Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Mobile Game Development Made Easy

If you are a game developer, I suppose you may not even read this post. Unity is a multi-platform, 2D/3D game development engine and you can learn about it here (unity3d.com).

It is supported on most platforms and a leader in game development. With just one click you can deploy to:
  • Mobile - iOS, Android, Windows and Tizen
  • VR
  • Desktop
  • Web
  • Console and 
  • TV platforms.

Here are the platforms to which you can deploy the games.



Unity_01

If you are developing for the mobile area it has lots of built-in stuff:
  • One-click deployment to Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Tizen.
  • Tons of optimizations thanks to features like occlusion culling, asset bundling, and build size stripping.
  • World class monetization and retention services for mobile games.
  • Dedicated, easy to use 3D and 2D tools and workflows.
Unity for VR and AR is already garnering from most vendors shown here:

Unity_02

You can develop very immersive and entertaining games for the desktop be it Windows, Mac or Linus/StreamOS

Unity_03

If you have game console such as XBOX, PS4, Wii and 3DS they are covered too:


Unity_04

I have a Samsung TV can I deploy? of course you can. Unity supports these Smart TVs as well:
Android TV
Samsung TV
Apple TV

 
Unity_05

Now what about Web?

Of course you can target the Web and it has already been used commercially.


Unity_06

Hay! What are you waiting for? Download.

Why fret?
Download the free stuff
Just to get your feet wet

Don't huff and huff!

Get the free stuff here:
http://unity3d.com/get-unity



If you like it and if you can work with it, go and get the professional.
If you are going to work with Microsoft's latest, Hololens, also get the Visual Studio 2015 Community. It is already integrated to work with Hololens and you can get your Unity projects into it.

Let us Game!

Source: Pictures and some language from Unity site.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Intel XDK Version Upgrade

If you are working with Version 2893 then it is time that you upgrade to version 3088.

The new version is:
Intel® XDK - Release - 2016 March 23 v3088

This is a significant version as versions prior to this will no longer use the the following:

  • Build Tab
  • Test Tab
  • App Preview
The Intel XDK's build system has been improved to take in Security and Performance improvements.
Projects created in earlier versions need to be upgraded when you try to open in the version. Here is a sample of what happens when you try to open a project built in version 2893 in version 3088.



There are more items addressed in this version.


There is a new Publish tab that assists in creating application publishing assets and information. It also helps in uploading materials to app stores.


Review the following for projects created with earlier version:
Part 1:Creating a Intel XDK project using a template; SideMenu project UI, SideMenu on iPhone6 emulator
http://hodentekmobile.blogspot.com/2015/11/develop-side-menu-app-using-intel-xdk.html

Part 2: Review of Controls and Layout as well as working with Pages. Pages in a SideMenu
http://hodentekmobile.blogspot.com/2015/12/develop-side-menu-app-using-intel-xdk.html

Part 3: Linking the pages and Navigation
http://hodentekmobile.blogspot.com/2015/12/develop-side-menu-app-using-intel-xdk_19.html

Part 4: Adding the BACK button to return to the previous page.
http://hodentekmobile.blogspot.com/2015/12/develop-side-menu-app-using-intel-xdk_26.html

Part 5: Adding pages and organizing controls  to the project
http://hodentekmobile.blogspot.com/2016/01/develop-side-menu-app-using-intel-xdk.html

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Night Shift: Apple iPhone iOS 9.3 feature

Night Shift is a new Apple iPhone feature that is bundled with iOS 9.3  which was released recently. Night Shift is supposed to help you sleep better by providing a background color of the display which shifts from blue during morning hours to a more helpful range of  spectrum towards the red. This reduces the strain on the eyes.

Night Shift is a part of the Settings. From Settings choose Display & Brightness to get to the Night Shift Screen.

From Settings on your iPhone 6S (assuming yo have downloaded and installed iOS 9.3) you come to the following screen.

 From here you can Schedule it or Manually Enable Until Next day. Also you can adjust the degree of warmth. The above screen shows the color of display in real time as you adjust the slider but the display reverts to normal afer the adjustment.


You can hit the > arrow in the From/To screen customize your own schedule.





Monday, March 21, 2016

You need MAC address to access Wi-Fi hotspot

In order to access Hotspot provided by your internet provider you may have to register your phones with the service provider. This may vary with the provider but I need this for Time Warner Wi-Fi hotspots. You will also require your userid and password. The provider would ask for the MAC (Machine Access Control) address of your phone. MAC address is also called Physical Address. Normally this is found in the settings of your phone.

For Windows Phone Microsoft Lumia 950 it is found under:
Settings---About---Device Information--MAC ADDRESS
With the following format:
Mac Address: 33-F3-8D-99-0A-99 (some fictitious address)

For Apple iPhone 6S it is found under:
Settings-----General----About---;Wi-Fi address
with the format similar to the above.
Wi-Fi address: 33:F3:8D:99:0A:99 (some fictitious address)

You better don't give away your MAC address to anybody as it is unique for a phone. If somebody spoofs it and commits something inappropriate you could be blamed for it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Intel XDK: Controls 2: Usage of SVG and Embedded HTML

This post expands upon the previous post. The media widget iF and the ListView controls are used to create a multipage app. Each list item brings up a page with an embedded iF widget. Several HTML pages containing SVG code from W3C school site are provided as the source of src property of the iF control. Index HTML has no problem with HTML5 and therefore SVG can be used freely.

