Tag Archives: Mobile Devices

Welcome to the AppleNet

Your addiction to shiny new consumer electronics will fund Apple in it’s mission to erode your freedom to consume the content you want through the channel you want at the price you want.

You will not be allowed to access some content on Apple devices regardless of its merit. Apple will apply this content censorship at a hardware level based on nothing more than the format content is published in. This censorship will include the music, videos, games, books and applications that you consume, use and own now and those you may want to access in the future.

You will pay whatever Apple tells you to pay for Apple sanctioned content, but will only be able to purchase it through an Apple sanctioned mechanism. You will put up with this because Apple says it’s going to be better that way, easier, it will just work.

This will all be fine, because the content that is deemed worthy will all be based on ‘open’ standards and technology.

Welcome to the AppleNet.

Steve.

Mobile Design UK event Announced – 4th June

The details of the next Mobile Design UK event have been posted, the Mobile Design UK event will take place on the 4th of June at the Tavern Room at RSA on John Adam Street in London.

The last Mobile Design UK event was really well presented and provided some great insight into the technical and cultural challenges faced by designers and interaction designers when trying to target mobile platforms.

You can get the full details and registration information of the upcoming Mobile Design UK event from the Mobile Design UK website.

To get a feel for the target of the Mobile Design UK events and there content you can read my post on the previous Mobile Design UK event.

Adobe & Flash Hit Main Stream News with TV Deal

Flash Apps On TVThis morning Adobe announced Flash Player will be making its way onto a number of home entertainment devices. Including TV’s, Set Top Boxes and Blue Ray Players. While similar anouncments were made earlier in the year, it is the latest announcement that has seen Flash and Adobe thrust into the main stream news, as the story was featured on the BBC front page and covered in-depth. The article explains this deal could:

create a new generation of connected entertainment services, including streaming video in high definition, and applications that can run in real time alongside video broadcasts, such as interactive news tickers, sport scores, quizzes and the weather.

By embedding the flash player onto chip Adobe and their partners must be solving some of the problems Sean McSharry posted some time ago in regard the challenges on Creating a Flash IPTV System.

On a visit to the IPTV world forum last month at Earls Court both Flash and Adobe were given very little mention. Which I found a little odd. While a large number of vendors were tipping there hat to FLV support, there seemed to be a lack of full Flash based UI’s on display.

Instead most GUI implementations appeared broadly to fall into two camps. First were those using a Microsoft OS implementation, the latest one seems to be Mediaroom (Link requires silverlight). The other choice seemed to use an SVG display layer with some form of webkit or browser based implementation. Regardless, as Serge Jespers mention in his post, most of the interfaces and functionality were a long way away from the slick interfaces and wonderful mashable, connected experiences we have been spoilt by on the web and desktop for so long.

In one conversation I had the problem facing developers was made clear. It will be an issue any mobile developer will know all too well. Limited performance from the device. Even the most recent silicon going into set top boxes or internet enabled television sets is far behind the processing power we are use to on our desktop or laptops these days. For example when using SVG as a display layer on an High Definition Television (HDTV) I was told it may only be possible to re-render a small potion of the screen at a reasonable frame rate, maybe only 1/8th of the screen. Its this limitation that keeps the interfaces simple with very limited animations or transitions.

On television this issue of performance is further compounded by the platform itself. This is not a small screened, only seen for a few minutes, operated by your more technically savvy user, problem that mobile user interface or application development might suffer from. Oh No! This is a 46 inch or larger, always on display, sitting in the corner of the living room, being seen 356 days a year for a couple of hours or more, by any user from 5 years to over 90 years, type of problem. To make things even worse, on a TV the comparisons are not made between “other applications” on the device, as a user might do with an applications on other platforms. No. The comparison is most likely to be made with the main service provided by TV. That would be the full screen video content that the user has been accustomed to recieving and running smoothly at 25/50+ frames a second. Not only that it has worked for the user that way that well for as long as they can remember, well over a two decades.

Lets hope that the flash player talked about in Adobe’s anouncments can really perform on this platform. If it can, it should mean some great performance improvements for any Flash Platform developer. If it can open the door for me to develop the types of experiences Serge discusses as well, were all our modern communication networks can extend and converge into our living room… Well I cant wait!

