Categories
Devices Flash Lite Mobile & Devices News

Nokia 6131 with Flash Lite

My mom bought a Nokia 6131 phone, and it was a nice surprise to see Flash Lite already installed. The version of this player is 5.4.102.5, which is Flash Lite 1.1. The phone itself is a S40 3rd edition device, and it’s a nice and compact phone for the general consumer.

I tested a couple of Flash Lite 1.1 games and applications, and they all work. Because this phone’s screen resolution is 240×320, most Flash Lite content are scaled to full screen but are not taking advantage of the higher resolution.

What is also nice is not only standalone Flash Lite content are supported, this phone also supports Flash Lite as screensaver, wallpaper, and for the external (smaller) LCD screen.

Not bad for a Cdn$360 quad-band phone.

Check out other Nokia S40 devices with Flash Lite, or the other Flash Lite handsets from Adobe.

Update:

There are two Flash Lite files that I found: A Sudoku game, and an animated introduction to the phone.

The Nokia Catalog application even lists Flash content, even though there are only two clocks that are available for download. It’s a good sign that Flash content is now listed under the catalog.

Categories
News Others Visual Design

Yang Rutherford

Congratulations to the launch of the Yang Rutherford website – a branding, design, and media firm based in London and Hong Kong.

This is a new company formed by my brother Jimmy Yang (founder of Y-Associates in London), and Andrew Rutherford (in Hong Kong).

Categories
Devices Events Flash Flash Lite Mobile & Devices News

Another platform to deploy Flash content

At the BREW 2006 Conference two days ago, Adobe announced Flash Lite 2.1 for BREW*, an important milestone since the alliance with Verizon Wireless. Flash Lite 2.1 for BREW offers developers another platform to deploy applications, games, and screensavers.

At the conference, Adobe is showcasing some Flash Lite 2.1 prototype applications developed with a few selected key partners such as The Weather Channel, Smashing Ideas, and Rocket Mobile.

I’m excited to have developed one of these Flash Lite 2.1 prototype applications with one of the key partners, and it is an honor that it is used as a showcase during the launch of a new platform.

For those who know me from the Flash community, I was always an early adopter. Whether it was OOP, design patterns, or other technologies. However, when it comes to Flash Lite, I played with it a long time ago, but hold off when there was only Flash Lite 1.x because of the primitive Flash 4 way of development. With Flash Lite 2 now, it is much easier and more enjoyable to develop rich mobile content in ActionScript 2.0. Building the prototype application using other technologies would be either impossible or very difficult in the tight schedule, with an intuitive UI for rich user experience on mobile phones.

Besides the excitement, Flash Lite 2.1 for BREW is significant for the consumer, mobile operators, content providers, and developers:

First, it offers a simplified way to Flash-enable a (BREW) phone. Unlike the current situation (in which the consumer either buys a phone with Flash Lite built-in, or purchases the Flash Lite Player from Adobe), Flash Lite supported BREW phones from Verizon Wireless will download and install the Flash Lite Player when Flash content is requested (if the Flash Lite Player is not already installed). Second, over-the-air download and installation of Flash content is simpler than manual installation from a computer. Third, mobile operators can charge for data access and purchases of Flash content. And last, which is important for developers, is a simplified way to distribute and sell Flash applications, games, and screensavers.

Currently there are two announced BREW phones that supports Flash Lite 2.1: Samsung SCH-a950 and LG VX9800, both are available from Verizon Wireless in the United States. In Canada, the Samsung SCH-a950 can be found at Telus Mobility.

What is the difference between Flash Lite development for the Nokia (S60) platform vs. the BREW platform? Other than the requirement of being a registered (paying) BREW developer, getting the application certified, and using the BREW AppLoader vs. Nokia’s File Manager to upload files to the phones, there’s really not much difference. A Flash Lite 2 application requires minimal or no change to run on both S60 and BREW, even though the two platforms are quite different. The application I developed runs on both the Samsung SCH-a950 and my Nokia 6680. This is the beauty of Flash Lite.

With Flash Lite 2.1 for BREW, Adobe offers a rapid development platform for BREW and Flash developers. I’m looking forward to create more mobile applications and games, for both Nokia S60 and BREW, as well as other rich internet and desktop applications. Who would have thought that a rich user experience application can be deployed on multiple platforms so seamlessly?

Here are some helpful resources:

* BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) is a common mobile platform from Qualcomm that is used in many North America CDMA phones.

Categories
Events Flash Lite Mobile & Devices News

Want to chat about mobile development?

Here’s a chance to meet face-to-face with other Flash Lite developers, and talk about making things for mobile devices.

At this year’s Flash in the Can festival, I’ll be one of the panelists for It’s A Mobile World: Build It and They Will Call (I didn’t make up that title). Bill Perry (from Adobe) and Scott Janousek will also be there, and I believe others will be joining us in this panel discussion.

This year’s speaker list is the longest I’ve seen, with people coming in from all over the world, to the city where I live. There is even a student scholarship program to attend the festival for free.

Check it out.

April 13 Update: Bill Perry won’t be able to make it to FITC; instead, James Talbot (also from Adobe) will be there. And Gabe Sawhney will be joining the panel as well.

Categories
Devices Flash Flash Lite Mobile & Devices News

Forum Nokia PRO: Flash Zone

For Flash Lite developers: New zone at Forum Nokia PRO is formed. Check out the benefits. Notice the word ‘pro’ is all caps; I guess that means for real professionals only – with a membership fee of 4000 Euros (just a little over US$5000), per year.

Don’t worry though, because “Forum Nokia PRO program and its services are targeted for the most visionary mobile developers, not all (membership) applications can be approved.”

Okay.

According to Adobe, there are now over one million Flash developers around the world. How many are Flash Lite developers? How many companies would pay 4000 Euros a year to join this zone when there are various other sources of information, and Adobe labs.

The Flash developer community is rather unique, compared to other developer communities I’ve been in. I believe this is because it is a mix of creative and technical people, achieving innovation on web design, application design, and now mobile design. The openness and sharing of open source material helps this community grow.

Personally, I’d love to be part of this forum, except I can’t see how to justify the entry fee.

Categories
Flash News

Adobe Acrobat 7.0.7 fixes bug with Flash 8 content

Version 7.0.7 of Acrobat just came out today. Other than supporting the new Adobe Acrobat 3D, it also fixes the embedded Flash bug I mentioned in a previous post. If you work with PDF and Flash, this is a must get update. For Acrobat Reader or Acrobat Standard/Professional (Mac or Windows).

Thanks to John Nack for the follow-up, and link to Lori DeFurio’s blog entry about this update.

Categories
News

Flash Media Server 2 Public Beta

Flash Media Server 2 Public Beta is now available for download, but only for USA, Japan and Europe, and not Canada? Hmmm…

Categories
News

Nintendo Revolution controller

Wow, this new Nintendo controller for their next generation game console Revolution is really revolutionary, and may change the way video games are played. This bold move may bring Nintendo back to the front of the line among the next generation consoles.

Make sure to check out the mini review from IGN.

Also of interest is the keynote speech by Nintendo president at the Tokyo Game Show today.

I wonder which TV manufacturer will start using this concept for digital TV interaction. Imagine using this for Flash UI control…

Categories
News

Sparkle

Ever wonder where Manuel Clement and Samuel Wan (hi guys!) have been working on? Yep, the secret Microsoft project code-named Sparkle has been announced at the Microsoft PDC yesterday.

The official name of Sparkle is Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer, which is one of three products in the Expression family.

Check out the hour-long video at Channel 9 (Windows Media), where you get to see Manuel (and Sam briefly), with others of the Sparkle team (hi Pete). It’s a rare occasion to see the “pre-pre-release” product in such details.

What’s interesting in particular (compared to Flash) are the scalable IDE, native OS controls, data-binding, roundtrip XAML, interface (property panels, timeline, object transformations), 3D, and rendering effects.

Sparkle generates XAML code, that can be used directly with Visual Studio or rendered in Avalon (with graphics hardware acceleration). It is a tool for designers to build interactive UI and animations for next-generation Windows applications (or Internet Explorer applications).

The platform (Vista) that Sparkle runs on won’t be out until late 2006, and the adoption rate of the next generation Windows OS will be much slower than the adoption rate of the Flash Player (which is free and has auto-update and express install to guarantee a much quicker rate than previous versions).

Flash’s ubiquity (cross-platform/browser/device) is the strongest reason that it will be around for some time. Of course, Vista will be the dominant OS one day; but that will be at least two years away. In the mean time, Flash designers, developers, and users have lots to look forward to with the current and next-generation Flash Platform, and all these other tools to explore.

Here’s an interesting read from a former Sparkle product manager (Jon Meyer) on Sparkle, Flash and AJAX.

Categories
Events News

Memories and photos from Flash in the Can

This year’s Flash in the Can was another great success, with over 900 attendees and 80 speakers from around the world. Here’s a recollection of the event.

When I got to the hotel on Friday evening, I met Veronique, Chafic and Grant at the lobby. They got into my Odyssey with two students from Grant’s workshop and we went to the hip Drake Hotel for dinner. There I found Andries Odendaal, Branden Hall, Craig Swann, Guy Watson, Hugh Elliott, Jason Chesebrough, Kai König, Kevin Towes, Pascal Leroy, Shawn Pucknell and many others. After dinner, most people went downstairs to the party, but I had to pick up my wife and son so I left early.

On Saturday, registration began in the afternoon and speakers were invited to the Spin Gallery for dinner and VIP mixer before the awards. I met many old friends and ran into others whom I’ve only met online: Brian Lesser, Chris MacGregor, Paul Ortchanian, Phillip Kerman, Robert Reinhardt, Sam Agesilas, and Snow Dowd. The place was packed when the awards drew closer.

Later that evening I arrived at Colin Moock‘s party just when Robert Reinhardt and Snow Dowd were leaving. Erik Natzke, Joshua Davis, and Kevin Lynch were sitting in one corner, another group of people whom I did not recognize were sitting nearby. Branden Hall was helping someone on the computer, and Jared Tarbell came over and introduced himself. I have been a fan of his work and it was great to meet him in person. Also at the party, I bummed into Drew Trujillo (Dr. Woohoo), who is working on some very cool projects. I went down to the basement game room and found Chafic Kazoun, Daniel Dura, Guy Watson, Andreas Heim & Eric (also from Smashing Ideas), Michael Manh, Mike Chambers, Sean Voisen and Veronique Brossier. Apparently Branden brought over a great multi-player game: Pac-Man vs. for the GameCube and it was a blast. Upstairs, I met Vera Fleischer just before eight of us left and went back to the hotel in my minivan. For some reason, they found the automatic doors of my Odyssey rather amusing.

On Sunday, the first day of the festival, I spent the early hours finishing my presentation. At noon, I went to the Ask the Pros session on OOP in AS2, to co-chair with Branden Hall and Grant Skinner. Unfortunately, Daylight Savings Time started the night before and the clock was an hour ahead. There was no sign of Branden and Grant; so there I was sitting all by myself answering questions from the audience. Shawn Pucknell asked Jason Nussbaum to join me shortly after. Later Grant joined the two of us and answered some questions on the EULA, and we also talked about components and using inheritance. Later Branden came into the room, blamed the clock, and joined the discussion. 😎

My presentation on OOP in AS2 was in the afternoon that day. Before and during the festival, I talked to many people who intended to join my session and they said they have never used ActionScript 2.0, and would rather get an idea of what to expect than listening to in-depth topics. As a result, I tuned my presentation to a more basic level. It was a challenge to balance the content level and present it within 50 minutes to a wide range of audiences. I know it was impossible to satisfy everyone in such talks, but I was glad to see a full house, with many people standing and some sitting on the floor through out the whole session.

Met a couple of people inbetween sessions: Glyn Thomas, Joey Lott, LordAlex Leon, and Jeremy Thorp.

That evening a large group of people gathered and went to dinner in the theatre district. Unfortunately, the restaurant was overwhelmed by over 60 people showing up together. It was a long dinner because nothing (except bread) showed up for two hours, and then the manager told us they ran out of food! Chafic had a $28 Kobe burger that wasn’t worth $28. Luckily for Hoss Gifford who ordered the same, no Kobe burger was left and the restaurant gave him a big juicy steak instead.

After dinner, we went to a nearby pub to play some pinball where I met Simon Wacker for the first time. We got back to the hotel rather late; I think I went to bed at around 4 am.

Set the alarm at 8:15 am hoping to see Grant Skinner and Sam Agesilas‘ sessions at 9:00. By the time I hit the snooze button a few times it was almost 8:45. After cleaning up and packing (had to checkout at noon), it was already too late for their sessions. So I dropped off my luggage in my car at the parking lot and went back to the hotel. Met Jared and we went across the street for breakfast. He introduced me to Edward Tufte, who inspired his work. Went back to the hotel to catch some sessions, and later had lunch with Andreas and Eric at the same deli across the street.

Caught a bit of Brian Robbins‘ session on the multi-player game Cowboys & Engines. It’s a good-looking 3D game created with Maya, 3D Studio Max, Director and Flashcom. He talked about latency and problems encountered during the development of the game.

Afterwards, a few of us went to see Colin talk about multiuser experiences. It was a fun session because he showed a couple of great examples: XBox Live in Project Gotham Racing 2 with Hoss in Edinburgh, family video chat, chatbugs.com, atomicboarder.com, Collab.nl, publicstructure.com, and Colin’s own uAvatarChat and uPresence (with some popular recurring visual patterns). Colin also ran his Unity workshop after the festival.

Chafic‘s presentation on v2 component development was next. It was a great session as he demonstrated steps in creating a component from scratch and shared essential knowledge in building components. Later, he hosted an Ask the Pros session on the same topic and invited Andreas Heim to join him. Although there weren’t many people in the room, we had good discussion on components. Chafic had to leave early to catch his plane, and the rest of us stayed to chat. Carl-Alexandre Malartre (from Montreal) showed Mike Chambers and I his documentation app that runs inside the Flash IDE. Mike just released his Flash Resource Manager, which is a standalone app on .Net.

The closing ceremony was next where freebies were flying across the room. Speakers received the Camtasia Studio/SnagIt Bundle from TechSmith.com and a FlashInTheCan flashlight, thanks guys.

A few of us went to a nearby sports bar for dinner where we said goodbye. It has been a wonderful few days and I’m already looking forward to next year’s Flash in the Can.

Here are some of the photos I took. Enjoy!