A Walk Through the Plug-In Development Kit, Part 3

0 BY unwiredben

It feels like it was only five months ago that we published part 2 of this series.  Sorry for the long wait!

This time, we’re taking our BadFont sample and going in two directions.  First, we’ll add some TrueType font display code using the SDL_TTF library.  Second, we’ll talk about packaging up your PDK app for installing on the device and submitting it to the Palm webOS App Catalog.  As a bonus, we’ll also provide a makefile you can use on Windows for all of this.

Here’s what it will look like when we’re done:

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Palm is Sponsoring CyborgCamp in Portland this weekend

0 BY devrel

Palm is sponsoring Portland’s CyborgCamp this weekend. What is a CyborgCamp, you might ask? It’s an one day un-conference in Portland that brings together engineers, designers, and anyone else with an interest in the future of humans and computers interaction.

Palm believes the future of computing will come in a variety of devices and form factors that help connect many parts of your life. Palm is proud to sponsor a group studying the intersection of humans and technology.

CyborgCamp is an all day event, starting with breakfast at 9, going through the wrap-up and prizes at 6pm. Anthropology Ph.D. student Sally Applin will be visiting from San Francisco to discuss the notion of the “invisible cyborg.” Marshall Kirkpatrick will talk about Journalism, Information, and Time and Space Compression. Max Ogden will speak about Maps, Sharing, and the Civic Web. These are just a few of the great speakers and attendees who will be there.

The cost for CyborgCamp is only 15 dollars and includes breakfast, lunch, coffee, and drinks. Space is limited (only 120) so if you are in the Portland area be sure to sign up now. Oh, and Palm will be giving away one of our much coveted sturdy water bottles to every attendee!

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PDK Hot Apps Ends Tonight!

0 BY devrel

After a fast and furious competition the PDK Hot Apps promotion ends tonight! There’s still activity near the top of the charts, so it can be anyone’s game. Tune in tomorrow to see the final (but unofficial) standings.

If you have a favorite game be sure to buy a copy and spread the word to your fellow webOS users. My current addiction: Azkend by 10tons Ltd. What’s yours?

Topics  Hot Apps

Amped Hack Event Summary

1 BY devrel

Last Saturday the Palm team descended on Atlanta to help WebDirections USA host an incredible one day hackathon called Amped!. The goal of Amped is to form a team, code up an app to meet one of several challenges, win prizes, and of course have a ton of fun; all in a single day. And what a day it was! Prizes were won and fun was had by all.

The Palm team showed up at the venue, the GTRI conference center graciously donated by premiere engineering school Georgia Tech, at around 7am to set up the space. This mainly consisted of putting together tables and couch spaces for people to hack away, plus a ton of power outlets. Around 8:30 the attendees began to arrive, breakfasting on the free coffee and pastries in the hall.

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This Week in Hot Apps

1 BY devrel

Hot Apps is coming into the final stretch with just a little over a week left. The competition is really heating up. Angry Birds is still number one on the paid side, which I think we all expected. They are one of the top iPhone/iPad apps and webOS users world wide were excited to get Angry Birds before Android. The unexpected leader is the free game Glow Hockey from indie game developer Natenai Ariyatrakool. This classic air hockey game with fun retro Tronish visuals has been a real surprise hit. But of course, with more than a week to go anything could happen.

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Topics  Hot Apps

PDK Hot Apps: Plasma Cannon

3 BY devrel

My “me” has more than one “I”: I am a gamer, I am a mobile app enthusiast, and I am an avid webOS user. Plasma Cannon makes each one of those guys smile. Rob Merrell did an amazing job of crafting a physics-based puzzle game that is quick to learn and offers more than one solution to most of the challenges. The initial levels use the now-standard-in-AAA-titles-but-I-wish-more-developers-would-clue-in tactic of acting as an in-game tutorial. The learning curve is gentle and approached organically, while always remembering the user is playing a game and expects a fun experience.


A particularly fun level

The game world is simple, stable, and consistent. Each of the elements introduced, from the initial simple cannonballs through some of the more exotic features like the gravity switches behaved exactly as I would expect. The game’s simple UI and mechanics stayed out of my way while giving me the fine level of control to solve some of the more complicated challenges with a single shot. While it is possible to outsmart yourself and destroy all chances for success in a challenge you are always a simple back-gesture away from a reset game board.

Plasma Cannon stands as an ideal example of the type of casual yet addictive apps the PDK can power on webOS. Graphically simple and clean with a top-notch physics engine, a responsive UI, perfectly timed sound effects, and a catchy soundtrack, this one of the most fun games I have played yet on webOS. Do yourself a favor and try Plasma Cannon Lite — and if you like it, buy Plasma Cannon. You will not be disappointed. If you are a developer, aim your cannon at Plasma Cannon — it is not too late to submit and climb the leader boards yourself!

Topics  Hot Apps

Amped Hack Event

1 BY Fred Patton

Get Amped About Cross-Platform Mobile Web Development at Web Directions USA

Join Palm and Web Directions in Atlanta on September 25 as we reinvent the traditional hackathon. Amped is a free, all-day, high-octane hack event featuring the Palm® webOS™ challenge, where you’ll build creative cross-platform mobile apps using the web languages and technologies you already know and love. Best of all, you’ll walk away with apps that can be deployed across platforms—a huge advantage in today’s mobile market.

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Topics  Announcements, Events

PDK Hot Apps: MiniSquadron

0 BY Fred Patton

[Editor's note: After reviewing X-Plane, your intrepid editor's son discovered MiniSquadron, and asked if we would let him write another review. Who are we to turn down such willing help? Enjoy!]

As you can probably tell from my last review, I love planes. I also love arcade games. When you combine the two, you have me hooked. In MiniSquadron, you pilot a fighter plane in a cartoon world filled with ducks, seagulls, and enemy fighters of all varieties. Your job is to defeat the waves of enemies as they come in, collecting power-ups and unlocking new planes along the way.

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Cross-app API implementation

0 BY enda

A neat little feature in webOS is the ability to  push a scene from another application on top of your applications stack. Some of the core apps that have this feature are the People Picker (which is a cross-launch of the contacts app), the camera capture, and the video player.

The major advantages of doing this is are:

  1. Not having the overhead of launching another app using the application manager (waiting for start-up, etc.)  and
  2. Not losing navigation context from your app, i.e., the user doesn’t have to minimize or close the launched app and then re-select your app. A “back” swipe to return to the previous scene will do the trick.

In this post I’m going to show how to add this feature to your app. I’ll start by creating two apps. The first one, App A, will be the “launcher” app. This app, using the cross-app API, will push a scene from App B onto its stack, displaying information passed from App A. If App B is launched from the launcher the same scene will display information about App B.

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Palm Events in Atlanta in the next two weeks

0 BY devrel

I’m flying to Atlanta Wednesday for a series of events this week and next week. This Thursday and Friday I’ll be speaking to several classes at Georgia Tech. As a GaTech alumni (class of 97) I’m super excited to talk to our future software engineers. If you are a GaTech student send me an email to see the full schedule.

The following Friday, September the 24th, I will be the guest speaker at the Google Technology Users Group of Atlanta. I’ll be covering full cross device application development with PhoneGap and a couple of nice UI toolkits.

Then Saturday the 25th I’ll be helping run the Amped hackathon at WebDirections USA in Midtown. The webOS challenge includes four prize categories for best-in-class apps, with prizes including Palm and HP products. The team that builds the best overall app will also win an all-expense-paid trip to Palm Developer Day in New York City on November 19th and 20th, 2010!

My schedule for the rest of the trip is still up in the air, so if you are a webOS fan or developer in the Atlanta area, let me know so we can meet up. I might even have a few giveaways with me. :)

Topics  Events
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