Seattle Force.com Developer Meetup on June 22

Next week I’ll be presenting in Seattle at my first Force.com Developer Meetup! It starts at 6pm on Wednesday, June 22. My session will be on Flex Mobile Development. Other sessions include Force.com Platform Basics, Native iOS Development using JavaScript, and a Force.com Hands-On Lab. It’s going to be a fun evening, so if you are in the Seattle area, then I hope to see you there!

Get more details and register!

Adobe AIR 2.7 is out!

We’ve just released Adobe AIR 2.7 for desktop, Android, iOS, and PlayBook. In terms of features, here is a list of the most important.

Mobile:

  • Improved performance for AIR apps (including those built with Flex) running on iOS. You will see up to a 4X improvement for the same app when running on AIR 2.7.
  • Faster development time for iOS applications – there is a new mode for testing and debugging your AIR app on iOS devices that will enable faster cycles.
  • And this is one I’m sure you’ll love: you can install the AIR runtime on the SD card of your Android device.

Desktop:

  • Integrated support for Media Measurement – allows companies to see how content is distributed and viewed by users
  • Acoustic echo cancellation – this is the same feature already available in Flash Player 10.3. It means you can enable users to do VoIP using speakers and microphone (no need for headsets).
  • Navigation Improvements for HTML Content – developers can now respond to a new event to be notified when content within the HTMLLoader control attempts to change the location of a page. This enhancement provides developers with a better way to implement intra-application navigation.

Watch my fellow evangelist, Renaun Erickson, showing AIR app performance on an iPad:

You can download AIR 2.7 from here. This month, Flash Builder 4.5 will get an update to enable support for AIR 2.7 and PlayBook will receive an update OTA of AIR 2.7 by the end of June.

AIR 2.7 now available for desktop, Android, iOS and Blackberry Tablet OS.

When I think about the new features in AIR 2.7 I can’t help but think about this Daft Punk song… Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger. That’s exactly what this release is all about… Well… You know what I mean ;-)

On mobile my favorite new feature is the improved rendering on iOS. With this release AIR apps for iOS render up to 4x faster in CPU mode. This change will improve the performance of many AIR for iOS apps, including those built with the Flex framework.

But don’t believe our words for it… Try it out yourself! There are already some really cool AIR apps in the appstore today. Try the Rossignol app for instance.

Or try one of Terry Paton’s games like Meteor Storm or Mazeball!

Another one of my favorite new features is probably the most requested feature for AIR for Android. You can now install or move the AIR runtime onto the SD cards within your Android devices!

An update for Flash Builder will be released soon but you can already grab the AIR SDK today and start building your apps!

AIR 2.7 iPad Descriptor and Command Line Example

Until I can get around to recording something, here are some templates for compiling an iPad applciation with the AIR 2.7 SDK. First is the application descriptor XML file. Change the relevant values to match your app.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="no" ?>
<application xmlns="http://ns.adobe.com/air/application/2.7">
   
    <id>com.mypackage.myapp</id>
    <versionNumber>1.0.0</versionNumber>
    <filename>MyApp</filename>
    <description/>
    <name>MyApp</name>
    <copyright/>
   
    <initialWindow>
        <content>MyApp.swf</content>
        <systemChrome>standard</systemChrome>
        <transparent>false</transparent>
        <visible>true</visible>
        <fullScreen>true</fullScreen>
        <aspectRatio>portrait</aspectRatio>
        <renderMode>cpu</renderMode>
        <autoOrients>false</autoOrients>
    </initialWindow>
   
    <icon/>
    <customUpdateUI>false</customUpdateUI>
    <allowBrowserInvocation>false</allowBrowserInvocation>

    <iPhone>
        <InfoAdditions>
            <![CDATA[
               <key>UIDeviceFamily</key>
               <array>
                   <string>2</string>
               </array>
           ]]>
        </InfoAdditions>
    </iPhone>

</application>

Next is the command line statement that compiles your application using ADT. You can provide any SWF that is build at the iPad resolution of 1024×768. This is obviously for Windows but I’m sure you Mac folks can figure out the slight differences. No idea where to get the keystore and provisioning profile? Watch this tutorial.

