O3 Desktop V2 — Expanding the Gateway

Nick Fujita
Feb 13, 2019 · 6 min read

Today we are proud to release V2 of our O3 Desktop application, which greatly improves user access to dAPI connected dApps!

TLDR @ bottom ;)

V1 — Securing Assets

V1 of the desktop wallet aimed to provide users with their first step into the smart economy, a secure and convenient interface to managing their digital assets.

In addition to managing digital assets, users were eager to discover and keep up to date with the the various projects in the ecosystem. Via the in app token marketplace and news sections, users can learn about new projects, and read up on the latest from NEO News Today. As new projects started releasing their projects, we were increasingly faced with an influx of new integration requests.

Switcheo, the very first DEX to be released in the NEO ecosystem, was the first of these exciting platforms ready for the masses, and O3 was excited to get the first of many new projects into the hands of our users. We proceeded with the very first iteration of our dApp integration platform, and released the connected dApp for users on all platforms (Android, iOS, Mac OSX, Windows, Linux). At this point all O3 users could log into and use the Switcheo platform from within the app, without having to ever surrender their private keys.

dAPI for dApps

While the Switcheo integration was well received and O3 users were delighted to be able to trade directly from their wallets, we realized the true power of this integration was the increased security it afforded our users when interacting with dApps. Building upon the success of the popular Chrome extension Metamask, we were excited about the potential to provide users with a secure gateway to the ‘smart economy’, and started working on the NEO proposal for the communication interface.

NEO dAPI Standard

Based on the community constructed interface, we built a dApp platform which hosted web based dApps in a controlled browser environment. This provides a truly connected experience for those using O3 on Android and iOS, but the experience on desktop seemed a bit lacking.

Building a dApps Platform

As with all MVP releases, the dApp interactions between the O3 Desktop and the app hosted dApp browser showcased the security and connectivity benefits of the dAPI, but lacked the polish and familiarity of a common desktop browser. If a user is on their desktop computer, they commonly expect the full suite of features from their applications, and this included simple things such as a navigation bar to support backwards and forwards url traversal, or easy access to debugging tools for developers. This meant that O3 will inevitably have to evolve into the next innovative browser of the future, right?

But wait a minute, don’t we already have web browsers that have all those features? Do we REALLY need yet another web browser application contending for our attention? Rather than making the desktop dApp browser a part of the O3 app, it actually made more sense to make O3 a connected and integral part of your existing browser experience.

We looked into creating a O3 Chrome extension, but quickly realized a few things. Do users REALLY need another wallet application to which they expose their private keys? Shouldn’t we be striving to keep a users security footprint as small as possible by limiting the places that have access to their keys? While Chrome is a great browser, and is loved by many, what about users who prefer other browsers? For example the Brave browser is rooted in the cryptocurrency space in some regard, and is even better as a general ad-blocker. Why not let people use what they want?

So it was decided, we wanted to support all browsers on desktop. But does it really make sense to make an extension for each browser? Do all browsers even support extensions?

V2 — Expanding the Gateway

Instead, we decided to improve the existing O3 Desktop app, transforming it to be a more integrated part of your existing operating system. The application still retains all features with regard to asset management, but can now be kept open as a background process to field secure requests from dApps running anywhere on your computer. All dApps in the App section will now now open into your favorite browser (with the exception of dApps still operating on the V1 protocol). Additionally, you can navigate and discover apps on the open web, and have them seamlessly connect to your wallet via the new protocol. Using the newly released 2.0.1 version of the O3 Desktop app, you can safely and conveniently interact with all dApps in the NEO ecosystems who support the standard dAPI interfaces from anywhere on your computer.

TLDR; This new application version supports the following new features.

  • Expanded dApps platform to connect with all browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Brave, Edge). Connect to any dApp out on the open internet.
  • Develop your own apps using the full set of browser based debugging tools
  • The O3 app can now live in your OS tray as a background app, which will prompt you only when a dApp requires your attention.
  • In the case that you don’t have the O3 app open, and a O3 connected dApp tries to connect, your OS can now prompt you to automatically open your O3 app.
  • When closing your wallet window, the app will remember the windows size and location for the next time you open your wallet.
  • Ledger communication fixes
  • dAPI enhancements based on updates proposed by community dApp developers
  • Improved icon resolution on retina screens

Version 2.0.1 of the O3 Desktop application is available for direct download or from the Apple and Windows app stores.

For links, please visit our website: https://o3.network

What dApps can I use today?

So you’ve got your OS all dressed up, and are looking for somewhere to go? You can peruse the App section for a list of dApps, or directly access some of the following directly from the links in this article!

O3 Swap

Buy NEO & GAS with popular cryptocurrencies.

O3 store

Purchase a limited edition O3 branded cap!

NEO Economy

Check your NEO & NEP5 rankings & portfolio

Where do we go from here?

As we all march down the path to realizing the smart economy, we will strive to make O3 be a more natural part of your existing desktop experience. This means improving the UI & UX around what an incoming transaction request looks like and how you extract relevant information about it before signing. We are also in the process of greatly expanding the list of available dAPI connected dApps, by working with not only existing projects, but also co-building new projects from the ground up.

As always, O3 appreciates your continued support, and would love to hear back from you on any new ideas. Whether you are a developer looking to make your own dAPI connected dApp or have suggestions to improve any of the existing O3 wallets or dApps, please come visit us our community site, and make your mark on the road to the smart economy.

Need a NEO block explorer? Checkout

O3 Labs

O3 Labs is the mobile gateway to the smart economy! https://o3.network

Nick Fujita

Written by

O3 Labs

O3 Labs

O3 Labs is the mobile gateway to the smart economy! https://o3.network

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