our main testing device for this)

    Here is an (incomplete) list of phones where we’ve tested this to work fine:

    Nokia N70, Nokia N73, Nokia N80, Nokia N81, Nokia N95, Nokia E50, Nokia 6230, Nokia 6288, Nokia 6500, Nokia 5610 XpressMusic, Nokia 5220 XpressMusic, Nokia 2630, Nokia 3109c, Nokia 3120 Classic, Nokia 5800, Sony-Ericssson W880i, Sony-Ericssson K610i, Sony-Ericssson Z610i, Sony-Ericssson K800i, Samsung SGH-U700, Samsung SGH-J800, Samsung SGH-i560, Samsung SGH-L760, Samsung SGH-F480 (touch-screen), LG KU-380, LG KU-800, Motorola RAZR V3, Motorola VE 538

    Temporarily, it won’t work on the Nokia 6020/6021, which are quite old and where app size is limited to 128kb (!). We plan to reduce the size back to let it work again on this phones, but we haven’t had the time to do so yet.

    All feedback will be very welcome (that’s the goal!). Just write to support@j1ck.com. We hope to use this public beta to start testing the scalability of our server (which, for obvious reasons, hasn’t yet been tested “on the wild”), and compatibility with as many phones as possible. But still, we’ve already been using this ourselves for weeks, and we are already enjoying it a lot, and I hope you will too!

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