Thank you to Jonathan Hart (@jonathanhartsf) and others for the heads up on the recent resurgence of ActionScript on the Tiobe Index. Last month ActionScript broke into the top 20. The June numbers are now out and it’s moved up to the 14th spot! None of this would be possible without the awesome support of our AS developer community, creating and inspiring us with their applications and games for both mobile and desktop platforms! Thank you!
There’s been talk recently on different forums regarding Adobe’s position on the Flash Runtime. Hopefully some of the work we’re doing and items outlined below will help answer these questions.
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Chris Campbell and I’m the product manager and customer advocate for the Flash Runtime product team. I’ve been part of the Flash and AIR teams for the last 4 years and prior to that I worked for 14 years as a developer in our digital imaging group. Some of you might know me from the forums, where I’ve spent a lot of time working with customers to bring issues to the engineering team. I’m on Twitter @liquidate but you can also reach me via email at email@example.com.
What have we been up to lately?
Improved Packaging Engine – We’ve made massive improvements to our iOS packaging engine (Halfmoon AOT), with reduced packaging times up to 10x. This work lays the foundation for future features like iOS workers. This has been in our beta builds for a while (we try to make these publicly available on a regular basis) and was out in our public AIR 4.0 release.
ActionScript concurrency for Android – We knew this would be a hit with the feedback we received with ActionScript Workers on the desktop so getting this over to mobile was a priority for us. We had an extended beta for this feature and it made its public appearance in AIR 3.9 with additional fixes based on feedback received in our 4.0 release.
Support for new versions of OSX, Windows, iOS and Android – We know that our developers and users want to use the latest OS’s and browsers. We have made sure that the Runtime supports these targets and we’re committed to making sure that continues in the future.
Here are just a few of the new features that we’re working on this year –
ActionScript concurrency for iOS – Now that we’re finishing up with the Halfmoon packaging work, the next step is to add support for ActionScript Workers on iOS. We know this is an important feature and we’re looking forward to starting an extended beta for this later this year.
Improvements to Stage3D – Stage3D was a massive game changer for Flash. We want to add to this with significant efficiency improvements by supporting multiple render targets. If you’ve been around for a while, you might remember a previous beta for AGAL2. We’re picking this up again now that we’ve got support for all supported platforms and we should have something to share later this summer.
PPAPI debugging – A long time request has been the ability to debug Flash content on Google Chrome. We’ve been working to bring our debugger to the PPAPI platform and we’re almost ready for a beta release. This required a lot of work under the hood and while we’re there we’re also tackling a nagging Stage3D performance problem. Progress has been going well and we’re optimistic that we’ll have a solution for our customers.
Game discovery – We know that there are a huge number of games available on the market and it’s hard to get the user’s attention. We believe we can help. One of our greatest strengths is the reach of our platform. Flash Player is installed on over a billion computers! The AIR shared runtime is installed on 50+ million Android devices! We’re working to figure out how we can leverage these strengths to improve your app’s success. Look for details on Adobe GameSpace, Playpanel, GamePreviews, and more in the very near future.
It’s certainly true that we have increased our investments on HTML technologies, but Adobe and the Flash product team are dedicated to pushing the Flash runtime platform forward. We believe that AIR and Flash Player are excellent solutions for both the video and gaming markets.
While most of Adobe’s marketing and PR activities are focused on the Creative Cloud and Marketing Cloud initiatives, we are working on the following items to help improve our messaging around the Flash Runtime.
Redesign, refresh and make regular content updates to our game development web site. We’ll be retiring the gaming.adobe.com microsite and instead updates will be made to our Adobe Developer Connection page found here – http://www.adobe.com/devnet/games.html
Create a new Flash Runtime showcase website that allows for easy showcase project submissions by our development community.
Reach out to the community and promote their games and usage of Adobe tools through guest blog posts and case studies that we feature on adobe.com. If you’re interested, please contact me via email.
Find additional and creative ways to allow our passionate development community to evangelize the use of Flash Runtime
Finally, in a recent Adobe post there was some confusion regarding PhoneGap and if this product was supplanting or replacing AIR. This is not the case. We believe both of these technologies have merit and we recommend developers pick a solution that best suits their project. For gaming and video related applications, on either the desktop or mobile platforms, we believe the Flash Runtime continues to be a great choice.
