Adobe AIR 2 SDK Now Available for Download

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Following up on our recent Adobe AIR 2 runtime availability announcement, we are pleased to also announce that the Adobe AIR 2 SDK is available for download! To help developers quickly get up to speed on the latest capabilities of this release, we are making a number of resources available including release nots, documentation, articles, videos and sample applications.

Release Notes

First, be sure to review the AIR 2 Developer Release Notes where you will find additional information about the latest features, tips and tricks and known issues. This document is an excellent resource for learning about the release. The developer release notes are also available in Japanese and Chinese as well.

Documentation

Links to the Adobe AIR 2 documentation can be found on here.

Articles

If you are looking for tips on how to get started with AIR 2, visit the Adobe AIR Developer Center. Below are several new articles and videos related to AIR 2 that will help you get started with some of the new capabilities in the runtime.

Sample Applications With Source Code

In addition to articles, our team developed a number of sample applications with source code available to help get your started on the new runtime features. Sample applications are available for Flex, Flash and HTML/JavaScript.

Several new sample applications, grouped by product area, that we are making available for AIR 2 include:

  • Native Process API
    • SearchCentral (Mac only) – SearchCentral lets you search your desktop, Google, or Wikipedia from within a single application. SearchCentral takes advantage of the new native process API to communicate with the Mac OS X Spotlight feature. It also uses the open document API to open files when double-clicked.
  • Networking
    • KeePIPE – a JavaScript-based application that lets users share files on the same network. The application demonstrates how the new networking capabilities can be used to create peer-to-peer applications. KeePIPE also demonstrates the new open document capabilities. If you use an application such as VMWare, you can use this application to transfer files between your VM and host computer.
    • HTTPeek – HTTPeek is a proxy which demonstrates the new ServerSocket APIs in AIR 2. It listens on a designated port, and proxies HTTP requests while displaying the both the request and response HTTP headers.
  • Mass Storage Device Detection
    • FileTile – FileTile demonstrates two new capabilities in AIR 2: mass storage device detection, and opening files with their default applications. When running, FileTile detects when a storage device (such as a USB drive or a Flip video camera) is connected, and displays the contents of the files on that device. Right-click on images to preview them, or double-click to open files with their default application.
  • Local Audio Recording
    • Microphone – Microphone records and plays back audio locally. It demonstrates a new feature in AIR 2 that lets you write audio locally without requiring a server. You can also speed-up or slow-down the playback speed of the recorded audio.
    • EchoExample – The EchoExample application records a sound, then plays it back simulating an echo using the new ability in AIR 2 to sample microphone data directly. It also demonstrates the use of the SoundTransform object to modify the sound dynamically before playing it back.
  • Multi-touch & Gestures
    • PhotoPhysics – PhotoPhysics is a multi-touch application that includes a built-in physics engine. Note: PhotoPhysics requires a multitouch device such as an HP TouchSmart PC or a Dell Latitude XT2 running Windows 7.
    • GeoTest – GeoTest lets you throw images around the screen using a built-in physics engine. This application demonstrates how a user with a non-multi-touch system may tests multi-touch APIs. Note: GeoTest does not require a multi-touch device.
    • SpriteFract – SpriteFract demonstrates a mouse-compatible, direct-manipulation interface. It has a built-in physics engine and leverages the new multi-touch APIs. It also uses PixelBender to asynchronously process a large amount of geometry data. Note: SprteFract does not require a multi-touch device. Optional multitouch devices include the HP TouchSmart PC or a Dell Latitude XT2 running Windows 7.
    • TouchTest – TouchTest allows you to drag, scale, and rotate images on the screen. This application demonstrates the new multi-touch capabilities in AIR 2. Note: TouchTest requires a multitouch device such as an HP TouchSmart PC or a Dell Latitude XT2 running Windows 7.
  • Print Feature Demo
    • PrintFeatureDemo – Demonstrates many of the powerful new printing capabilities of AIR 2 including printing without a dialog, querying the list of local printers, and more.

Feedback

If you have ideas on how to improve AIR, please visit our recently launched Adobe AIR Ideas website where you can submit and vote on new capabilities that you would like to see added to AIR. If you have a bug that you would like to report back to our team, please submit it back to our team by using our feedback form.

Thank you and happy developing!

Rob Christensen
Product Manager, Adobe AIR

Adobe AIR 2 Now Available!

