PolitiFact App Named #1 for News in iTunes

The PolitiFact app, built with the new Adobe Flash Builder and Flex updates, has really taken off. We learned yesterday that it was listed as the number one news app (number 78 overall currently) in the iTunes Store!

Created by the Pulitzer Prize-winning St. Petersburg Times, PolitiFact features the Truth-O-Meter, rating the accuracy of statements made by lobbyists, Congress, the President and other political gadflies. From a development standpoint, the app only took three weeks to build because the new Adobe Flash Builder and Adobe Flex updates helped the developers use the same content, data and logic from the existing website.

PoltiFact is now available on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS. To learn more about the app, check it out here. Congrats, guys!

Build Mobile Apps for Android Devices, BlackBerry PlayBook, iPhone and iPad Today!

Since our April news announcing Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5, we began with support for building mobile apps across multi-device platforms, first with Android. Today we’re happy to announce updates to Flash Builder and the Flex framework that now offer support for iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook. As a result, developers can quickly build and distribute apps through the Android Market, BlackBerry App World and Apple App Store using one tool chain, programming language and code base—a first for developers!

Our own Flash Platform evangelist Serge Jespers shows us what “one tool, one framework, one codebase” means, and demonstrates an app developed for different devices using Flash Builder and Flex:

Developers from different industries such as government, entertainment and gaming have been using Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 to help them reduce development time and the cost of delivery to build some pretty amazing apps across the major platforms:

- Politifact.com: A project of the St. Petersburg Times and a 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner, the PolitiFact.com team extended its website content into a mobile app available across leading app stores. The PolitiFact.com app helps readers find truth in politics by investigating statements by members of Congress, the President, lobbyists and other Washington D.C. personalities. 

- Netflix Queue Manager: Using Adobe AIR 2.5, Flash Builder 4.5.1 and the Flex framework, RIA design and development group UnitedMindset created the Netflix Queue Manager, which allows users to connect with and manage their Netflix queue across devices and features intuitive search capabilities. With success in the Android Market—over 340,000 downloads since October 2010—the app is coming soon to BlackBerry AppWorld and the Apple App Store.

- Mr. Mixit and Pyramix: Web design and development agency HD Interactive first released Pyramix, a word game combining the strategy of Cryptoquote and the simplicity of Boggle, and Mr. Mixit, a spin-based matching game where you mix record labels against the clock, to Apple’s App Store. The new updates allowed HD Interactive to use the same code to deliver the apps to Android Market and BlackBerry AppWorld in record time. 

- Muni Tracker: Are you from the San Francisco Bay Area or maybe planning to visit? This app helps you track locations, arrival times and bookmark your favorite stops and lines for Muni (San Francisco Municipal Railway), San Francisco’s public transit system. The developer was able to quickly and easily port this original Android app to iOS.

- Conqu is an easy to use yet powerful task management tool designed to help conquer an e-mail inbox and get things done. Using Flash Builder 4.5, the developer, AsFusion, was able deploy the app on multiple platforms with minimal effort. They were also able to reduce the time to develop the app since there was no need to debug different code for each individual platform.

Android and iOS users can also check out these apps from the Adobe Mobile Showcase at m.adobeshowcase.com. As always, we’d love to see and hear what you’re creating with our technology – whether it’s mobile, web or desktop apps. In fact, we encourage you to upload videos about what you’re building to the Flash Builder 4.5 Widget to share and even vote on projects from around the community!

Flash Platform, "Molehill" and Gaming Updates

This is a big week for game developers. Thousands of game developers converged on San Francisco for the gaming industry’s largest conference – Game Developers Conference (GDC). The Flash community kicked it off early with the Flash Gaming Summit (FGS), a day-long conference focused exclusive on Flash based games on Sunday. The energy from the community at both these events has been exciting.

I wanted to share some more thoughts on how important the Flash Platform is to gaming and what Adobe is doing to push the envelope.

Innovation

At FGS (Flash Gaming Summit) this year, Adobe made the Molehill 3D GPU accelerated APIs available to developers through the Adobe AIR and Flash Player Incubator program.  First demonstrated at Adobe MAX last October, “Molehill” is the code name for a new set of low-level, GPU-accelerated 3D APIs that will make it possible to deliver sophisticated 3D experiences across almost every computer and device connected to the Internet. Today, Adobe Flash Player 10.2, renders thousands of non z-buffered triangles at approximately 30 Hz. With the new 3D APIs, developers can expect hundreds of thousands of z-buffered triangles to be rendered at HD resolution in full screen at around 60 Hz. Here is Thibault Imbert, product manager for Adobe Flash Player, previewing Molehill at MAX:

Frima Studio has also built a version of the 3D game “Zombie Tycoon” (originally built for Sony PSP) that shows the 3D capabilities delivered by Molehill. To experience this game, please make sure that you have the latest Flash Player incubator build installed.

Reach

The Flash Platform is the de-facto standard for online games today and the only platform that can deliver the rich interactivity, rapid innovation and consistency across browsers and devices. While the dominance of Flash for gaming on desktops is well known, game developers have also been using Flash Platform technologies to target smartphones, tablets and other devices. The m.flash.com site, for example, showcases great games that run inside the browser on devices supporting Flash Player and – with over 130M smartphones expected to have the runtime installed this year – game developers have a great platform to bring all of their casual games to a large number of users.

With AIR, a superset of Flash Player, developers can bring their games as standalone apps to iOS, Android and soon BlackBerry Tablet OS. AppBrain for example lists the most popular mobile gaming apps on Android in several categories including Arcade, Puzzle, and Cards. With more than 84M devices able to run AIR apps today, developers can already reach users across devices while leveraging existing work and tools they know.

Community and Ecosystem

The Flash Platform would not be successful without the ecosystem of partners and a passionate community. In this video interview from “Down Under,” indie game developer Terry Paton talks about why he uses Flash.  As a long-time game developer who has created 100+ games, Terry produces the games and content he likes with Flash and publishes them to the Android Market and Adobe InMarket and other sites.  Terry says that without Flash, he’d struggle to develop games, share them with others and make money from his development efforts.

We are thrilled with the overwhelming response from the community to the announcement of Molehill. As always, we will continue to add innovation to the Flash Platform and provide our developers with the widest possible reach across screens.

Flash Platform Services: The Social service

Increasingly the Web is social. It is becoming important to make applications social. To make it easier to integrate your application with Facebook, MySpace and other social networks, we made the Social service available through Adobe Labs.

The Social service (currently in beta) enables you to write applications that integrate leading social networks such as Facebook and MySpace into your apps. The service, implemented through an easy to use API, provides an abstraction layer that connects with different networks. This removes the complexity and repetitive work of having to implement multiple APIs in order to integrate social features from multiple social networks into your application. The service also insulates developers against underlying social network changes, as the underlying APIs at the supported social networks change, the service adapts to those changes so you don’t have to rush updated versions of your app to market.

Check out the Social service on Adobe Labs.

Flash Platform Services: The Collaboration service

At MAX 2009, we announced the commercial availability of the Collaboration service. The service is available as Adobe LiveCycle Collaboration Service (LCCS) and is part of the Adobe Flash Platform Services.

With this service, developers can easily add real-time, multi-user collaboration and social capabilities into their applications. Social interaction over the web has moved beyond just e-mail and messaging with friends and family. Users now expect in-context collaborative functionality in a wide variety of applications across business, education, and entertainment. Social games are a common example, but users increasingly require similar real-time interactions in other areas, such as online customer service, e-learning applications, and alongside news and sports broadcasts.

See examples
A number of developers are already using the service to power their applications. See the examples in this showcase.

Get started for free
Visit the LCCS developer portal and create an account. Just use your existing Adobe ID or create a new one. Then, download the SDK Navigator, which will guide you through the LCCS SDK.

The service is available worldwide and can be purchased today with a payment card. For detailed information on our pay-per-use pricing model, please check out our Pricing FAQ.

Learn how to use the service
We have created a number of videos to help you get started including one that tells you how to build your first application with the Collaboration service. You can access the videos and get more information at the Adobe Developer Connection.

Flash Platform Services: Explaining the Distribution service

The Flash Platform is used to create a large amount of applications and content on the Web. One of the challenges that developers face after they have created applications is getting users to notice them and use them. The Distribution service helps solve this problem by providing ways to promote applications and content to users.

In the last few years we have seen a clear shift in how people use the Web – they are spending a lot of their time on social media sites and on mobile devices. The Distribution service was especially designed to promote applications to social media and mobile users.

How do you use the Distribution service?

1. Establish an account
Install the Distribution Manager (available here through the install badge) and login using your Adobe ID. If you don’t have an Adobe ID, create one here.
loginDM.jpg

Find your partner ID in the lower right corner of the Distribution Manager
pidDM.jpg

2. Add sharing to your application
Install the extension for your preferred authoring tool (Flash Professional, Flex Builder 3 or Dreamweaver). It is easy to make your applications sharable by adding the Share menu (tutorials).
shareMenu.jpg
Here is an example of a sharable application with the Share menu.

You can share your applications to over 70 destinations including Facebook, MySpace, iGoogle, mobile devices and the desktop. A complete list of the supported destinations is available here. Note that you will have to create native versions of your applications on mobile platforms where Flash is not supported.

3. Manage the application
Approximately 15 minutes after you’ve loaded the Share menu during your application testing, the application will appear in the Distribution Manager. Once your application appears in the Distribution Manager, there are 3 main activities you can perform (tutorials):
a. View the analytics
b. Earn money with your application by opting in to host cross-promotions
c. Assure installs for your application creating a new campaign

Here is a screenshot of the Distribution Manager with some analytics:
analyticsDM.jpg

Who should use the Distribution service?
The Distribution service is broad enough to be used by anyone who is creating applications targeted towards social and mobile users. Advertisers, publishers and game developers will find the Distribution service particularly attractive.

Advertisers
Advertisers can use the Distribution service as part of an effective, predictable and scalable social media and mobile campaign. Advertisers are finding that branded applications are the most effective ad-unit on social media sites.These applications blend interesting content with an advertising message.

The Distribution service lets advertisers make their branded applications sharable on social, mobile, and desktop destinations. When users on social sites embed them on their pages, they are implicitly endorsing the brand to their friends. Their friends can then take this application and place it on their own pages or send it to their mobile devices. In addition to getting distribution through “earned media,” advertisers can use paid promotions to get guaranteed installs for their applications within the specified timeframe. Advertisers also get persistent real-estate on the user’s page and can push new messages. The Distribution service collects analytics data that advertisers can use to measure the success of their campaign.

Publishers
With the growth of social media, online publishers have to find ways to go beyond their own web destinations to reach their audience on social networking sites and mobile devices. Publishers are increasingly letting consumers take pieces of their content to their social pages or mobile devices. An effective way of syndicating content is to build widgets and applications.

The Distribution service lets publishers syndicate their applications to more than 70 destinations, including Facebook, MySpace, iGoogle, desktops, and mobile devices. Once a consumer has installed an application on his or her social page or mobile device, the publisher can push new content to the consumer.

These applications often help publishers indirectly monetize the content by driving users back to the main website. To help publishers directly monetize their sharable content, the Distribution service has built in ad hosting. By turning on ad hosting, publishers can make money with their applications.

Game developers
Game developers often distribute their games by listing them on game portals. This approach is effective but can miss the opportunity to get games to users via social networks and on mobile devices.

Game developers can use the Distribution service to make their games sharable distribute them on social media sites, mobile devices, and desktops. The Distribution service also provides ad hosting, which enables game developers to make more money. This ad hosting does not conflict with other advertising in the game, so game developers do not have to remove existing advertising. Finally, game developers can track distribution and engagement and use the data to improve the engagement and viral lift of the game.

Announcing Adobe Flash Platform Services

AFPS.jpg I am excited to announce that the Flash Platform has added services to its collection – Adobe Flash Platform Services. Adobe Flash Platform services are online, hosted services that allow developers to add innovative capabilities to applications with a predictable, cost efficient deployment model.

The first three services that are being delivered are Distribution, Collaboration and Social (coming soon).

Here are brief descriptions of each of the services:
Distribution: Distribute, promote, track, and monetize applications on social networks, mobile devices, and desktops.
Collaboration: Enhance applications with real-time collaboration features, including chat, audio, and video.
Social: Enable applications to integrate with leading social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

In the next few weeks, I will describe the services in greater detail and show how customers are using them.