Adobe Community Expert


Some great news. I’ve recently been designated as an Adobe Community Expert for Mobile and Devices. This is a real motivator and after holding the torch for Flash Lite for a number years and it really demonstrates Adobe’s willingness to reward and recognize folks who contribute to the community. There are some great perks that go along with this and I’d encourage any lurkers out there to contribute since it does reap rewards at times. One easy way to get started is go register yourself in the Adobe Groups section and look for stuff in your area. One thing to note, the community aspect of Adobe’s offerings is much improved thanks to the efforts of Rachel Luxemburg.

There’s some exciting things going on with Flash Lite these days at Mobile World Congress, I’ll be covering them with some future posts. But in general look for some spirited content coming from me focusing specifically on Flash Lite and Open Screen Project in the near future.


I’m Speaking at Mobile Connect Conference on Nokia WRT


For those who are interested or in the Bay Area, I just found out that I’ve been chosen to speak on Nokia Web RunTime at a new convention that is colocated with SDWest next month called Mobile Connect. Details are here:


    90-minute Conference Session, to be held Thursday, March 12th, 2009, 11:15am in the Santa Clara Convention Center


    Mobile Development & Technologies
    You know what your stakeholders want; now it’s time to implement it. Whether you need to determine coding standards or choose technology, this track will help you navigate the last few phases of the mobile software development lifecycle. With courses on programming styles, updates on the latest languages, core build and release techniques, maintenance guidelines and more, you’ll find advice and information on building, deploying and maintaining mobile software in the real world.


    Nokia Web Runtime Widgets
    This session will cover an overview of the benefits and features of Nokia’s Web Runtime technology including the recently announced platform services allowing for device specific access to features including the calendar, contacts, messaging, audio, video, images, GPS, and camera, via JavaScript APIs. The session will feature both best practices in widget development as well as an end-to-end solution demonstration in creating a real functional widget.


    Rob Toole
    Rob Toole has over a decade of experience in bringing rich and engaging experiences to both the desktop and mobile space with companies including, ESPN, Medtronic, and Fidelity Investments. As a recognized community expert in the mobile technology space, Rob has led sessions, product demos, and seminars as a guest for high-profile event organizers such as Adobe, Nokia, and Mobile Monday Boston.

Very excited about this opportunity and hope to see you there!

360|iDev – I’m totally there!


I’m really excited about attending a great community driven conference at Ebay’s headquarters in San Jose next month called 360|iDev. I really saw this as a tremendous opportunity to gain some business insight and network as well as well a pick up some general iPhone development skills in the red-hot iPhone developer market. The price is unbeatable when compared with some 3-day workshops I’ve seen recently at over $2000. Click the banner above or to the right for details and get registered before the price goes up.

Some other folks from Beantown will be out there as well, both Scott Janousek and Keith Peters will be presenting which means after hours mayhem for sure. See you at the hotel bar.

Race against Runkeeper and Sports Tracker


In starting to get acquainted with my new iPhone, I’ve been testing out some of the new location aware apps offered on the App store. One that caught my eye was Runkeeper. RunKeeper tracks workouts and tracks data such as time and location allowing you to build a diary and share your progress with your friends. I had been using Nokia Sports Tracker on and off for the last year and had been pretty happy with it so I decided to put my Nokia N95 in one pocket and my iPhone 3G in another and see how they matched up. Let the battle begin 🙂

    RunKeeper – My Tracked Workout

    Newcomer first…. RunKeeper is pretty sweet. It does a great job allowing you to see your stored workouts on the device itself and even will leverage maps so you can see your mile markers and route. This is far beyond what Sports Tracker offers in the device, though ST does offer a lot more general data points. The RunKeeper online portal is a little primative but cool allowing you to post your workouts into social platforms such as Facebook and the like. From what I hear they are improving this as we speak.


    Cons include some known issues that are being worked out. First, the touch interface makes it pretty easy to press something by accident when you’re stowing the handset, not their fault but a usability issue nonetheless. I did experience one bug (pictured above) that somehow had me running to Burlington, MA and back (40 something miles!) in under 20 minutes. I think this was caused by the low battery message. This is a killer since you simply can’t just do your run over and disappointing to find that after all that work you don’t have your data. But other than this anomoly it has worked for everytime since.

    Nokia Sports Tracker – My Tracked Workout

    Sports Tracker is still a great application that you can use with your compatible Nokia device. The socialization piece on the website is top notch allowing you to look at a world map and see other workouts in your area as well as post pictures from your workout. It also allows you to share your progress via widgets into other platforms.

    Now the bad. In the same run head to head you can see that my N95 did not pick up the GPS till I was well into my run. This is not a software issue so to say since the built in GPS on this devices takes a notoriously long time to pick up location, but still not cool. Also the visualization on handset is terrible compared to RunKeeper. Strange that they are strong on the desktop and weak on the device here.

In closing, it’s important to note that Sportstracker is free while RunKeeper is not, at least for the premium version which is $9.99. You can also use a free version of RunKeeper which I used for the demo, but you’ll get hit with ads. I did end up buying the full version, but I think there needs to be a few more differentiators other than ads to justify the price here. As for Sports Tracker, it’s hard to tell if it’s more than skunkwork for Nokia as it’s been in beta for a while. It’s a great offering however and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them evolve it someday as they roll out more devices and maybe roll it into their Ovi strategy.

Who wins? They are both great and both specific to the handset, so depending on what you own (Nokia, iPhone) give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.