Fantastic Networking and Learning opportunities at Adobe Max

adobe max08 thumbnail
With Adobe Max San Francisco now only 2 weeks away its important to make sure you have organized your schedule, if you haven’t already. This year Adobe hosting 2 events which aim to bring developers together with some of the industry leaders in the mobile market place. So if you are a developer interested in mobile or you already have content or existing applications that you think might work as a mobile application or service, Adobe Max should offer some great opportunities to get information from the experts.

Mobile Summit
November 16, 2008 at the Marriott from 1pm-6pm

Join Adobe and our partners — Nokia, Qualcomm®, Verizon, Sony Ericsson, GetJar, Thumbplay®, and Zed — to learn about new opportunities for mobile developers this year. Get a sneak peak at what you will see and hear at MAX before anyone else does! Hear from Adobe partners and key industry players as they present the newest mobile solutions, technologies, and distribution opportunities for mobile developers. To learn more and RSVP for this event go to: http://www.eventsadobe.com/mobilesummitmax08/invite.html

Mobile Fast Pitch Networking Party
November 19, 2008 at the Thirsty Bear from 6:16pm-9:30pm

Adobe is hosting a special Mobile Networking Party to allow developers to showcase their mobile applications using our Adobe® Flash® mobile technologies. If you already have a web-based application and are thinking of going mobile, you can also present your idea and get feedback from our industry leaders. Join us to support fellow developers or to present your ideas. For more RSVP and presentation information for this event go to: http://www.eventsadobe.com/mobilenetworkingparty/invite.html

In addition to these 2 events there are also a number of great sessions on at the conference tailored to Mobile:

  • Open Screen Project: Delivering Rich Internet Experiences Across Devices
  • Creating Mobile Applications: A Real-World Example
  • Mobile Workflows with Creative Suite® 4 and Adobe Device Central CS4
  • Flash Lite 3: Learn How to Package and Distribute Mobile Content
  • Spotlight on Finetune and Teknision™: Building a Multiscreen Application
  • Create Unique Browsing Experiences on Nokia Phones
  • How to Build a Mobile Business
  • Developing the Ultimate Flash Cast™ Channels
  • Project Capuchin – Bridging Adobe Flash Lite and Java ME™

Remember the most popular MAX sessions fill very early, so be sure to register today to secure seats in your preferred sessions. You’ll be surprised by what real live Adobe Flash Lite applications exist today.

I am an iPhone owner. This is my confession.

I have become a member of an insignificantly small (at the moment), yet very vocal and very visible sub-group of mobile device users. That’s right, I have an iPhone, and you know what, I’m not too disappointed using it. Some (well, ok, most) of the time. Frankly there are some things that quite frankly rock so much on the iPhone it’s silly. Especially if you get it on a decent data tariff.

Firstly is the fact that I am able to have written all this more than comfortably as I queue at the post office, while simultaneously enjoying my mp3 tunes, all from the one device. Class.

The second thing that I really hadn’t realisd was how good (no. Fantastic) the web browsing is on the iPhone. I did use my n95 for browsing, but the using direct touch input does change the experience entirely. My mobile web usage has certainly increased with the iPhone.

Just about at the counter now…..

Thirdly since owning my iPhone my personal data has never been more ‘in sync’. The docking of the device and syncing of information to my MacBook Pro just works so, so so well. I am by no means an well organised person, but thanks to this device and the way it syncs so painlessly with iTunes, iCal, Address book and Mail is great.

These three thngs are absolutely fabulous. I love them. Thank you Apple.

However. Something I noticed soon after I took ownership of an iPhone was the number of other iPhone owners who would great me thus “So you got an iPhone then, what do you think?”. It was as though they had doubts about there own purchase, like they wondered if they were alone in feeling disapointed with it at times.

Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone really is a ‘pretty thing’ and some of what the iPhone does, make no mistake, it does far better than anything else out there. Then on the other hand, Apple have really screwed the iPhone up. They have missed off some things that any fool could see are now standard issue on even the most basic devices on the market. The conspiratorial side of me would even say that, maybe, the iPhones short comings are missing by design.

Here for me are the things that are unforgivable for their absence from the iPhone.

1. No replaceable battery, in this day an age there are so many reasons this is wrong. There is no more blatant example of planned obsolescence than seen in the iPods and iPhones from Apple. At some point in the future, you are going to have to replace this device, or pay Apple a lot of money to change a battery. Ridiculous. There is part of me that is really disapointed at my self for supporting a company that is so morrally irrisponsible to encourage such a thow-away mentality.

2. No copy and paste functionality really sucks, there appears to be no reason for this not being present. Its a useful feature that has been present and available to even the most basic computing devices for as long as I can remember. Heck even the earliest of calculators had the equivalent of copy and paste in the form of “memory recall” its shocking to think that apple are so sloppy to have over looked such a fundamental feature. Remember form follows function.

3. No forwarding of Contact details. Again something that has been possible on every phone I have owned for the last 8 or 9 years. No sending of business cards, no vCard forwarding support. It bites.

4. No tethering. Apple I hate you for this.

5. The camera is shockingly low spec for a device of this price range. low quality, no video. Once again the only real reason seems to be to form a culture of upgrading the device.

I know none of this is new. The fact is, I knew all about these things, I knew they would suck. I knew I would still rely on my N95. A 2 year old device that I still think is more capable as a modern mobile device than the iPhone 3G, but you know what, I already feel better for having got it off my chest. It may even help me enjoy my iPhone more now that I have ‘put it out there’. My Name is Dave. I am an iPhone owner. Its been 3 minutes since the last time i bitched about my new device…

NEC Demos Adobe Flash Lite Intellectual Property

Following the announcement from Adobe of the open screen project, news comes from the Embedded Systems Expo that NEC is showing what sounds like it might be an alternative to Adobe’s Flash Lite Player.

Its a little hard to make complete sense of the post from EETimes.com. But some interesting quotes from the short, slightly cryptic article:

By using our new IP, one can design a portable device capable of processing Adobe Flash Lite several times faster, when compared with using a processor.

Also in the announcement is a hint of better video quality as well.

After reducing the number of gates required for an IC and further tuning the video quality output by Adobe Flash Lite, NEC will start offering its IP in August this year.

One thing that does seem to be missing is an explanation of which Flash Lite version they are supporting, although the mention of video implies this is based around the FlashLite 3 player.

You can read the full (breif) announcement of NEC’s new Flash Lite IP over at EETimes.com.

One further interesting thing is that I could find no mention of NEC being involved with the Open Screen Project from its press release.

Credit where its due: EETimes.com

BitTube Goes Over the Air

Thats right, its all very last minute but I will be presenting a session at the upcoming Over the Air event in London this week.

My session is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

Flash Video Nokia Masterclass – Dave Williamson (Adobe)Learn how to create live video applications with the most popular online video format on Nokia devices.

Over the Air is all sold out now, but you can find all the information about the event over at the Over the Air Blog

I look forward to catching up with you if you are there.

Nokia N830 WiMAX Tablet Leaked

Another week and another Nokia device makes its way onto the information super highway, this time courtesy of a BestBuy sales flyer. The rumor mill has begun speculating whether the black internet tablet pictured is the new Nokia N830 the WiMax equipped version of the N810 internet tablet. The N810 you will recall is the Linux based internet tablet that comes pre-installed with the Adobe® Flash® 9 player to support video and audio streaming, among other things :D, you can see the specs of the N810 here.

Credit where its due:
Into Mobile
Internet Tablet Talk
Tablet Blog

Adobe Provide FlashLite Side by Side Comparisons

Along with the news of updates for CS3 and Device Central to support FlashLite 3 Authoring from within the CS 3 suite of products. The FlashLite product website has a side by side comparison of various Flash player specifications that are currently being used in Mobiles and other devices.

see the Flash Version Comparison Chart

Some Points of interest for me were the following:

  • The FlashLite 3 player is actually smaller than the FlashLite 2.1 player
  • The minimum memory requirements for the FlashLite 3 player is un-altered
  • The recommended memory is un-altered for for the FlashLite 3 Player
  • There is no improvement in the worst case memory usage of FlashLite 3 content over FlashLite 2.1
  • Added support for meta data in FlashLite 3 Content

Also I see that the FlashLite 3 player has “External API for browser scripting”, assuming there is a mechanism to update the players within device web browsers this may well offer a clean interface for the detection of screen orientation I have been experimenting with lately.

Another interesting point FlashLite 2.1 and FlashLite 3 seem to both offer support for “Complex languages (Thai, Arabic, Hebrew, etc.)”. Yet this is still not supported by the desktop player? Yet.

Bill Perry presentation availible for download, Creating and Selling Your Mobile Flash Content

Bill Perry has posted a very interesting presentation, the subject is Creating and Selling Your Mobile Flash Content. You can down load the presentation from Bills Site.

Creating and Selling Your Mobile Flash Content

I also noticed Bill has a document linked at the very top of his site, under the banner “Addressable devices for developers“.