We’d like to congratulate the team at Away3D! This is a major milestone and a huge leap forward for hardware accelerated graphics on the web for both desktop and mobile platforms!
Over the past 3 months we have been hard at work on the next version (Code name: Geary) of Flash Player and AIR. Our main focus in this release of Flash Player was to improve the sandboxing feature that was introduced in earlier versions.
In addition to improving Flash Player security through sandboxing enhancements, we’ve also fixed high priority bugs and issues that were reported by our community and partners.
Similarly we have been focusing on making AIR 3.7 a world-class platform to build your apps for Android and iOS platforms. In this release, we are introducing exciting features such as capability to host swf files on an external server which can then be download by your iOS applications at runtime, and support for gamepads on Android devices (like Ouya TV). Amongst a couple of other features, this release also addresses the need of preventing backup of shared objects, if required by your iOS application to comply with Apple guidelines.
Also the Flash Pro team has recently provided a glimpse of their next generation tool. Check out this quick tour:
We encourage you to continue provide your feedback and comments and stay tuned for more exciting features.
Product Marketing Manager – Web Segment
We’ve received some questions regarding support for Adobe Flash Player 11.1 and AIR 3.1 on the Galaxy Nexus. To be clear, the Galaxy Nexus does not initially support Adobe Flash Player 11.1 and AIR 3.1. As we previously communicated in a blog post, devices and software updates from our partners which introduce new technologies are being developed on varied schedules that are different from our own, which means that the Adobe runtimes may not always be optimized or supported on devices until a subsequent release. We will provide a minor update to the runtimes to support the Galaxy Nexus in December.
Greg DeMichillie is the Senior Director of Product Management for Interactive Development
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Adobe is pleased to announce the availability of the Adobe® AIR® 2.6 SDK and AIR® 2.6 desktop runtimes for Windows, Mac and Linux. With AIR 2.6, AIR achieves feature parity for Android and iOS platforms. This new release provides major performance and feature enhancements for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) app development as well as updates for Android and desktop app development.
“Adobe AIR 2.6 enables me to develop once and publish across multiple platforms. There are slight tweaks required for each platform (Android vs iOS) but we’re talking about a few minutes not weeks. The majority of the optimizations revolve around screen sizes which would be an issue regardless of the development tool. If I were targeting Android and iOS natively vs Adobe AIR I would expect my costs to be at least 80% higher; and much closer to 100 – 150% higher should maintenance and updates be required for each platform.”
-Charlie Schulze, President and co-founder, Woven Interactive, LLC
Video: Watch Charlie Schulze’s demo of “Comb Over Charlie” a multiscreen app (Android and iOS smartphones, tablets and Windows laptop) developed using AIR.
New Features in AIR 2.6 for iOS and Android
AIR for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
“I’m now getting 60 fps on an iPhone 3GS, it’s smoother than Packager for iPhone too!”
-Kevin Newman, Senior Developer, adcSTUDIO
“My project uses things like vector graphics, blend modes, and filters. In the past, many effects needed to be removed or altered for iOS to achieve decent performance. This gargantuan improvement means that I can now use the same project to target both iOS and Android. It’s likely to save me many hours of time previously spent on optimization.”
-Josh Tynjala, Founder, Bowler Hat Games
Updated AIR for iOS support with improved performance. Developers can take advantage of new features in iOS 4 like multitasking, Retina display support for higher screen resolutions, and front and back camera support. Developers can now build applications that capture audio with microphone support and take advantage of the same graphics hardware method used in AIR for Android using OpenGL ES 2 for high performance graphics.
Packager for iPhone (PFI) is now replaced with functionality integrated with AIR Developer Tool (ADT) a command-line tool for compiling applications in the AIR SDK. ADT can now be used to package AIR files, native desktop installers, AIR applications for Android and iOS.
“I was blown away with how much AIR has grown in API support for Android and iOS as well as the improvements in speed. This is just amazing.”
