30 August 2009

Why Android won't beat iPhone

I found an interesting post about the 'Android opportunity'.

The author explains why android couldn't 'beat' pittyPhone : to keep it simple, if Google doesn't follow the marketing machine of Apple, Android won't success.
The Apple's marketing bulldozer worked like a charm, you won't beat the pittyPhone if you don't beat its main weapon : marketing.
And, right now, Google isn't fighting with marketing...it lets device makers do this.
And right now, a Samsung Android phone or a Moto Android phone isn't as much wanted as a pittyPhone 4.0....because it's not more than 'another Samsung/Moto phone'.

Even if it makes me sad, I think I'm agree with this....and it means future won't be as good as it should be :(
As always fight agains the pittyPhone because of this and now, it's becoming the way to do : how many years before we see a b&w flat screen sold as 'the best TV in the world' just because the marketing was the best ?!
I already knew marketing is the 'science' to sell you a 'dream' (read sell you trash as if it was gold) but I realized with the pittyPhone WHICH trash for HOW MUCH. (and I won't talk about the air book, the first Apple computer even Apple Fans critizes!)

On a side, it's interesting to notice people which start to complain about pittyPhone are...developers (or any people trying to make money with pittyPhone).
So, unfortunalty, and even it the pittyPhone got some minor problems (everybody knows exploding is only a minor problem), it will take some times before Apple will start to loose market share....and while I'll waiting for this, Apple already started to fight with its competitors not with great phones (it would be a surprise) but with lobbying and false informations.

20 August 2009

BSquare announces FL on Android

I missed this one : following HTC Hero's support to Flash Lite, Bsquare announced they have successfully ported Flash Lite to Android, throught a web plugin.

This follows their previous announcement on March.

New game of GamesPlaza : Summer Girl

GamesPlaza released totay a new free flash lite game : Summer Girl

This time, it's for girls and women since it's a dress up game.
It's the second dressup game of GamesPlaza...but it seems it's a popular kind of game for this category of gamers

18 August 2009

AppStore : the magic disappears slowly ?

You could find a very instersting post at TechCentral about the App Store "anti-competitive and arrogant"
Also this very interesting point of view (which I share!) about the viability of the AppStore for developer.

16 August 2009

BUG : NetStream/NetConnection memory leak

If you follow Flash Lite doc about Video.attachMovie, you should play a streamed FLV using this method

var my_video:Video; //my_video is a video object on stage
var my_nc:NetConnection = new NetConnection();
var my_ns:NetStream = new NetStream(my_nc);

I just found a very annoying bug on this one :
when you call my_ns.play( filepath ), something is done on the background, then the video starts to stream & play when buffer is full
if you ever kill everything while 'something is done on the background', the 'something' doesn't stop and the first blocks of memory used by buffer are filled.

This is what I did for testing
var keyListener:Object = new Object( );
keyListener.onKeyDown = function()
handleKey(Key.getCode()+"" );

function handleKey( keycode:String ):Void
switch (keycode)
case ExtendedKey.SOFT1:
case ExtendedKey.SOFT2:

delete _root.stream_ns;
delete _root.connection_nc;
// nothing still present in memory

_root.gotoAndPlay("menu"); //get out of the frame with the video object

Test this with a video (or download my sample)
Don't click the softkey yet, wait for the video to start playing
When you click the softkey, you could see on the memory manager every video data is deleted

Then retest, but quickly (or at least BEFORE the video start playing or you could see 'Connect to file_path' on the trace) click the softkey
At first, nothing happens (like you want to), you even have the wanted
FTPS116: Flash Video status : (NetConnection.Connect.Closed)
on the trace

BUT while the video is deconnected, closed, deleted and nulled, some (milli)seconds after you'll see a 'Connect to file_path' and the memory manager will show you something big on memory!

What happened?
I ask for a video
Flash Lite player starts something
I cancel the video and deleted it
Flash Lite doesn't know about it
Flash Lite finished its something
Flash Lite want to start the video but...err...where is my netstream ?! ok, forget it
Unfortunatly, it forget to kill its something

I fought a long time against this one, and I wasn't able to find a workaround....
The only thing I could do is to active the keylistener when the video is ready.
So no way to exit the screen before it starts playing...and so downloaded some Kbytes the user pay for! Very bad user experience !!
VGTrailers is like this, and I retried again this sunday to fix it without success...

I think it's NetStream/NetConnection bug. Not a Video bug, because if I don't use a video object and don't attachVideo, I have the same problem (and so I had sound but no video when I test)

If you ever got this one and found a solution, please, share it with me !

EDIT : I forgot to tell I tested it on read hardware, it's why you'll find oxygen's memchecker on the available test file

Motorola future phones...

Following Adobe Flash Lite post, I checked Motorola website to get more info (version, video support, etc..) and found nothing. As usual Flash Lite info are very hard to find (apart at Nokia & SE)...if someone got a better technical link...

BUT, the interesting thing is the road Motorola is taking, just jump to Motorola developer website and you'll see what I mean : Android everywhere !

I REALLY hope is making an fully available Flash (Lite) player, not like HTC dedicated one, so we can access to every android phone.

14 August 2009

Play Flash SWF on your HTC Hero

Find on Mark's blog hints to open Flash file using Android SDK

New SE capuchin phone : Jalou

Sony Ericsson announced a new phone : Jalou

This phone is Flash Lite 2.0 enabled and use Capuchin.
Apart the motion gaming (EyeToy on phone), this phone is...well...a bling bling phone.
It means the limited mirror-pink-24carats-D&G phone will be for girls who makes Paris Hilton their idol.
Guys have the pittyPhone to shine, girls now have the Jalou.

