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Author Topic: Introducing Bitcoin for Android  (Read 8755 times)
garyrowe
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July 07, 2011, 08:44:09 AM
 #1

Brian Armstrong has released Bitcoin for Android as a free and open source application to the Android Marketplace (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.bitcoinandroid).

It's a very slick way of sending and receiving Bitcoins on your Android phone. Easy install, but make sure that you do it over Wifi since it provides a recent block chain to get you up and running quickly, and that's a few megs.

Technically minded folks who want to examine the source code to verify that it's not going to rip them off can do so at GitHub (https://github.com/barmstrong/bitcoin-android).

Receiving coins can be done by instant QR code generation (so another phone can view the screen and pick up the wallet address), or by sending the wallet address via almost any mechanism you can think of (SMS, email, Twitter, Facebook, FriendStream etc etc). It will copy the wallet address to the clipboard if you want to allow you to paste it anywhere you like.

Sending coins can be done by either scanning a QR code (ideal for merchants presenting prices in BTC) or by manual entry (from clipboard if necessary).

It's really aimed at keeping pocket change available for small day to day transactions since your phone could be stolen (just like a real wallet could be picked) and for that it's an excellent choice.

Give it a go and continue to build the Bitcoin economy - the merchants need you :-)

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Every time a block is mined, a certain amount of BTC (called the subsidy) is created out of thin air and given to the miner. The subsidy halves every four years and will reach 0 in about 130 years.
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Gabi
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July 07, 2011, 08:47:11 AM
 #2

Wow, that's awesome  Cheesy
Andrew Vorobyov
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July 07, 2011, 08:48:35 AM
 #3

New era has begun!

chungy
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July 07, 2011, 10:53:02 AM
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this is awesome but I'm wondering, how can I make it use the testnet (your screenshots have testnet addresses)?
garyrowe
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July 07, 2011, 12:20:55 PM
 #5

this is awesome but I'm wondering, how can I make it use the testnet (your screenshots have testnet addresses)?

Have raised an issue with the development team for you: https://github.com/barmstrong/bitcoin-android/issues/7

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kseistrup
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July 07, 2011, 02:00:23 PM
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22 Mb?  OMFG!

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garyrowe
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July 07, 2011, 02:17:23 PM
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22 Mb?  OMFG!

Hence the Wifi recommendation. Remember, it does include a recent block chain.

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kseistrup
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July 07, 2011, 02:19:11 PM
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22 MB?  OMFG!

Hence the Wifi recommendation. Remember, it does include a recent block chain.

I'm not worried about my data plan, I'm worried about the very limited amount of internal memory on my HTC Desire…

Cheers,

Klaus Alexander Seistrup
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garyrowe
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July 07, 2011, 02:23:49 PM
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From the application wiki (https://github.com/barmstrong/bitcoin-android/wiki/Technical-Details):

"It's a full bitcoin client running on your phone. This means it keeps its own copy of the blockchain (currently about 14MB) which we store on your phone's SD card, and it doesn't need to communicate with a centralized server. Most phones have large SD cards (8GB or more is not uncommon) so storing 14MB isn't too bad. The wallet file is stored on the phone's internal memory instead since it quite small compared to the blockchain. We include a recent copy of the blockchain in the actual app package that you download from the Android Market so you don't need to download and build the whole thing from scratch. The first time you run it, it will contact nearby peers and update the included blockchain to the most recent version. This usually takes a minute or less over WiFi. After that, updates to the blockchain and transaction notifications should be near instantaneous (a few seconds) over 3G or WiFi."

So it should be dropping the blockchain on your SD card, not the internal memory.

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July 07, 2011, 02:26:46 PM
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You guys are changing the world...

Bitcoins - Because we should not pay to use our money
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July 07, 2011, 02:28:01 PM
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So it should be dropping the blockchain on your SD card, not the internal memory.

All right, I installed the creature, and it does seem to drop the blockchain on the SD card.  However, it still takes up 2.20 MB of the internal memory — and since a wallet is continuously growing, this is amount is likely to increase.  I'm not convinced it's such a good idea to store the wallet in internal memory.

Cheers,

Klaus Alexander Seistrup
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July 07, 2011, 02:36:30 PM
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I really hope this catches on.  Awesome. Damn, I may just go out and buy a cellphone so I can use this.  (Yes, I have never owned a cellphone.)
garyrowe
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July 07, 2011, 02:54:38 PM
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So it should be dropping the blockchain on your SD card, not the internal memory.

All right, I installed the creature, and it does seem to drop the blockchain on the SD card.  However, it still takes up 2.20 MB of the internal memory — and since a wallet is continuously growing, this is amount is likely to increase.  I'm not convinced it's such a good idea to store the wallet in internal memory.

Cheers,

Seems like a fair point for older smartphones. I've raised an issue for it (https://github.com/barmstrong/bitcoin-android/issues/9).

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July 07, 2011, 02:59:46 PM
 #14

Awesome. Sent 0.01 BTC to myself and it showed up on the phone, still waiting to be cemented in a block.

Put a USD/BTC calculator on there so I can calculate how much I owe my friends for dinner and I'll pay them in bitcoin.
garyrowe
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July 07, 2011, 03:19:59 PM
 #15

Awesome. Sent 0.01 BTC to myself and it showed up on the phone, still waiting to be cemented in a block.

Put a USD/BTC calculator on there so I can calculate how much I owe my friends for dinner and I'll pay them in bitcoin.

Already requested by someone else: See https://github.com/barmstrong/bitcoin-android/issues/5.

Please add your name to the list of interested people.

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Phinnaeus Gage
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July 07, 2011, 03:31:05 PM
 #16

Virtual Transactions: Another Step Forward

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-ebay-buys-zong-as-mobile-payments-gain-traction-20110707,0,5444610.story
btcLeger
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July 07, 2011, 03:41:45 PM
 #17

Put a USD/BTC calculator on there so I can calculate how much I owe my friends for dinner and I'll pay them in bitcoin.
Better put a EUR/BTC calculator in there. there are much more people in the EU than in the US. Also the USD may be dead before the EUR is gone.

I use TradeHill instant BTC trading: http://www.tradehill.com/?r=TH-R11320

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evoorhees
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July 07, 2011, 03:48:04 PM
 #18

Noob question - On my PC the "block chain" data file is several hundred megabytes. How is it only 14mb on this mobile version?
datafish
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July 07, 2011, 04:08:59 PM
 #19

Beautiful.  Now I have an excuse to finally get an Android phone.

Quote
It's really aimed at keeping pocket change available for small day to day transactions since your phone could be stolen (just like a real wallet could be picked) and for that it's an excellent choice.

Let's hope people take heed of this before we have a rash of losses from mobile devices.
btcLeger
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July 07, 2011, 06:05:07 PM
 #20

From the description:
Quote
Transactions don't require an internet connection. They will complete when you reconnect.

doesnt that mean I could pay something offline and after that somehow delete the queued transaction? At least with a little code modification? Who would trust such kind of payment?

Actually there is a need for a delete queued transaction function: when paying in a store and realizing beeing offline too late, the store might not accept my offline-payment (for reasons mentioned above) and then surely I dont want the transaction beeing completed later...

I use TradeHill instant BTC trading: http://www.tradehill.com/?r=TH-R11320

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