improve the performance of your apps using techniques like object caching, GPU render mode and cacheAsBitmapMatrix
In the session, David and Renaun used several demos to support key points in their talk related to performance. In addition, the talk provides examples of how to use the Flash Builder profiler to detect problems in your applications.
In the coming weeks, I plan to spotlight several sessions from our recent Adobe MAX conference that cover the latest developments surrounding Adobe AIR.
In my first blog post in this series, I would like to encourage developers to watch the session "Introduction to Adobe AIR for Mobile" by Arno Gourdol, director of engineering for AIR. In this talk, Arno covers AIR support for the BlackBerry PlayBook, Android OS and iOS devices.
With the recent release of Adobe AIR for Android and upcoming preparations for our Adobe MAX conference, there is significant amount of AIR-related news to monitor including new tutorials, featured applications and development libraries. Although our team is active on Twitter and Facebook, we plan on posting news roundups on the Adobe AIR team blog in coming weeks to help the community learn about the latest news.
News Roundup: 10/12/2010
The Adobe ActionScript 3 SDK for the Facebook Platform provides an ideal solution for building rich, social experiences on the web. Recently this library was updated to include new capabilities and bug fixes. Using this open source library, developers can quickly build Flash and AIR apps across devices and screens. Alan Greenblatt, a Flex partner solution architect at Adobe, recorded a video tutorial demonstrating how to take advantage of this library.
Ryan Stewart recorded a session on Adobe TV titled "Debug Adobe AIR for Android Applications." For developers looking to understand the basic developer workflow for troubleshooting issues in their apps using Flash Builder, Ryan’s recording provides a valuable overview.
Rich Tretola built an application that demonstrates "accelerometer, camera, geolocation, multitouch, stage orientation, and keyboard events.
The Land of Me is a collection of playful learning activities that adults and children can enjoy together. The application, developed by a very talented team at Made in Me, allows adventurers aged 2 years old and above to explore a colorful, enchanting world with heartwarming characters. The first chapter is available free and additional chapters are available for purchase. The application recently caught the eye of the BBC News Channel. Congratulations to the team at Made in Me for building such an inspiring application!
With our upcoming Adobe MAX (October 23rd-27th) only about a month away, I thought this would be a perfect time to highlight our annual conference and call your attention to several sessions that developers and designers building AIR applications might find particularly valuable.
For our customers using Adobe technologies, MAX is often one of the most exciting times of the year since Adobe often launches new products and sneaks never seen before technology. MAX represents an excellent opportunity for our customers to learn about the latest development in Adobe technology, network with peers in the industry and connect with members of our development team. For development teams at Adobe, it is also a thrilling event as months and often years of hard work can be finally presented to our enthusiastic customers.
This is my third year as a camp manager for the AIR track of MAX and, without question, I have never been more excited by the quality of talks and forthcoming announcements from Adobe teams. As the AIR runtime expands to support more platforms ranging from desktops to mobile devices and TVs, multi-screen application development is not only becoming a reality but a market expectation.
The following sessions, many of which will be presented by members of the AIR product or evangelism team, will likely be of interest to developers building apps for the desktop, mobile devices and, soon, TVs:
Introduction to Adobe AIR for Android by Arno Gourdol (Director of Engineering, Adobe AIR)
Learn how to quickly build an entire Google Android application from scratch using Adobe AIR. This session will provide a high-level overview of how to integrate with several device APIs, including the accelerometer for games and geolocation for location-based services. We’ll also describe how to package and sell your application on the Google Apps Marketplace.
Developing Well-Behaved Android Applications using Adobe AIR by David Knight (Computer Scientist, Adobe AIR) and Ben Garney (Developer, PushButton Labs)
Learn how to tune your applications to provide an optimal user experience within the performance limitations of a device’s hardware and software. We’ll share tips and tricks for how to build Android applications powered by Adobe AIR that respond quickly. Discover best practices for how to troubleshoot performance problems such as rendering bottlenecks and occasionally connected networks.
Build Your First Android Application in 90 Minutes with Adobe AIR by Lee Brimelow (Platform Evangelist)
Learn how to build your first Android application in under 90 minutes using the latest versions of Adobe AIR, Flex, and Flash Builder. Topics will include how to build a basic user interface, accessing a camera, displaying HTML content, and tips on troubleshooting bugs. By the end of the session, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to build an application and upload it to the Android Marketplace.
Flash Platform for TV: A New Ecosystem by Aditya Bansod (Principal Product Manager, Adobe AIR)
Join us for a sneak peek on Google TV and how Adobe AIR will soon power a whole new class of devices in the digital home, helping Adobe Flash Platform developers build experiences for an entirely new market of consumers. This session will provide an exclusive first look, with product demos of Google TV and AIR running in the digital home.
How to Build Adobe AIR Applications That Seamlessly Connect to Cloud Services by James Ward (Manager, Evangelism)
See why cloud-based storage and processing are driving more and more developers to take advantage of remote services. In this session, you’ll learn through a series of code samples how to use Adobe AIR to connect to these services, including Facebook, Twitter, and more. By the end of this session, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to connect to several cloud services for desktop and mobile applications.