We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the Adobe AIR 2 runtime. Starting today, you can download and install the new version at get.adobe.com/air/. Developers can now deploy applications built for AIR 2 on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. (Note that the AIR 2 SDK is available in CS5 and will be available as a free standalone download on Tuesday, June 15th.)

AIR APPS

The Adobe AIR runtime is already installed on nearly 300 million desktop computers. We have carefully crafted a seamless installation and upgrade experience that makes it very easy for developers to distribute apps on Mac OS, Windows and Linux. With a few clicks, the Adobe AIR “badge” embedded on the app download page takes care of installing or updating to the right version of AIR if needed. In addition, once a week AIR apps check to see if an AIR update is available, and if so, users are presented with the option to update to the most up‐to‐date version, helping to ensure that end users get the benefits of improved security and performance.

There are some amazing apps built with AIR that will work even better with AIR 2. Here are a few we expect will work better because of reduced memory usage and improved performance:

  • Graphic.ly: a splendid comics book reader that connects people who love sharing their passion about graphic novels
  • The complete National Geographic: 120 years of National Geographic magazine at your fingertips in stunning digital clarity
  • Moviefone: the latest HD movie trailers in outstanding quality
  • The Simpsons unleashed: experience The Simpsons like never before as the characters come alive and interact with you on your desktop.
  • Adobe Story: a collaborative story writing tool, part of the new CS Live online services.

WHAT’S NEW IN ADOBE AIR 2

Adobe AIR 2 is our most significant update to AIR since its original release two years ago.

Here is just one example of developer reaction to this release:

Adobe AIR 2 is the most robust & versatile yet. With minimum development effort, I was able to convert my AIR for Android app into a desktop app that runs on Windows, Mac OS X & even Linux. Being able reuse 90% of my code to build an application that runs on desktops, as well as mobiles is truly an amazing feature. AIR 2 has evolved into a ubiquitous platform!
— Lee Graham, Co‐Founder of TRImagination

We have made huge improvements in the overall performance of the runtime. Without changing your AIR apps, they will now use less CPU and up to 30% less memory.

We are also introducing dozens of new features and hundreds of new APIs for developers to take advantage of. For example, our much improved networking APIs will make it possible to build new apps, from multi‐player games to enterprise collaboration apps. AIR is now even more tightly integrated with the operating system, including better interaction with the file system, detecting mounting and un‐mounting of volumes, improved printing APIs, support for native installers and, of course, one of our most request features, support for integrating native code with your application using the NativeProcess API.

We’re very excited to see the new class of apps made possible by our new multi‐touch and gesture APIs. Those APIs are also available on the beta mobile version of Flash Player and on the AIR for Android pre‐release, and more and more laptops and desktops are multi‐touch capable. We believe this is a great opportunity to build apps with innovative user interactions.

We have also made improvements to HTML support in AIR 2, which you can take advantage of whether you are building an application using only HTML/CSS and JavaScript, or incorporating the HTMLLoader view as part of a Flash/ActionScript‐based application. We have added support for some CSS3 and HTML5 features as well, including CSS transforms, transitions and animations and the <canvas> tag. Additionally, the new JavaScript engine in AIR 2 has been clocked up to twice as fast as before.

A broad range of AIR 2 applications are expected to be available shortly after the release of the AIR 2 runtime, ranging from publicly available apps like the updated Avatar (movie) application from 20th Century Fox, to enterprise apps such as Intuit Spheres, a messaging and file sharing application.

FIND OUT MORE

Use the following resources to learn more about AIR 2:

We believe web developers should be able to use their skills and the tools they are already familiar with to build great standalone applications on any device. Our goal is to provide the best tools, frameworks and runtimes to give developers the shortest path from a brilliant idea to an application ready to distribute.

AIR 2 is a significant leap forward. We’re looking forward to the awesome new applications that you will build with AIR 2. I can’t wait to see what you will come up with!

Also, in case you didn’t know, Flash Player 10.1 for Windows, Mac OS and Linux is also available today. Get it from get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and read the Flash Player team’s blog post about the new release.

Help us improve Adobe AIR

In partnership with the team behind Adobe Labs, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new website designed to let our community help us improve Adobe AIR. The website, Adobe Ideas, allows you to submit ideas on how to improve AIR as well as vote and comment on existing ideas from others in the community. As you submit ideas, please be as specific as you can with your description, and let us know the problems you are trying to solve. In addition, our team will be using this website to communicate features that are actively in development.

