Yesterday, our first Ubuntu Phone app was approved for release. It’s a free app named “Petrucci Sheet Music”, which allows users search for classical sheet music, and display it on their Ubuntu device.
Ubuntu phones aren’t yet available for public release, but you can run the Ubuntu OS on a Google Nexus tablet.
The app is developed as a HTML5 app, and deployed as a click package. Thanks to Emīla piezīmes, David Planella, Vladimir Viro and Digital Derry for making this possible.
Nokia and the RNIB (The Royal Institute for Blind People) ran in partnership to launch the “Do Good Mission“, to challenge developers to create apps that made a difference to the lives of people with low vision.
Open Merchant Account Ltd entered this challenge with it’s app “Audible Browser”, an App for windows phone that allows partially sighted or dyslexic users navigate the internet from their Windows Phone where selected text would be read out-loud by the app, using text-t0-speech (“TTS”). This technology empowers those with low vision navigate web pages, directly from their Windows Phone device. This app is also available for Windows 8 desktop PCs also, and both apps are available free of charge for download.
Open Merchant Account was selected as a runner up in this competition, and have been awarded a design consultation by Nokia engineers to assist in future app development.
As a company, Open Merchant Account Ltd are happy to support the blind community, and this “Do Good Mission”, has enabled the company, albeit in a small way, to make their lives a little easier.
HttpsImage.com is a free service we’ve just launched to allow users upload images for free and have them served via a secure SSL connection. This is designed for users wanting to include branding on secure payment pages, such as paypal, without having a SSL security certificate themselves.
Our website is now available over a secure https connection “https://www.openmerchantaccount.com“, and as part of this process I’ve put online this tool that we’ve used internally to host our images via SSL, and made it a free public resource.
It’s a very simple website, and hopefully we can improve it over time, depending on how well used it is.
As an English-speaking developer, you often forget that most of the rest of the world does not speak English. There is a huge untapped source of users and customers that can be accessed by simply providing your app in the language your customer speaks.
Opposite is a graph of an app before and after localisation (“2″ represents release 2.0). I used Microsoft’s Multilingual App Toolkit, using automatic Bing translations to localize a Windows 8 WinJS app into 20-odd languages.
The process was fairly automatic, although it took some time to take screenshots, and the submission process was quite repetitive. You do have to turn your brain off as you upload 5 screenshots for Albanian, Azerbaijani, Bulgarian …. etc!
The whole process took about 2 hours to do, but resulted in huge increases in downloads, as you can see. Now all I can hope is that this translates into sales!
Unsigned Bands is a Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store app for discovering bands that have not yet signed to a record label. It’s an outlet for new and upcoming bands to showcase their music via Windows apps, and hopefully, get picked up by mainstream record labels who are scouting for undiscovered talent.
As part of Microsoft Ireland’s App Hero competition, we are releasing a series of Windows 8 Store apps, and Windows 8 Phone apps for free for the first 100 downloads. Once the first 100 people have downloaded the app, then these apps will become paid downloads, and will no longer be available for free download.
So, Introducing the next app in this series is “Wine Search” for Windows 8 Store and Windows 8 Phone; downloadable at the following urls:
Going Skiing this winter?, use this free app to download and print off* (Windows 8 only) your ski piste maps before you go. With worldwide coverage, including the USA, Europe and Asia, and thousands of ski resorts at your fingertips, this app is surely not going to disappoint, and for a limited time, this app will be free on the Windows Phone and Windows Store platforms, so download your copy today, while it’s still free!