1
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\java.exe" -jar C:\Users\brimelow\Desktop\AdobeAIRSDK\lib\adt.jar -package -target ipa-ad-hoc -storetype pkcs12 -keystore C:\Users\brimelow\Desktop\desktop\iphone_dev.p12 -storepass password -provisioning-profile C:\Users\brimelow\Desktop\desktop\brimelowProvision.mobileprovision MyiPadApp.ipa MyiPadApp.xml MyiPadApp.swf

Now this is for a quick test compile as I haven’t provided any icons and other finishing touches. But this should get you playing!

Too lazy to build your own example? You can download my test application and try your luck compiling.

Adobe AIR 2.7 is Now Available!

Update: there is not yet tooling support for AIR 2.7 but it will be coming soon. Until then you can compile via the command line.

I know you’ve been hearing a lot about AIR 2.7 lately, particularly surrounding the increased performance on iOS. Well I’m happy to report that it is now available for everyone to use. I will be doing a short tutorial tonight explaining how to get it setup. Until then, check out this video from Renaun showing the improved iOS performance.

Adobe AIR 2.7 Now Available: iOS apps 4x Faster!

Adobe is pleased to announce the availability of Adobe AIR 2.7 SDK and the Adobe AIR 2.7 runtimes.   Adobe AIR 2.7 includes new features for both desktop and mobile applications with mobile support for Android 2.2+, BlackBerry Tablet OS* and iOS 4+ operating systems.  Companies can build and deploy AIR 2.7 apps using Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 with an upcoming update to AIR 2.7 later this month.

*BlackBerry Tablet OS is scheduled to receive an OTA (over the air) update of AIR 2.7 by the end of June.

New AIR 2.7 Features

 

Mobile

- Enhanced rendering for iOS: AIR apps for iOS render up to 4x faster in CPU mode.  This change will improve the performance of many AIR for iOS apps, including those built with the Flex framework.  Watch the performance improvements

- Video: Adobe AIR 2.7: Faster App Performance on iOS  (Renaun Erickson, Adobe Flash Platform Evangelist, demonstrates faster AIR 2.7 app performance on iPad)

- Faster development time for iOS applications: Developers can now debug and build iOS applications faster than with previous versions using a new mode available within the AIR Developer Tool (ADT). During the development of an application, developers can now choose to use “interpreter mode” to streamline the testing and debugging development cycle.

- AIR installation on SD cards for Android devices: This feature allows end users to install or move the AIR runtime onto the SD cards within their Android devices so they can free up storage space on the phone.

Desktop

- Integrated support for Media Measurement:  The Adobe AIR 2.7 runtime now includes the same built-in support for media measurement as Adobe Flash Player 10.3, allowing companies to simplify the collection of real-time, aggregated reporting data for how content is distributed and viewed by users. With direct support for Adobe SiteCatalyst, powered by Omniture, developers can implement video analytics for existing or legacy video players with as little as two lines of code. For additional information, see the article on measuring video consumption in Flash.

 – Acoustic echo cancellation: With integrated support for acoustic echo cancellation, developers can now add real-time VoIP capabilities to games, enterprise, and other types of applications without requiring users to wear a noise-canceling headset. Users can now chat using the speaker built into their desktop or laptop computer. This new capability is also available in Flash Player 10.3.

- Navigation Improvements for HTML Content: Enables seamless weblink-style navigation within desktop apps such as magazine viewers and ebook readers.  Developers can now respond to a new event to be notified when content within the HTMLLoader control attempts to change the location of a page. This enhancement provides developers with a better way to implement intra-application navigation.

For additional feature and release details please read the AIR 2.7 developer release notes.

New AIR apps for Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS

Although these apps are not currently using AIR 2.7, I thought I’d call to your attention to a few new apps based on Adobe AIR that recently hit the market. 

iOS

- Rossignol Experience: Ski season is coming to a close, but this fantastic app from this famous ski maker provides a rich interactive branded experience to learn more about Rossignal skis. Video demo.