-Boz Bundalo, Creative Director / Chief Technology Officer, Republic Project
Submit apps to be included in the Amazon Appstore for Android when the store launches. Companies now have an additional distribution option with one of the largest online shopping destinations on the web. Learn more in Christian Cantrell’s blog post “AIR 2.6 Applications and the Amazon Appstore for Android”.
USB debugging was added as an additional debugging option to WiFi. Learn more about AIR 2.6 features for mobile and desktop please read Scott Castle’s article“What’s new in AIR 2.6″.
Adobe is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Adobe AIR 2.6 for Android smartphones and tablets. AIR 2.6 for Android adds support for Android 3.0 and the latest Android tablet devices – including the Motorola Xoom – as well as improvements to performance and GPU-based rendering, updated Android gesture support, and improved handling of HTML content within AIR apps.
AIR 2.6 for Android provides the foundation for the new Content Viewer for Android, part of Digital Publishing Suite. Content Viewer for Android uses AIR 2.6 to enable publishers to author immersive, engaging publications and deploy content across platforms and different devices. Major publishers using Digital Publishing Suite are on board to create and distribute content using Content Viewer for Android. Condé Nast, National Geographic and Dennis Publishing are among the first publishers to indicate they will use this new viewer to amplify the reach of their iconic titles.
AIR 2.6 for Android can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace and is available on devices running:
AIR 2.6 for Android performance improvements include:
Up to 20% faster scrolling performance
H.264 video decoding at 30fps
GPU-based animation and games at up to 50FPS
AIR 2.6 for Android functional improvements include:
Support for the latest Android system gestures
Bitmap Capture for StageWebView, which provides tighter visual integration between Flash and HTML content
Asynchronous Bitmap Decoding, which improves the performance of transitions in image-intensive applications
Applications developed with the Adobe AIR 2.5 SDK are compatible with the Adobe AIR 2.6 runtime. Adobe is on target to deliver the AIR 2.6 SDK and desktop runtime before the 2nd half of 2011.
Update 02/25/2011 6:10PM PST
Motorola Xoom users who are using the Restore Applications feature of Android to transfer their content and apps – including the AIR and Flash Player runtimes – from a different Android device may experience the following as AIR 2.5 and Flash Player 10.1 are not supported on Android 3.0:
AIR apps are not able to launch. To resolve this, please go to Android Market, search for Adobe AIR, and select ‘update’ to upgrade to AIR 2.6. You won’t need to update or re-download your existing set of apps unless there is an update to the app itself.
Content developed for Flash Player will not display in the browser. Flash Player 10.2 with Stage Video and other new performance features will support Android 3.0 and address this. The runtime will be preinstalled on some devices or provided via OTA download for others like the Motorola Xoom within a few weeks of device availability.
The tutorial covers a number of important topics including how to create a basic mobile application, using mobile item renderers, navigating and passing information between views, creating an action bar, integrating with the device capabilities (dialer, SMS, email), using a RemoteObject, and using a local SQLite database. To get started, you will need to first download the Flash Builder Burrito release from Adobe Labs.
Below is a summary of the material covered directly from the document:
In this tutorial, you use Flash Builder "Burrito" and Flex "Hero" to build a simple, yet fully functional employee directory application for Android devices. "Burrito" is the code name for the next version of Flash Builder, and "Hero" is the code name for the next version of the Flex SDK. You don’t need an Android device to complete this tutorial: you can use the simple emulator available in Flash Builder Burrito to run and debug the application. The Employee Directory application allows you to: search for employees, view employee details, navigate up and down the org chart, and call, text, and email employees.
"It turned out to be amazingly simple: I was able to run the application without changing a line of code, with a great and consistent deployment experience: You select the target platform, hit the run button, and the app is packaged, deployed, and started on the device you selected."
Below is a video demonstration by Christophe showing the application running on a Google Nexus One, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry Playbook Emulator.
Our team is fully focused on making it as easy as possible for developers to target applications that can run across different devices from desktop computers to smart phones to tablet devices and televisions. If you are building an application and would like to let us know about it, please leave us a comment!
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.