Page navigation from links in a listview were discussed here.

The following page shows the main page (the page that gets displayed when the app is accessed) of the SVG_Demo app.

SV_demo_01

Each of the links takes you to a different page. For example the 'Polygon' page takes you to this page.


SV_demo_02

It has an iF widget, a header with a title and a back button that takes you back to the previous page.

The src property of the iF control get its content from a HTML page called 'PolygonSVG.html' which is in the same directory at index.html.


SV_demo_03

Here is the PolygonSVG.html:


SV_demo_04

The source for the SVG was taken from the W3C site with little or no modification. The demo uses standard controls from the App Framework 3. The app works without any problem but the display of SVG pages would depend on the browser. On some devices the animation may not work as expected.

Here is the app in iPhone 6S

More on XDK Controls:
Handling img tag in Intel XDK:

http://hodentekmobile.blogspot.com/2016/04/intel-xdk-controls-3-html5-and-image.html

Monday, March 14, 2016

Intel App Preview works best on Windows Mobile

Intel XDK is a good tool to create cross-platform applications for diverse device foot prints from Smart Phones starting with generation 3 all the way to 7 from diverse manufacturers, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Black Berry etc. Developers using Intel XDK can test their apps on their own device over Wi-Fi; test them in the emulators and debug them as well.

For accessing the app from the server over Wi-Fi you need the Intel App Preview which is available for most devices and the software gets updated and the preview app is available from the app store (Apple store, Windows Store, etc.).

The Intel App Preview is available for the latest phones as well, such as iPhone 6, Microsoft Lumia 950 and many others.
For iOS devices from Apple Store:

For Windows Phone from Microsoft Store (Windows 10) :


I recently created several apps and naturally wanted to see how it works. I downloaded Intel App Preview for both iPhone 6S and Microsoft Lumia 950. I was surprised to find that generally Microsoft Lumia 950 did a much better hob, or rather the Preview fared much better on Lumia 950.
One of the biggest drawbacks of using the Preview on iPhone 6S was that once you clickED to look at an app, there is no way you can go back to the Preview activation link. You will have to delete Intel App Preview and reinstall again. For example, I opened an app, 'Hodentek Books', the page shows up neatly, but how do I go back?  The 'back' on the screen is actually a refresh to populate a 'iFrame' widget.


Iphone6_WidgetTest.png

On Microsoft Lumia Intel App Preview fared much better because of the software back button that takes you back to the quiescent state of Intel App Preview.


However the access time of the apps from both the devices over Wi-Fi were quite long and will not match with the patience of the audience.

On the fidelity of the app on the phones, the iPhone 6S was identical to the one on related emulator in Intel XDK. The Windows 10's rendition was far from perfect although the claim is made that styling issues have been fixed. However, the present emulator was really made for Windows 8.1 but tested on Windows 10. It may be noted that Intel App Preview claims to have been built for Windows 10 which perhaps is an optimistic statement.

I had a response from the Intel XDK Forums (User Forums| App Framework) that a new version for Windows 10 will be released soon. Perhaps things can get better.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Intel XDK: Controls 1: Usage of SELECT and iF Widgets

This post considers combining the SELECT widget from Controls | COMMON and the MEDIA widget from Controls | MEDIA to display a web page from a list of web pages from a select list. The IntelXDK version is 2893 and uses App Framework 3.0. The emulator used is Apple iPhone 6.

The SELECT Control is shown here:


Select_01

The Control is shown here:

iFControl

Step 1:

Drag and drop a SELECT Control on the page in this case page#mainpage as shown. The properties of this page is as shown in this image. The Label indicates the Label which you can change, herein not changed. In the option list, I have included three of my blog titles. When I choose any of these from the drop-down, I want it shown in the
"iframe" widget. I have also given a id which is essential for me to find it on the document.


SelectProps

Step 2:
Drag and drop a Control on to the page as shown. The properties of this are set as shown in the next image. You may get an alert that 'Frame title: Undefined' with a OK button. Just click OK.


iF_Props

This single page in the designer appears as shown:


TestPage.png

HTML fragments for this page are:
HTML code for SELECT is:


SelectHtml.png

The Select widget has an id ('sel') and a function ('TestSel()') to run for the onchange() event. The options are all as shown earlier (you can replace the defaults option1, option2, etc.)

The HTML code for this widget  is:


iFHtml.png

The "iF" element has a title, a id and a src [set to one of my blogs]. But if you want a blank page to be shown at start you can create a blank.html with the following code and place in the projects' folder and include it in the SELECT list.

Now the code to display the chosen webpage in the "iframe" widget is in the index_user_scripts.js file as shown here:
---
function TestSel(){
   
var y=document.getElementById("sel").value
   
var x = document.getElementById("ifrx").src=y;
 /*  alert(x);*/
   
}

The first line in the function captures the value of the SELECTED item from the SELECT list. The second line provides this value to the src attribute of the "iframe". The alert(x) is just a help tool to verify the correct option value is captured.

The next image shows the option chosen being displayed in the "iframe/"


Hope you enjoyed the explanation.