t-mobile uk web-n-walk and tiggit

June 27, 2008

Last week I was contacted by a tiggit mail user that could not get tiggit to work on a T-Mobile Curve in the UK with their pay-as-you-go product. The data package is interesting because it provides essentially unlimited data for a very low monthly fee, AND you only pay as you use the data – i.e. it is unlimited data, pay per megabyte, but capped at £15 per month. Quite a good deal in my book.

The user was having difficulty getting tiggit mail to work, and all the usual fixes did not get him going. So, to help him out, I bought myself a T-Mobile web-n-walk SIM, and asked Vodafone to unlock my 8820 so that I could see what was going on.

Well firstly the process of getting vodafone to provide the NUC to unlock the BlackBerry curve is not hard, but not fast. Compared with visiting various dodgy mobile phone shops down side streets, or visiting equally dodgy looking websites, and handing over my credit card details, I was happy to wait the 3 days it took Vodafone to give me the NUC and instructions for free. The NUC came yesterday.

It turns out that the problem was not with tiggit mail, as the user could not get Opera or Google to work either, so this pointed to an APN problem.

A quick web search found the APN details for T-Mobile, and just popping in the APN details to my newly unlocked Curve had tiggit mail running smoothly. Notably useMDS should not be selected as the handheld is directly on the internet.

I have yet to try their BlackBerry service APN with useMDS set as this might result in a more reliable connection.

looking good on corkboard

June 27, 2008

I just downloaded the free corkboard theme from http://www.crackberry.com, and I am pleased with the way tiggit mail looks with this theme. Take a look

version 0-1-49 now available

June 27, 2008

Phew! Finally worked through the list of problems identified for version 0-1-49. The highlights are on the tiggit.com website. http://www.tiggit.com/tiggitmail/whatsnew.html This should be the first build that doesn’t present loads of packaging problems (hopefully). 

Although this release makes a couple of steps forward with the IDLE problems, I have not made the progress I would have liked in managing idle sessions, and particularly being able to switch idle sessions between mobile and wifi connections.

The problems with POP3 mean that I either need to release this version, or do a patch on version 48. Better I think to do a new release. 

On the bright side tiggit mail now detects phone numbers and http links within the text of an email which is really handy.

Seeking a simulator

June 24, 2008

As work progresses on the seamless switching between WiFi and mobile networks, it is an increasing frustration that I cannot find a simulator with a version 4.3 API and WiFi support.

packaging distractions

June 21, 2008

Research In Motion have progressively improved and enriched the BlackBerry Java API, and have done quite a good job of maintaining backwards compatibility between versions. Unfortunately there are aspects of the 4.2 and 4.3 API that are quite attractive. These range from little things like being able to re-size a JPG image, to accessing the wifi hardware to enable seamless wifi switching.

The downside of this is that it is necessary to build a different version of the application for each version of the API, as it is undesirable to limit the use of tiggit mail to those users with the latest hardware. To workaround this problem I have created an API abstraction layer that wraps the various version specific API calls and provides stubs where the underlying API does not support them.

This in itself is un-remarkable, and it is almost straight forward to build three different packages. However the bit that you don’t expect is that the packaging cannot be the same for older versions of the hardware. 

I am still battling on, working through the subtle differences between setting up over-the-air and webloader installers for a 7220 and a 8320. Sadly one or two tiggit mail users have been stuck in the upgrade process with installers that just don’t work. 

It is a rainy day in London (again) so I guess I will have time to make some progress on this.

Sunday night: I have finally finished scripting the build and upload process and it appears to work (as far as I can tell) for all versions. I have tested the over the air install, but the webloader will have to wait until tomorrow. I am beginning to think that building ALX files will be easier than using the webloader, although for the end user I can’t help thinking that the webloader is a cleaner experience.

where is everyone ?

June 17, 2008

A while ago, I started asking people their location via the download page on the website. Some people have not provided any information, but surprisingly, most people enter their country – either their country of origin or where they are located. Having charted this information, I am a little surprised by the geographic distribution of tiggit mail.

geographic dist


The largest portion is (not surprisingly) USA, followed by Germany, UK, Canada, Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil. Quite an interesting mix.

tripped up by packaging

June 16, 2008

Sorry to everyone that has had a bad experience with downloading tiggit mail 0.1.48 today. Here is some kind of an explanation: I have changed the packaging of tiggit mail so that it consists of a core application (multiMail.cod) and a supporting library (tiggitVersionWrapper.cod).

The reason for this is to allow me to use classes and methods that are only available in later versions of the API, whilst providing an application that works on older handheld models. The newer features are wrapped and stubbed within the old API so that there can be one consistent core code base.

Anyhow, to cut a long story short, I misunderstood the way that the rapc compiler works and posted versions of tiggit mail that all relied on tiggitVersionWrapper42 which was only available within the Curve  download.

This is now fixed, and I have just tested that all the download links work. The only difference at the moment is that 8000 series handhelds and later can resize images when they are attached to an email. So, if you receive an email with a jpg attached on your Curve you can click to make it fit to the height of the screen. This does not work on a 7000 series device.

This is a foundation on which the wireless API will be used in future versions.

Once again, sorry if you have been frustrated by poor downloads today, and particularly the typing error in the weblink.