Thursday, March 29, 2007

dealing with fscommand launch

If you've ever wanted to use Flash Lite to communicate with C++ then fscommand("Launch",application) is a very useful feature. Its purpose is to allow you to launch an application on the phone and pass in addional command line parameters if necessary. So you could for example launch the browser and pass in a web address. Thats a basic example and there are other ways of doing that with getURL(). The real value in the launch fscommand is that it allows you to launch your own C++ application in the background to support your Flash Lite application.

In a recent Flash Lite project where we needed to use fscommand("Launch",app)
we came up against a few issues when it came to s60 3rd edition phones. So heres a summary of things to consider when using fscommand("launch").

You will probably have to call fscommand("launch") from a button press as it needs to be a user initiated action.

For 3rd Edition phones, because of the way applications are accessed you do not give an actual path to the application. So if I wanted to open the browser I would just do the following:

fscommand("Launch", "browser.exe");

For 2nd Edition phones you have to give the full path to the executable file. So for example:

fscommand("launch", "z:\\system\\apps\\browser\\");

Passing in arguments works the same across s60 3rd and 2nd edtion devices by putting the arguments after the application. eg.

For 2nd edition: fscommand("launch", "z:\\system\\apps\\browser\\,");

For 3rd edition: fscommand("launch", "browser.exe,");

However we were unable to read the arguments for our custom application. So it maybe that because of the security of the 3rd edition only the native applications such as browser can accept incoming arguments?

When it comes 2 way communication between Flash Lite and other applications the more effective way to do this is by running a local server on the device and then using loadVariables or even XMLsocket to talk to the native app. Although theres no point having a local server listen out for FL calls if FL isn't even running. So fscommand is again crucial here as a the starting point of communication.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Flash Lite 2.1 for free

We'll this was probably the most asked for and argued over issue with Macromedia's Mobile policy. Finally the Adobe Flash Lite player will be available to developers without a price tag. That should bring the Flash Lite forum traffic down a bit :)

Further still - the 2.1 player will be available to END USERS for free if they already have Flash Lite on their phone. So that means you can point users with 3rd edition phones to the Adobe site to get the 2.1 player before they consume your content :)

This was an essential move I think because the mobile market place is hotting up (competition wise) and 1.1 just doesnt cut it. Waiting another 18 months for 2.1 to make it out there would have been very painful. Thank you Adobe.

Read the release here

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Symbian Smartphone Show Application

For anyone who couldn't make it to the show and missed the Flash Lite based Symbian Smartphone Show 2006 guide we (Flash Cell) built for Symbian.

Now that the show is over the Symbian website will probably stop offering it as a download, so if anyone is interested in downloading it you can get it here. There are 3 different versions, s40, s60 3rd edition and also s60 2nd edition. The 2nd edition version is the Teleca powered Flash Lite solution, which maybe of interest in light of the recent Teleca and Adobe announcement.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Symbian Smartphone show round up

So the SPS has come to end. I was down there on both days for a few hours to checkout the general buzz. Its not a massive show, but a very focused one and its always good to check out the latest devices. I managed to get my hands on the Samsung SGH i520 which is running the s60 3rd edtion FP1 and includes Flash Lite 2.0, so I bluetoothed across a few FL2 swfs to checkout the performance - seems pretty good. There was also an LG phone powered by the new s60 platform, great to see Nokia's implementation of Flash Lite going beyond Nokia! What happened to the LG licensing deal and the rollout of Flash Lite phones I wonder?

There was quite a lot of promotion of the new s60 fp1 as you'd expect, including bits of documentation about Flash Lite 2.0 on the Forum Nokia stand. In all there was a definately a more visible presence for Flash Lite from the previous year. People actually know what you are referring to these days when you say Flash Lite, rather than it being interpreted as the camera flash light :)

It was also good to see a few other Flash people there too.

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