Though we only launched this new website just a few days ago, we are already seeing a significant amount of traffic. We’re energized by the response so far and look forward to seeing your suggestions on Adobe Ideas!

Rob Christensen
Sr. Product Manager, Adobe AIR

Come meet the Flash Player team at FlashCamp San Francisco!

Mike Chambers posted today about FlashCamp San Francisco, which will be held at the Adobe offices on April 16th. The event is free, and focuses on all of the work we have been doing around Flash Player 10.1 and Flash Professional CS5.

The player team’s own Jim Corbett and Trevor McCauley will be presenting sessions, and members from all of the platform teams will be at the event. This is a great opportunity to get up to speed on the latest in Flash Player 10.1 and Flash Professional CS5…plus you get to to meet and have a beer with product teams.

Registrations for FlashCamps generally fill up fast, so make sure to register if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Register for FlashCamp San Francisco

Welcome to the Flash Player Team Blog

Welcome to the Flash Player Team development team blog. I’m Emmy Huang , a Group Product Manager for Flash Player. The team wanted to start this blog to share with you information about how things work in Flash Player, why they work the way they do, tips, tricks, and other interesting behind-the-scenes details.

While there are several individual team bloggers, such as Tinic, Mike and Trevor, this blog presents an opportunity for the team at large to also contribute to the conversation. And of course, don’t forget about using the public bugbase to file bugs and feature requests!

The team is excited about using this blog to engage with the community, so stay tuned as I start to get various team members blogging here over the coming months.

Best,
Emmy Huang
Group Product Manager, Adobe Flash Player

p.s. Not that the engineers are capable of “marketing-speak”, but we’ll do our best to give you the straight story.

Important Development Workflow Change in AIR 2

If you’re an AIR application developer, and you tend to run an installed version of an application at the same time that you’re developing it, this post contains important information on how your development workflow will need to change for AIR 2.

In AIR 1.5.3, we made some changes to the way that AIR files are signed. Previously, publisher IDs were computed using developers’ certificates, and were associated with applications at install time. When running the same application from ADL (which is what you’re doing when running or debugging from Flash Professional and Flash Builder), unless the -pubid flag is passed in, the application runs without any publisher ID. The result was that you could run an application from ADL while running the installed version of the same application simultaneously.

Starting with AIR 1.5.3, publisher IDs are specified rather than computed. If no publisher ID is specified (which is the default), the application is installed without a publisher ID. Since ADL typically runs applications without a publisher ID, and since only one instance of an AIR application can run at a time, the result is that if an installed version of an application is running, you cannot use ADL to launch the same application. In other words, you cannot run and develop the same application at the same time. (For more information on the changes we made in 1.5.3 and the reasoning behind them, see Oliver Goldman’s post, Upcoming Certificate Renewal Changes in Adobe AIR.)

This new behavior isn’t technically a bug since the previous behavior was not so much intended as it was a convenient byproduct of the signing and installation process. That said, we realize this is an important workflow for many developers (including myself), and we plan to re-enable it in the future. In fact, not only should you be able to run and debug the same application at the same time, but we intend to actually support the workflow this time.

Explicitly implementing and supporting this workflow has two advantages over the previous behavior:

  1. We can make sure we never "break" it in the future. (When things just kind of work accidentally, you never know when they might stop working.)
  2. We can make it even more comprehensive and useful than the previous behavior. (We have some good ideas we’re currently considering, but feel free to post suggestions here.)

In the meantime, if you find that you really need to be able to run and debug the same application at the same time, I’ve found that the best work-around is to change your application ID in your application descriptor file. For example, I’m currently working on an application called MailBrew which I also usually have running in the background. The installed application ID is com.christiancantrell.mailbrew, but while developing it, I change the ID to test.com.christiancantrell.mailbrew. Not only does this give me the workflow that I’m used to, but it also allows my test application to use a different application storage directory, encrypted local store, etc. Just make sure that you change your application ID back before building a release version since if you don’t, updates to your existing version will not be allowed. (Note that you can also use third-party tools like Apache Ant to manage this switch for you.)

We apologize if this change negatively affects your development workflow, and we intend to not only re-enable the old workflow, but to also make it better than it was before.

Adobe AIR 1.5.3 Now Available

The Adobe AIR 1.5.3 runtime and SDK are now available for download. This release includes an updated version of Flash Player, security updates and several bug fixes. The developer release notes include critical information that all developers building AIR applications should be sure to read including important information related to certificate renewals (see earlier blog post) as well as bug fixes.

Highlights of some of the important changes in this release:

  • If you have deployed an existing Adobe AIR application using AIR 1.5.2 or earlier and you want to update your application to use the 1.5.3 namespace, you will need to specify the old publisher ID of your application in your descriptor. Instructions on how to find your publisher ID and specify it in your descriptor are described in the release notes.
  • The process for changing certificates in an update to a deployed application has changed. Beginning with AIR 1.5.3, certificate renewals will no longer be handled automatically and you will need to use the migrate feature of ADT. Please learn more about this topic by reading the release notes.

Critical issues fixed in this release:

  • When an intermediate certificate expires, it is no longer possible to sign an application with a renewed certificate (fixed by removing the publisher ID).
  • The AIR application installer crashes on Linux systems using AMD Phenom processors.

Important links:

Localized versions of the release notes for both developers and end users are also available.

If you have questions related to AIR 1.5.3, please leave us a comment.

Adobe AIR 1.5.3 Coming Soon

We are very close to shipping Adobe AIR 1.5.3, the next minor update to the AIR runtime. If you are a developer building Adobe AIR apps, it is highly recommended that you review the blog post "Upcoming Certificate Renewal Changes in Adobe AIR" by Oliver Goldman, a member of our development team. The release notes for AIR 1.5.3 will include additional information on the upcoming certificate renewal changes. Once AIR 1.5.3 is made publicly available, we will be sure to link to those release notes from a new post on our blog.

JavaScript Memory and CPU Profiling in Adobe AIR 2

One of the biggest challenges our team continued to hear from JavaScript developers using Adobe AIR 1.5 was that it was too difficult to track down CPU and memory issues within their HTML-based AIR applications. To help JavaScript developers detect and resolve these issues, we have introduced new runtime support for CPU and memory profiling of HTML-based AIR applications in the Adobe AIR 2 beta.

By doing so, tools like Aptana Studio can build powerful features that make analyzing memory and CPU usage of JavaScript execution within an AIR app a breeze. In the video above, Paul Colton, CEO of Aptana, provides an overview of how Aptana Studio is able to take advantage of the new runtime support and build powerful new features to assist developers in tracking down performance issues.

Some of the features included in the new Adobe AIR 2 Beta Plug-In for Aptana Studio include:

  • Live Objects View
    • Shows current information about how much current and cumulative memory is used by the application
    • Shows the number of current and cumulative instances of objects
  • Memory Usage View
    • Peak memory used
    • Current memory used
  • Memory Snapshot and Object References Views
    • Captures the number of class instances as well as memory used at a point in time
    • Select an object to view its references
    • Allocation trace information reveals where the objects are allocated
  • Loitering Objects View
    • Displays the memory usage difference between two memory snapshots
    • Helps detect loitering objects that are still present
  • Performance Profile View
    • Displays a list of all method calls along with amount of time for each to run
  • Method Statistics View
    • Presents information on the callers and callees of a function including statistics
    • Quickly navigate to location of the function in the code

Both Adobe AIR 2 and Adobe AIR 2 Beta Plug-in for Aptana Studio are currently in beta. If you run into issues or have feature requests, both the Adobe and Aptana teams would appreciate hearing your feedback on these new capabilities.

Next steps:

  1. Watch the tutorial video for a quick introduction on the new profiler capabilities
  2. Download the Adobe AIR 2 Beta Plug-In
  3. Discuss the feature on the Adobe AIR 2 Beta forums or post a comment below

Note: For Flex and Flash developers, support for application profiling has been available in Adobe Flex Builder for some time. We are very excited to bring this support to JavaScript developers as well.

Official Avatar Interactive Trailer Powered by Adobe AIR

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To promote the upcoming release of the much anticipated Avatar motion picture, 20th Century Fox just released an interactive trailer powered by Adobe AIR that provides exclusive content to fans including video interviews with the cast. In addition, the interactive trailer provides a way for fans to track official updates posted to Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Avatar opens worldwide on December 18th, 2009.

Related links: