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Michael Sheldon

Tomorrow (Monday the 3rd of March) at 5pm UTC I’ll be giving a talk about QML and Box2D based game development for the Ubuntu App Developer Week, details of my talk can be found here: http://summit.ubuntu.com/appdevweek-1403/meeting/22144/game-development-with-qml-and-box2d/

In preparation for this I’ve put together a simple template for getting started with QML and Box2D development for both desktop Ubuntu and Ubuntu Touch. It’s available in two flavours:

  • Precompiled version – Includes QML Box2D already compiled for amd64 and armhf (when I have more time I’ll add i386 to this as well).
  • Source version – Makes it easy to compile everything yourself on whatever architecture you’re interested in.

This means that if your game is going to be purely QML based you can just grab the precompiled version, and run “make click-packages” and have packages built for both desktop and mobile use at the same time.

The template comes populated with an example application (one of the standard QML Box2D demos), which is found in the “src/” directory; so you’ll be able to see something running straight out of the box, then when you’re ready you can just replace this with your own game.

In the future I also plan to extend these templates to provide example packaging for multiple different QML + Box2D compatible mobile platforms (Sailfish, MeeGo, Blackberry, Android, etc.)

If you’re interested in seeing an example of the sort of thing you can achieve fairly easily with QML and Box2D I’ve also uploaded a video of one of my current work in progress projects:


Splort! A QML and Box2D based mobile game

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

Rockwatch 1.3 Released

2013-12-30 16:00 UTC  by  Michael Sheldon
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Rockwatch

Overview

Rockwatch allows your N9 to communicate with a Pebble smart watch. It makes it possible to install and manage Pebble apps, upgrade your Pebble’s firmware, receive notifications of e-mails and SMS messages and control your music from your Pebble.

New features in version 1.3

  • Support for incoming calls and caller ID.
  • Fixes incorrect time offsets when setting the watch’s time from the phone.

Download

Available in the Ovi Store

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

CuteSpotify for Ubuntu Touch

2013-11-12 00:18 UTC  by  Michael Sheldon
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Overview

CuteSpotify makes it possible to listen to your Spotify songs on Ubuntu Touch. It’s based on MeeSpot (a MeeGo Spotify client), which I’ve updated to make use of Qt5 and Ubuntu’s QML components. It’s still a little rough around the edges but most of the core functionality is in place now.

One particular problem to look out for is that because of the way Ubuntu Touch currently handles applications CuteSpotify has to be kept in the foreground and the phone has to be kept switched on for music to play (otherwise the application gets suspended). Approaches for handling applications that need to keep running are currently being debated, so hopefully that won’t be the case in future version of Ubuntu Touch.

As a temporary workaround, if your phone is in developer mode (achieved by connecting it up to the Ubuntu SDK) you can run “sudo service powerd stop” (default password is phablet) to stop the phone from going to sleep while you’re listening to music, then “sudo service powerd start” to resume normal power management when you’re done. (See popey’s comment for an alternative method).

Video


Video of CuteSpotify running on Ubuntu Touch

Installation

To install CuteSpotify on Ubuntu Touch simply search for “CuteSpotify” on your phone and it should appear.

Source

The source code for CuteSpotify can be found here: https://github.com/Elleo/cutespotify

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

Eyrie for Ubuntu Touch

2013-11-07 00:15 UTC  by  Michael Sheldon
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Overview

Eyrie is a music identification program that I originally created for the Nokia N9 but which I’ve now also ported to Ubuntu Touch. It works in a similar way to commercial applications like Shazam and SoundHound, listening to music through the phone’s microphone and then generating an acoustic fingerprint using the open source EchoPrint algorithm. Currently the EchoPrint database isn’t anywhere near as large as the various commercial offerings, so it won’t recognise everything, but it has reasonable coverage.

Video


Video of Eyrie running on Ubuntu Touch

Installation

To install Eyrie on Ubuntu Touch simply search for “Eyrie” on your phone and it should appear.

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

Rockwatch 1.1 Released

2013-10-22 13:32 UTC  by  Michael Sheldon
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Rockwatch

Overview

Rockwatch allows your N9 to communicate with a Pebble smart watch. It makes it possible to install and manage Pebble apps, upgrade your Pebble’s firmware, receive notifications of e-mails and SMS messages and control your music from your Pebble.

New features in version 1.1

  • Preliminary support for the HTTPebble protocol which allows watch faces and apps to communicate with HTTP servers via the phone’s network connection and also provides them with location information. For example this provides support for watch faces that display local weather information, like Fair Forecast.
  • The ability to set the watch’s time from the N9′s clock.

Upcoming features

In the next version I hope to add support for accessing the two-way SDK via DBUS, this will allow other N9 applications to communicate with watch apps and get feedback from the watch.

Download

Available in the Ovi Store

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

Rockwatch 1.0 Released

2013-10-16 13:05 UTC  by  Michael Sheldon
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Rockwatch

Overview

Rockwatch allows your N9 to communicate with a Pebble smart watch. It makes it possible to install and manage Pebble apps, upgrade your Pebble’s firmware, receive notifications of e-mails and SMS messages and control your music from your Pebble.

Upcoming features

The next release will add:

  • Preliminary support for the HTTPebble protocol which allows watch faces and apps to communicate with HTTP servers via the phone’s network connection and also provides them with location information. For example this provides support for watch faces that display local weather information, like Fair Forecast.
  • The ability to set the watch’s time from the N9′s clock.

Videos


Video showing music control

Video showing installation of apps

Video showing notifications

Download

Available in the Ovi Store

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

Erudite now available for Symbian Belle

2013-04-19 09:51 UTC  by  Michael Sheldon
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Erudite displaying a book library

Overview

Erudite makes it possible to use Amazon’s Cloud Reader on various mobile platforms which aren’t officially supported by Amazon. You can either read books online, or download them for reading offline. Your progress in a book is then also kept synchronised between your phone and other Kindle devices.

Symbian Belle support

Until recently Erudite only supported MeeGo Harmattan and Mer based phones (such as the Nokia N9), but now it’s also available for Symbian Belle phones as well. I’ll try and put together a build for Symbian Anna phones in the near future.

There’s a fairly comprehensive review of Erudite for Symbian over on All About Symbian: Erudite review.

Upcoming features

In the next release for both Symbian and MeeGo I’ll be focusing on orientation switching support, so users can optionally view their books in landscape mode, as well as investigating some apparent issues with very large books.

Download

  • Symbian Belle version — Nokia 701, Nokia C6-01, Nokia C7-00, Nokia N8-00, Nokia X7-00, Nokia E6-00, Nokia 808 Pureview, Nokia 603, Nokia Oro, Nokia E7-00, and Nokia 700
  • MeeGo Harmattan version — Nokia N9, Nokia N950
Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

Ogre3D on Jolla’s SailfishOS

2013-02-28 21:26 UTC  by  Michael Sheldon
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I spent a bit of time hacking around with the Sailfish SDK and managed to get a rough port of Ogre3D working:

Video of Ogre3D running under Sailfish

This is running within the emulator using the Mesa LLVM OpenGL ES 2.0 implementation, so naturally I won’t be able to say for certain if a port is possible for actual phones running Sailfish until I get my hands on some hardware, but it seems hopeful.

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

Erudite displaying a book fullscreen

Overview

Erudite makes it possible to use Amazon’s Cloud Reader service under MeeGo. You can either read books online, or download them for reading offline. Your progress in a book is kept synchronised between your N9 and other Kindle devices.

Name change

Unfortunately since Amazon own a wide range of “Fire” themed trademarks, and the application’s operation is heavily related to the same areas that these trademarks are used in, Amazon couldn’t really let me carry on using the name “Firestarter”. It was entirely my own foolishness that caused this hassle by going for a “clever” name without even considering the potential trademark implications, thankfully the lawyer who got in touch with me was very understanding and patiently helped me work through the various issues. I’m just glad that Amazon handled everything so amicably, rather than wading in with heavy-handed legal threats as some companies might.

