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CreaBros Oy: Articles

Stopwatch on Tietokone

Nov 8, 10:51 PM

Our blog message was published on the major Finnish computing magazine “Tietokone”.

Tietokone article

Blog entry is in Finnish, so if you don’t speak it, have few laughs reading it with Google translate. Well, very few.

Google translated article

Kalle Kuismanen

Random,

Comment

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Stopwatch sales triple while Box of Dice Sales Double

Sep 24, 11:40 PM

In August we did a bit of promoting of our Ovi Store, now Nokia Store, applications for Symbian^1, Symbian^3, Anna and Belle Touchy Feely Stopwatch and A Box of Dice 3D. We also added translations and made a few upgrades to the applications and launched Decision Dice. It seems that our actions had a significant effect and we’ve clearly sold more in the month of September than we’ve sold at any time in the history of our apps, with the exception of the first month when Ovi Store opened and the stopwatch app was first launched. The best part is we became less dependent on our sales to Finland. There are a lot of Nokia phones in Finland, but it is still a fairly limited market. See Images below.

Sales distribution
Distribution of sales to top 10 countries for Touchy Feely Stopwatch August 2011

Sales distribution
Distribution of sales to top 10 countries for Touchy Feely Stopwatch September 2011

A surprise came from Norway and Denmark. Markets that we hardly knew existed jumped into the top three. France has previously been a relatively big market, but had for some reason declined, but now re-emerged into top three. Merci beaucoup! Mange Tak! Tusen Takk!.

For the Box of Dice 3D we’ve been puzzled at the sales. They have been very concentrated in Thailand. When we first released the game there were over twenty thousand free downloads from Thailand, so perhaps it is a class room favourite there? We really don’t know but ‡∏LJ∏≠‡∏ö‡∏ч∏∏‡∏ì‡∏°‡∏≤‡∏Å to our customers in Thailand. Hopefully you enjoy the dice. Unfortunately we don’t have a Thai friend (yet) who could translate the comments. Google translations don’t really make sense.

Here are our sales distributions for “A Box of Dice 3D”

Sales for
August sales of “A Box of Dice 3D” app for all countries

Sales for
September sales of “A Box of Dice 3D” app for all countries

So we only sold to six countries in August, with almost all sales going to Thailand. In September we sold to eleven countries, but most of the sales still went to Thailand.

Our disappointing sales of the Decision Dice prompted us to give it away for free in order to spread the word, but though it has quite nice graphics and physics simulation it got buried in the avalanche of entertainment applications.

All in all it has been a very satisfactory September. We could still use more revenue from the apps so we could quit our day jobs, but it is nice to see strong upward trends, despite the platform we are using being squeezed. Perhaps the new Belle operating system and new devices will boost the Symbian base.

Kalle Kuismanen

Mobile, Current Projects

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Are touch screens the future or do physical keyboard make a comeback?

Sep 23, 06:59 AM

World seems to have gone to touch when it comes to mobile phones. I have one, my wife has one, my daughters have, except for my youngest and she wants one. Is there a future for non touch screen or hybrid phones? Here are few observations that came to me today.

I spent my evening at the local football pitch learning how to train kids in the art of playing the beautiful game. So basically I was being coached on how to be a good coach. Theme of the evening was Horst Wein small sided games and how they are used to train children. Group of ten and eleven year old boys were being trained by our excellent head coach and we observed and hopefully learned how to train our own teams better. One of the drills required timing how quickly can three boys pass the ball and score a goal. A stopwatch was required. Now if anybody has read this column I have written a pretty good stopwatch the Touchy Feely Stopwatch , at least in my humble opinion, for Nokias touchscreen phones, but unfortunately my N8 had died in a rain storm few weeks earlier so I had to settle to my backup phone Apples iPhone 4 and its stopwatch. First touch on the ball! I started my timer. Pass, pass, shot and a goal! Yes, he shoots he scores and now I look how quickly it was done? 00:00:00:0 This can’t be right! Three kids played their hearts out and I didn’t have a score. I had missed the button that starts the timer. Well next time it worked and the next, but then I missed the stop button. I couldn’t tell where buttons are when I was looking when to press them. Luckily I learned quickly, but I also learned that a traditional dedicated stopwatch might be more advantageous in some instances.

I don’t like sending text messages, never did, but I send less than I did in the past. Why is that. Well if you dear reader bothered to read previous story then you know that I lost my N8 to rain storm and now I use an old iPhone 4, which I guess is an ok phone though it loses signal bit too easy. But still I don’t like texting. Because iPhone has smaller SIM slot than N8 I couldn’t move my SIM card to iPhone when my N8 stopped working. I guess I could cut it, but I’m still hoping to get a new N8 or perhaps N9 to replace the old one. Anybody who has used call forwarding knows that though you can make all calls go to another device the SMS traffic will still go to that device not be forwarded. So to remedy this I put my SIM card into an old N96 phone. Now I get my text messages, which I check once or twice a week (yes I don’t like to be reachable anywhere anytime). Sometimes I have to answer the messages and to my surprise texting was surprisingly easy. Well much easier than with N8 or iPhone4. Why is this? I don’t even use the predictive typing, because language is always wrong. So for letter ‘c’ I press 2 for three times and so on. Still this was faster than typing with the touchscreen. Why? Well because I can type much quicker and without looking with the physical keyboard than with the touchscreen.

So is the physical keyboard better and consumers wrong? Well yes and no. Physical keyboard is good for the single function that it was designed for, but it has a serious limitation. It cannot change its shape and appearance. With limited space on a mobile device it used to be that keyboard took about half of surface area. While it was good for calling and texting that part of the area was lost to applications such as web browsers or games. Writing is an essential activity for any computer user, but perhaps it isn’t so essential for a mobile user. No matter how good a mobile keyboard is it still is pretty bad for entering a lot of text. That is why we carry netbooks or laptops. For mobile devices, however, our use case is different. We are not producers of text with mobile devices we are consumers. Does our radio or television set (remember those) have a keyboard? Hardly, even though the entertainment sets remote control is larger than your average mobile phone it rarely has a keyboard. That is because we don’t want to write anything to our TV or Radio and same goes for mobile phones.

I don’t think there is going back to physical keyboards on mobile devices. Once in a while someone will create one, but in the future we will solve our need to enter text to our phones using different methods.

Kalle Kuismanen

Mobile, Random

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VooDoo doll - with bullet physics

Aug 31, 05:25 AM

After fooling around with bullet physics and completing the dice box 3d project (over 20 000 downloads when it was free, 300 when it cost one € you cheapskates ;) I decided to work on a voodoo doll.

First draft here, notice it still says box of dice, but instead of dice it is a voodoo doll!!!

Current version simulates a hanging ragdoll and pins that can be poked through it. Unfortunately I haven’t had enough time to finish it. I want to add camera capture, so you can replace dolls head with your friends picture and upload to social media so you can show the world what you’ve done to your enemy(dolls).

I’m also planning on adding bumpmaps to texturing. Some fog and cools sounds would be nice too, but have to see. These apps unfortunately are not a gold mine.

Kalle Kuismanen

Current Projects, Mobile

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Touchy feely stopwatch 2.0 for Symbian^1, Symbian^3, Anna and Belle: now new and improved

Mar 1, 07:02 AM

Give it a try at Ovi store

People have been complaining about the user experience on Symbian. We agree that the standard components offered to the developers are quite boring and lack charm.

With the new Stopwatch we decided to develop it like we’d develop a game. Everything must be fluid and look good. Response must be the absolutely fastest possible without compromise. It must be intuitive so no help documentation is needed and it must look beautiful.

So what all had to go. In the old stopwatch displays were done with the standard frameworks edit boxes. This meant that the font had to be chosen from the given set and no nice shadow or transparency effects could be added. So that had to go.

Once you throw away the framework what are you left with? Well basically only thing left was the graphics context and bitmaps. And that is how the interface is constructed. Everything is done by blotting bitmaps over each other from buttons to numbers to the sliding result panel. At first a lot of transparency was used, but to save resources some were dropped and others were combined into static bitmaps.

Lot of thought was put into responsiveness. One reason sound wasn’t incorporated was that it added overhead into the button response. Tactile feedback seems to work on its own so it was a better choice. To enable “reaction” testing i.e. pushing the start/stop button as quickly as possible graphics update isn’t started until first tenth of a second has passed. Fastest I’ve been able to do this is seven hundredths of a second. To see ones true ability thousands should be also shown, but they are not practical for functioning of the stopwatch. On N8 we can obtain framerate of almost 100 frames a second, but because that would drain the battery, we limit ourselves for the first ten seconds to about 60 frames a second and then to about 30 frames a second. With bright screen and watch running whole time in the foreground visible battery life should still be about eight hours. When the application is on the background or not visible it doesn’t consume any battery.

Lack of pause option
Many people have complained that there is no pause option. Reason for this is that we couldn’t think of an elegant way to implement it. One way is to have the Yellow button work as resume button, but would it be intuitive? Perhaps and it might be worth a try. One thought is to have yellow restore, but then change the mode into rest <-> active mode where resting time and active time are recorded.

Clearing of the screen
Most people liked the wipe to clear concept. Unfortunately in the new version the main screen can’t be cleared that way. A menu button needs to be used. Not very elegant, but practical. Running screen can still be cleared this way when the watch is stopped.

Other new features
Results can be sent or saved as memo. Reason for using memo is that it provides rudimentary editing tools. They could be better, but have to suffice for now.

Left handed operation
Sometimes the stopwatch needs to be in the left hand. Maybe out of handedness, preference or necessity. Not many applications take this into consideration. We decided to give it a try and it propably was a good idea.

Give it a try at Ovi store

Supported devices: Nokia 5228, Nokia 5230, Nokia 5233, Nokia 5235, Nokia 5250, Nokia 5530 XpressMusic, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia C5-03, Nokia C5-04, Nokia, C6-00, Nokia N97, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia X6, Nokia X6-00m, Nokia 500, Nokia 600, Nokia 603, Nokia 700, Nokia 701, Nokia C6-01, Nokia C7 Astound, Nokia C7-00, Nokia N8-00, Nokia Oro, Nokia Oro C7-00s, Nokia T7-00, Nokia X7-00, Nokia E7-00, Vertu Constellation T, etc.

Supported Platforms: Symbian^1, Symbian^3, Symbian Anna, Symbian Belle

Kalle Kuismanen

Current Projects, Mobile

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