Nokia New Release and Pricing Changes

Posted on April 30, 2009

Those of you who are Nokia phone users will likely notice a new version of Easy Wi-Fi making its way out to you.   There’s already a new version – 3.0.70 – available on the Devicescape download page, and we’d expect that the Nokia Download! folder will get updated pretty soon. The biggest change for this new release is that it heralds that start of us charging new users for the Nokia application.  Windows, Mac, and Nokia webtablet versions remain free, for now, but the S60 will move to a paid model to match the Apple iPhone and iPod applications available at the Apple App Store.  We’ve set pricing at $4.99, which is on the low side for Symbian applications but seems to be a reasonable balance. Nokia Download! has no e-commerce capability, so purchases take place via Devicescape’s website using Google Checkout.  As Nokia introduces their Ovi Store, we’ll migrate to use that too. To be clear, it’s only new users who will have to pay.  The download is actually a 7-day, fully functional trial for them and needs to be purchased  to continue operation.  If you’re an existing Easy Wi-Fi user you’ll be able to enter your account information…

Nokia S60 beta release

Posted on April 15, 2009

Here at Devicescape HQ, we’re hard at work preparing our next software release for S60 handsets.  We’re not quite ready to share it with the whole world yet, but we’d like to show it to some of our more technical users to get their feedback and suggestions.  If you’re interested in helping us design new features and make our product better, leave us a comment and we’ll email you back with setup instructions.

WPA Supplicant Support

Posted on April 3, 2009

Devicescape is proud to announce that we’re now offering technical support contracts for any developers working with the open source wpa_supplicant software. As a developer, you know that there are times in a project when it is too late to switch from open source to a commercial product, but you are facing problems you just cannot resolve. The open source community is a great resource, and there are a lot of people out there who are very willing to help when they can, but sometimes you want a guaranteed response (or you don’t want to let your competitors know you’re working on a Wi-Fi device). Or maybe you just don’t need any of our advanced features (Wi-Fi Protected Setup, Cisco Compatible Extensions or remote management) in your current project, but would prefer the security of knowing that you had a place to turn for technical support should you hit a problem integrating the open source supplicant with your system. That’s where our WPA Supplicant Support comes in!

Connecting with Devicescape

Posted on April 2, 2009

Those who visit here regularly (that’s all of you, no?), might notice that we’ve added three big buttons to the sidebar inviting you to connect with Devicescape through three popular social networking tools: Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. So, if you’re already a member of one or more of those services, why not click the link(s) and connect with us. Of course, you can still communicate with us through the comments right here in the blog, or for more technical questions through our support forum. We’re just trying to make it as simple as possible for you to keep up with all the exciting things we’re working on, and to be able to get us feedback on our products and service.

The Devicescape Wi-Fi Report

Posted on March 26, 2009

Having a user base in excess of one million enthusiastic members gives us a great opportunity to query the habits, desires, and problems facing Wi-Fi users today.  With that in mind, we’ve decided to conduct regular surveys of our membership, where we can ask insightful questions of this leading-edge community.  We plan to conduct the survey quarterly, and publish the results in a piece of original research that we call “The Devicescape Wi-Fi Report”.  Catchy huh? 😉 We conducted our first survey in January and have now published the first Devicescape Wi-Fi report for Q1, 2009.  Some of the things we learned were quite surprising, while others simply confirmed what we already knew.  Here’s a sample of what we learned: Most users want Muni Wi-Fi and (surprise!) they’d be willing to pay for it like a utility Most users prefer Wi-Fi to 3G and want it built into all phones and bundled with cellular plans People like iPhone Wi-Fi best while on the road (no surprise!) Now that the first one is done, we’re working hard on the Q2 report.  We plan on probing more deeply and hope to invite our friends in the industry to participate through crafting good…

Serengeti: Where your Safari begins

Posted on March 23, 2009

For those who hadn’t already found it, Serengeti is a free app from Devicescape that includes the Easy Wi-Fi functionality and streamlines access to the web while in a hotspot that needs a web based login. How does it work? Serengeti is a very simple front end to Safari. On the cellular network, or your home Wi-Fi, it runs a quick check that you can connect to the internet, and then launches Safari with your selected home page (a side benefit is that you can now define a home page too). The magic comes if you are on a hotspot network, like the AT&T one in Starbucks. When Serengeti encounters a hotspot network like that, it will use Devicescape’s Easy Wi-Fi technology to log you in before it launches Safari. What do I need to use it? You need two things to use Serengeti: A free Devicescape Easy Wi-Fi account, which you can sign up for on the web, or directly from the app’s setup screen; Access to the hotspots you plan to use. Devicescape can handle logging you at lots of commercial networks if you have an account that works for them (e.g. your AT&T iPhone number, which can…

