Livecycle@MAX 2010 – Pick of the Week!

What can I say? There are so many quality Livecycle ES sessions at MAX this year that it makes it hard to pick a new candidate each week to highlight. Nevertheless, after much investigation, here is the one I want to promote.

Advanced Dynamic Form Design

Join author J.P. Terry for a hands-on lab covering advanced form design techniques and his latest tips and tricks. For instance, you’ll learn how to add an auto-completion feature to a PDF form that provides relevant suggestions as the user types into the form. See other advanced techniques that make form completion much easier and more accurate. The techniques will be taught within the context of the Institutional Investor case study from Terry’s book “Paperless: Real-World Solutions with Adobe Technology.”

Tracks: Design, Develop
Audience: Web Designer, Web Developer, Application Developer
Skill Level: Advanced
Speaker: J.P. Terry
Product: LiveCycle ES
Times:
Monday, October, 25th, 12:45 pm – 2:15 pm
Tuesday, October, 26th, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Note that this is an advanced level session. I want to attend this myself and get the tips right from J.P. Just to let you know who he is, J.P. Terry is the CEO of SmartDoc Technologies, a leading consulting firm in the field of intelligent document solutions with offices in NY, NJ, and Beijing, China. SmartDoc specializes in LiveCycle and has developed paperless solutions for Fidelity Investments, Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup. J.P. often writes and speaks about dynamic PDF and is the author of “Creating Dynamic Forms with Adobe LiveCycle Designer” (Adobe Press, 2007) and “Paperless: Real-World Solutions with Adobe Technology” (Adobe Press, 2010). Prior to SmartDoc Technologies, J.P. founded BrandWizard Technologies, a division of Omnicom (OMC), and was the CEO of BrandWizard from 2000 until 2005.

Remember, Livecycle@MAX also sold out early last year. Register now if you are going so you don’t have to wait another year. I’m going to be there the whole week.
See you!

Submit your app/site for the MAX Awards

“Aaah… I won’t bother with submitting my app/site… I never win anything…”. I bet some of last year’s winners thought exactly that but they went for it anyway… and won! The Adobe MAX Awards is a global awards program that recognizes the best uses of Adobe software for creating expressive applications that enable people to [...]

Our new iPhone page at Adobe.com :-)

photo

We receive literally millions of requests at our Adobe.com pages from iPhone OS users looking for a Flash Player download.

Given our support from the top 19/20 OEMs across multiple device platforms we thought it prudent to provide “more info” to those poor iPhone users that got stuck with a limited browsing experience.

Hope you like it :-)

Flash Platform Extends to the iPhone Platform

So you heard it right, we have brought the Flash Platform to the iPhone OS for applications.  In fact some of the applications are already on the Apple AppStore for you to download

We thought it was fun to put them up in secret and working with a very very small set of developers, and our engineering teams I think we’ve really proven that Flash can run effectively on the iPhone without changes.

The applications are:

  • Just Letters
  • Finger Paint
  • Red Hood
  • Chroma Circuit
  • FickleBlox
  • That Roach Game
  • Trading Stuff
  • South Park Avatar Creator

Enabling the Flash Platform to run on the iPhone has been a really tough task, and one that results in some limitations.  Though you have told us that this is a top priority for your mobile projects, and so we’ve worked for over a year to build this solution.

For developers the new tooling will be made available with the Flash Professional tool, which will also be in pre-release later this year. So today you can begin your work on mobile devices targeting Flash Player 10, or Adobe AIR 2.0 Apis in time.

One caveat of this Ahead of Time compilation method is that we can only use AS3 code.  AOT compilation means that we have no interpreter on the device, as per Apple’s restriction.  Without the interpreter you won’t be able to load SWFs unless they were packaged with your application, boo Apple :-)

This new tool set and a subset of apis from Adobe AIR will have all manner of features enabled, along with the hardware acceleration, battery, memory and rendering performance increases that we have worked on in Flash Player 10.1.

These are:
• Photo selection from file system
• Contact selection from the address book
• Camera
• Cut/copy/paste
• Accessory support
• In app purchase support
• Peer to peer
• Maps
• iPod library access
• Compass
• Push notifications
• Audio recording
• Video recording
• Parental controls

Of course because of the huge amount of work involved, and lack of public API access from Apple we have to drop a few features too.

