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Archive for October, 2009

iPhone Gaming: Firemint Real Racing!

October 31, 2009 Comments off

Wasssaaaabi!

Yes the iPhone is still hot like it! Today I’ll get into a specific aspect of fun/multimedia: Gaming!

The last time I’ve enjoyed gaming on a phone or smartphone was when I had my W810i: being able to have a J2ME game running & pause it when I wanted to switch to Opera Mini was bliss. Being able to play (unlicensed or sanctioned) Nintendo games like Super Mario via J2ME with great performance on W810i was fun. Prior to that … REAL gaming was using N-Gage games (hacked) to run on my Nokia 6620 – that device was a serious powerhouse!

I mention these two not only for truth but for significance. Both Nintendo & Nokia are loosing MAJOR sales with portable gaming – even the Wii sales has dropped significantly.

Nintendo said it will earn a 230 billion yen ($2.5 billion) profit — the first time in six years it’s predicting earnings to fall.

Nintendo’s first-half profit plunged as sales of its blockbuster Wii home console lost momentum in a saturated market. The maker of Super Mario and Pokemon games now expects annual earnings to fall for the first time in six years.

Kyoto-based Nintendo Co. reported a 69.49 billion yen ($772 million) profit for the April-September period, down 52 percent from a year earlier, and trailed its own May forecast for a 100 billion yen profit. Fiscal first-half sales dropped 34.5 percent to 548.01 billion yen.

Also note that Nokia is finally conceding defeat of their N-Gage gaming market.

Nokia to close gaming service N-Gage

“We will no longer publish new games for the N-Gage platform,” Nokia said on its N-Gage blog, to which a user calling himself Jon replied: “It’s a sad day for N-Gage fans”.

“It’s a sign of a more realistic approach. It’s time to bury the dead and focus on the future,” said Tero Kuittinen, analyst at MKM Partners, adding Nokia had great opportunities in other areas, such as location-based services, micro-financing and mobile email.

This was a long time coming to be honest. The expensive $10.99-35.99 pricing model for games to run on specific dedicated gaming models like Nintendo DSi or on phones with lack of video hardware acceleration like most of Nokia’s N-Series devices (N95 an exception) is ridiculous.

You all know what the Nintendo DS/DSi & N-Gage games look like when actually played right?

Well take a look at this sweet driving game I’ve had for a week on my iPhone!

Real Racing Screenshot

 

Firemint’s Real Racing & Real Racing GTi!

Real Racing Screenshot 2

 

This game ROCKS! The GTi version is free as a demo and is funded by VolksWagen in USA with a specific contest promotion to win 12 2010 VW Golf GTi cars – 6 are left! For me this blows ONLY because I’m in Canada and thus not able to participate but the GAME ROCKS! 3 tracks, 3 cars to choose from (GTi’s).

Real Racing GTi Screenshot

The FULL Real Racing game has so many cars, tracks, and possibilities (up to 40 on screen car opponents Real or AI) its incredible for its price of $4.99CAN! The game play, graphics, and wireless head to head functionality are amazing … but the REAL beauty the thing that sets it apart and sets this as a fundamental pillar of all future games is this: ability to upload your recent race video replay to youtube for others to watch! A way to not only proove your lap times but also pure bragging rights!

Can you imaging future frag fest party vids of you maiming your opponent?! Oh yeah! This may occur in future games so don’t fret.

Again I need to highlight what makes the iPhone so appealing … the EASE of use for downloading these games and other apps & content. THIS is what the competition needs to focus on to beat it – SonyEricsson’s upcoming X10 (code name: Rachel) along with PlayNow Arena if released worldwide COULD come close but I wonder if they’re thta savy.

Some screenshots:

Real Racing GTi

This is the App Logo icon.

 

 

 

 

 

Real Racing GTi - AppStore Update

Real Racing GTi - AppStore Update_1

Real Racing GTi - AppStore Update2

Real Racing GTi - AppStore Update2

Real Racing GTi - AppStore Update3

Real Racing GTi - AppStore Update3

Keep on gaming people. Oh yeah  … Canadian Beta exclusive for EliminatePro in iTunes 😀 … Ill be working again soon and hopefully with more organised schedule and will be able to test this iPhone more in a business sense

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Categories: Uncategorized

The Dark Side!

October 25, 2009 2 comments

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted. The reason was two-fold. I got board of my simplistic and business purpose Nokia E71 and decided I needed multimedia functionality. I’ve tried with with the Nokia N85 and music playback was great, along with movies – but I had to convert them; every 1 of them.

So I decided on changing the platform. I’ll admit I’ve been one of THE most critical of this platform I’ve swiched to but I’m having a BALL of a time using it. Yes there ARE shortcomings and oversights – and for good reason. I’ll state those in the coming posts, but for now without short adue I’ll mention what I’ve been using the past 40days.

You guessed it … I got pulled into the Job’s Kool-Aid, the iPhone 3G[S]! Man this thing ROCKS!

iPhone 3GS - Box

iPhone 3GS - Box

From music syncing within iTunes (I’m on WinXP SP3), to audio & video podcasts, to watching scaled down movies (no chop people; 30fps VGA bliss); this puppy performs. yes I need to scale all the movies I bittorent in order to view them, but using software like Super(TM) is sweet & VERY accurate: built-in conversion for m4p file extension for iPod/iPhone. I just drag them into iTunes, Play them, and I specify (my iTunes settings) which to sync when my iPhone is connected.

