Archive for December, 2009

Moviefone Releases Movie Trailer App Powered By Adobe AIR

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Moviefone released a very stylish desktop application titled "Top HD Trailers" powered by Adobe AIR that lets you watch the latest HD movie trailers. If you are a movie fan and like to keep tabs on the latest films, be sure to download this application and explore the over 50 trailers that are currently available.

Latest Tour de Flex Update Includes AIR 2 Samples

Both the web and desktop versions of Tour de Flex were recently updated to include AIR 2 samples. If you are not familiar with Tour de Flex, it is an extremely valuable resource for learning about Adobe platform technologies including Flex, Flash and Adobe AIR.

The new AIR 2 examples include:

  • Global error handler
  • Gestures
  • Microphone
  • Open with default application
  • Native Process
  • Socket API

For additional information on these examples, see Holly Schinsky’s blog post. Also, Greg Wilson informs me that more examples are coming soon. If there are specific examples you would like to see, please leave us a comment and we will relay your requests back to the Tour de Flex team.

Christian Cantrell, a member of the AIR team, also created an extremely valuable blog post that provides links to a number of articles, videos, blog posts and samples related to AIR 2.

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Design Your Own Toys With Printies

Printies is a new craft toy from Techno Source that allows kids to be the toy designer. Using a very simple creative design tool powered by Adobe AIR, you can create your own stuffed character and print it to a pre-sewn, 100% cotton sheet. Once the design is printed, you fill your design with stuffing and you are done. For a video tutorial, check out the Printies website.

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Real-time Multiplayer Gaming with ChessJam and Adobe AIR

ChessJam is a beautiful new online chess game powered by Adobe AIR that allows users to play chess with others from around the world. Greg Wilson, one of the developers of the application and an Adobe employee, wrote a detailed blog post on how the application was created using Flex, Adobe AIR, ColdFusion and LiveCycle DS.

When asked why the team that developed this application chose Adobe AIR, Greg responded with the following points:

  • Embedded images and sounds dramatically speed-up load times compared to an equivalent web-browser-based app
  • User presence detection
  • Network detection for handling disconnects and reconnects
  • Custom chrome (the team wanted 100% control over UI, sizing, position, etc.)
  • Numerous uses of mx:HTML including the news banner, upcoming stats view, etc.
  • Auto-update framework to easily push out updates to the application.
  • Support for Mac, Windows and Linux

Greg mentioned that there are plans to release other features that take advantage of AIR soon including toast-style notifications, local game history storage using the SQLite database and more. Congratulations to the ChessJam for building a fabulous game.

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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.

Pushing the Limits: Experimenting with the Adobe AIR 2 beta

Since the release of the Adobe AIR 2 beta, developers are already beginning to push the limits of what is possible by building entirely new classes of applications. For example, Christophe Coenraets recently built a number of powerful applications including proof-of-concept, light-weight web server using the new server socket API in AIR 2. Benjamin Dobler is working on a screen recording application that takes advantage of AIR 2’s new native process API.

If you are interested in learning more about these early experiments, please be sure to check out the following blog posts:

Adobe AIR 1.5.3 Coming Soon

Update: Adobe AIR 1.5.3 is now live.

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.

Better SDK Overlay Instructions

We noticed that some developers were having trouble overlaying the AIR 2 beta SDK on top of the Flex SDK in Flex Builder and Flash Builder. Looking into the reports a bit further, we discovered that our instructions were not quite accurate. I just updated the AIR 2 release notes with more detailed instructions, so hopefully that will clear things up.

If they’re still not clear, let us know via the comments and I’ll clarify further. Also, we are looking at ways of making this process much easier in the future. Thanks for bearing with us in the meantime.

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.