Showing posts from June, 2010

Adobe finally ships the real Flash for phones

This post was also published in VentureBeat. When my company Transpond added support for Nokia smartphones, we were excited that we would be able to deliver Flash videos in apps deployed to Nokia handsets. Instead, we were shocked to learn that there were no Flash video players that worked on the devices, even though the handsets supposedly supported Flash. We talked with Nokia. They couldn’t find one. Then we called our friends at Adobe. The only one they could recommend was JW Player, which didn't work on Nokia's Flash-enabled phones. Between Nokia and Adobe, we could not get a way to play Flash Video (FLV) files on a Nokia/Symbian handset. Flash Lite is not Flash We discovered Adobe’s dirty secret: while Adobe’s asserts that 80% of videos on the web are viewed in Flash, virtually no online videos other than YouTube are viewable on shipping, Flash-enabled mobile device since they use a limited version of Flash called Flash Lite. And since most mobile devices include a

iPhone now as fragmented as Android

This post was also published in VentureBeat. At Transpond, when we were building apps on the iPhone and Android platforms last year, all of our engineers were enamored with the iPhone and annoyed with the pesky Android devices. The iPhone environment was remarkably consistent. There was a single 480×320 screen resolution and API consistency across iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS. Even though the original iPhone doesn’t have GPS, it provided an approximation based on cell towers, and our customers like CBS and NBC are more interested in syndicating video and engaging users, so we did not need the 3D graphics of the newer generation iPhones. All in all, the iPhone platform presented a clean, wonderful experience for our engineers where they could write one piece of code and it would run beautifully on all of the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. Android, by comparison, was a disaster. Every Android device had a different screen resolution. Every hardware feature had to be checked, since e

Why worry about AT&T’s new rates? Your phone bill will soon be $60

This post was also published in VentureBeat. Mobile plans are ridiculously confusing. Voice, text messages, and Web surfing — it’s all data, right? Yet carriers make consumers guess — the minutes they’ll spend talking, the number of text messages they’ll send, and worst of all, the amount of data they’ll use in a month in order to avoid steep surcharges. The only thing that’s sure: It’ll cost you. Mobile phone plans for typical usage of 800 minutes of talk time, 100 text messages, and 2 gigabytes of data typically run between $150 and $200. When Apple and AT&T introduced iPhone plans, people complained about the expense. The one silver lining: They were unlimited. Now Ma Bell, by introducing new, capped plans , will have new iPhone customers once again play the guessing game. It’s a game only a regulated utility could love. In the fiercely competitive world of Internet service providers, flat-rate pricing won out. Consumers loved it: They could budget against it. Here’s the good ne