• Embedded HTML content
• RTMPE (this was our call)
• H.264 Video (you can use URLRequest)
• Dynamically loading SWFs (containing AS3 code)
• PixelBender

So what about Flex?  Well here at Adobe MAX we’ll have a session specifically around Adobe Flex Mobile Framework, codename “Slider”.  We expect that in time we’ll enable this version of the framework to run effectively on the iPhone.  You’ll be using the same tools, Apis and core framework elements.

Although there would be nothing technically stopping you from using Flex, you would suffer huge performance penalties, and have to re-write the components for mobile and device interactions.

Go and get started then today!

Flash Player 10.1 – Hardware Acceleration Ahoy!

Some key announcements around our work with Qualcomm and NVIDIA with Flash Player 10.1, the version number for our new desktop and mobile runtime.  Some would argue (and I’m sure some did) that if .1 means only incremental changes then we should have called it Flash 11!  The work that has gone into this runtime, we have doubled the number of supported platforms including Symbian, Android, Palm, Windows Mobile, Linux, Windows and Mac OS.

It’s a huge investment made possible by the incredible talent that is Adobe’s Flash Engineering team.  Let’s see the Silverlight team rock something like that out!

One of the biggest challenges has been performance for constrained devices.  GPU acceleration and optimizations by ARM, Intel and our OEM partners have enabled us to create a better player, one that uses less RAM, less battery and renders faster on constrained devices.

Don’t you just love the Open Screen Project??

A big round of applause for our engineering teams!

RIM joins the Open Screen Project

At Adobe MAX 2009 RIM has become the 19th of the top 20 OEMs to begin work on integrating the Flash Player on their mobile platform.  This is a landmark collaboration announcement in our drive to bring the full Internet to mobile phones and devices.

Over the past few years we have seen RIM devices expand out of the business user category to become a consumer platform.  Many of my friends now use the Curve for Facebook, messaging and surfing the web and they really love their phones.

That’s my guage on success:

  1. Do my friends own them?
  2. Does my mum know what a Blackberry is?

For developers the Blackberry platform currently provides a Java API and framework for easy application development.  There’s no arguing that the Java runtime has enabled some great applications, and as the App World expands we’ve seen some nice content start to come in.

Our OEM engagements seem much more rounded with RIM joining, a more complete story if you will.

Google joins the Open Screen Project

Recently you probably noticed that I’ve been working on Android a little, and for good reason of course.  Though it would be easy to focus this post on Android, let’s just look at some of the places where Google use Flash today.

  • Youtube
  • Google Maps
  • Site Search
  • Web Search
  • Chrome / OS

So you see Flash is everywhere at Google and we’ve been working together for years to build upon this relationship.  Google joining the Open Screen Project may seem like a matter of course given our demo’s last year and given their investments in the Flash Platform.

In the past few months we’ve seen stellar device launches from HTC and Motorola using Android.  Those of you with beady eyes will also have spotted others from Sony Ericsson and “others” coming down the pipe soon.

I want ALL of them, but might stick to the Hero for now.

Oh, in case they’re watching.  Dear HTC, please fix the SSL certificates for Exchange email eh?

Google Team, welcome to the Open Screen Project

MAX 2009 – David Blaine joins my session with Bill Perry!

Screen shot 2009-10-01 at 17.55.54

I tried and tried to get Britney following from last years Karaoke mobile application, alas Nokia have beat me to it with the Magical Legend David Blaine!

This week I have spent time in our offices in San Francisco getting caught up on our huge amount of announcements and activities around Adobe MAX.  At MAX this year in LA we’ll be showcasing our progress on Flash Player for mobile and devices.  I love surprises, and in fact I have purposefully avoided seeing some of the demos and devices, there’s nothing worse than someone saying “wait this next bit is huuuge!!!”.

Though some surprises coming out of the event I can’t ignore, and those of you that have worked with me in the past couple of weeks will be rattling in your chairs with anticipation!  You know who you are ;-0

Of course we have a multitude of sessions related to the MAX announcements regarding the Flash Platform doubling it’s platform support.  Here are those sessions that I consider to be highlights of the show, or if I were going to MAX!

