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Archive for June 2008

Type of apps that won’t be found on the iPhone App Store…

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Here’s a short article detailing the type of applications that will never make it to the App store… from ZDNet. I heard from somewhere that the SDK has documented clearly certain types of functionality not allowed to be developed for use on the iPhone, one of them being turn by turn GPS… Here’s the list from ZDNet.

There are certain kinds of applications that Apple will most likely never offer in the App Store because they conflict with their own offerings. Some examples include:

  • Music purchases not tied to iTunes (Amazon MP3, Napster)
  • Other browsers (Firefox mobile, Opera lite)
  • GPS applications (although this is debatable)
  • Office Suites (MS Office, OpenOffice)
  • VOIP over EDGE or 3G (Skype, Fring) – In a Q&A session after the SDK was released Steve Jobs said that VOIP applications would be allowed “only via Wi-Fi connections, not via cellular data connections”
  • All scripting languages (.Net, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, Python)
  • Unlocking/Jailbreaking applications (duh!)
  • Porn
  • Programs that could compromise your privacy
  • Bandwidth hogs (presumably BitTorrent, P2, file sharing apps_
  • Malicious and/or illegal apps (duh!)
  • Apps that require multi-tasking
  • Apps that are memory-resident

It is still a wonderful platform… and I guess developers will just have to live with the Apple Rules, if you wish to have your apps on App Store. Let the jail breaking begin on iPhone version 2.0!

Written by gooddealz

June 19, 2008 at 4:59 pm

Posted in News Only

A glimpse of what Microsoft Silverlight can do…

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Microsoft announced the DeepZoom technology at Mix08 and it has stirred up quite a bit in the web space… A couple of flash version came to the scene but none is as good as this version utilizing Microsoft Silverlight DeepZoom technology

It combined both Virtual Earth and DeepZoom. Check it out.

Make sure you have the latest Beta 2 version of Silverlight installed.

Written by gooddealz

June 19, 2008 at 4:33 pm

Anything with Adobe Flex…

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The digital agency that I worked for is pretty obsess with a couple of things, sales being one of them! 🙂 and the other is Adobe Flex.

By now you probably have come across some sites that are pretty cool… like way beyond those flash intro coolness from the late 90s… Having kinda desktop like application functionality and fluidity… Well, a good chance is that it is developed in Adobe Flex and a less lightly chance using AJAX stuff. Sometimes it is a combination of both…

Anyway, I am starting a category on my blog called, ‘Anything  with Flex’ to sort of list out those nice flex sites that I gotten to know over the weeks and will have it listed out for your easy reference.

Starting with…

Comiqs. An online comic creation site that is easy to use… and to create your very own comic story!

More coming in the next few days…

Written by gooddealz

June 18, 2008 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Anything with Flex

Samsung Omnia i900 at CommunicAsia 2008

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I went down to CommunicAsia 08 today at Singapore Expo and together with my digital director (aka my boss) we scouted the floor of CommunicAsia and man, it was huge. Not too sure if it was the biggest ever but it sure was tiring walking from hall to hall.

Anyway, met up with a partner in the webtv space and checked out their partners in the mobile framework and broadcast space and certainly a lot of opportunities for all parties to explore working together. We now have a solid team of 6 developers across multiple programming discipline and mobile space is one we ain’t gonna sit by and watch.

Yahoo was there with their mobile framework for ‘planting’ gadget like application across multiple handset. Looks simple enough to start and all one need is code according to their template / xml and that’s it. Something like the Apple Store or iTunes, where all the developers need is to submit to Yahoo and it gets deployed by Yahoo to their Yahoo widget / gadget section on their website, across the mobile site, and the ability to have user download the widget application onto their mobile phone. Yahoo will take care of the different screen size, platform and so forth… All the developer need is the code on their xml template. The client version that gets installed is on Java so any platform that supports Java is fine, other than iPhone which one could access the Yahoo mobile web to see the same functionality of the gadget online, the rest of the mobile OS like Symbian, Windows Mobile, Mobile Linux (whatever variant of it) are supported, including Blackberry.

Then we checked out the all new Samsung Omnia i900. Yeah, the one I was curious about days ago and posted some videos of it here and here. Based on what I read and saw on those video, my gut feeling disappointment was the screen resolution which is measured by 240 x 400. The rest of the other disappointment are… already accepted as fact on the Windows Mobile platform so I won’t bother much with the complaint…

Back to the screen and the overall feel. My opinions here:

