Flash Player 15 Beta introduces the VideoTexture object, which allows hardware decoded video to be used in Stage3D content. With prior versions of Flash Player, the use of video in Stage3D required the use of the Video object (which is not hardware accelerated), copying of video frame to a BitmapData object, and loading of the data onto the GPU.
With the VideoTexture object introduced in Flash Player 15 Beta, the decode, conversion from YUV to RGB, and texture loading can be completely moved to the GPU. The textures provided by the VideoTexture object can be used as rectangular, RGB, no mipmap textures in rendering of a Stage3D scene; and can be treated as ARGB texture by the shaders (i.e., the AGAL shaders do not need to provide YUV->RGB conversion). Thus, standard shaders used with static images can also be used without providing a functionality for YUV-> RGB conversion.
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″.
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!
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.
For those developers planning on attending Adobe MAX, be sure to add this session to your schedule. David and Renaun’s talk will be on Tuesday, October, 26th, from 4:30PM – 5:30PM.
Also, I am often asked where developers can find additional information from Adobe on how to optimize mobile applications. One excellent resource is the Optimizing Performance for the Flash Platform guide from our documentation team. It covers a number of critical topics related to performance including:
Minimizing CPU usage
ActionScript 3.0 performance
Optimizing network interaction
Working with media
SQL database performance
Benchmarking and deploying
Posted By: Rob Christensen, Senior Product Manager, Adobe AIR
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!
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!
The trick to writing a plugin architecture for AIR applications isn’t really so much plugin management (installing, loading, deleting, etc.) as it is plugin security. Plugins that are privileged enough to be really powerful also have enough power to be potentially dangerous, so before an end user installs one, he or she needs to know not only who wrote it, but also that the plugin wasn’t somehow modified prior to installation. That’s where code signing and validation come in.
The sample plugin architecture I wrote addresses both plugin management and security. The article contains plenty of background on plugin security as well as sample code for an application called "Pluggable SearchCentral" which you can see in action below:
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.