Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Forum Nokia Flash blogs

Slightly old news but worth bookmarking.

Flash Blogs

I think it will also be an interesting read as some of the bloggers are traditional mobile people starting to get involved with Flash Lite. Most of the Flash Lite industry at the moment are Flash developers and designers moving across to mobile. Quite a difference!

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Friday, June 09, 2006

My N80

I have been using my N80 for just over a month now and thought I'd post a few thoughts on what I like, and also a few angles on Flash Lite. The first thing that I am still getting over, is how good the screen is, there can only be room for QVGA and better screens in the future. It really makes applications so much more attractive, from native phone apps, websites, to Flash Lite content - everything looks so much better. From a content production point of view there are things you can do in Flash that take advantge of the high res that would not look so good in lower resolutions. For example, on low res screens small icons look better as bitmaps, however because of the extra pixels kicking around QVGA+ screens you can pretty much go with vector for even the smallest icons.

I am also really enjoying the new browser and life blog. I'll post more about life blog soon as I think it really does add lots of value to mobile phone users.

The Video and camera are now good enough to take photos/videos that are worth keeping. I have found myself using the video a lot more than the actual camera. The camera is good for certain photos, landscapes and close ups, and anything where the subject isnt moving! But I find the video great for just ad hoc snapshots on daily life. The quality is good enough to view on a computer or on a phone, and FPS is not too bad either.

The whole OS itself is really a nice refreshing improvement on previous versions. For example applications like the image and video gallery have a nice carousel style UI which makes browsing through items quite good fun. However the gallery does get polluted by Flash files! This is actually a really bad flaw because you cant preview Flash files and a lot of applications use multiple files to construct one application. So take for example the superb World Cup Flash application by Alen. This is installed, with all supporting swf files into the Flash directory (56 files in total). So the gallery picks up all these files which completely kills the usability of the gallery app. I guess this is a combination of Flash not fitting too well into a content type as well as developers needing to be aware of this and putting the actual content assets somewhere hidden!

In all I think it will take months to get fully up to speed on the full feature set of Series 60 3rd edition.

Thoroughly enjoying it so far!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Nokia Series 60 3rd edition SDK released

Yesterday Nokia released the SDK for the new Series 60 3rd edition. Why is this good news for Flash Lite people? Well Flash Lite is a part of the SDK. It comes as a plug-in to the browser as well as a standalone player. This should be exactly how the Flash Lite implementation appears on the actual series 60 3rd edition phones, such as the N91, which should be released this month. If you install the SDK you can see exactly how the browser will work, you can load remote swfs, save them to the Flash Lite folder, etc

Great to see it finally in action.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Nokia's with Flash Lite pre-installed?

Since Nokia's February licensing aggreement with Macromedia for the Flash Lite platform Flash Mobile Developers have been eagerly awaiting the first deployment of the Flash Lite player on a Nokia phone. Although Flash Lite works on any series 60 phone it hasnt been made available to consumers via download or developers for distribution. This is a somewhat frustrating situation as there millions of series 60 phones on the market but there is currently no way of commercialising Flash based content for them. There is no info on whether this is a temporary situation or a policy that has been decided upon for the Flash/Nokia roadmap. I am inclined to think that its just easier for Nokia to have the benchmark for Flash as being Series 60 3rd Edition. At least that way its a straightforward way of defining a market for Flash on Nokia phones. Its also a good reason for consumers to want to upgrade to the all sing and dancing next generation Nokias. From a developer point of view it slows the production of content. If the series 60 platform was targetable by bundling the Flash Lite player in a sis or by allowing consumers to download it in much the same way as real player is offered to ngage users then that would enable the comercialisation of content now! But as things currently stand there is no market and therefore no justifiable reason to dedicate resources to Flash lite. Of course I am sure many companies are producing content as part of a long term strategy, but I mean more the push for companies to commercialise existing assets now.

So assuming things stay as they are Flash developers are looking forward to the first series 60 3rd edition phone to be announced that can offer timestamp for the rollout of Flash Lite enabled Nokia devices. This however seems to be a confusing process. The latest series 60 phones (the n-series)were announced recently and I was hopeful that they would be series 60 3rd edition phones but alas initially the documentation pointed to the 2nd edition. However, a bit further down the line it appears that the N91 will be series 60 3rd edition and will therefore be the first series 60 Flash Lite enabled phone. How confusing is this?

To confuse matters further the register recently posted an article on the new series 40 phones recently announced by Nokia. Among the details they stated that the phones supported the newly announced series 40 3rd edition which in turn supported Flash Lite. So we will have to see if this is true in the next few weeks as Nokia unveil more information about the series 40 3rd edition. I have been unable to verify whether the series 40 3rd edition actually does support Flash Lite because there is limited documentation at the moment.

So there we have it, the Flash Mobile community can definately smell the first Nokias , they are on their way. What remains to be seen is what models first ship and in what form the Flash Lite player has been implemented. The existing player runs as standalone rather than browser which is great for applications. However from a commercial point of view would Nokia really ignore the selling power of having Flash Lite available for standby and wallpaper? Is the Japanese model really so different from what non-Japanese consumers want? I dont think so. Sony Ericsson seem to see the Japanese model too, where Flash Lite is some sort of advanced dynamic eye candy. I think if Nokia were to add the sceensaver, wallpaper and standalone implementation of the Flash Lite player then it would really be a great platform for delivering both eye candy and applications to Nokia users. If they just opt for the standalone implementation then it will still be great for fun as well as serious applications but will miss the opportunity to progress beyond the stayed era of animated gifs.

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Friday, May 27, 2005

NTT DoCoMo to start selling Nokia 3g phones

via wirelesswatch japan.

An interesting move by NTT DoCoMo as they try to catch up with the 3g dominance of KDDI. I am not sure if this is a change to how NTT acquires phones or not. I imagine Nokia will just be implementing everything just as per the current set of NTT phones, in which case its just another supplier of a custom NTT phone. From Nokia's point of view its funny how despite the Licensing agreement with Macromedia the first Flash Lite phone Nokia will produce will be for NTT DoCoMo using Flash Lite as a browser plugin rather than the series 60 stand alone player! Of course this may not be the case, but it seems likely.

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