Easy Wi-Fi for App Developers

Posted on March 3, 2009

We just released a brand new product called Serengeti for iPhones and iPod touches.  Shockingly, Apple moved it through the approval process in just a few days, catching us quite by surprise!  We’re pleased about the app because we think it’s a neat workaround to the “Black Hole” problem that John mentioned a couple of posts back.  But, more significantly, it represents a new capability for us: Easy Wi-Fi for Application Developers! Serengeti is the first application that’s Easy Wi-Fi enabled. It embeds a small Easy Wi-Fi library which is used to ensure you have a network connection and log you into your Wi-Fi provider if it’s necessary.  Serengeti does this to streamline your web surfing, but it’s easy to think about the applicability of this approach for many other iPhone apps that benefit from Wi-Fi. Integration of the library is very easy.  The binary itself is small and simple to use.  Each user of an enabled application needs to have an Easy Wi-Fi online account so there is an initial process to link the application to the users account.  That can be done by showing a simple form for signup/signin or – more likely – by throwing the user…

Calling All Wi-Fi Hotspot Operators

Posted on February 18, 2009

With a lot of (much appreciated) help from our enthusiastic user base, Devicescape’s network list is growing every day. New networks from around the world are being added all the time; everything from campus networks to small coffee shops; independent hotspot network operators to aggregators. Most of the time we can get these networks added and working quickly once the required information is sent to us, but every once in a while we come across a network that is either harder to get working, or very rarely impossible. When we contact the operators of a network like that for help we get mixed responses. Some are incredibly receptive and get it straight away, others less so, sometimes with good reasons (which we’ll get into later). So, I wanted to write up something that explains the value of Devicescape to a smaller network operator, and also lets you know how you can get your network added to our list and working easily. If you’re a network operator, whether you understand the advantage of Devicescape or not, this post is especially for you! Why Be Part Of Devicescape’s Network? Increasingly, people are getting online with devices other than their laptops. When they’re…

The iPhone Wi-Fi Black Hole

Posted on January 21, 2009

Devicescape is all about Wi-Fi, and I’ve been using Wi-Fi on an iPhone ever since we got our first one on June 30, 2007. Over that time, we’ve learnt a lot about the iPhone’s Wi-Fi experience. If your thinking is limited to home networks, Apple’s decision to make the switch to a known Wi-Fi network happen automatically seems pretty smart. You walk into your home (or office, etc), the iPhone switches to your Wi-Fi network and everything is good. But, the iPhone is a mobile device, and one that people tend to have with them all the time (unlike a laptop). Increasingly, those devices are being connected to other Wi-Fi networks, including public hotspots like AT&T’s network in the US Starbucks locations. So now my iPhone knows the AT&T Wi-Fi network as well. And therein lies the problem: every AT&T Wi-Fi becomes a black hole for data access until I log in. Daily Annoyance Every morning I walk from the ferry terminal to my bus stop. In between the two, very conveniently, there is a Starbucks where I stop to buy a coffee and check my email and catch up on my Twitter stream before the bus comes. As I…

Thanks a Million!

Posted on December 19, 2008

Devicescape passed a cool milestone this week: 1 million registered users for the Easy Wi-Fi application.  Of course, as I write this, I’m immediately reminded of the scene in Austin Powers where Number Two has to disabuse Dr Evil that his $1M demand is impressive.  In the web world, 1M is “no big deal”.  After all, Facebook just published their user base and it was something insane, like over 130 million! Still, in the world of Wi-Fi, we think 1M is a good number, and we’re certainly quite proud and even a little surprised.  It wasn’t that long ago that we were monitoring single digit daily registrations and logins. So, many thanks to all of our membership out there.  Your feedback, enthusiasm and, yes, criticism, has been much appreciated and truly helpful in making more and more out of our service. Now that we’re at this milestone, we’re thinking “what’s next?” and planning for the future.  We have lots of cool ideas in mind.  Please do try to drop us a line on what you’d like to see: leave a post in our forums, on the blog, or even PM us directly.  Thanks again.