Crankin’ Embedded World Germany, February 26 – 28

Crank Software will be at Embedded World Germany next week from February 26 – 28. We had so many interested attendees stop by the booth last year, that we quickly ran out of room during peak times. This year we have kicked it up a notch and now have a larger, stand-alone booth to both accommodate more prospects and to allow more room to showcase Storyboard Suite on multiple target platforms. We are extremely excited with the graphics that our Graphic Designer, a.k.a Fancy Dan, put together and can’t wait to see the booth first hand. Stay tuned for some blog posts and pics live from the show floor next week.

As many of you already know we released Storyboard Suite 3.0 in early January which included a number of new and updated features including a new Animation Timeline, Image Optimization, Internationalization, Custom Shaders, and iOS Support. Many of these features were demonstrated when QNX used Storyboard Suite as the UI technology to power the center console of their QNX CAR 2 platform at CES this year.

We will be demoing a QNX CAR 2 platform at Embedded World with Storyboard Suite powering not only the console but the cluster as well.

A number of Storyboard Suite features will also be demonstrated on the following target platforms at the show:

  • Texas Instruments AM335x
  • Freescale i.MX6
  • SEGGER on a Renesas SH2A
  • Android and iOS
  • Atmel SAM9x35

We hope to see some familiar and new faces at our booth this year. If you can’t make it to Germany for Embedded World and chat with us there, take a moment and download a 30 day eval and see how Storyboard Suite can be your UI solution.

Wunderlist 2 debuts, ditches HTML5 for native apps on Android, Windows, iOS and Mac

Wunderlist is one of those apps that’s beloved by productivity nerds, but not very well known outside of those circles. Part of the appeal came from its availability on almost every platform out there. To reach true OS agnosticism 6Wunderkinder, however, relied on HTML5 — which makes porting an app easy, but comes with its own drawbacks, including lackluster performance. (Just ask Mark Zuckerberg.)

Read More …

Are you buying a new iPhone 5?

Many of you are aware that Apple held a press conference last week where they announced the new iPhone 5. If you didn’t, you must be living in a cave in Siberia or something. The announcement wasn’t mind blowing. There had been rumours circulating for a couple of weeks prior to the press conference which were pretty bang on. Besides being a little thinner, getting a larger display, and some hardware performance enhancements, the UI and functionality as a whole remained pretty much the same.

I was hoping Apple had “one more thing” before the conference was over but to my shagrin they did not. So then I started thinking that maybe Apple was starting to loose some of its steam (what ?!?!? blasphemy). Don’t get me wrong, the new iPhone 5 is a sweet looking piece of hardware but was that enough for individuals to dish out another chunk of change being the iPhone 4S is still relatively new? Well apparently it is enough … “AT&T says it set a sales record for the iPhone 5, with customers ordering more of them than any previous iPhone model on the first day of preorders and over the weekend”.

So what is attracting people to fork out all this dough or to break contracts and paying stupid penalties to get their hands on the latest and greatest iPhone? Is it just the “me too” effect or the Apple fanboys (you can’t tell me there are that many of you out there 😉 ) creating all this buzz? Or were the minor hardware tweaks enough to satisfy everyone out there on the verge of buying an Android or Windows phone? You can’t come and tell me it is the UI. It has been pretty stale since it was first introduced in 2007. Wicked at the time but now that functionality or that way of interacting with the mobile device is expected.

That brings up a good question … what will be the next or new expected way of interacting with mobile devices? Will the UI be there to be physically manipulated with or will it be more of a feedback mechanize to display requested information by some other means? Will speech be the new way of communicating with the device like we are starting to see with Siri and other Android devices? Maybe it will be via facial expressions or maybe we will skip all that and plug the sucker directly into our foreheads 😉 A discussion for another blog post I guess … “Plugging Stuff Into Our Foreheads”

It just frightens me when a company has such loyal followers that they can change the colour of a button on a device and individuals storm out to buy it 🙂 This all coming from a fella who still owns an iPhone 3GS which got discontinued last week … sigh.




Photoshop PSD to Android APK in minutes!

Most of the best looking UIs start in Photoshop and then are moved or rebuilt with a different tool or framework that requires the developer to spend countless hours trying to position and skin the underlying framework to look like the original PSD file. With Storyboard Suite we wanted to make his transition easier and faster, so we added the ability to easily import a PSD file and begin working immediately with all your graphics and layers already in place. This video does a quick walkthrough of how fast a user can move from a PSD file to an Android APK that is ready to run on their device.

Also to note, that even though no code was written in this example the APK that was created renders directly to the Android NDK OpenGL ES providing the best performance.

If you want to try it for yourself be sure to check out our 30-day evaluation.

Android Support

The upcoming Storyboard Suite 2.0 brings with it the ability to export a Storyboard Project as a native Android Application. Here are a couple of easy steps showing you how to do that.

When your Storyboard Project is complete and you are ready to export to Android, right click on the application .gde file and select Export as Native Android Application.

Next you will be presented with the Export Selection dialogue. Here you will be able to change the application name, specify which directory you want the package to be exported to, and how your application will be orientated and scaled. You will also have the option to select how your application with be signed … either by your existing keystore or one created by Storyboard.

Next you will see the Export Manifest dialogue box. Here you can personalize your application by specifying the icons to be used with the Android application. By default Storyboard includes it’s own icons.

There you have it. After clicking Finish the Android package (.apk) will be in the directory you specified earlier on. I used the default setting and that places it in the current project directory.

The next step is to copy that apk file over to your Android phone or tablet and install.