— Forest and the Trees

Flash Lite 2

I’ve been avoiding mobile programming for a while – slow processor, small screen size, pain to program. But, I needed a new cell phone, so I figured I’d give FlashLite2 a whirl. FlashLite2 allows Flash7 AS2 coding, so it removes my “pain to program” complaint. Unfortunately, it is currently supported by only one (yes one) phone in America, the Nokia 6682 (ok, the discontinued 6680 and 6681 also support FlashLite2. If you live outside the US, you have a lot more choices.)

Figuring out what to get and what to install was kind of a pain – so, in an effort to save someone some hassle – here’s how to get FlashLite2 up and running…

1. Find out what phones support FlashLite2 by going here. You also need to check carriers – because even though a phone can support FlashLite2, the carrier may not enable it. Also, some carriers may enable some Flash content (wallpapers, standalone, browser, animated ring tones) but not others. It’s very confusing.
1a. For me, in Boston, the only combo (I think) is Cingular and the 6682. The phone cost $200. I started a new contract. I also had to bring up the Cingular web price which was $50 less than the in-store price. ($200 includes the rebate)

2. Download and install the Nokia PC Suite here. First you install on your PC (Windows XP for me). Then you plug the 6682 into the PC with the USB cable and apps are installed on your phone.

3. Install the Flash 8 Pro FlashLite2 update.

4. Install device profiles (cell phone emulators) by going here. There are 3 separate files that install as MXPs – so you need the MM Extension Manager to install.

5. Now you can create an FLA and set the publish settings to FlashLite2. When you publish, you can choose your phone profile – look, it’s your phone!

6. Finally, you need to buy FlashLite2 for your phone. It costs $10. You will need your IMEI number to do this (instructions on how to get this number at the buy link). For some reason this simple purchase took me about 20 minutes (why are these forms in Flash?). Anyway, you download the installer to your PC.

7. To install FlashLite2, I plugged my phone into my PC then launched the installer. Hit OK a couple (?) times. It prompted me to finish the install on my phone. So, I did. Flash now shows up at the bottom of my menu list (press menu button scroll to bottom).

8. Then I made a “hello world” swf in Flash IDE (later I used FDT/Eclipse and Flash 7 code). Open Nokia PC suite with your phone connected (I have been using the USB cable – apparently you can use blue tooth as well). Use File Manager (part of PC suite) to copy the swf to a directory on your phone. I copied the swf to my “Other” directory.

9. On my phone I can see my new content by doing… Menu->Flash->helloWorld.swf.

Next step is go here to download the CDK for FlashLite2. This is a series of PDFs explaining how to program in FlashLite2.

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