A new look

With the upcoming introduction of Antair E-Mail Auto-Responder for the BlackBerry, we’re introducing a new look for the Antair website.

Here is a little sneak preview of the title page — click on the image for a larger version.

A few updates…

Sneezies

An update to our latest iPhone game Sneezies, has been released in the iTunes App Store. The update includes an additional 15 levels for the Classic game-play mode, and an additional 5 levels for the Challenge game-play mode. The update also allows players to listen to their own iTunes music tracks while playing the game.

Bake-Off Contest

The Great Indie Bake-Off of 2008 is still on with several new submissions since last week. The cakes keep getting better and better, and the prize pool keeps on growing. The contest ends soon, so if you were thinking about submitting something, make sure you don’t miss out — it’s a great (and tasty) way to promote your game or app.

Antair AutoResponder

And finally, we’ve completed work on the Antair AutoResponder for the BlackBerry. The software will work on all modern BlackBerry devices running RIM OS 4.1 and above, including the BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Storm. Production enters the first beta cycle this week, and the application itself should be available for purchase in January. As with all Antair BlackBerry applications, the Antair AutoResponder will have a free trial version for evaluation.

Calling All Indie Game Developers — Bake-Off 2008 Contest!

With the release of our newest iPhone game Sneezies, Antair Games is sponsoring the Great Indie Bake-Off Contest of 2008 — and we invite all indie game developers to participate.

The rules are simple — bake something inspired by your game!

Entries are now being accepted — prizes will be given away!

Full info on the contest, including rules, current submissions and prizes is available on the following site:

http://www.antairgames.com/blog/the-great-indie-bake-off-2008/

User Interface Improvements

The BlackBerry SDK doesn’t come out of the box with much in the area of user interface controls. There’s enough to get started, but should you need to build something of actual value, you’ll soon find yourself craving something a bit more than a dry edit field or a boring old square button.

Aside from our games, our BlackBerry applications are utilities, and, as such, we’ve always prioritized functionality over eye-candy, especially since there aren’t many off-the-shelf user interface libraries that one can use to spruce up a BlackBerry application (there are, in fact, none, at last check).

Still … every once in a while we put aside a bit of time to improve our user interface library.

So here’s a quick comparison.

The first screenshot is the primary screen from version 2.0.3 of our BlackBerry Call Screener application. The controls used here are fairly standard, with only a bit of customization to make the default UI act a bit better in the context of what the application needs.

By comparison, the second screenshot is from our upcoming BlackBerry E-Mail Auto-Responder application. Almost every control on this screen is custom-built. The screen is split into three areas, with a menu bar at the top, a status bar at the bottom, and a middle portion containing the contents of the screen. The screen navigation is designed specifically for the BlackBerry trackwheel or trackball, depending on the model, and each portion of the screen acts within the context of the active content area — making the user interface navigation much more intuitive, and delivering contextual help to the user as needed without breaking the workflow.

And it looks better as well … :)