Corona: iOS/Google Maps, Kindle Fire HD and NOOK HD

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With all the excitement around iPhone 5, iOS 6, and Google Maps, one thing you may not realize is that Google only offers its maps on standard Android devices, not customized flavors of Android. Consequently, like the iPhone 5, Kindle Fire and NOOK do not offer built-in Google Maps.

In the case of Apple, they chose to remove Google maps a year early and replace it with their own. In the case of Amazon and Barnes & Noble, those were Google’s rules β€” no Google maps unless you adhere to rules set forth by Android’s Open Handset Alliance, i.e. no customization.

(Incidentally, in the case of Apple, I think Google made a strategic blunder, perhaps suffering from some foresight. How magical would it have been for a Google Maps app for iOS to be formally announced a week after the iPhone 5 launch? Everyone would have cheered.)

Now when we (finally) enabled native map views on Corona in daily build 903, we found a way to offer Google maps for all Android devices, including Kindle and NOOK.

Now, if we had used the standard Android APIs then Kindle and NOOK wouldn’t get native map views or Google Maps due to Google’s policies. We decided we had to find a better way to approach native map views on Android. So we wrote our own implementation! That allowed us to offer native map view to not just plain-vanilla Android device, but also to Kindle and NOOK!

And a good thing too!

A few weeks ago, the new Kindle Fire HDs came out. We think these are very attractively priced devices. They run a customized Android 4.x, so we’ve recently fixed a bunch of issues on Android 4.x. We also added two new Kindle Fire HD skins to the simulator (one for 7 inch and one for 9 inch) back in daily build 909. Based on reports so far, your Corona apps will work just fine on these devices.

Not to be one-upped, Barnes&Noble announced two new NOOK HD models today. Two months ago, we got a very brief glimpse of these devices, or rather, the prototype. There wasn’t any casing, just the motherboard and display taped to a plastic board. So it’s great to finally see what the final devices look like!

Now, from what we understand, Corona apps should work just fine on the new Nooks. However, when we first heard about these devices, we did let the B&N team know of some necessary tweaks needed on their side to make this happen. We hope these will get done to enable all existing apps to run unchanged. If all else fails, we will make the necessary adjustments to Corona so apps work properly on the new Nooks, though this feels less desirable as it will require re-building.

These devices are coming out in November, so there will be a ton of new HD tablets out there this autumn!

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This entry has 14 replies

  1. Perry says:

    The various operating systems, screen sizes, and devices that are out or coming out on the market is truly mind boggling. Keep up the hard work you all do in attempting to support all these devices!


  2. Rob Miracle says:

    I got an email from B&N last night saying they had done some preliminary tests on my apps (I’m assuming they did this for everyone) and that all of my apps failed on the new devices because of DRM.

    I’m waiting on a response from them now about this since you don’t have any DRM control when uploading apps to them. Its something you might want to investigate too.


    • Jen Looper says:

      I had the same email from Nook. I hope we can get this sorted soon, I want to keep offering my content to my Nook readers, who are quite nice!

  3. buder says:

    I had a DRM notice for one of my apps as well. I sent them a ticket as I couldn’t find anything in Nook’s docs about it. There is also a thread in the forums where some others had the issue.

  4. napabar says:

    Corona definitely has DRM on their product. Even though I paid for Pro, I sent Amazon and B&N my generic Android build, and they were rejected by both because of Corona DRM. I assume this is to stop people that only buy the Android piece from submitting to Amazon and B&N. Anyway, once I specifically compiled my app for both Amazon and B&N individually, they both were approved. Looks like Corona will have to add some support on the build side for these new Nooks…..I’ll bet the new Kindle Fire’s too if I was betting….

  5. Nathan Balli says:

    I received an e-mail stating that my app has passed their tests. My app is pretty simple and basic and doesn’t contain any “native” features though.
    Thought I’d just let you all know…

  6. My app failed and they provided no explanation. They suggested I run it in their simulator to see what the problem may be. πŸ™

  7. I also received a DRM notice for three of my apps. Will there be a fix for this on Corona’s side?

  8. Dan Goldman says:

    Ditto here about failing due to DRM notice. Please advise ASAP as the deadline is Oct 15 to submit the update.


  9. Dan Goldman says:

    Ditto here about the DRM failure notice. Our app is extremely simple and has no DRM so I have no idea what they are referring to. Please advise ASAP as the deadline to submit the update is Oct 15.


  10. David says:

    Hi guys – there isn’t any DRM. B&N is just using that as a blanket term right now when they reject apps that are seeing issues on their new devices. We communicated with them today and are meeting with them tomorrow. As Walter mentioned above, there is an easy fix so that all Corona apps run unchanged and we are hoping they are able to do this. If not, we will try to make the necessary changes on the Corona side as quickly as possible (which will require a re-build). We will let you know as soon as we know more.

  11. Any updates on this DRM issue? 6 of my 7 apps were rejected for this exact reason, and the 7th accepted. All built using build 921. Seems to be random what they accept.

    To be honest I’ve noticed a huge decline in B&N support recently. They used to be the most responsive and helpful, and in the last 2 months sales have plummeted and support is non-responsive. Not encouraging for the fate of Nooks.

    • Larry says:

      CoronaSDK 2012.925 takes care of this issue πŸ™‚ yeah !! Thanks Corona

  12. Walter says: