24 July 2014

Back on Stage !

After the dead of Flex and AIR, I tried several others solutions.

I even tried HTML5 (Enyo is just the one and only valid solutions right now, forget about AngularJS) !

Of course, like most of you already know, there is NO unique solution.
The one you depends of the kind of app you want to release and the secondary target platforms, with Android and iOS as the first target platforms.

So, right now, in July'14
If you want to make a stupid simple app, go for Cordova / Phonegap.
If you want to make an average app, go for Cordova / Phonegap with Enyo or Telerik.If you want to make a professionnal app, sorry but nothing beats native code.
If you want to make a 2D game, OpenFL based solutions are the best (check HaxeFlixel or HaxePunk)
If you want to make a 3D game, Marmelade and Unity should help you...a lot !
If you want to target Windows Phone 8, learn WinJS or XAML C# !

On this last year, a lot of changes occured on the mobile world
Blackberry10 kind failed, while I personnaly really like the OS
Android moved to an apple'ish OS, with every bad included (but not a lot of good!)
iOS became an (even more expensive) toy with its less and less intuitive UI
Nokia died, with all its remaining blood sucked by Microsoft.
Tizen reinvented the terms of vaporware (vaporOS?)

and, recently, the only valuable android phone was released : the OnePlus One
An Android phone with the best technical specs ever without all the Google'ish ...and at a very descent price (a third of an iPhone !!)

So, hi to the followers we kept an eye on this blog, right now, I'm back !

19 April 2013

I'm now an AIR BB developer !

In December, I ported my 4 apps to BB10 for the 2 port-a-thon.
It was easy but took some times to setup every needed tool.

I really liked the experience and I now plan all my dev for Blackberry too.

This week, Blackberry made the final move to buy me : I received the cash award (it tooks some times but in final, I got it!) and my so waited Dev Alpha C device, won because I made AIR apps !

The Dev Alpha C device is near the upcoming Blackberry Q10 with the infamous keyboard.
I'll be able to test on a real device, to be sure the user experience is great using the BB keyboard.

Again, thanks Blackberry, you can count on me even more now !

On a side note, these last 3 months, I earnt more money with Trash Mail on BB's App World than  on Google Play...another reason I'm now definitly a BBDevers ! :)

ANE Ads4AIR v1.0.1 + Android Sample app

One week after my first ANE release comes my first update !

While writing a sample AIR app, I noticed some bugs mainly related to the ANE's context.
Following doc and tutorials, I made a wonderful error : using a static context

On Ads4AIR case, using a static context is an error because if you ask for interstitial ad THEN a banned ad,  the banner ad request won't work...because it's stil initialized with interstitial context.

I fixed a lot of others memory leak and was able to code some workaround on Adfonic's limits.
Now it's time to work on the Blackberry !

Be free to
- download the new version (v1.0.1)
- make some tests on your Android device
- check the source of the sample AIR app

11 April 2013

BOOK : PhoneGap Essentials, Building Cross Platform Mobile apps

In my search to an alternative to Flex, I had to explore the PhoneGap way.
PhoneGap lets you embed a full HTML5low web site on a native application.
Used basically, it's an website to application converter.

I had the opportunity to read this book : PhoneGap Essentials, Building Cross Platform Mobile apps
It's important to note it was written in June 2012 : PhoneGap/Cordova is now at version 2.6 while the book is about version 1.5
Oh, and 'Essentials' doesn't mean 'Everything you should now' but 'The minimum you should now'.

I read in only a few hour because it's full of code you can bypass.
Anyway, it was very interesting to read.
Why ? Because I learnt that Phonegap is/was a total mess.
- API not working the same way on all platforms
- documentation not in sync with the code
- a lot of copy/paste to make for a real multi platform export
- trial and error again

I now have to find a book from 2013 which cover Cordova 2.x and see if they fixed all of this.
I really hope because it's already awful to code the html5low part, I don't want to lose more times with Cordova issue.

So, does it worth money ? No longer, all you need to know is on this post....unless PhoneGap/Cordova is still as poorly made as it was in June 2012

10 April 2013

My first ANE Ads4AIR : Ads from Admob, Adfonic, Inmobi and some others...