Adobe AIR Code Camp by Duane Nickull (Senior Manager, Evangelism) and James Ward (Manager, Evangelism)
Attend this mega-lab for a comprehensive, hands-on dive into Adobe AIR for Flex 4 developers. You’ll learn how to use the latest features of AIR by building several applications on your own computer, and leave with source code for more than 20 applications. We’ll cover using the microphone class, writing to a local drive, launching a native process, and more. The lab includes a sneak peek at developing AIR applications for the Android OS. The courseware is modularized so beginners can follow along.
What’s Coming in Adobe AIR by Aaron Filner (Group Product Manager, Adobe AIR)
Take a look at the next release of Adobe AIR, which will include support for developing both mobile and desktop applications. In this session, you’ll learn about the runtime and SDK features coming to the next release of AIR. Special focus will be placed on the workflow and development of Google Android applications, including device APIs, best practices, packaging, and deployment to the Google Apps Marketplace.
Disney Preschool Time Online is an online destination, which offers rich learning adventures that automatically adjust to children’s skill levels through interactive play. The application offers an ad-free, full-screen environment that can be password protected, making it safe for kids to play.
Powered by Adobe AIR, Preschool Time Online includes a 14-day free trial. According to the website, new content is made available every two weeks. In addition to engaging content featuring popular Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, parents can track how their children are progressing across a range of learning areas including reading, math, Spanish, thinking skills, social skills and computer skills.
To see the application for yourself, you can download it now from the Disney Preschool Time Online website. Our congratulations to the team at Disney that developed an amazing educational application!
Several weeks back, Adobe evangelist Greg Wilson and Flex guru Holly Schinsky demonstrated an early prototype of an application called Adobe AIR Launchpad that they were planning to release publicly. Launchpad, built using Adobe AIR, was designed to significantly reduce the time to development new AIR apps by generating useful code snippets common to many AIR applications.
For example, Launchpad allows you to set whether:
the default application window is centered
the default application window can be resized, minimized or maximized
the application supports automatic updating
the application detects network status changes
the application uses a default preferences file
the application uses native menus
In addition, you can add optional code snippets to your project to help get you started including sample code for:
Drag and drop
Detecting mass storage devices
Just a few weeks later, Greg announced on his blog that the application was available for download. Once you complete the application wizard and generate your code, a project file will be created that includes all the necessary files to build your customized AIR app. This project can then be imported into Flash Builder.
In addition, James Ward, enterprise evangelist at Adobe, recorded an excellent overview of Launchpad:
This is a very exciting concept and I look forward to seeing your feedback and seeing how Launchpad evolves over time. Hopefully it will help make many of you more efficient when you are starting the development of a new AIR application. Congratulations to Greg and Holly for building this out in record time!
To promote the upcoming release of the Alien Anthology on Blu-ray, FOX released an interactive, promotional application powered by Adobe AIR and built by Oskoui+Oskoui.
The application includes a number of features that fans of the Alien franchise are bound to enjoy including an image gallery where you can discover unique photos and concept art from the films, listen to musical tracks from the soundtrack, watch video clips including trailers and customize the "wallpaper" within the application.
Congratulations to the team at Oskoui+Oskoui for building another engaging application that Alien fans around the world are sure to enjoy! Earlier this year, the team also built the Avatar Interactive Desktop to promote the launch of Avatar on Blu-ray & DVD.
The application is available for download from the official Alien Anthology website.
Vimeo is a popular online video community due to its support for high-quality video playback, beautiful and easy-to-use site design and social networking features. Needless to say, I was thrilled to discover that Vimeo built a powerful uploading tool powered by Adobe AIR. There are a number of online services today that rely on AIR for uploading content including Photoshop.com.
The Vimeo desktop uploader allows users to:
Upload multiple files
Batch edit video info and privacy
Pause & resume an upload
Reliably upload large video files up to 1GB and beyond
Below is a tutorial recorded by a member of the Vimeo community that demonstrates how the uploading tool works.
Congratulations to the team at Vimeo for building an extremely useful tool!
Congratulation to the team at Graphic.ly for releasing an alpha version of their upcoming desktop application powered by Adobe AIR. If you are or ever have been a fan of comic books, you simply must download this application and take it for a spin.
Features of the desktop application include:
An application store that allows you to browse and purchase comic books (several are currently offered for free!)
An activity feed that displays what others in the Graphic.ly community are reading and rating
A built-in achievement system that recognizes users for discovering new features
A beautiful, full-screen interface for navigating the pages and individual frames of a comic book
A social feature that allows you to write comments on individual frames that others in the community can read
The Graphic.ly team describes what they are building as a "a cutting-edge community and digital content delivery platform for comic books, graphic novels and other forms of publishing." I am looking forward to seeing feature iterations of the application; especially as Graphic.ly becomes available on new types of devices.