Kevin Lynch (Adobe’s CTO) blogs about Flash, past and future, Apple iPad, HTML5, OSP and more.

Adobe’s CTO Kevin Lynch just published a blogpost with his thoughts on Flash, past and future, Apple iPad, HTML5, OSP and more.
The blogpost entitled “Open Access to Content and Applications” gives you a good idea on where Adobe and the Flash Platform is going and what we are doing with our Open Screen Project partners. [...]

New video of iPhone apps built with Flash CS5

Now that the Flash/iPad issue has been done to death on this blog, I can now get back to simply talking about Flash. Adrian Ludwig recently released a video showing some of the newer applications that have been created for the iPhone using Flash CS5. The performance is getting better and better. On this one, Adobe, Apple, and developers all benefit.

Lee

iPad – full Internet my ASS

Disclaimer: I am an Adobe employee and these views are my own.

Yesterday we saw the launch of the iPad from Apple, and we were taken on the whirlwind of marketing showmanship.  The iPad is undoubtedly a revolutionary product, and just like the iPhone OS, Apple are clearly set on a path to close down the web and ultimately markets for books and magazines, just as they did with music.  Well maybe this is a good thing for sales and the Apple stock price, but the Internet is meant to be more for those who use it.  Fundamentally it’s an information, education and entertainment tool founded on open innovation.  How can a liberal company try and lock it down??

Why would a student seriously want to go to the library?  That’s so 1980!

The keynote by Steve Jobs yesterday was, as always, a masterpiece of marketing and you will have undoubtedly seen the “plug-in missing” boxes throughout the browsing demo.  Apple told us that “a new device must be better at some things”, defining the iPad as “the best browsing experience of any device”; he even included laptops in that definition.

Is that an ignorant statement?  Obviously not, Steve is a very smart guy so I think he’s in the business of redefining what the web is.  Maybe he’ll brand it the iNet.



The interesting part of this keynote was in their pitch, you see Apple is staffed with smart people, so everything about the pitch was deliberate.  When browsing the web at the New York Times, Time and National Geographic websites Steve paused momentarily to show that Flash was missing.  He’s a perfectionist, so why do you think he would do that?

Well I believe that Apple were declaring that the web does not need or want Flash, that includes me with my Macbook Pro, 2 iPhones and an iPod Touch.  For consumers it is extremely misleading to talk about a web without Flash, in fact any plugin or common technology.  How do I know that? Well millions of iPhone users are visiting our Flash Player download page in the vein hope that they’ll be able to watch Hulu, iPlayer, 4OD and any number of sites.  They don’t necessarily know what Flash is, but ~700million of them know that they could visit these pages and engage with the content on their desktop computer.

Is it fundamentally wrong to describe the modern web as “complete”, without the plugins that have existed for almost as long as it has?  Plugins that many see as the leaders of, and a required element of, web innovation?

At Adobe we believe in an open web, one where plugins like Flash and PDF Reader, Unity3D, Gears and even Silverlight can all co-exist and compete on fair terms.  We work extremely hard to bring Flash to all devices, and lately of course we have invested a huge effort in bringing the Flash Platform to mobile devices too.  Today we’re working with 19 of the top 20 manufacturers of mobile phones within the Open Screen Project; but not Apple, and certainly not for the want of trying.

To make matters worse, the problems didn’t end with Flash being absent on the iPad.  Apple also launched the iBookStore, a separate and new store for Books and I presume magazines or articles in time.  In essence this is a great step forward for many, and Apple has elected to the use the EPub format which is fully supported in InDesign CS4.

So what gives?  It’s all in the detail, the DRM, user locked, device locked detail.  Forget sharing your books and movies, forget reading your books on your laptop sometimes or transferring them onto any other device.

In sum, I am hugely disappointed in Apple’s iPad and I feel that the vast majority of consumers will reject it; as long as Apple come clean about its shortcomings first.

Building iPad Applications with Flash

Today Apple announced the Apple iPad and like many of you, we at Adobe are looking forward to getting our hands on one of these devices. This is an exciting time to be a software designer with an explosion of new devices and we look forward to helping Flash developers and designers bring innovative applications to these devices using our tools and frameworks.

We announced the Packager for iPhone at MAX 2009 which will allow Flash developers to create native iPhone applications and will be available in the upcoming version of Flash Pro CS5. This technology enables developers to create applications for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (though applications will not initially take direct advantage of iPad’s new screen resolution). It is our intent to make it possible for Flash developers to build applications that can take advantage of the increased screen size and resolution of the iPad.

Flash developers are used to being able to create rich expressive content that run well across multiple screens. The Flash Platform already provides developers with the ability to create applications without making assumptions about screen resolution and pixel density. Our very own Christian Cantrell has posted an in-depth article on the Adobe Developer Connection, Authoring For Multiple Screen Sizes, that details best practices in creating applications that run on multiple screens. If you want to prepare applications today that will work great on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, follow the guidelines from this article today.

While we put the finishing touches on the Packager for iPhone, we have invited a few developers and designers to join a closed pre-release program. As they are testing it and giving us feedback, they also have been able to use it to build some applications that they have submitted to the iTunes App Store. Here are some recent iPhone applications that you can find in the App Store now:

GoldStrike_small.pngGold Strike
This popular action/puzzle game has been around for nearly a decade and played by millions. You are a miner who has struck gold! But the mine is unstable. Remove gold by finding groups of blocks as tremors fill the mine up.