So from now on the application is called “Erudite”, a name that’s clever in a different way.

New features

Added in 1.2:

  • The application name has now changed to Erudite.
  • A number of buttons and menu entries have been made larger and easier to press.
  • You can now switch in to and out of fullscreen mode by pressing a toggle button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Added in 1.1:

  • The application can now start up completely offline. You still need to be online for the very first usage and to download books, but once you’ve downloaded some books you can now always access them offline.
  • A progress indicator shows when the application is loading.
  • Keyboard bug is fixed. Previously you needed to tap on text fields twice to bring up the virtual keyboard, now it pops up on the first tap.

Download

Available for the Nokia N9 and N950 in the Ovi Store: http://store.ovi.com/content/307241

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

Overview

Erudite makes it possible to use Amazon’s Cloud Reader service under MeeGo. You can either read books online, or download them for reading offline. Your progress in a book is kept synchronised between your N9 and other Kindle devices.

Screenshots

Video


Video of Erudite on a Nokia N9

Download

Nokia N9/N950 version available in the Ovi Store: http://store.ovi.com/content/307241

Nemo mobile version: com.mikeasoft.firestarter-1.0-21.4.Nemo.Apps.MTF.armv7hl.rpm

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

Tizen applications running under TizMee on MeeGo

Overview

With the (unexpected) release of Sviox‘s HTML widget runtime I thought it about time that I made my own efforts in that direction a bit more public. TizMee is designed to make it possible to run Tizen (and other) apps on MeeGo, supporting general HTML5 apps, apps using Tizen specific APIs and Cordova/PhoneGap apps (with some slight modification).

This first early release should support general HTML5 apps fairly well (although there are still a few that have issues), some aspects of the Tizen API (this is by no means complete however) and pretty much all of the Cordova/PhoneGap API.

It’s based around the QT Cordova port with Tizen specific functionality implemented as Cordova plugins in a mixture of C and javascript.

Video


Video of Tizen apps running on a Nokia N9

Apps

A number of test applications can be downloaded here: http://mikeasoft.com/~mike/tizmee/
To install them simply place their .wgt files in the TizenApps directory on your device (/home/user/MyDocs/TizenApps).

Download

MeeGo Harmattan (N9/N950): tizmee_0.1-1_armel.deb
Nemo Mobile: My personal OBS repository (also requires python-pyside from that repository)

Source

License: Apache 2.0 License
Gitorious repository: https://gitorious.org/tizmee
Ohloh project page: https://www.ohloh.net/p/tizmee

Categories: Development
Michael Sheldon

StatusNet for MeeGo 0.3

2012-06-14 19:32 UTC  by  Michael Sheldon
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StatusNet for MeeGo displaying new status menu

Overview

StatusNet for MeeGo makes it possible for Nokia N9, N950 and similar phones to connect to StatusNet compatible microblogging services such as Identi.ca. It supports viewing statuses in the phone’s event feed alongside Twitter and Facebook updates, viewing conversations, posting new status updates, replying to other people, following new users, favouriting messages and repeating messages.

New Features

  • Context menu for each message brought up through a long press on a message.
  • Retweeting/redenting of messages.
  • Favouriting and unfavouriting messages.
  • Following and unfollowing users.
  • Privacy policy.
  • New login screen.
  • Registration link on the login screen.
  • Fixes problem displaying statuses with no text in the event feed.

Download

Apps for MeeGo Testing Repository

Direct download: statusnet-meego_0.3-1_armel.deb

Source

License: GPL version 3.0 or later
Gitorious repository: https://gitorious.org/statusnet-meego-plugin
Ohloh project page: https://www.ohloh.net/p/statusnet-meego

Categories: Development