Sorry SE, but I hate the phones who aren't what they must be : a phone!
Satio seems far better than this...shinning toy.

BUG : Include Device Font

While I was optimizing size of VGTrailers (I always try to be under 100K), I find something strange about device fonts, on Flash CS3 IDE.
Your best friend about size optimizing is size report (I suggest you to read this interesting post at Paul Burnett's madblog)

So, about the bug
If you create a dynamic textfield with a special font (I'll use Arno Pro) but with 'Use device fonts', you'll got something like this on the report size
Arno Pro 31
Switch to 'Bitmap text (no-alias)' and include the Latin character set
you have now
Arno Pro  12 pts 4539 !"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;<=>?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_`abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{}~
now switch to a static textfield THEN come back to 'Use device fonts'
Arno Pro 31
if you switch back to a dynamic textfield (still using 'Use device fonts'), you should still find 31bytes...but you have
Arno Pro 29683 !"#$%&'()*+,-./0123456789:;<=>?@ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[\]^_`abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz{}~
congratulation, you now have a font included for nothing...and 29k!
Why 29k ? switch to 'anti alias for animation' and you'll find the same size!
So, this bug includes an anti-aliased font while asking to include nothing but use system font.

I know you'll almost never make all these steps but I did, while trying the best font vs the best size, which ended to select a device font and so...

Note I was also able to include a '_sans' font if I switch to '_sans' while switching to dynamic field

11 August 2009

Top 136 Mobile Advertising Companies

GomoNews published a very interesting list of the Top Mobile Advertising Companies

It seems I have some more companies to contact!

New game of GamesPlaza : Miner's Castle

2 weeks ago, GamesPlaza.mobi published a new free Flash Lite game : Miner's Castle.

This game include a score API available to any game on GamesPlaza
More info coming soon.

Playyoo helps you to win 100$ minimum

I'll already talked about Playyoo Premium Program some weeks ago.
Basically, if you upload a game which include Playyoo API and it's cool enought, you may win 100$ each 5000 download.

Now, to add more and more great games, Playyoo gives you the first 100$ !!
It means that even if you never reach the 5000 download, you'll win 100$
Of course, it means you need to reach the 10000 download to win another 100$

Check Playyoo blog for more info.
Note Playyoo selects the games they want to include in the PPP and so give 100$).

09 August 2009

Mobile Advertising Solution : AdMob

Like I said some days ago, I'm currently looking for the best ads solution to use in VGTrailers, my Flash Lite developer challenge entry.

I contacted 6 companies and got 4 replies.
I already reviewed Smaato, I'll now review AdMob

AdMob is the solution I'm currently using on my mobile version of WillNa
I really like their publisher program, with analytics, smart support and their Google group.
Plus their new House Ads product seems very interesting : include ads for others of your products on your site or app...for free !
I also note they are one of the ads networks Smaato is linked to...

Their solutions includes Web, pittyPhone and Android support...but no longer 'any' client support.
They abandonned the Client Solution early this year, right when I was about to use it.
So, while my AS code was ready, I had to look back to existing mobile ads solutions.

Why, if they dropped their Client Solution, AdMob is still a solution ?
Because the xhtml their api gives back is easy to parse.

If you want to know more about their API, you should browse their AdMob for Developers Wiki.

Using urlencoded key/value pairs parameters, you could ask for an ad.
You should use ma=xhtml&f=html_no_js to get a useful return.
Good points, a 'test' parameter let you make test (only text) and an optional 'k' (keyword) parameter will help you to get targetted ads. Hint : don't use 'search', it won't return anything on false search!
Bad points for Flash Lite developer, you NEED to send ip, user agent and headers.
And no way to ask for a specific ads size (even MMA's one)....

Like you know, you can't retrieve ip, user agent and headers within Flash Lite.
To bypass this problem, I wrote a server side PHP script which gives them back to my Flash Lite app...
But it means you had to make 2 requests to got your first ad !
1 - get ip, user agent and headers
2 - using these data, ask for ads
On some phones, Flash Lite player won't let you make 2 requests on the same frame...
So you need to handle this problem using a frame to ask information THEN, on success, jump to the frame which ask for ads.

It's not that easy, unfortunatly.
The tests I made with my AdMob renderer were successfull but I didn't test on a lot of REAL platforms.

Besides technical point, I still don't understand why they support pittyPhone & Android but not Flash Lite or J2ME or WiMo....
They aren't alone, a lot of others ads network got a SDK for each platform, so it seems I'm missing a point : why not use a common API ?!
If you have hint, post a comment please !

Their previous Client Application solution was very easy to use, if they ever re-open it, I will be the first to promote it but, waiting for this time, I'll avoid my 'hacked' solution.
I personnaly will use it ONLY if I don't find a better solution and, only after tests on more phones....

See you soon for the 2 others reviews !

FlashLite Phone Browser v1.2

At last, I just released FlashLite Phone Browser v1.2.
Nokia listing is now fully functionnal.
Thanks to Forum Nokia Team for their support after they made some changes on the database access process.

If you have v1.1, it will updated at next launch.

Else you could launch the v1.2 install using the install button at the right.

note : AIR 1.5.2 was released this week, it will perhaps be updated at the same time.

05 August 2009

Flash Lite Nokia phone browser

Good news, someone on the forum point me to the correct person and I finally got an answer about my no longer available Nokia db access.
I hope to fix it soon. This time, I hope Flash Lite Phone Browser will automatically be updated !

Meanwhile, you can use Forum Nokia Advanced Search.