Friday, August 25, 2006

Finally A Use For Flash Lite

To date Flash Lite has been a pretty pointless addition to phones, with tiny market penetration in most countries and fatal restrictions in the Japanese market where it's relatively widespread (30Kb max flash animation size on a 3G phone, can't use the horizontal direction keys, and page-based without caching so you pay to download content every time - the content is as rubbish as you'd expect...)

However Samsung have come up with a good use for it - varying the D900's home screen:
  • Country-specific foreground (Kremlin in Russia, Palace of Westminster in UK)
  • Time-specific sky colouring
  • Signal-strength dictates the cloudiness of the sky
  • Missed calls shown as a plane in the sky
This is cool, and this is a real tangible benefit from having Flash running the underlying UI of the handset. I was sceptical when I saw what a waste of space Flash was on the D600 (it provides a replacement icon grid for the main menu which bounces a bit and is really slow), but this could be the start of real progress on alternative UI concepts.