23 April 2009

Frustrating APIs

For the FL developer challenge, I planned to make a video-based app.
So I looked for available API to use.
I found a lot BUT everytime the same 'Terms and Conditions use' statement
the contents are ours and you can't use them nor alter them.

I understand you can't alter video and hide ads, these websites can't only distribute free content.
But what the use of these API then ? Just a "how to add OUR videos on YOUR site to give US money" ?
I even found a website taking the right to ask your website or app source to be sure you use their data correctly !

As I said, I understand but it's very frustrating to think you could do a killer app with what seems to be free API and be stuck reading the terms and conditions...
For every of these websites, I was able to find the mobile video files...but since I don't use the API nor agreed with their terms, it won't be a valid entry for the challenge...so no sense to use it...

Too bad...I now remember why I wanted to use FL only to make games : time is only use to code and draw...not to get rights and authorizations or talking with a lawyer.

Sorry, it's not a really useful post but I feel better writing it !

22 April 2009

Adobe Mobile Packager UX

I think you know about Mark Doherty last post, asking for Flash Lite community feedback about Adobe Mobile Packager ?

I personnaly only use AMP for CAB packaging, to avoid future issue with Nokia so I don't know a lot about AMP's SIS packaging.
One of the interesting feedback I read is Emanuele Cipolloni's one since it's about UX on Nokia devices.
It also could explain why people had problems installing Nespresso's app.

...installation and actually setup & running will still be a nightmare..

I won't copy/paste his comment here, so jump read it (and post a feedback to Mark if you haven't already did it)

18 April 2009

Samsung and Flash Lite

I knew Flash Lite was supported by some Samsung phones.

In Device Central CS3, some devices are available.
They support StandAlone player or Application (BREW).
But it was difficult to find a Samsung's official list.

I so use info from S60.com and Samsung Innovator

I don't know if Device Central CS4 include them but here is the list of Flash Lite supported device, as StandAlone Player

If Nokia has Remote Device Access, Samsung has its Lab.dev for Symbian devices.
They use the same solution from Digia so you won't be lost.
(Unfortunatly, Samsung Lab.dev for WiMo devices is still in beta and unavailable for classic member.)

I was so able to test Poulpy's Game on available devices and noticed a problem on S60 3rd FP1 devices :
using a simple SWF file, sharedObjet didn't work
install this same SWF file using Nokia's Packager/SWFPack, sharedObjet worked fine
no problem with other devices.

On a side note, I didn't test yet if Omnia HD is a 'clone' of the Nokia 5800 with Nokia Platform services and if the FLite 3.1 Distributable Player works or not on these devices.

getURL - part2

getURL finally works on every tested devices.
It took me some days, waiting for availability of some devices on RDA.

When I tested on N82, getURL didn't work. I was very sad because I thought I'll had to retest everything, if I find a fix.
Hopefully, I noticed the screen 'flash' when I call the getURL.

You'll find this tip on some others blogs and websites but, since I personnally lost a lot of time on this one, I'll share it too :

If you open a webpage with a getURL from your FlashLite app/game, be sure your default browser is closed.
Else the webpage will be opened on the background.

16 April 2009

Flash Lite Developer Challenge : Individuals too !

Some weeks ago, I emailed Flash Lite Developer Challenge team to know who EXACTLY could compete.

In their Terms & conditions, you could read
3. Eligibility
The Competition is open to everybody, both legal entities and individuals...

while in How to join, you were able to read (until some days)
Entry Fees
The Competition is free. There are no Entry Fees. Eligibility (See TERMS AND CONDITIONS) The Competition is open only to legal entities ...

I didn't receive a reply but if you check How to join, you could see they fixed this part and so, individuals can REALLY enter the competition.

Cool ! Now I have to find an interesting project...and times ;)

14 April 2009

Local vs Network vs Trusted

In Poulpy's Game, if you press Left Soft Key on menu screen, you'll open WillNa.com

Yesterday, I discovered this feature doesn't work on N95 & N95 8GB.
After some research on Forum Nokia, I found this KnownIssue

If SWF/SIS game isn't installed in Data\Others\Trusted, with Access to the local file system, getURL("http://www.willna.com") won't work

If SWF/SIS game isn't installed in Data\Others\Trusted, with Access the network only, getURL("http://www.willna.com") will work

If SIS game is installed in Data\Others\Trusted, with Access to the local file system or Access the network only, getURL("http://www.willna.com") will work
BUT the SWF will also be available throught Gallery and so can be deleted by user, resulting in error when launching game

Compiled your SWF with Access the network only seems the best solution.
But remember you won't be able to access local file.

