Strip 1.5.4 Released

2011-06-02 20:00:00 -0400

We just released an update to Strip to fix a bit of a nuisance bug that had cropped up in the last version. We had enabled this setting for the application (UIRequiresPersistentWiFi) that activates the device’s WiFi connection on application launch, and keeps it open, rather than closing it after 30 minutes. We had done this in the hopes that it might solve some intermittent connection problems some folks had experienced trying to connect with Strip Sync on their local WiFi network. Anyway, there was a bit of a downside we didn’t see coming—every time you launched Strip and a WiFi connection was not available, you’d get this really jarring popup alert from the system, complaining about the absence of a WiFi connection. Very annoying in Airplane mode! It’s off now, sorry for the trouble.

What's Up with Tempo

2011-06-01 20:00:00 -0400

Last week we experienced some problems with Tempo that were a bit of a nuisance for some of our customers. We needed to switch to a new charting library as the old one wasn’t holding up, but we ran into some issues with the first launch of those update. Our apologies that we didn’t catch them before making those updates live! We worked quickly to have it resolved by the next day, and things have been peachy since. If you happen to have a lot of people and/or projects in your Tempo account, you’ll notice the charts are quite a bit more useful now than they have been. If you run into any issues with the charts, please let us know.

There’s another update coming this Monday night to help out accounts that have a lot of projects and users, each page now has a search field allowing you to quickly pull up who or what you’re looking for. We’re currently working on more ideas for making Tempo more efficient and easy to use, and we’d love your feedback. Feel free to drop us a note in the comments here or get in touch via email.

Preparing Strip to Ship

2011-06-01 20:00:00 -0400

It’s been a little bit since we provided an update on Strip for Mac OS X and Windows and some folks have been asking, “what’s up?” We are submitting the 1.0 version of Strip to the Mac App Store, a universal binary, 32/64 bit. Keep your fingers crossed for approval and not rejection! This is one of the reasons why we don’t have a release date set yet, we need to get approval before we can realistically set one. It may turn out that changes will be required before we can publish it. Strip for Mac OS X requires you to be running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard or later (it is untested on Lion developer seeds).

We’re going all in with this Mac App Store for Strip, we won’t be distributing the app outside the Mac App Store. On the Windows side, we’re still working on our own purchasing system. There is no official Microsoft app store service for selling Windows software yet (would someone please light a fire under Uncle Fester’s derriere?), so we’ve had to do some work to set up our own purchasing and authorization system. Nothing too complex, but it’s work.

We’re also working on a major update to the product site for Strip, as the way it is currently set up isn’t quite inadequate for providing information on what are ostensibly two more products. Our merchant account provider for the Windows side isn’t cool with us launching the product without a supporting site, so we can’t just push it off until later.

All things considered, looks like we’re a couple of weeks out, as we’re juggling a couple of other things, too. Thanks for waiting on us!

By the way, if you have been thinking about buying Strip for iOS but have been leery of paying $9.99 just to try it out, we’re running a sale at the moment. For the time being, Strip for iOS is now available for $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.

Tempo Maintenance: May 25th, 9pm EDT

2011-05-23 20:00:00 -0400

Our time-tracking service Tempo will be undergoing some brief maintenance on Wednesday night at 9pm EDT. We don’t expect it to result in any noticeable downtime, although you might experience a blip. There’s a real gem in this update, we’ll begin using a new charting library that should greatly improve the display of charts on the reporting page. In particular, users who were reporting on a very high number of projects and/or users should find it quite a bit more useful.

Guardian Project Introduces SQLCipher for Android

2011-05-11 08:38:00 -0400

I believe it was a couple of years ago that I first met Nate Freitas at No↔Space co-working here in Brooklyn (née The Change You Want To See). He was working on ideas to help enable and protect communications amongst fellow activists, and I took an instant liking to him—this was a trouble maker! I mentioned our SQLCipher project to him, it was still pretty new in 2008, and he was immediately interested in being able to use it in Android applications. Since then he’s gone on to help found the Guardian Project, which aims to arm and protect mobile devices against unwanted surveillance and intrusion. Recently, he got back in touch with some big news:

After some major breakthroughs during last week’s development sprint, we’re extremely excited to announce SQLCipher for Android, Developer Preview r1.

SQLCipher is already on mobile devices on other platforms, but this is the first time it’s been made easily accessible for an Android developer, bringing compatibility with the native SQLite interfaces provided by Android. I’d say that probably makes it even easier to work with on Android than on iOS, as it closely integrates cursors with views (in Cocoa-land, you can’t just plug SQLCipher into Core Data, you have to role your own data management classes). Our teammate Erik was able to easily drop it into a sample Android project and get it working in no time.

In an environment where mobile data privacy is increasingly in the headlines, this project will make it easier than ever for mobile developers to properly secure their local application data, and in turn better protect the privacy of their users. The data stored by Android apps protected by this type of encryption will be less vulnerable to access by malicious apps, protected in case of device loss or theft, and highly resistant to mobile data forensics tools that are increasingly used to mass copy a mobile device during routine traffic stops.

Big ups to Hans-Christian Lee of Guardian who did brilliant work achieving this high level of integration with the Android platform. Please check out the Guardian Project and their apps, especially if you own an Android device. If you’re a hacker, give the developer preview a shot, and consider helping them hack on some seriously cool software.