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Flash Mobile & Devices News

Flash Player 10.1 features and demos

As expected, news of the upcoming Flash Player 10.1 has been announced at Adobe MAX conference in L.A. today.

Here are the features in the new version and demos of 10.1 running on two different devices.

Also announced: Google and RIM join the Open Screen Project.

Watch live stream of the Adobe keynote here, and follow MAX news with Adobe MAX Companion.

Flash Builder 4 beta 2 and Flash Catalyst beta 2 are now available at Adobe Labs among a few other new releases.

Flash Player 10.1 for mobile devices is a full version of the Flash Player (i.e. not Flash Lite). Hardware acceleration, multi-touch, accelerometer… are supported.

It seems the last couple of years I spent in mobile Flash development is finally becoming mainstream! It is a nice refreshing change when regular news sites such as the BBC reports about this new Flash Player for mobile devices.

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Flash Flash Lite Mobile & Devices News

FITC Mobile – Sneak Peek

Today at FITC Mobile, Mark Doherty from Adobe gave a sneak peek of upcoming Flash mobile.

Cone of Characteristics

The most surprising bit was Flash Lite 4.0. Most developers I talked to thought Flash Lite 3.x is the last version of Flash Lite. As it turns out, FL4 is planned while Flash 10 for devices is also in the making.

According to Mark, Flash Lite 4.0 supports ActionScript 3, and it is a browser plugin (i.e. not standalone player). Same for Flash Player 10 for devices – a browser plugin (in his slide it was showing 10.1 in Device Central 3). AIR for mobile is the standalone player.

Flash Lite 4.0 is for slower, less powerful and memory-constraint devices, and Flash 10 is for more powerful devices, possibly with hardware graphics acceleration.

Mark also shown Device Central 3. It supports some hardware emulation such as accelerometer and geolocation. Custom device profiles can also be created easily in Device Central 3.

Another upcoming tool is SWFPack, a mobile packager (created in AIR) for S60 3rd edition and up, and Windows Mobile 5 & 6. It builds deployment bits (.sis and .cab) for the two platforms with just a few clicks.

Update: Mark clarified that “(Flash Lite 4 is) targeted as a browser plugin and standalone player for brew devices.”

At the Samsung booth, I had the chance to play with the Omnia II (to be released later this year). The 3.7″ AMOLED screen at 480×800 is simply the most beautiful device screen I’ve seen to-date. This phone’s OS is Windows Mobile 6.5, and Samsung has implemented a much nicer UI (TouchWiz 2.0) that reminds me a bit of the Android interface. Overall operation seems quite decent, although I’m not a big fan of the haptic touchscreen. Apparently the Omnia II has 2 CPUs, one for radio frequency, and one for UI and apps. And it has a dedicated graphics accelerator. There was also an Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy. Unfortunately, both phones don’t have the standalone Flash player, but there is supposed to be a “hidden” Flash Lite player without exposed public API for things like widgets.

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News

ActionScriptHero.org Interview

Well, this interview has been much delayed by myself, and Pablo just notified me that the interview of me by ActionScriptHero.org is now up!

Update: Apparently there is an issue with Internet Explorer 7 on the site. Try Firefox or IE 6 or IE 8.

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News

Trip to Seoul

For those who haven’t been following my tweets, my flights from Toronto to Seoul via Chicago started with long delays on the runway due to snowstorm in Toronto, and the plane had to be de-iced twice before it was safe for takeoff. Instead of departing at 7:50am, it got off just after 10:00am.

The connecting flight in Chicago was to depart at 11:20am, by the time I stepped off the plane it was already 11:13, with 7 minutes left to go from one terminal to another by monorail. Thinking there was no way I could catch the second flight (which required check-in again at another airline), I walked quickly towards the next terminal. Then I saw a few people running, and they all looked like they were catching the same flight. By the time I arrived at the check-in counter, the staff were calling the plane to wait for us. Then we all ran through customs and to the gate, and got on the connecting flight to Seoul. That was quite an exercise running through two terminals after a sleepless night!

By the time I arrived in Seoul another 14+ hours later, my lugguage was nowhere to be found. Well, not just mine but all those who were coming from the same flight in Toronto. So I’m now without luggage, tired and ready to sleep after 28 hours of traveling, waiting, more traveling… There’s a full day ahead starting early in the morning. Time to rest.

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News

Added iPhone plug-in to this blog

Just added the iWPhone WordPress plug-in to this blog. Will test and see if it’s worth keeping (not sure if I like the styles). What it does is detect the iPhone / iPod Touch Safari browser and use specific CSS templates. That’s all.

Update: Disabled due to incompatible commenting.

Categories
Android Devices Mobile & Devices News Technology

Google Chrome & Mobile

Since reading the Google Chrome comic, the possibility of running a new class of (web) applications in this new browser is exciting, especially considering that it’d most likely be part of Android in the future. With this new browser from Google, it’s not only re-igniting the browser war (mostly with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer), but also a step towards OS-independent applications that can run either online or offline. It’s another strike at Microsoft’s OS market share (something that Adobe has been achieving with the Flash Platform, except this time, Google is making it with a larger footprint). Chrome is in effect an operating system in its own sandboxed world. Google Chrome

Here are some of the more interesting features of Chrome:

  • uses the open source WebKit – the browser engine used by Safari (Mac OS, iPhone/iPod Touch, Windows), Adobe AIR (Windows, Mac, Linux), S60 (e.g. Nokia browser) and many more
  • in return Google Chrome is also open source
  • a new JavaScript Virtual Machine (V8) that compiles JavaScript to native machine code when interpreted, with the goal to improve JavaScript speed for complex applications
  • separate process and sandbox for each tab
  • Google Gears is built-in (GeoLocation API would be especially useful for mobile devices)

One logical direction for Chrome is to have it run on devices. With Android devices coming out soon, it’d be interesting to see where and how new applications will be deployed and developed if Chrome takes off and becomes a relevant platform.

Download Google Chrome Beta (for Windows).

Categories
Events Flash News

Flash on the Beach

Flash on the Beach

Keith Peters leaked the speaker list of Flash on the Beach, to be held from November 4-7 in Brighton, UK. According to the list, I’m one of the confirmed speakers.

Here’s the list so far:

Andries Odendaal
Aral Balkan
Branden Hall
Brendan Dawes
Carlo Blatz
Carlos Ulloa
Carole Guevin
Chris Allen
Chris Orwig
Craig Swann
Dave Williamson
Dave Yang
Erik Natzke
GMUNK (Bradley Grosh)
Grant Skinner
Hillman Curtis
Hoss Gifford
Jim Coudal
Joey Lott
John Grden
Joshua Davis
Keith Peters
Kristin Henry
Lisa Larson
Marcos Weskamp
Mario Klingemann
Michael Ninness
Mike Jones
Neville Brody
Niqui Merret
Renee Constantini
Rich Shupe
Richard Leggett
Rob Chiu
Robert Hodgin
Robert Reinhardt
Seb Lee-Delisle
Tink (Stephen Downs)

Confirm or deny? (Sounds like Apple’s Vista ad…)

[ May 7th update: The Flash on the Beach 2007 site is now live. And I can confirm that I’ll be speaking there this November. Looking forward to it! ]

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Events Flash Flash Lite News Others

FITC, IdN and newspaper interview

To those who are attending this year’s FITC festival, take a look at the IdN booth and the Two Faced exhibition. I wrote some articles for IdN many years ago (in 1993, when it was called MdN – Macintosh Designers Network), and interviewed the President & CEO of Macromedia (Bud Colligan) back then. IdN is very popular in Australia, U.S., Europe and Asia. It’s about time Canada finds out more about this designer magazine and their other publications.

For those who read (traditional) Chinese, here is the Sing Tao newspaper interview of me (楊光) at FITC (click to view full size at Flickr). They asked about my experience, work, this year’s presentation and the festival. I was a bit surprised they used almost 1/3 of the page on this article.

Newspaper article of me at FITC

My presentation is on tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2:45pm. It’s on Flash Lite and mobile development. I invited Dongyub Lee from Seoul to join me to talk about some of his projects on device UI and games development.

Thanks to Shawn Pucknell and the FITC team for another great festival.

Categories
Flash Lite Mobile & Devices News

Just arrived in Seoul

What? Again? Some of my friends are probably jealous that I’ve gone to Korea again since last November. The plane arrived at 2:40 am, my friend Dongyub picked me up and we went for latte at a 24-hour cafe.

Dongyub told me there’s good news and bad news. I wasn’t sure which to hear first. We were supposed to have a 3-day meeting with Adobe Korea and a phone company on Flash Lite UI design & development, but someone/something got postponed and I’m not sure if the meeting/workshop will go ahead as planned. Interesting news after 14-hour flight.

If that is the bad news, the good news is I probably have to return again!

Random notes:

  • Nice to see 3G working on my Nokia N73 with HSDPA
  • WiBro is interesting
  • iRiver Clix2 is fast
Categories
Mobile & Devices News

Wireless number portability

Today marks the first time mobile phone numbers are portable in Canada. However, this is not implemented in all of Canada today. According to the Canadian government’s CRTC website:

By March 14, 2007 Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless and the mobility division of TELUS Communications Inc. will be required to provide WNP to their customers in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Québec. This means that customers in any of these provinces will be able to switch to any service provider in that province (wireline or wireless) and keep their phone number.

Throughout Canada, all wireless carriers will, by the same date, be required to release a phone number to another carrier (port-out customers) and by no later than September 12, 2007, to accept a phone number from another carrier (port-in customers).

It’s about time. I know some people are holding off switching wireless carriers until this day. This is likely to open up more competition among carriers – good for consumers.