Geolocation Services

I’d like to re-share a library that I created for the Radar application last year, designed to provide assistance for Geolocation, reverse geocoding, local weather, place names and a utility for determining the Sunrise and Sunset for a given latitude and longitude.

The reason for the library was not to create a wrapper over the already fantastic AIR API in Actionscript, but to provide a fallback. Following alot of testing with the Radar app, it became clear that quite often there were be occasions when a given mobile phone wouldn’t return a location in a decent timeframe. Further, to get the application working correctly on the desktop requires a method for locating the desktop.

Importantly, I’ve designed the API to use various methods of detection seamlessly. It will fallback from GPS to IP Lookup and even uses HTML if the SWF happens to be in a browser. So all you need to do is implement a simple interface and a GeoServices object.

You can see it in action here:

 

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Flash Game License and the Adobe Flash Platform Match Game Development with Marketing Savvy

Creating games is the easy part for developers, but finding ways to make money from their games is challenging because of resources and limited marketing experience. Marketers, on the other hand, don’t necessarily have the expertise to develop games, but they need them to drive traffic online for their brands. FlashGameLicense.com (FGL), an online marketplace engineered by the Adobe Flash Platform, brings them together.

Created by two previous independent game developers, FGL offers Adobe Flash game developers a venue to post games and an opportunity for sponsors to shop for games to feature on their sites. Lucrative deals between companies such as ArmorGames, Disney, Kongregate, Microsoft, The Cartoon Network, Viacom (AddictingGames) and Yahoo and tens of thousands of independent developers have been brokered throughout the years.

The Adobe Flash Platform helps both groups reap the benefits. Adobe Flash Player’s reach helps companies and their developer partners ensure the widest reception and best performance across multiple platforms. Mentorship, centralized technical resources, peer review and analytics provided to developers guarantee that the best game possible goes live. The quality of the site and its games are such that 30 percent of FGL users come back and uniquely visit the site monthly.

FGL’s strength is allowing developers to focus on what they do best—creating games. For example, Berzerk Studios created the hit games, “Homerun in Berzerk Land” and “Gunbot,” leaving marketing and monetization to the FGL platform. The games, sponsored by SlixMedia, have received 15 million and 16 million plays respectively. The team’s also excited about future endeavors into multi-screen and multiplatform Flash game development. FGL encouraged former game hobbyist-turned-developer Ben Olding to release “Warlords: Call to Arms,” which has accumulated 121 million plays in less than two years and still enjoys about 50,000 plays a day.

Adobe is also proud to work with FGL to further mobile game development. Last year, Adobe sponsored FGL’s contest, “Cell Your Flash Game,” to encourage more mobile game development. The competition generated 260 submissions either built from scratch or ported to mobile from web, up from its original goal of 150 entries.

To learn more about how FGL works with the Flash Platform to effectively match independent developers and designers with sponsors to not only deliver the best game experiences but also effectively monetize them, visit here.

Politifact AIR Application Tops iOS Charts!

The good news keeps rolling in about AIR on mobile. Politifact just released their Flex-based application on iOS, Android, and Blackberry and it has already hit the top of the charts. It is currently the #1 paid news application on the iOS App Store. This is huge as it is more evidence of the success of real-world, paid applications built using Flex and AIR.

So far it has been getting really nice reviews with comments like “It’s everything I wanted and more!” and “It’s awesome!”. The app especially took off when it was featured on MSNBC. Check out the video clip to see the portion of the show where they talk about the app.

PolitiFact App Named #1 for News in iTunes

The PolitiFact app, built with the new Adobe Flash Builder and Flex updates, has really taken off. We learned yesterday that it was listed as the number one news app (number 78 overall currently) in the iTunes Store!

Created by the Pulitzer Prize-winning St. Petersburg Times, PolitiFact features the Truth-O-Meter, rating the accuracy of statements made by lobbyists, Congress, the President and other political gadflies. From a development standpoint, the app only took three weeks to build because the new Adobe Flash Builder and Adobe Flex updates helped the developers use the same content, data and logic from the existing website.

PoltiFact is now available on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS. To learn more about the app, check it out here. Congrats, guys!

Google Swiffy Converts Flash to HTML5 (example)

Google has just released a new project called Swiffy on their labs site that converts simple Flash animations to HTML5. It makes perfect sense that they have some technology like this when you look at some of the recent Google doodles. The concept here is similar to the Wallaby technology we released on labs a while back. This is more good news for Flash developers who are looking to target iOS devices that do not support Flash in the browser. Below is a simple test I created.

Another great AIR app running on multiple mobile devices

The guys from Avant Goût Studios released an interactive book for Android tablets, iPad, and PlayBook last week. It is called Apolline & Léon and it looks just great. If you don’t believe me, watch the video below.

It was created using Flash CS 5.5 and Adobe AIR 2.7. It is already available in App Store and Android Market (and soon it will be available on BlackBerry App World).

This is just another great example of how easy you can reach multiple devices using the Flash Platform with high quality content and great performance. Well done guys and I’m looking forward to seeing more apps like this!

BlackBerry Developer Challenge

This spring RIM offered a free PlayBook device to any developer who got his PlayBook app accepted in Blackberry App World store.

I know many of you didn’t get your apps done in time to qualify for this, but there is no need to be sad. RIM is running a developer challenge until August 12th. What does this mean to you? Well, if you are a Flash developer you can submit applications to the Best Adobe Flash/AIR app category. What can you win? Money and or fame :) They offer over $3 million in prizes.

You can read more and register for the contest here.

PS. A while ago I released my AIR application for splitting a restaurant bill to Android Market and BlackBerry App World. The stats are pretty interesting: I get about 10x more downloads on BlackBerry store than Android Market (my application has excellent reviews on both stores). Of course this has to do with the fact that PlayBook market is younger and there aren’t so many apps in there. I think this is an opportunity for developers/companies to get “THE APP” status for their apps :)