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hp3
11-16-2003, 10:32 AM
not sure if anyone here has research the capabilities of the imode browser, but I thought I would ask anyway. (at the very least, it adds another post to the forum)

I'm trying to determine what capabilities Flash adds to imode. The following resource has some information about the non flash capabilities of imode service.

http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/p_s/imode/

can anyone recommend a good online resource for imode development?

Here's what I've found so far:

imode - bitmap graphics
imode only supports GIF. (Flash Lite adds support for jpeg or png compressed graphics, however screen color resolution is 256 colors, 8-bit)

imode - applications
The imode broswer does not seem to support any type of ECMA script, but does support forms.

Java for imode can load data in realtime and can save persistent data to the phone. Flash Lite can only load data through url like a regular HTML page and cannot save persistent data to phone.

Java supports GIF(animated) and i-melody (monophonic sound format) for sound. Flash Lite supports its own vector and bitmap graphics and can play MIDI/MFi (polyphonic sound format). So Flash Lite applications have more media capability than Java, but less general purpose application functionality.

imode - streamed media
It seems that you can stream video and audio through some phones with FOMA. Uses MPEG4 for video and AMR for sound multiplexed into Microsoft ASF for streaming from Windows Media server. Also can link from browser to streaming media content. Media Player seems not embed in browser istead takes full screen.
(Flash Lite adds no additional video or audio format support)

So what kind of imode application or presentation is Flash Lite best suited for? Must be somewhere between Java and HTML.

hp3
11-20-2003, 06:28 PM
Just wanted to correct a few issues:

504i+ version phones do support JPEG.
503i+ Java applications can interact with MFi and MIDI ringtones.

hp3
11-20-2003, 06:37 PM
so it would seem to me that the main technical advantage of using Flash for an imode oriented presentation or application is the use of vector graphics/animation (bandwidth friendly animation - compared to GIF, more flexible layouts than HTML)

I get the impression that folks using a service like imode are looking for information services through a phone, not "cool" animation or layouts (is there enough room on screen for a layout?).

so what advantage does Flash bring for information oriented applications/presentations with a service like imode?

I guess one advantage of using Flash is to include information in different frames or mcs of a SWF and allow the user to navigate through information without having to load a new HTML page each time. SWF on the 505i is limited to 20k. Makes for seamless and rapid browsing of information. This is better than plain HTML, for some kinds of information presentations, however I suspect Java could do this too while also being able to load in new data without refreshing all screen elements.

mmdev
11-23-2003, 03:00 AM
There's some dated but valuable info on popular i-mode apps broken down by age and gender:
http://www.techbuddha.com/articles/imodebiztable.html

Games, cartoons, animations, screensavers, etc are extremely popular on i-mode. Since you can get a lot more for your filesize with Flash not to mention a better experience Flash adds a tremendous amount of value to i-mode.

The i-Mode Developer's Guide has a lot of great info above and beyond the technical side of i-Mode:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0672321882/qid=1069570680/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-5303531-4651915?v=glance&s=books

Best,
Nader Nejat // Multimedia Consultant + Developer
OmegaMedia // http://www.omegamedia.com
"We help people express their visual and technical ideas"

hp3
11-23-2003, 01:22 PM
thanks for these links.

The cartoon idea is certainly something that Flash would excel at and be a better solution compared to java. Can SWF work as a screen saver in i-mode?

The i-mode Developer's Guide seems like a good resource for mobile development in general. Might be a good holiday gift request.

mmdev
11-23-2003, 10:52 PM
SWFs can be used as screensavers on some of the Flash capable i-Mode phones.

The i-mode Developer's Guide runs about 10$ used on Amazon.

Good luck,
Nader Nejat // Multimedia Consultant + Developer
OmegaMedia // http://www.omegamedia.com
"We help people express their visual and technical ideas"