Twitter's OAuth Authentication, Twikini, and Windows Mobile

As early as April this year, Twitter announced that it will drop third party applications’ authentication other than OAuth to connect to Twitter, and it happened in September 1, 2010. That means that authentication methods like keying in your username and password will not work anymore.

The OAuth method means that in order to use a desktop, mobile or online application to interface with Twitter, you will need to click a link that will bring you to the Twitter page (see sample screenshot below) to authorize the connection.

Examples of desktop applications are Tweetdeck, Seesmic, Twhirl, etc. Examples of online applications are Twitter on Facebook, Friendfeed, Twitpic, and even the various WordPress plugins. For Mobile phone, well, there are different applications for each operating system (e.g., iOS, Android, BlackBerry’s RIM, Windows Mobile, Symbian, etc.).

I have read or heard from various blogs about Twitter’s absolute use of OAuth authentication. But I ignored it, thinking that I don’t develop twitter applications and so that should really be least of my concerns.

Until now, when I found out that I couldn’t use my Twitter app for Windows Mobile, Twikini, anymore.

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Twikini

Twikini is a Windows Mobile client for Twitter. It’s actually one of my favorite WinMo Apps that I paid $4.95 for it to the developers, Trinket Software. It’s lean and fast, just as the developers describe:

FAST! Unlike other Twitter apps for Windows® Mobile, Twikini is written entirely in native C++ code for maximum performance and the fastest load time possible.

The software I paid for comes with free future upgrades, should there be any. Actually, without further upgrades, that latest version of Twikini I installed was already fully functional in its own right. There were a few bugs but ignorable, which usually only occur when there are connection issues.

However, starting September 1, I discovered I couldn’t open Twikini anymore, and it kept asking for my Twitter login credentials. I supplied the correct username and password –yes, but nothing is doing right. Then I read around and it has got to be because of Twitter’s new authentication policy.

And the worst thing about it is Trinket Software already stopped updating the software for my version (6.5) of Windows Mobile.

Sorry guys, with the shape WM 6.x is in, we've moved on to other projects. Twikini will be back on WP7.

Pls note: Twikini will likely stop working later this month (see http://www.countdowntooauth.com). No further updates are planned.

Now, ain’t that great? I paid for a software thinking it comes cheap for a fully functional Twitter application, when it was actually worthless to begin with. I felt like I was robbed by Twinket Software with a few dollars by selling me trash.

The Blame Game

Yet, at the end of the day, Twikini stopped working to connect to Twitter in Windows Mobile. Who’s really to blame?

On one hand is Twinket Software, the developer of Twikini, for reasons discussed above. On the second is Twitter for dropping authentication methods other than Oauth. The third and the last, Windows Mobile, for being abandoned by users and application developers alike.

More related readings about Twikini and Twitter’s OAuth

Windows Mobile 6.5 and the Automatic Data Connection

I have a Samsung Omnia Pro B7330, a Windows smartphone (non-touchscreen) running on Windows Mobile (WinMo) 6.5. What’s one thing I hate about it is that some programs running in the background are actually using data connections without my prior intervention–i.e., without me actually initializing them.

I have installed the SPB Wireless Monitor to monitor which programs have actually invoked the use of the data connection, and at what time were data connectivity used. I discovered the following are some of the programs that were started and used data beyond my control:

  • gpsdriver.dll
  • rilgsm.dll
  • dhcp.dll
  • system
  • home.exe
  • WINDIAG.dll

They actually used minimal data, just a few KB and most are less than 1Kb, but were connecting at different times or intervals during the day. I find this not a problem if I’m using Globe’s per KB charging. But I totally switched to TIME browsing since I really need to download some emails and attachments while on the go–that which I’ll be charged based on a per 15-minute interval.

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I’m not actually sure which one is causing this problem, either my particular phone unit or WinMo 6.5 itself. Nevertheless, if I don’t have the control over when these programs or processes run and use the data connection, that means I won’t have the control over my courier charges as well. There has got to be a way, which fortunately I found from this forum post: Tip: Disable Data Windows Mobile 6.5 (Disable 3G & GPRS).

The solution (which should apply to any Windows Mobile 6.5 and even previous versions):

  1. Create a new connection. Under Settings>>Connections>>GPRS>>Create New. Connects to “The Internet”. You can leave the “Access point” and other settings blank. We can also call this connection “Disable Data”;
  2. Use the connection “Disable Data” when we don’t want the phone connected to the internet via GPRS/3G. Under Settings>>Connections, click on Menu and select Advanced. Internet connection should be set to “Disable Data”;
  3. Use the regular connection when we need the access to internet. In No. 2 above, after selecting Advanced, select the regular connection for the label “Internet Connection”. For Globe subscribers this should be “myGlobe Internet”.

I know this is a bit tedious process that requires additional steps to start connecting to the internet using the data connection, unlike when I was yet using a Nokia E51 phone wherein unless internet connection is actually invoked, no data charges are incurred. But this is the only workaround so far I found. Hope this post help all other WinMo users as well.

For questions and comments, feel free to lodge them below.

In the World of Smartphones, We Are But Just Fourth Class Citizens

It’s sad to say, but, in the world of smartphones, we — the Windows Mobile phone owners, are but just fourth class citizens.

When it comes to great games and useful utility applications for smartphones, it appears, according to my observation, that developers develop apps in the following order or priority or hierarchy:

  1. iPhone
  2. BlackBerry
  3. Android
  4. Windows Mobile
  5. Symbian S60
  6. Others

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