Given the overwhelming number of flashlight applications on the iPhone App store and the word "Lite" being applied to applications with lowere functionality/features it's hard for me to look at the phrase "Flash Lite" without thinking of an iPhone application of infinite uselessness. But this post has nothing to do with the iPhone or useless applications. I found out by way of WMPowerUser.com about Adobe allowing the Flash Lite 3.1 Runtime to be packaged with executables. This will allow Flash developers/designers to create programs for Windows Mobile while having very little knowledge about Windows Mobile development (it works for Symbian devices too).
There's a Tutorial over at Flashbot.net that shows shows how to package a Flash movie for a Windows Mobile device. The end result of all of your work is a cab that's ready to be installed on a Windows Mobile device. It's been years since I've done any development with Flash. And since I've been concentrating on Silverlight 2.0 lately it's doubtful that I'll be getting back into it any time soon so I won't be able to evaluate this for myself. But from looking at it I see one thing I don't like; you've got to create different versions of your application for each screen resolution that you want to support. Given the ever increasing number of resolutions supported by Windows Mobile and the ability to change resolution that limitation doesn't lend itself well to creating adaptable applications.
There's a negative and a positive that come from this. The negative first. Since it is easier for a novice to pickup Flash and create applications of limited functionality than to pick up C++ or C# to produce an application of limited functionality I could see many of those novices recreating applications like iFart , I am Rich , More Cow Bell, and the ultimate of usless apps: Flashlight (as in illumination) for Windows Mobile written with FlashLite. But such things are to be expected and normal. Any time a device is opened to a wider spectrum of developers you'll find a wider spectrum of applications. As an example look at the Internet. 30 years ago it wasn't as accessible and an overwhelming majority of what you could find on the Internet was informational content from academic institutions and reasearch organizations. Presentday you can still find plenty of information but loads of crap too (in all honesty I've posted my own bit of useless content, such as this picture of my cat). Despite the unlimited number of useless yet potentially entertaining applications that are likely to follow overall I'd view this development as good. not everything produced will be useless and non-functional. There have been some pretty impressive content produced with Flash. My hopes are that this will become popular among Flash developers.
It's Friday afternoon and I was winding down preparing for a weekend of relaxation and an evening watching a highly anticipated movie. I decided to read a few articles in the MSDN Magazine that arrived yesterday and I came across something that surprised me, a Microsoft Tag at the bottom of an advertisement. The tag was just sitting there with the word "Surprise" over it with no description of what it was or how to get the tag reader.
I thought this was interesting; I guess that who ever assembled the ad made the assumption that the readers of the Microsoft Development would be in-the-know and recognize what this arrangement of triangles was, know what to do with it, be surprised by its presence, and already have the tag reader on their phone and have their phone close by. That's silly! (the fact that I was surprised, did recognize what it was and had three phones laying under the magazine with the tag reader loaded has absolutly no influence on my evaluation here).
So I pulled out my phone, started the tag reader, and pulled up more information on the product being referenced. If you are interested in knowing to what it referred. Surprisingly the page to which it referred wasn't mobile friendly, so I used the option in Tag to e-mail the URL to myself.
I've been reading Dr. Dobbs Journal since I was in high school. In the most recent years I've been receiving my issues electronically. But the time has come for the magazine to be no more. Dr. Dobbs Journal will not be a feature of Information Week instead of being its own publication. The erra of computer magazine's is now officially over.
I just found out about the Samsun Mobile Innovator site (http://innovator.samsungmobile.com ) and their Twitter ID (@MobileInnovator). There's a section for Java, Symbian, and ofcourse our favorite mobile OS, Windows Mobile. In looking through the site there's a few SDKs that are specific to Samsung devices that allow you to get access to hardware that is specific to samsung devices. The site and the forum still appear to be in their infancy but is worth checking out.
Devices referenced in the SDK:
SGH-i617 BlackJack II
SGH-i907 Epix [and SGH-i780 Mirage]
SGH-i900 Omnia [and SCH-i910 Omnia]
Microsoft gives a lot of support to the academic community. I was reading through Oliver's WEBlog and saw mention of Windows Embedded 2009 is is now available through the MSDN Academic Alliance.
With the official unveiling of Windows Mobile Phone 6.5there was mention to phones that will be upgradable to Windows Phone 6.5 will have a start button with the Windows logo on them. What's not clear here is whether or not existing devices that don't have the flag will be elegible for upgrade. But on that note since the OEM determines whether or not they upgrade their own hardware so either way there will be some ambiguities.
Whether you are just curious or planning to setup a virtualized environment Microsoft has a free eBook just for you. Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions. If you are interested you only need to register to receive the book.
If you would like to see Steve Ballmer's press conference at the Mobile World Congress Microsoft will be streaming it live through Silverlight at 17:00 GMT. You can catch it live (or the recorded version afterwards) at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/business/cmpn/mwc2009/default.mspx
Part 18 of the "24 Hours of Windows Mobile" series will be tomorrow. I also just noticed that the other webcast for the series now appear on the Microsoft Events calendar.
Code Project had a contest spanning from 14 October 2008 to 14 January 2008 and is now contacting the winners. It should only be a matter of time before we know who the three winners are. I received an e-mail last night because one of my articles was selected as the top 3. I had to select a phone that I will receive as my prize. I think I will go with the Samsung Blackjack II; I need a nice Windows Mobile Standard phone to use for development.