OSIR CarbonFibre Case

OSIR CarbonFibre Case

Some of you may say well yeah you can use Nokia Media Manager to convert … but I’m sorry that software BLOWS and its mad slow, almost twice as slow than Super and it does a horrible job because EVEN though Nokia Suite knows my phone, and Media Manager knows it doesn’t give you optimal conversion settings, nor does it work well for a underpowered (for multimedia) device s like the E-series (save for E90). Nokia’s media conversion for audio/video is best suited for N-Series devices.

Ok, so you’ve heard ALL of that before on other blogs. I’ll come across another angle.

Applications! We all know Apple’s recent yearly success of applications for the iPhone, and we’re aware – including the fan-boys/girls – that a LOT are filth-filled duplicates of poor existing software, many are just there for the sake of some poor soul to purchase for a company to make money. This is the same on Symbian as well but not to the magnitude that is occuring lately with iPhone apps.

iPhone 3GS - AppStore

iPhone 3GS - AppStore

There are some really quality apps on iPhone, and not just games (my next post is specific to 1 that I LOVE!). For instance, Bloomberg for iPhone is the MOST robust and most powerful version for ANY platform currently. S60 does NOT allow for Bloomberg Anywhere account users – nor does it feature videos. Reuters is also acceptional and I can save the press photo reels (offline mode is possible once loaded). I can also specify WLAN connecion only with both apps.

Bloomberg on iPhone 3GS

Bloomberg on iPhone 3GS

Bloomberg_AnyWhere

Bloomberg_AnyWhere

Thompson_Reuters

Thompson_Reuters

Thompson_Reuters Video

Thompson_Reuters Video

Now the BIGGEST gripe or complaint stated by ANY other smartphone user & used as a platform “bragging rights” is multi-tasking. Yes I know all about multi-tasking and I do miss it on the iPhone but not as much as I originally had thought; there are other issues that I focus on. Now first off in defense of the iPhone I’d like to mention it was marketed as a smarter-phone EVEN smarter than smartphones currently in existence. Lets get to what I’m trying to open your eyes to.

Of ALL the applications that users (even the high-end users) of other smartphone platforms use for multi-tasking I state the most IMPORTANT overall fact! You CAN ONLY INTERACT with 1 application at a time: widgets are barely an exception. Regardless if you use 1 or 2 hands, you as a user can ONLY interact with 1 GUI interface at a time! Sure we can listen to music playback, a recording playback, download applications in the background/update them in the background, maintain a persistent VPN or network connection using your 3G phone as a modem for your laptop, or receive IM messages; but you CANNOT interact with other apps at the same time.

Think about this. You’re typing an email and you get notification of receiving an IM; great its running BUT you CANNOT send a reply to the IM recipient WHILE you’re typing an EMAIL! You’re on the Phone, you CAN create a Calendar appointment OR jot down a Note/Memo, or send/receive emails (auto or manually dependent on the account setup), or even download/update an application. However you CANNOT play a video at the same time while on the PHONE and HEAR it! You CAN listen to music while on the phone conversation on S60 but WHY?! This is assinine and only clutters your phone conversation, just simply send the recording/music to the person you intended to hear it. On the iPhone when using an application and closing it – its state REMAINS the same when you re-open it … for MOST applications save for Games that I’ve found out thus far. VPN apps I haven’t tried yet.

So I ask you what is the REAL purpose of Applications running in the background OTHER than the example’s I’ve mentioned above?! Even VPN/SSL tunneling to a network share running in the background by default will terminate the connection for a set/predetermined amount of time, and if its changed not to, you’ll have issues or cause issues to others that also have/need access to the same share; file permissions/access concurrence not withstanding.

Don’t get me wrong there are powerful apps for other platforms that have YET to come to the iPhone, but the opposite can be said as well. What I’m saying is the rising success for the iPhone for consumers and now business is on the rise and for good reason that can no longer be ignored. Even analysts where worried Apple would not make revenue/profit estimate this past quarter reported last week as it heavily relied on iPhone sales. Well most ate their words and the stock value climbed for good reason. 1 more week and it’ll be available (legally) in China, and it’s still anybody’s game but you can bet it’ll be exciting.

The applications I’m going to be focusing on this month is not solely to business – since I’m not working currently – but will have most of the core PIM functionality being looked at. Multi-media is KILLER on this platform; MORE than ANY OTHER that has existed to DATE! I’m praying that Symbian will offer this kind of multi-media before too long as I STILL love Symbian but right now I’m cheating with iPhone; due to the let-down of the N97.

I’ve noticed the last of Nokia Beta Labs support for apps on S60 3.1 or barely 3.2 over the past 3mths as well. In my eyes those platforms have reached end of life without Nokia’s weight behind devices being heavily marketed and sold with carriers and them paying for apps to be shipped on it. Its all about Symbian^1 or 5th edition hear on out.

Maemo has some great promise but with 1 device and only 1 manufacturer behind it I’m not willing to switch & invest money behind it JUST in case they back out of it; or developers do the same.

And YES I can type, almost, as fast on the iPhone as I could on the E71. Text correction engines are almost on par – E71 rules here but not by much. Speed of navigation through the menu’s is about equal UNTIL you get into anything about each devices settings (including network/phone settings); iPhone wins HANDS DOWN! Launching of ANY application, regardless of its size – I’ve got about 7 larger than 4MB on the iPhone – is definately faster. From the locked screen, LCD off, to unlocking and dialing a saved contact … faster on the E71; but I suspect its because of the method choice I have on the iPhone or the last state that the Phone app is left in on the iPhone. I’ll be revisiting this in a few weeks just to be certain. I’m curious if minor adjustments will be done on E72!

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