Brush_small.png


Brush
Dr. Alan Acierno has created a Brush application which times every tooth and section of the mouth to help you brush 3 minutes twice a day

To follow news from the Flash Platform Team about the iPhone Packager and other new developments, follow us at @Flash_Platform

Update:
As a result of Apple’s updated legal terms (section 3.3.1 of the Apple iPhone SDK License Agreement), Apple is no longer permitting these applications to be delivered to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users through the Apple App Store. This a legal restriction imposed by Apple and is not a technical limitation of Adobe AIR or Adobe Flash Professional CS5.

At this time, we have ceased further development of the Packager for iPhone, and we plan to keep this completed work in CS5 to demonstrate the capabilities of the Flash Platform to support multiple platforms and devices. We have already started the pre-release of AIR for Android and will shift our investment there and to other technologies, in addition to the work we have already been doing on Flash Player 10.1 for Android. We believe Android will enable a series of very competitive devices in the market and are working closely with Google and other Open Screen Project (OSP) partners on this.

Providing alternative videos for iPhone

Let me state up front that this post is not meant to try to start a debate of the topic of Flash video, HTML 5, and the iPhone. I will post my thoughts on HTML 5 video in another post. The objective of this post is simply to show how easily you can provide an iPhone alternative to your Flash video content.

After getting back from Brasil, I started a new personal blog called Essa Porra. In one of the posts I showed a video of some of the beach jiu-jitsu that broke out down there. I used Vimeo to host the video. Now they recently announced a beta HTML 5 player but it doesn’t work for embedded videos so I decided to provide my own iPhone alternative. The actual steps are quite simple.

First you will most likely need to encode a version that will play nice on the iPhone. I used Handbrake to create it by choosing the iPhone/iPod preset. Now you also have to check off the Web optimized option if you want it to progressively stream. The next step is to get a photo from the video to show if the user is coming from the iPhone. It should have some type of icon showing that it is playable. I chose a simple white triangle. You can see the final result on the iPhone below.

Now you need to provide a little bit of JavaScript logic to check for the iPhone browser and change the content of the page. I took the Vimeo embed code and wrapped it in a div with an id of jj. In the JS code I remove the embed code if the user is coming from an iPhone and replace it with the image. The image is hyperlinked directly to the video file I encoded using Handbrake. This will make the video play in the standalone video player on the iPhone.

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<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript">
<!–
if((navigator.userAgent.match(/iPhone/i)) ||
   (navigator.userAgent.match(/iPod/i)))
{
     document.getElementById("jj").innerHTML = "<a href=\"VIDEO_URL\"><img src=\"/images/jj.jpg\" /></a>";
}
–>
</script>
That’s all there is to it. Kind of a pain but it is nice to provide this experience if you think a lot of your visitors will be coming from the iPhone. Check out the post from an iPhone to see it in action.

Lee

FITC Amsterdam : Building High Performance iPhone Applications with ActionScript 3

Sorry for the two month hiatus on posting. I was on a sabbatical and vacation from work for the last 6 weeks of 2009, and have spent the first couple of weeks of 2010 busy working on code, and preparing some events for the spring (more on that in another post).
Some of the stuff [...]

Adobe @ Mobile World Congress 2010: Free Tickets ;-)

“Any Device” , that’s our tag line for this years Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  Given the huge investments with our Open Screen Project partners in 2009/2010, you can imagine that this will be our most important event in the mobile calendar.

The Mobile World Congress is a chance for OEMs, Chipset Vendors, Carriers, Content Providers and Developers to meet up and decide the future of our ecosystem.  For the past two years that I’ve attended we have gone from 400million devices with Flash, to over 1.2Billion and this year will see a massive step change in our strategy with the launch of Flash Player 10.1.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayan will be onsite to talk with our partners, and to discuss key challenges in the mobile and devices ecosystem and how we’re working to solve these issues with our Open Screen Project partnerships.

We’ll be showing Flash Player 10.1 experiences optimized for various devices platforms like Android, Palm and Windows Mobile.  Our booth will be packed with demos of multi-screen contextual experiences, games running across platforms and we’ll be showing off Device Central CS5 too.

With this being such a big event for us, we thought it would be nice for Flash developers to share this event with us.  So if you want to come along on us, and see the whole event for free then send us an email :-)

mwcstaff@adobe.com

For more information and updates then check out our micro-site for the event.

Adobe at Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress in Barcelona is just around the corner and you can already feel the excitement building.
2010 is going to be an amazing year for Flash developers who want to create mobile applications. Not only did we announce the Flash CS5 iPhone compiler but we’ve already demoed Flash Player 10.1 on a variety of [...]

Flash CS5 iPhone multi-touch

Here is a very quick video showing the new multi-touch APIs in an iPhone application that was created from Flash CS5. The code needed is shown below. Now I’m off to Brasil!

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photo.addEventListener(TransformGestureEvent.GESTURE_ZOOM, onZoom);

function onZoom(e:TransformGestureEvent):void
{
    photo.scaleX *= e.scaleX;
    photo.scaleY *= e.scaleY;
}

Lee