Thomas Joos | mobile application developer

(re)create your thoughts and expand your limits.

Archive for May 2008

The future of Mobile Experience

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As a result of a little discussion with a colleague a few days ago about mobile browsing, I started thinking about the future of mobile experience. Not only as a developer but also as a user. The mobile business is already been called ”the future” for several years now, but still we are waiting patiently for the big explosion of the mobile business. Here in Belgium we have lots of (most of the time annoying) advertisements trying to convince you to donwload the coolest ringtones, wallpapers or screensavers. Even though everybody agrees these ads are not pleasant, the ringtone,screensaver,little games,.. seem to have a lot of succes. If not I think they would already have stopped making those ads. You should start thinking the target (teenagers most of the time)

does not mind the whole advertisement thing and just keep downloading this stuff because they want them so badly. Although teenagers are more easy to convince trying these things, I wonder why it seems so easy to let them try and download this type of content. It is far from easy trying to let them download & use applications with a higher/richer entertainment level. Why are they not downloading a mobile application from their favourite bands or soccer team or… Are they just not getting tired of those ringtones and silly games or am I missing something? Actually I am!


Richer Experiences
Where are all the mobile applications providing everything you need to know, see or experience when talking about your favourite soccer team? In England, Manchester United provides MobileTV, they provide a different mobile screensaver every week, you can download mobile wallpapers, animations, ringtones, video highlights.. but still they do not provide a full mobile application providing all this content together.

Another strange example (at least here in Belgium) is the fact that everybody likes the idea to have an app running and giving all the latest news, weather or traffic updates. I have never seen someone actually use an app like that. Please correct me if I am wrong or blind and deaf but there are several mobile rss readers (google mobile, freenews,feederReader). I wonder if there are people using such tools on a daily basis. I have no information about how popular these apps are, but I do not know many people using mobile rss readers compared to desktop rss users. I wonder why. I can not believe people would not like to give it a try.

We all like to get our information asap, no? Are people just not getting in touch with these possibilities or are they just not capable finding and installing the apps? Here in Belgium the main reason is the lack of a decent mobile internet connection I guess. It is just a shame that the providers are not providing!

Mobile Browsing

This brings us to another interessant question. Are people not willing to download applications onto their device and just want to browse to the content directly? Here in Belgium mobile internet is about to become more and more popular but it is far from being a standard. Other countries are way ahead of us it seems. Are those people using more mobile content by downloading and/or browsing? If mobile internet is more integrated in other countries it is interesting for developers providing content online. Getting mobile content by browsing to a url is more user-friendly than donwloading an application and getting it installed. But still, devices are not yet super powerful and the mobile browsers need some more fine tuning. Even desktop browsers still are not perfect! Any way, with today’s limitations a standalone app seems like a more efficient way to provide your mobile content. (in my honest opinion) But again, I’m writing this so you guys could correct me if I am wrong. Please do, actually that’s the main reason I wrote this biggest post of my life!


What do you have to say?

The reason I made this blogpost was to reach out to all kinds of people. We all have a mobile phone, so we all are mobile users. But what exactly do you do with your (smart)phone or what would you like or just like not to do? Are you not capable, lazy, or do you find it difficult to find applications/mobile content? Do you believe in a mobile future or do you just want to make calls and send text messages and be left alone?

As developers we should maybe start thinking about ways to promote our applications better. At least if they provide an enrichment in the mobile user’s life. I’m sure there is a lot to explore, as a mobile developer and as a mobile user. At least for me there is!

Feel free to share your opinion and do not hesisate correcting things I said or assumed.

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Written by vilebody

May 28, 2008 at 9:20 am

Posted in Mobile, Press

12/06/08: Flash Lite afterhours @multimediacollege

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On 12/06/08 I will be giving an afterhours Flash Lite hands-on at multimediacollege’s offices (Lokeren). Based on a few applications I made (FITC Amsterdam & Toronto, 2M08, … ) I will be giving all basic in’s & out’s of everything you need to know when you want to start developing Flash Lite Content.

We’ll start around 18.30 and provide you something to eat. The session starts at 19.00 and ends at 21.00, followed by a drink! But before we start drinking… here is a short overview of the topics that are handled:

INTRODUCTION
Why Mobile?
Flash Lite Overview (Support Comparison, FL Versions Comparison)
Using Device Central

INTERFACE DESIGN
Visual guidelines for mobile interfaces

MEMORY MANAGEMENT
How to manage memory and cpu usage

USER/DEVICE INTERACTION
fscommand2
Device keys
Buttons and icons

CONTENT IMPLEMENTATION
Text & Fonts
XML
Images (masking + tweenerLite)
Video (fl2 & fl3) & Sound
Shared objects

API IMPLEMENTATIONS
Using swx format for Twitter & Flickr implementation

Go to the multimediacollege website to register, cost is 50 euro and seats are limited, so first come, first serve. Boulevart also gave away 6 tickets at 2M08. If you have won a ticket, let me know if you are going to make it!

Written by vilebody

May 25, 2008 at 5:36 pm

2M08 Mobile Guide release!

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Today I completed 2M08’s mobile guide. It’s a flash lite application that offers all attendees all kinds of information they could possibly need. An entire schedule, telling you which speaker is performing where, what he is talking and what time his session kicks off. You can now immediately see which other speakers are performing at that time so you get a nice overview of of all speakers at a current time. The only thing you need to do is make a (sometimes very difficult) choice.

There is also a little map of the building included, so even a little girl would understand where she needs to be! I have also implemented a Twitter Client so basic live twittering is possible. Let everybody know what you are doing and let them know how you are experiencing 2M08!

There is also a party guide included making clear how you can win the cool prizes Boulevart is giving away that night! For those who are curious, you just need to send “boulevart” to 3455 and if you are present at the party, you might win a nokia n95! Attending 2M08 and the kickass party on Friday? Make sure you send an sms and you might be lucky!

There is no need to send an sms before Friday because the sms account will not be activated until then.

Let’s Download this App!

For symbian users: download a sis file here
as always, the sis is powered by SWF2Go thanks to Faisal Iqbal!

UPDATE

thanks to cisnky there is a qr code available so if you have qr reader just take a snapshot and download the sis file, to quote cisnky: ‘ definately beats typing the url!”

For other mobile users: here you can download a zip file containing the application.
You just need to extract it and transfer it to you phone, and then use the flash lite player to open the swf! Easy as 1-2-3!

To all you mobile users, of course you should feel free to let me know what you think of the application and if you use it on 2M08 you can always give me any kind of feedback. This is always very much appreciated. I am attending 2M08 myself so if you are going and you want to have a talk or a drink.. just let me know by leaving a comment.

Thomas

Written by vilebody

May 21, 2008 at 9:27 am

Posted in Flash Lite, Mobile

Adobe Design Achievement Awards: Made it to the semifinal round!

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A while ago I submitted my FITC Toronto Mobile Conference Guide for the Mobile Design Category in Adobe’s Design Achievement Awards. Today I received a mail telling me the following:

Congratulations!
Thank you for participating in the 2008 Adobe Design Achievement Awards and congratulations on the selection of your entry 2270# FITC Toronto Mobile Conference Guide for the semifinal round in the Mobile Design category!

The jury will review all the semifinal entries in detail in an all-day hands-on session. Three entries in each category will be selected for the final round and the finalists will be awarded a trip to New York City and free Adobe software.
The category winner also receives a $3000 US cash prize and the two finalists win a $1,000 US cash prize. Any semifinal entry not selected for the final round will be forwarded to Adobe™ regional offices for exhibits and further publicity, giving you additional opportunities for recognition even if your work is not selected as a finalist entry. All you need to do is ship your entry to the competition headquarters via courier service for arrival by May 23, 2008 . […]

I am very excited about this and of course I hope I make a shot to get into the finals. And even if I don’t make it, adobe is giving additional opportunities for recognition and visibility so that’s great!

In Toronto Bill Perry showed the mobile guide in his session and he told me my application was also going to be showcased in Adobe’s Mobile Gallery. I think I can say this means that people liked the application and I hope the ADAA Jury likes it as well !

I will put all my source files onto a CD-ROM and ship my entry to the competition headquarters as soon as possible! Let’s stay tuned.

Thomas

Written by vilebody

May 14, 2008 at 8:35 am

Posted in Flash Lite, Mobile

Multi-Mania Mobile Conference Guide

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Today I received some 2M08-Artwork from Koen De Weggheleire and I started developing the mobile interface of the application. After that I started thinking about the kind of topics I would like to include.
It did not take long to come up with the following items:

-2M08: A little bit of information about the event itself
-Schedule: A schedule overview of who is performing where, when, about what, etc…
-Building: A map of the building
-Party: A bit of information about the party, where it is, when it kicks off, things like that..
-Twitter: For all the hard core 2M08-ers : Live twittering is possible! (there will be a wireless connection available)
-Now Speaking: At the home screen you will constantly see who is performing at the moment and where..

I think I came up with the most basic and most relative topics that a mobile conference guide should have to offer but iff you guys have any cool suggestions or you think you have a cool idea to include in this kind of application, just give me a comment and I’ll see what I can do. I am also attending 2M08 so if you are going let me know ;)

Written by vilebody

May 6, 2008 at 3:32 pm

Posted in Flash Lite, Mobile

ResizeImage Class Updated

with one comment

I finally found the time to update my ResizeImage Class. It gives you the opportunity to resize your images proportional. The most important change is that I made it static so you can use the resize function everywhere without making instances first.

For those who don’t know, it’s an as3 class I wrote and you can use it for any type of project. If it’s a commercial one then it would be appreciated if you send me an email or give me a credit.

Go and have fun, you can download the class HERE.

If you want some more info you can check my previous post. You will find some more explanation about the code.

Thomas

Written by vilebody

May 4, 2008 at 9:36 am

Posted in as3, Flash

Abobe Announces Open Screen Project 2008

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Today Adobe announced the Adobe Open Screen Project, which is dedicated to ensuring a consistent rich Internet experience across a broad range of digital screens and form factors including mobile phones, consumer electronics, televisions and personal computers. This experience will be driven by the Adobe Flash Player and AIR (in the future) and is meant to ensure that designers and developers can focus on the consumer experience and know their efforts will scale across different platforms and screens. The Open Screen Project is meant to enable a consistent runtime environment for designers and developers across desktops and devices.

There are lots of companies involved in this project, all of them believing in this unified vision of the future. You can find all the members of the Open Screen Project here

What exactly are they up to there at adobe? Well to give a quick summary, these are the most importants things they are going to change:

  • Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
  • Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
  • Publishing the Adobe Flash® Cast™ protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
  • Removing licensing fees – making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free

Go and check Ryan Stewart’s blog to get more detailed info about what these topics actually means for the community and desktop-developers. Adobe has released a video and further information for developers also, definately worth checking!

Also Mark Doherty’s post posted his impressions about what it means exactly for mobile developers!
You can read more about the Open Screen Project here as well as an FAQ.

And last but not least: let’s quote Aral Balkan:
What does that mean for us? It means Flash _everywhere_. It means you picked the right platform to develop your skills on. It means Flash will be around for a long, long time!

Written by vilebody

May 1, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Posted in AIR, Flash, Flash Lite, Mobile