Today I release my first AIR Native Extension.
While only for Android for now, the next release should include BlackBerry support.

What is Ads4AIR ?
This group of ANE offers you alternative to Admob.
Some ANE already exist which give you access to Admob ads on Android and iPhone, my goal was to let you choose.
First, because Admob doesn't support Blackberry.
Second, because choice is the key and Google isn't the only one.
It also allows you to use the ads network you want anytime you want : when your user is from india, when admob returns no ads, when your user is on wifi....It's up to you !

Which are the ads networks supported ?
I tried to support banner and interstitial for the most of them.
Unfortunatly, some SDK are buggy or work only on native Android app.
If you need another one, just ask me !

What's the licence ?
I tried another way to earn money : success sharing.
In fact, it's really simple : if you earn money with Ads4AIR, I'll earn too.
10% of the ads shown are from my own Adfonic account.
Since I understand developers could be afraid to not control every ad shown, it's still possible to register.
And since I'm a nice guy, YOU define the price.
Contact me for my paypal account, transfert the fund and I'll send you a serial id.

Where could I find it ?
On http://www.willna.com/extensions/
More ANE will come if this one is a success so...hurry up, use it and give me your feedback !

26 March 2013

BOOK : Enyo: Up and Running

Since Flex is no longer enought to earn money for living (shame on you Adobe), I had to move to something great, wonderful and so much better than OOP : Javascript and its friends HTML & CSS.
The number of frameworks and libraries available is just...enormous !
To select which one is the best for your needs is just impossible...really !
Backbone, Angular, ExtJS, Dojo, ... are surely great ones but I'm not fond of the way to code : add attributes in HTML Tag and inline JS.
Enyo is the only one I found what doesn't need this : you only need to code JS and optionaly improve your CSS.
Of course Enyo, in fine, produces the same thing but you, the coder, don't need to code pure HTML and your (web) designer will only produce his CSS.
Coding in Enyo is like coding in full AS3 with CSS.

So, I ended reading this book.
The Up and Running collection of O'Reilly seems to be a "Introduction" collection (like the "Instant" of Packt)  : only 80 pages.
I read it on my ebook reader but it should be read on a full PDF Reader (desktop or tablet) because there is a lot of link to follow : code is available at JSFiddle.

You should know all the information available on this book is available on Enyo website.
You'll even find more details on the website, and, most of the times, in a easy to read form, which made Enyo's docs one of the best documentation for a javascript framework I read.
I'm still trying to understand what backbone is for example

So why read this book ? Because Roy Sutton wrote it in a way which gives you the feelings you became an Enyo ninja in 1 day ! :)
You could save 8$ and just read Enyo's doc but it would take you longer to understand some points (like kinds and a layout).

I was really interested in Enyo before I read this book, I'm now really a fan.
You'll need to read more on Enyo website to really become a ninja (the install/debug/deploy part in the book is just unuseful as-is) but thanks to this book, I'm now ready to fight with the language I hate the most after VBA.

BOOK : Architecting Mobile Solutions for the Enterprise

In my quest for a professional look at the mobile industry, I read Architecting Mobile Solutions for the Entreprise by Dino Esposito.
You should note it's published by Microsoft Press and almost every sample are in ASP.NET coded in Visual Studio.
This book also states than, in june 2012, the 3 major mobile plateforms are iOS, Android and Windows Phone...hilarious !

The first part is a gold one, exactly what I was looking for : what shoud be your mobile strategy.
The second part is all about online mobile sites using JQuery, WURLF ...and ASP.NET. Interesting but nothing new and JQuery isn't the best framework to use for mobile websites.
The third part explains briefly how to code for the 3 "major" platforms using native, html or .NET (!) : a very bad intro to each platform so skip it.
Hopefully, it starts with a beautiful gem : "Patterns of Mobile Application Development".

So, perhaps 20-30% of the book should really be read : full part one and chapter 7.
Does it worth the money ? No, even if it's the only PRINTED book available on mobile strategy.
Buy it at half price, used or find it on your local library.

On a side note, it was a pain to read on my ebook reader because the PDF was not optimized : it takes up to 3 minutes to load the cover page and up to 30 seconds to move to the next page. It's the first time I had such problem.