Flight Control

flight-controlI really like simple games, which you can play where ever you are – and which still has enough challenges to be interesting for quite a while. One of the best games I’ve played for a long time is Flight Control for the iPhone/iPod Touch. The game was developed by Firemint.

It’s a fairly simple game. You’re in control of an Airport and all you have to do is make sure the planes land at the runways. To do this you simply draw their designated paths on the screen. There are 4 different aircrafts – helicopters, propeller planes, small jets and large jets. As you play more planes concurrently enters the airspace – and eventually it gets quite busy and avoiding mid-air collisions a challenge.

In the recent update of the game two new airfields was added to the original, and with the different layouts, new strategies for keeping the planes from hitting each other must be developed.

The sound in the game is nothing special, but that really doesn’t matter – once the airspace gets busy you really don’t have time to listen – and if you like you can disable sounds when the game launches and keep listening to podcasts or music.

The game is currently (at the time of writing) on sale for 99 cents – buy it now (AppStore link) and you’ll have hours of entertainment.

My Current high scores:

  • Classic: 153
  • Hawaii: 91
  • Carrier: 82

Top 3 features for mobile phone innovation

The iPhone (3G) was launched in Denmark today. I’m not quite sure how great a success it was, but Telia was apparently sold out here on the first day. While I probably should be urging for an iPhone, I’m not – I’d like one, but frankly I wouldn’t spend money on one currently. It’s a cool phone, but it seem to suffer from many of the same problems other smartphones has.

I’d like to suggest a 6 month feature freeze to all smartphone developers, and suggest they stop inventing new features, and poor resources into fixing existing features already available in the existing phones – and the first three issues they so focus on are:

1. Battery lifetime.
Any phone should last at least 72 hours with “reasonable use”. Sure reasonable use may be a though term to define, but the iPhone reviews seem to suggest an expected battery lifetime well below 24 hours. My current SonyEricsson P1i can usually last about 48 hours (if I don’t use the Wifi at all).

Most specifications define an expected stand-by time and an expected talk time. I’d like to suggest the stand-by time is with all features enabled but no active – GPS, Wifi, bluetooth and 3G. I’m not sure how to replace the expected talk time with a better figure, but the standby time is certainly not 440 hours with wifi and bluetooth enabled (but unused) – it’s more likely 20 hours.

2. Faster.
Every time I’ve gotten a new phone (the P800, the P900 and now P1i), it’s become slower for every “upgrade”. It’s not just an SonyEricsson issue – the Nokias, HTCs and other brands I’ve tried seem to suffer from the same problem.

I’d like the software optimized or a more powerful CPU in the phone thank you.

3. Improvement on existing features

Most phone has a legacy, but sometimes you need a clean slate and a fresh start – and on most of the current smartphones it’s long over due. New features are cool, but it’s been happening way to fast, so the features (how they work) has far to often become a mess.

.. and to make matters even worse – with the explosion of new features and available applications on mobile phones, the user interface (where the features are located and how they look) has also be come a mess, and often it seems large parts of the software was slapped together in the last minute.

Please so making new features. Work with what you’ve got.