  • Flash Lite: Developing and Distributing Mobile Applications
  • Building Mobile Applications with Flash Professional (Updated)
  • From Big Screen to Browser, Desktop, and Mobile Device with Adobe Flash CS4
  • Multi-touch and the Flash Platform
  • Bootcamp: Multiscreen Streaming Video
  • Preview: Flex for Mobile Devices
  • Designing and Developing for the Multiscreen Web
  • Tackling Memory and Performance in Flash, Flex, and Adobe AIR
  • Designing Applications for Desktops and Mobile Devices (Updated)
  • Open Screen Project: What It Is and Why You Should Care (Updated)
  • Design Considerations for Contextually Aware Solutions
  • Bootcamp: Multiscreen Development
  • Adobe Wave: Increasing the Use of your Websites and Applications
  • Mobile Application Development with Nokia Web Runtime
  • Building World-Class Multimedia Applications on Nokia Devices
  • Open Screen Project Fund: Fueling the Future of Flash Experiences
  • Mobile Application Development with Nokia Web Runtime

If you’re not coming then I suggest you hook yourself up with the MAX Companion, a Twitter application from the XD team here at Adobe.  If you use an alternative client for Twitter then follow me @markadoherty and I’ll try to keep up as best I can.

Screen shot 2009-10-01 at 17.49.15

Contextual Applications

Following on from my Flash on the Beach session on Contextual App development you can hear some of the ideas and values for products that run everywhere.  I thought I would skim over the first principles of Contextual Apps, which is a term you’ll hear coming out of MAX this year.

So last year we coined the term “multi-screen”, it was used to describe applications that ran on desktop-mobile-TV and the web.  What we learnt is that this is confusing, and for some it alluded to write-once run anywhere.  Over the past months we’ve started to fine tune this idea and build a picture of how applications are experienced, and therefore designed to run on different platforms.  It turns out that screen resolution or by platform design isn’t enough because users have different intentions for each, so “Contextual apps” describes a model where the user, the platform and their location, time etc all play a part in the development of a product.

Screen shot 2009-09-30 at 11.39.14

Context isn’t just about Flash, after all most Flash experiences are within the browser which is a context.  Above you can see the varying interfaces and interaction models used by the New York Times company across platforms, everything from the desktop to mobile, paper to wap and passive to interactive contexts.  Each of these applications is build using the same back-end services and content, but with varying business models.  It’s important to recognize when Advertising is a better business model that subscription, payment is contextual too.

Screen shot 2009-09-30 at 11.37.28

Fanbase is an example that you are probably all familiar with by now from Atlantic Records and AgencyNet.  The desktop application is a fully fledged experience including notifications, chat, audio, video and pictures.  Yet in the mobile and TV versions some of these features were removed because they aren’t relevant for those contexts.  In the Digital Home you are probably more interested in listening to music and watching video, it’s about understanding the passive nature of the big screen.  In fact Fanbase on the desktop also has a button to change the interface into a widgetized view, reflecting the use case where a user wants to work/browse whilst connecting with their favourite artist and fans.

Even the installation is contextual, reflecting not only the application served for installation, but the HTML page used to reach to that consumer.

Screen shot 2009-09-30 at 11.37.02

Here’s a sneak from our Open Screen Project Funded apps from unknown vector. uvlayer is an application that allows a user to manage their favourite content in the cloud.  As a user you can store your photos, favourite videos on youtube and share your content across social media sites.  The mobile version takes the context of the hardware into account, you see mobile phones are about reactive browsing and messaging.  Increasingly however they are about taking photos and videos and using Nokia’s Platform Services this application is capable of uploading images and videos taken on your mobile phone.

Using Flash 10, AIR and Flash Lite 3.1 the team at uvlayer have successfully implemented an incredibly rich experience that runs across platforms, whilst really holding to the context of the application and the user.

Screen shot 2009-09-30 at 11.15.07

You can see some new videos from the Open Screen Project funded applications over at the new Youtube channel.

As always feel free to drop any questions in the comments box..

MAX Lab: Making Real-Time Data Come Alive with Flex Data Visualization

If you are attending Adobe MAX, I’d like to invite you to come to what I think will be a fun BYOL (bring your own laptop) lab that I am co-presenting with Holly Schinsky.
I’ve always been fascinated with data visualization, especially data that needs analysis as it is generated.  For example, financial transaction data can [...]