BlackBerry Tablet OS

- Comb Over Charlie: Comb Over Charlie was availble on Android using AIR.  This game is now available on the PlayBook .  Soon to be on the iPad.  4.5 out of 5 stars!

                  BlackBerry Tablet OS version

                  Android version

Android

- G20-G8: This is the official app of the French Presidency of the G20 and the G8.  Get real time updates and access to all the latest developments from the Summits and the preparatory meetings, as well as video reports and photos on the G20-G8 website.

Performance Improvements

Finally, performance improves with each release of AIR and the Flash Player.  If you checked out the AIR 2.7 on iOS video, you can really see the difference.  If you missed it earlier, here are a few Flash Player 10.3 on mobile related performance resources to check out.

Video: Enhanced Video Performance with Flash Player 10.3 on Android 3.1 (Renaun Erickson demos Flash Player 10.3 video on the Motorola Xoom)

Performance Tests

GUIMark3 by Sean Christmann –  Sean tests Flash Player and HTML5 on various phones and tablets.  Check it out.

“In terms of interactive content overall, it’s safe to say Flash maintains a 2x performance lead over HTML5 on average”

“The Flash VM performs really well on mobile chipsets and I don’t see any evidence here to support the idea that Flash is slow on smartphones and tablets.”

The Right Fit? Video Playback Performance on Android Handset and Tablet Devices Using Adobe Flash Player 10.2 and 10.3 By Tim Siglin. – Tim Siglin from Transition Inc., and Streaming Media fame recently published a follow up to his previous white paper testing Flash Player video performance.  

“Our current testing finds that FP 10.2 on handsets and 10.3 on the Xoom: Provide a more consistent media consumption than Android’s built-in apps and services.

Download the Adobe AIR 2.7 SDK

Adobe AIR and Linux: Increasing Distribution on Devices

As the market for applications is increasingly led by mobile devices, Adobe is investing more in simplifying app development and deployment for mobile operating systems.  By the end of 2011, we expect that there will be more than 200M smartphones and tablets which can download and run Adobe AIR apps, including devices running Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS.

The recent release of Adobe Creative Suite 5.5, including Flash Builder 4.5, enables developers to deliver their experiences on the web and as apps across all the major mobile platforms, as well as popular television, Blu-ray player and set top box platforms.  We’re committed to working with our partners to bring Adobe’s runtime technologies to the platforms and devices that are important to end users and developers, including new hardware and operating systems as they come to market.

To support the variety of Linux-based platforms across PCs and devices, we are prioritizing a Linux porting kit for AIR (including source code), which Open Screen Project (OSP) partners can use to complete implementations of AIR for Linux-based platforms on PCs, mobile devices, TVs and TV-connected devices.  We will no longer be releasing our own versions of Adobe AIR and the AIR SDK for desktop Linux, but expect that one or more of our partners will do so.  The last Adobe release of AIR for desktop Linux is AIR 2.6.  By focusing on the porting kit and support of partner implementations, we expect to provide broader support for AIR across Linux-based PCs and devices, whereas our own desktop Linux releases have accounted for less than 0.5% of lifetime AIR downloads.

Existing AIR applications will continue to work on Linux PCs provided they target AIR 2.6 or below, and users may continue to use their existing AIR applications without interruption. However, users will not be able to install applications or apply application updates (including security updates) that require a later version of AIR, unless and until such later versions are released by an OSP partner.
 
We will of course share more information about any partner plans to support AIR for desktop Linux.  In the meantime, for more information please review the FAQ.

GUIMark 3 – Mobile Performance Test for HTML5 and Flash

Sean Christman of EffectiveUI has released the results for his latest test that measure HTML5 and Flash performance on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). GUIMark 3 tests different tasks like bitmap drawing, vector drawing, compute tests, and video playback (all in all there are 200 tests).

The results might be a surprise for some but not for me. As Sean put it “Flash maintains a 2x performance lead over HTML5 on average”. I encourage you to read his post and let others know about this. I think this test confirms all the effort Adobe put in optimizing the Flash Platform for mobile. And shows that it wasn’t just talk.

Disclosure: Adobe funded this effort, but anyone knowing Sean will know that he is more interest in finding the truth then favoring a particular side.