Cool Stuff with the Flash Platform - 11/2/10

Posted on Nov 02, 2010

This week includes a number of official Adobe announcements and resources due to the fact that MAX occurred last week and included a number of product releases such as AIR 2.5, Flash Builder "Burrito" and Flex "Hero." There seemed to be a great reaction from the community and a number of developers (including myself) were just waiting for the official announcement to start posting about it. In fact there is so much this week that by my last count this post summarized around 50 community posts.

Cool Mobile & Devices Stuff (AIR for Android, AIR on TV, Flash on Android, iPhone etc.)

Of course, because of MAX, there was a decent amount of coverage in the mainstream technology media outlets. Most of the coverage relevant to this post discussed the new AIR 2.5 release and its support for Android on phones, tablets and televisions. Engadget covered what it called a "serious play for the app space" by Adobe with AIR 2.5. Gizmodo emphasized the support for televisions. Meanwhile, TechCrunch typically played up the Adobe vs. Apple angle while focusing on the Android support. GigaOm touted Adobe's "coziness" with Google and its cross-platform strategy.

In fact, with all the new platforms supported by AIR, it's getting harder to organize this section of the post. To that end, I am now doing my best to split this section according to the platform focus.


Most everyone I talked to at MAX was extremely excited to get started with Flex mobile development and floored by how easy it was to get an app on your Android phone using "Burrito." Along those lines, Narciso Jaramillo wrote an excellent introductory article covering how to get started on mobile development using Flex "Hero" and Flash Builder "Burrito" for the ADC (its important to note that NJ mentions support for other OS's such as Blackberry are planned at this point but only Android is currently supported). He also posts additional details and links for resources on his blog announcement. However other community members including a good one by Jonathan Campos and Rich Tretola posted one to InsideRIA. However, if you want to get started with AIR 2.5 mobile development, you'll be happy to know that the Adobe AIR Launchpad now supports mobile and will generate the necessary starting point for you including examples of a number of API's.

A number of more specific Flex tutorials came out this week including RJ Owen discussing how to override the native menu on Android using "Hero" in an application built upon RobotLegs. Also Jonathan Campos explained the PersistanceManager included in mobile Flex. Elad Elrom shared some of the details from his 360|MAX presentation on hacking native Android to allow AIR access unavailable API's such as messaging. While Christian Cantrell shows how to allow your AIR for Android Application to be Moved to the SD Card.

In other news, Todd Anderson released an update to his as3flobile ActionScript mobile components which now uses AS3signals for assigning delegate handling.

A number of new projects using AIR for Android made it to the marketplace including the Tour de Mobile Flex which also includes a separate apk file with all the examples. Christophe Coenraets released a new Mobile Trader Desktop demo application built with Flex and has also shared the source code. Many commercial (free and/or paid) applications are starting to use AIR for Android as well including Paulius Uza's Alchemist 2 puzzle game, Randy Troppmann's Trackometer or Josh Chernoff's Flickoid. In fact, enough has released that Christopher Caleb decided to pick his favorite six AIR for Android applications (all games at this point) on the marketplace.


The SDK is available for Blackberry tablet OS development and if you wanted to use Flash Builder "Burrito" to develop for it Renaun Erickson has created some Eclipse launch configurations for it.

Joe Johnston has already been using the SDK to create a fantasy football application for the Playbook and shares a video preview of it running.

Cool Flex & Flash Builder Stuff

While the big story out of MAX and the new Flex "Hero" and Flash Builder "Burrito" preview releases surrounded mobile and devices, that isn't the whole story. Andrew Shorten covers what's new in Flash Builder "Burrito" including the coding and workflow enhancements for example. Balaji Sridhar details the IDE productivity enhancements specifically that came in "Burrito" such as code templates and quick assist. Also, Jason San Jose's blog has been a fantastic resource for tips for Flash Builder users including new "Burrito" features such as text navigation.

Other Flex and Flash Builder news out of MAX included the "live design" which was previewed during the sneaks (as in, it's not available yet). If you want more video of the sneaks, Rich Tretola has posted most of them on his site. In addition, Deepa Subramanium shared a lot of the Flex product roadmap with the community at MAX and Adam Parrish posted a summary in InsideRIA.

In non-MAX related posts, Nick Tunney shares an good developer tutorial on Flex 4 skinning. Also, a new version of the FlexMonkey application was released for functional and UI testing of Flex and AIR applications.

Cool AIR Stuff

Of course, the big AIR news of the week is that AIR 2.5 is available. The AIR team blog has a summary of all the AIR related announcements from MAX (including the mobile ones). Speaking of MAX, the AIR Nerf gun sentinel project that I have featured here before made it into the day 2 keynote and has also been released as open source.

One new feature is the addition of downloadable web fonts, and Mihai Corlan has a tutorial on the ADC that covers using web fonts with AIR 2.5.

One application built in AIR that Adobe announced at MAX was the Project ROME "all-in-one content creation and publishing tool." While not geared specifically towards developers in any way, it is a pretty impressive example of what can be built with AIR for the desktop in conjunction with a Flex version available via the web.

Finally, Andy Matthews had a great tutorial showing how to detect external storage devices with AIR using HTML/JavaScript.

Cool ActionScript/Flash Stuff

There was a wealth of ActionScript and Flash related news from MAX including "Molehill," PixelBender 3D, Flash to HTML5 conversion and the Flash Media Gateway. Of course, the mainstream tech blogs and Twitter picked up on the HTML5 conversion tool right away including this post and video from Mashable. However, Molehill's hardware-accelerated 3D API seemed to garner much of the attention from MAX attendees like Christopher Caleb. Thibault Imbert shared all the Molehill related videos from MAX as well as video from one of the 4 sessions on Molehill. PixelBender3D was announced and previewed as part of the Day 2 sneaks so there isn't a ton of detail posted yet.

Speaking of PixelBender, Leo Bergman has actually used it to create an audio mixer with a dynamic track count.

Tm Krcha posts about the new Flash Media Gateway and its ability VoIP calls (with video) via the Flash Player.

Joa Ebert was part of the pre-show for the MAX day 1 keynote and explains how he helped to build the application whereby he was live coding a visualization the combined music being DJ'd with Audiotool and art being created by Erik Natzke.

Did you know that as of the Flash Builder "Burrito" release, you can create ActionScript projects without hacks and pain? Jason San Jose shares that tip.

In open source news, Christophe Herreman announces that a new version of the Spring ActionScript framework was released. Finally, Max has released what he claims is the fastest AS3 JSON library.


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My name is Brian Rinaldi and I am the Web Community Manager for Flash Platform at Adobe. I am a regular blogger, speaker and author. I also founded RIA Unleashed conference in Boston. The views expressed on this site are my own & not those of my employer.