Friday, June 16, 2006

Flash Lite Friday Digest #10

Its FlashLite Friday Digest time again, and this week I have the honour to write FlashLite Friday Digest No. 10. Its several weeks since the last digest and lots has been happening in the Flash Lite world.

The biggest news of the digest has to be the announcement and presentation of Flash Lite 2.1 for BREW at the Brew 2006 conference. The basic info is that Flash Lite 2.1 for BREW will be out on a public beta on the 3rd of July and later in the summer developers will be able to distribute their content based on the Flash Lite 2.1 profile through Verizon. There are 2 really nice improvements in Flash Lite 2.1 - xml sockets and inline text. These 2 key features make FL 2.1 a much more capable competitor of other mobile technologies.

See the Adobe Brew developer center for more info!

The videos from the conference are also available online now, see Bill's blog for the links

The Flash IDE received its 3rd device profile update this month so be sure to download all the new devices from here

Flash Lite instructor training has been announced for the US, its a 3 day course and is free! More info here

There have been some nice new phones shipping in the last few weeks too. Most noticeably the new Nokia series 40 phones are now available Nokia 6125, 6131 and 6234 (vodafone exclusive). Also a few new Sony Ericsson phones that *should* support Flash Lite : W300, M600, W700i. The M600 is particularly interesting because its the first Symbian UIQ 3 phone to be released by Sony Ericsson and the first UIQ phone that has Flash Lite pre-installed. NB .Information based on Sony Ericsson website.

Nokia released a new theme studio 2.1 for series 40 phones. It allows swfs to be part of a s40 theme and integrated into wallpapers, screensavers and possibly more UI elements. I haven't had the chance to check it out yet and the documentation isn't 100% clear on where you can and can't use swfs. (via: bemobil).

Nokia have been very active over the last month in engaging with Flash Lite and have produced the kind of documents developers really need to see. Last month they released the Flash Lite Visual Guide as well as the Flash Lite global ecosystem documentation. A few days ago they announced a whole new Forum Nokia section called Forum Nokia Blogs and have a dedicated Flash tag.

In the world of the Adobe website there are a few new developer articles available:

Converting Flash Content to Flash Lite 1.1 Jae Young Chae (May 30, 2006)

Tips for Developing Flash Games for the iRiver U10 Sung-Hee Park (June 5, 2006)

Creating iRiver U10 Games for Beginners Eung Kim (June 12, 2006)

Also Mike has an upcoming seminar this wednesday (June 21, 2006 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM US/Eastern) about the Flash Lite 2.0 media playback API, be sure to register your interest here

If you you never made it to the Flash Mobile Day, as is the case for most of us, then you'll be pleased to see that the presentations are now available online here.(via: biskero).

That's about all the major Flash Lite news there is! The archive of FlashLite Friday Digest can be found here :

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Forum Nokia Flash blogs

Slightly old news but worth bookmarking.

Flash Blogs

I think it will also be an interesting read as some of the bloggers are traditional mobile people starting to get involved with Flash Lite. Most of the Flash Lite industry at the moment are Flash developers and designers moving across to mobile. Quite a difference!

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Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup Has Arrived

There is no doubt, as an estimated 1.5 billion people tune into the opening game that this is going to be another great tournament! I think England's time has come if we can learn to be more attacking against the better teams. I don't think Brazil will win this one, as their defence is not that good. Italy, could be interesting but they have had better teams. Spain could do well but they havent got the best strikers. France, Portugal and Holland all look good but I don't think they are consistent enough to win it. Argentina, maybe but again they have had better teams. Germany might not even qualify from their group, that said I was astounded that they made the final 4 years ago so who knows! Anyway bring on the football.


My N80

I have been using my N80 for just over a month now and thought I'd post a few thoughts on what I like, and also a few angles on Flash Lite. The first thing that I am still getting over, is how good the screen is, there can only be room for QVGA and better screens in the future. It really makes applications so much more attractive, from native phone apps, websites, to Flash Lite content - everything looks so much better. From a content production point of view there are things you can do in Flash that take advantge of the high res that would not look so good in lower resolutions. For example, on low res screens small icons look better as bitmaps, however because of the extra pixels kicking around QVGA+ screens you can pretty much go with vector for even the smallest icons.

I am also really enjoying the new browser and life blog. I'll post more about life blog soon as I think it really does add lots of value to mobile phone users.

The Video and camera are now good enough to take photos/videos that are worth keeping. I have found myself using the video a lot more than the actual camera. The camera is good for certain photos, landscapes and close ups, and anything where the subject isnt moving! But I find the video great for just ad hoc snapshots on daily life. The quality is good enough to view on a computer or on a phone, and FPS is not too bad either.

The whole OS itself is really a nice refreshing improvement on previous versions. For example applications like the image and video gallery have a nice carousel style UI which makes browsing through items quite good fun. However the gallery does get polluted by Flash files! This is actually a really bad flaw because you cant preview Flash files and a lot of applications use multiple files to construct one application. So take for example the superb World Cup Flash application by Alen. This is installed, with all supporting swf files into the Flash directory (56 files in total). So the gallery picks up all these files which completely kills the usability of the gallery app. I guess this is a combination of Flash not fitting too well into a content type as well as developers needing to be aware of this and putting the actual content assets somewhere hidden!

In all I think it will take months to get fully up to speed on the full feature set of Series 60 3rd edition.

Thoroughly enjoying it so far!

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