After more reading on Forum Nokia, I found an interesting reply from Mark Doherty : SIS compiled with Adobe Mobile Packager are trusted and can access local AND network files.
Another point for AMP...

I'll need to check it harder for ad-based model...

12 April 2009

Poulpy Game results after 1 month

Poulpy's Game was released one month ago, at the same time we opened WillNa.com
It is our first game so I planned to make some analysis of its results
Poulpy's game is hosted in 4 websites : Playyoo (historic), GetJar, Voeveo and coming-soon-one
This FL2.x+ game is available in SWF, NFL, SIS (using Nokia's Packager) & CAB (using Adobe Mobile Packager) format

+7500 downloads in one month
+300 per day when Poulpy was recommanded by GetJar
-100 per day when not recommanded
20% for the WiMo version

Models (+100 download each)

You'll notice Nokia's 6300 and no FLite enabled phones results.
I also suspect some errors in GetJar mobile detection (7610 or 7610 supernova?)
The first SE phone isn't Capuchin enabled

GetJar doesn't provide countries stats, so I'm relaying to willna.com results
Indonesia : 54
India : 32
Netherlands : 12
United States : 11
United Kingdom : 10

You'll notice the very important part of Asia.

Unfortunalty, you'll also notice the very low convertion rate : 2%
7500 download vs 150 connections to WillNa.com

WillNa connections (Top10)
6120c : 18
6300 : 15
MSIE 7 : 9
Windows Mobile : 9
E71 : 8
E63 : 8
N95 : 7
E90 : 7
Opera Mini : 6
iPAQ HX4700/Treo700w : 6

Poulpy's game was a 'pay-if-you-like-ware' which gives us 0.70$
I also expected some money from the ads shown on willna.com
- PC version : 0$
- Mobile version : 0.6$

I'm very proud our game was downloaded +7500 times in 1 month
To be recommanded really impacts your download rate.
Unfortunatly, I also must face the bad revenue result :
It was fun to make this game but it only generated 1.3$, because people doesn't want to pay for a free game and rarely visits game's website

My next game will try another selling model, I'll see if revenue will increase or not.

ps: I really need a 6300 ! Nobody to send me one ? ;)

10 April 2009

Chumby will rule the world!!!

After USA, Japan and Australia, Chumby is now available in the UK.
and...Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal soon !!!!!
I'm pretty sure it will be a success in Italy, since there is a lot of FLite developers.
I'll finally be able to buy one !

Now, they only have to include Upnp support and it will definitly become my most-needed tool, with a N8x0...

Nokia's Install Notes

Nokia's Flash Packager allows you to define "Intall notes", which will be displayed during the installation process.

For people using PKG file, it will use FILETEXT.
Great! So I tried with the text
Thanks for installing our first game !
If you want more games with Poulpy,
please visit WillNa.com

Here are the results on some phones :

On N85, 5730 XpressMusic & 6220 classic

On N95, E63 & E51

On N95 8GB & 5800 XpressMusic

3 different ways to renders this text !
You will notice
1/ font isn't fixed so no way to define a max char per line
2/ word isn't a line break delimiter on some version
3/ it's not related to S60 version

It seems the only way to have my text to be displayed the same way is the ugly
Thanks for installing our first
game !
If you want more games
with Poulpy,
please visit WillNa.com

...finally I doubt I'll use this option...
It will be more interesting to add this text on the game itself.

From Nokia Wiki, this option is designed to display disclaimer where text doesn't need a layout.

09 April 2009

Flash Lite on Nokia 5800

Finally, after some days waiting, I was finally able to make some test on RDA's Nokia 5800
I noticed 2 changes

The virtual keypad

Hopefully, thanks to Dale's tip, you can hide it...but what will happen with

The getURL confirmation

07 April 2009

Nespresso's Flash Lite app

From mobilemarketer, Nespresso launched an application for mobile using Flash Lite throught the Adobe Mobile Packager

It features store locator and videos.It's the first commercial app I personnaly know which use AMP.

Unfortunatly I was unable to download it from Nespresso website, since my I320 isn't in the supported devices list.
If someone successfully downloaded the .cab, drop me a link !