  • The build quality is excellent. I must admit it really is very sleek, because of the narrow design, just like the HTC touch… in comparison to iPhone which is wider and I will come to that in minute why I felt the iPhone is best while Omnia isn’t. The back of the phone is some sort of metal cover rather than plastic… need to verify but at least it feels aluminium. It feels professional and it fits nicely.
  • The UI enhancement that Samsung placed onto the phone is not too bad… except the home screen part. The whole sidebar widget thingy with drag and drop onto the desktop… what the heck is that for? It does not sit well as on a small mobile screen. I have not fully explore  if it could auto arrange it such it stick to some form of grid if need be and even then… I don’t quite get the beauty of it. In my opinion, it just makes the home screen more messy and and I have a feeling it’s there because it is fancy… and it can be disable under the home theme setting.
  • Another nice thing that I noticed in my short 8 mins with the phone and that is the little vibrating feedback when you tap on the screen. Not sure if you will like to have that turn on with the stylus but it worked flawlessly with finger tap.
  • The video recording on the phone was a nice touch. Not sure the fps but the playback was pretty acceptable for a phone camera. I like that.
  • Here comes my biggest compliant, the screen. The width of the screen to be precise. It has a 240 x 400 resolution and that’s not gorgeous in my opinion but that’s not the biggest disappointment. The disappointment is that the screen width is too narrow. The Omnia has the nice accelerometer effect with you go from portrait to landscape and that does a pretty good job with the overall experience, but because the screen is narrow, the landscape keyboard takes on a huge compromise and what you are left with to type is just one small area at the top of the screen (in landscape mode) to see what you are typing! A slightly wider screen would have make the experience of typing on it fast and nice. Now back to portrait mode, same thing… typing on it was horrible as all the soft buttons are narrow in design just so that it could fit the qwerty soft key on it. And that is horrible to tap on!!! Of course one would argue that I was tapping on my finger and not the stylus which would probably be fine… so if you are a stylus guy all the time on this phone, then you probably can live with it. To me, it could have been so much better with a slightly wider screen, not necessary have to be iPhone screen width but at least wider than the current one. The pros of that is that the whole phone on the hand is nice as your hand can kinda grab it nicely. The compromise to me is bad input experience cos the soft keys are either too narrow to tap faster in portrait mode or the typing area is too small when in landscape mode.  And inputting on a mobile device… isn’t that suppose to be a big thing?

There you have it… my little 8 mins of experience with the Omnia i900. Overall it’s a nice implementation from a Windows Mobile manufacturer… Other than the screen resolution and the width of it, the rest are well implemented. The price is pretty high though without mobile plan… SGD$1000 plus just for the phone itself and it is available in retail in Singapore next week according to the Samsung personnel there. Other than the Singtel formula 1 car simulation that drew the most crowd, the Samsung Omnia certainly gotten a lot of attention.

Side note, there’s a nice Microsoft Surface table at the Samsung booth… the level of interactivity of that kinda surface and the application that one can develop for that is incredible.

Written by gooddealz

June 18, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Opinions

Ideas on ponder on… for touch screen.

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Just a quick thoughts that came to mind.

Currently on pdas or touch screen smartphones, there are two main type of screen technologies. One is the traditional pressure sensitive type found in most-last-year pdas or smartphones. The other is the one made famous by the iPhone, which is the capacitive type that respond only to materials that conduct current (if not mistaken).

Now, ever since the iPhone is out, there’s been a wave of ‘imitation’ phones from different manufacturers like HTC, Samsung and more… that mimic the user experience through running another software layer on top of Windows Mobile 6.1. Great try… But I do notice that so far, all of them are still using pressure sensitive screen and not capacitive screen like the iPhone.

Why is that the case? My guess is because Windows Mobile 6..1 at its core is still a stylus type experience as the system level control panel or the bundled application like Word, Excel are still designed with stylus in mind… example being the scroll bar at the side.

Now here’s my thought. Assuming my understanding of capacitive screen is right, can some one just invent a stylus that has a capacitive tip… and then design the device screen with capacitive screen just like the iPhone so that, on both occasion it will work!!! Too simple or too complicated?

I look at the HTC Touch Diamond and the Samsung Omnia i900… they did a great job on top of Windows Mobile but at the end of it, there’s still stylus needed which is fair enough as Microsoft needs to ‘fix’ it in WM7 if they deem that as a problem. But the screen, as seen on the HTC Touch or Samsung Omnia, with their UI shell over it, is not so responsive to the pressure sensitive screen as opposed to the capacitive screen…

Just invent the stylus that can work on the capacitive screen and problem solved.

Or am I being too naive…

(updated as of 18th June…)

According to Wilfred, a geek from SIM and a friend… there’s actually such thing!!!

Is it a gimmick? or is it true?

Can someone from Windows camp like HTC or Samsung use a capacitive touch screen!!!

Written by gooddealz

June 17, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Opinions

Taiwan news reported that the unbundled iPhone 2.0 cost… NT$24000

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For all the excited iPhone fans / soon-to-be fans who claims that the iPhone 2.0 is cheap (because of USD$199)!!! Well, guess what… Taiwan news just reported that the unbundled iPhone 2.0 will cost NT$24,000!!! That’s like SGD$1,000 plus!!! (probably is the weak NT dollar as well… so conversion varies)

Not sure if the news just add all the plans up for 24 months or whether they got the news straight from the telecom mouth… but I am not surprise if that is true as I mentioned in my earlier article, Apple will sell everything at a premium.

iPhone 1.0 buzz has given them the reason to charge higher… they will milk a lot more in version 2.0!

Written by gooddealz

June 17, 2008 at 3:19 pm

Posted in Opinions

Another video of the Samsung Omnia i900

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I will be visiting CommunicAsia tomorrow so hope to get a hands on with it.

Samsung has done an excellent job adding a layer of ‘coolness’ to the tilt / accelerometer which Windows Mobile 6.1 does not have built in.

The main turn off for me is the screen resolution… 240 x 400 is not cool man!!!

Written by gooddealz

June 17, 2008 at 8:11 am