Cool Stuff with the Flash Platform - 10/14/10
Posted on Oct 14, 2010
While mobile has taken center stage in prior versions of this post, never more so than this week which was dominated by the news that AIR for Android is now publicly available in the marketplace and that Flash on Android has crossed the 1 million downloads mark. We're in the final stretch for MAX and I expect the various announcements and other amazing posts will be coming in a flurry - exiting times! Speaking of which, if you'll be at MAX, feel free to look me up.
Cool Mobile Stuff (AIR for Android, Flash on Android, iPhone etc.)
This week, of course, marked the official release of Adobe AIR on the Android Market which was obviously big news. It was picked up by major sites like Engadget and others.
The major benefit with this public release of course is that, if you have or want to develop an application using AIR for Android, you can now release it onto the Android marketplace. Ryan Stewart has a post showing how to publish AIR applications to the Android Market and Lee Brimelow has a video tutorial on the same topic. If this leaves you wondering what what happens when your users install an AIR For Android Application without AIR, Ryan answers that as well. While Lee answers the question of when its better to use native Android development or Adobe AIR?
One of the common threads in many posts about the AIR for Android public release seemed to imply there were no applications yet available that utilized it. This is untrue. For instance, Mark Doherty released his VideoCall Radar on the Android Market. Joseph Labrecque released Mobile AIR "SketchNSave" which allows you to sketch with your fingers and save it to an image. Jonathan Campos released his Netflix Queue Manager for your Netflix addicts. Jesse Warden released an application for listening to SoundCloud on your phone. Serge Jespers even highlights a number of games built with AIR for Android and even is attempting to maintain a full list of applications built with AIR for Android that are on the market.
Mark Doherty also shows how he modified he recently released Flash and AIR Facebook SDK to support AIR for Android. He even started adding Facebook integration to the aforementioned Radar application.
The other big news was that Flash 10.1 topped 1 million downloads on Android Phones, which I think goes to show you that people really want Flash on their devices. As David Pogue of the New York Times notes in his recent article testing video on mobile Flash, "saying that the i-device owners 'aren't missing much' is a big exaggeration; Flash is everywhere." He also notes that it performed well on the videos he tested.
In other news, Serge Jespers updated his Package Assistant Pro application for the latest AIR on Android SDK. This application allows you to create native installers for AIR 2 and create apk files for Android.
Dan Florio discusses the current Flash Builder workflow for creating AIR for Android applications. I expect more information on this topic (and what the workflow may look like in the future) to be coming at MAX in a couple weeks.
Rich Tretola shows how to display HTML in your AIR for Android application despite the lack of an HTML component.
Christian Cantrell shares a video showing GPU versus CPU rendering modes in AIR for Android. He shows how CPU rendering performs slightly better with a single animation, GPU rendering performs better when there are many animated items on the screen.
In this video on ADC, Ron Nagy shows the employee directory Android application used here at Adobe to demonstrate how AIR for Android might be useful within the enterprise (sorry, but that just makes me think of AIR for the communicator - "Kirk out!").
While minor, the Packager for iPhone was updated to remedy an issue that prevented people from publishing applications to the iTunes store. However this does show that the packager is being actively worked on. Following this update, Valerio Virgillito released a video showing how to publish and install a simple application to your iPhone using the packager.
Cool Flex & Flash Builder Stuff
Joan Lafferty discusses the new feature added to transitions in Hero that allows you to specify an interrupt behavior on a transition. She also shares some sample code demonstrating the change.
Mihai Corlan released a 40 page "mini-book" he calls Flex 4 in a Day. You can see just by reviewing the table of contents that he covers a lot of invaluable information when making the move to Flex 4.
Did you know you can call many of ColdFusion's built-in services like PDF generation from Flex without needing to code CFML at all? This means you could leverage some of the invaluable services a ColdFusion server exposes without needing to port any of your site to ColdFusion. ColdFusion engineering team member, Rakshith Naresh, shows you how to access ColdFusion services from Flex applications,
Cool AIR Stuff
Is it unfair that much of the cool AIR stuff I list now falls under mobile? Well this week the only non-mobile AIR item I wanted to share was Michaël Chaize's AIRworms application which he calls the first "virus" built in AIR. It's not really a virus as its just for fun but the technique e uses is very clever and cool.
Cool ActionScript/Flash Stuff
Andre Michelle released Tonfall which is an open source audio framework for ActionScipt.
Fabio Sonnati completes his series on optimizing high quality video in Flash, this time covering restoring video details and film grain.
Emanuele Feronato continues his series on creating a Pixel Purge-like Flash game, this time focusing on fire rate and spread.
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