Archive for February, 2010

Happy Birthday Adobe® AIR®… 2 years and still growing

images.jpeg On February 25, 2008 Adobe gave birth to Adobe AIR. In two short years, we’ve seen the rapid growth and adoption of Adobe AIR with major brand names to small start-ups. AIR now powers a variety of applications used by enterprises and everyday consumers in applications for social networking, gaming, eLearning, subscription based services, tax collection, viewing of live events, video, productivity tools, collaboration services, film and television promotion, and more. I can’t wait to see all the new applications that we will see in 2010 that take advantage of the new desktop features in AIR 2 as well as the mobile release with support for Android and iPhone.

“It takes a village to raise child”
Everybody on the Adobe Flash Platform team would like to take this opportunity to thank all the developers, partners and customers that have provided feedback, participated in our betas, supported and adopted Adobe AIR over the last two years. Our community has and continues to be a key part of AIR’s success.

Gifts
We actually started the birthday party a little early in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress when we demonstrated AIR working on Android. We also received an early birthday present when Adobe® Acrobat® Connect™ Pro Mobile, an iPhone application built using Packager for iPhone was listed on Apple’s App Store now available on the iPhone. The number of AIR apps in the App Store powered by AIR keeps growing and in a few weeks we will be highlighting a few of the AIR apps for the iPhone so stay tuned.

Thank you.
Michael Hu
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Adobe AIR

Important Development Workflow Change in AIR 2

If you’re an AIR application developer, and you tend to run an installed version of an application at the same time that you’re developing it, this post contains important information on how your development workflow will need to change for AIR 2.

In AIR 1.5.3, we made some changes to the way that AIR files are signed. Previously, publisher IDs were computed using developers’ certificates, and were associated with applications at install time. When running the same application from ADL (which is what you’re doing when running or debugging from Flash Professional and Flash Builder), unless the -pubid flag is passed in, the application runs without any publisher ID. The result was that you could run an application from ADL while running the installed version of the same application simultaneously.

Starting with AIR 1.5.3, publisher IDs are specified rather than computed. If no publisher ID is specified (which is the default), the application is installed without a publisher ID. Since ADL typically runs applications without a publisher ID, and since only one instance of an AIR application can run at a time, the result is that if an installed version of an application is running, you cannot use ADL to launch the same application. In other words, you cannot run and develop the same application at the same time. (For more information on the changes we made in 1.5.3 and the reasoning behind them, see Oliver Goldman’s post, Upcoming Certificate Renewal Changes in Adobe AIR.)

This new behavior isn’t technically a bug since the previous behavior was not so much intended as it was a convenient byproduct of the signing and installation process. That said, we realize this is an important workflow for many developers (including myself), and we plan to re-enable it in the future. In fact, not only should you be able to run and debug the same application at the same time, but we intend to actually support the workflow this time.

Explicitly implementing and supporting this workflow has two advantages over the previous behavior:

  1. We can make sure we never "break" it in the future. (When things just kind of work accidentally, you never know when they might stop working.)
  2. We can make it even more comprehensive and useful than the previous behavior. (We have some good ideas we’re currently considering, but feel free to post suggestions here.)

In the meantime, if you find that you really need to be able to run and debug the same application at the same time, I’ve found that the best work-around is to change your application ID in your application descriptor file. For example, I’m currently working on an application called MailBrew which I also usually have running in the background. The installed application ID is com.christiancantrell.mailbrew, but while developing it, I change the ID to test.com.christiancantrell.mailbrew. Not only does this give me the workflow that I’m used to, but it also allows my test application to use a different application storage directory, encrypted local store, etc. Just make sure that you change your application ID back before building a release version since if you don’t, updates to your existing version will not be allowed. (Note that you can also use third-party tools like Apache Ant to manage this switch for you.)

We apologize if this change negatively affects your development workflow, and we intend to not only re-enable the old workflow, but to also make it better than it was before.

Transforming the Magazine Experience With Wired and AIR

Adobe and Wired magazine just introduced a new digital magazine concept that provides an immersive, interactive content experience for readers as well as innovative possibilities for advertisers. The video above provides an excellent overview of the collaboration and includes interviews with some of the individuals leading this project at both Wired and Adobe.

Adobe AIR was used to develop the prototype of the application unveiled by Chris Anderson (Wired) and Jeremy Clark (Adobe) at the TED conference last week. For additional information on the concept, please see the post by Introducing a New Digital Magazine Experience on Adobe Digital Publishing blog.

Screenshots

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Related Links

Preview of AIR on Android

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Alchemist, by InRuntime Ltd.

As thousands of mobile companies and developers converge on Barcelona for this year’s Mobile World Congress, the AIR team is delighted to announce a preview of Adobe AIR on Android. We are excited to publicly show a sample of AIR applications running on an Android phone.

Using Adobe AIR, developers and designers will be able to build standalone applications to target devices running the Android operating system. These very same applications can also be deployed as desktop AIR applications on Windows, Mac, Linux, and also as applications on the iPhone using the Packager for iPhone .

If you are in Barcelona, come by our booth to check out the exciting apps that we have running on an Android device. For the rest of you, we have some video demos of AIR on Android @ http://www.adobe.com/go/airmobile

Developers using AIR on Android will be able to leverage mobile-specific features–such as multi-touch, gestures, accelerometer, GPS, and screen orientation–to deliver richer and more immersive user experiences across multiple operating systems.

Prior to the availability of AIR on Android, developers will be able to create mobile applications targeting the iPhone using the Packager for iPhone solution that we announced at Adobe MAX 2009. They share the same APIs to make the applications portable. We’ve worked with several developers on the applications below to get them running on AIR Android. Most of these applications are currently available in the Apple App Store today!

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Alchemist by InRuntime Ltd.
fickleblox_320x215.png
FickleBlox by BlueskyNorth Ltd.
gridshock_320x215.pngGridshock by Bowler Hat Games chroma_320x215.pngChroma Circuit by Bowler Hat Games
redhood_320x215.pngRed Hood by DifferenceGames southpark_320x215.pngSouth Park Avatar Creator by MTV Networks
maverie_320x215.pngMaverie by DifferenceGames su_320x215.pngSu by Theodore Patrick

AIR on Android will be available in the second half of 2010. Please check back for additional announcements this year. Our team is tremendously excited about helping Flash and AIR developers bring innovative applications to mobile devices using our tools and frameworks.

Important update to the Flex 3.5 SDK

The Flex team announced an update to the 3.5 SDK that addresses an issue with the Flex-based AIR auto-update UI packaged within the SDK (SDK-24766). It is strongly recommended that all Flex developers building AIR applications update to the 3.5a release. The SDK 3.5a can be found in the "Latest Milestone Release Build" table here: http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexsdk/Download+Flex+3

Announcing Adobe AIR 2 Beta 2 Now Available on Adobe Labs

Today we are making available the second beta of Adobe AIR 2 on our Adobe Labs website. Since our first beta release of AIR 2 back in November, our team has been focused on improving the quality of AIR 2 as well as adding a number of new capabilities to the runtime.

Since we are very close to shipping AIR 2, we would like to request that all developers download the AIR 2 beta 2 runtime and SDK, read the release notes and developer FAQ for important changes and known issues, and test out their 1.0 and 2.0 applications. If you run into an issue, our team would like to hear from you. Please submit a bug using our feedback form. You can also post questions to the AIR 2 beta 2 forums if you would like to connect with other developers using the AIR 2 beta 2 runtime and SDK.

Two new features that developers mab be particularly interested in are the following:

  • Print Job Enhancements
    New properties and methods have been added to the PrintJob class to give you better control of the way content is printed from an AIR application, including the choice of printer, paper size, and number of copies. New properties also give you more information about the printer, such as printable area, whether the printer will print in color, and whether the print job is currently active. The new PrintJobOptions.printMethod property allows you specify whether to use bitmap or vector printing. The PrintJobOptions.pixelsPerInch property allows you to specify the resolution of print jobs. The new PrintUIOptions class allows you to control how much the end user can change the page range to be printed. See PrintJob, PrintJobOptions, and PrintUIOptions.
  • TLS/SSL Sockets
    You can now connect to a server that requires TLSv1 or SSLv3 for socket communications. See SecureSocket.

If you are interested in learning more about the new printing capabilities in the AIR 2 beta 2, please be sure to watch Adobe platform evangelist Ryan Stewart’s interview with Rick Rocheleau, the developer that led the development of these new features.

Important: Applications built against Adobe AIR 2 beta 1 will not run using the AIR 2 beta 2 runtime. In order for an AIR 2 beta 1 application to run on the AIR 2 beta 2 runtime, the namespace of the beta 1 application descriptor file must first be updated to "2.0beta2" and compiled against the AIR 2 beta 2 SDK. .

We have updated all of our AIR 2 beta sample applications to be compatible with the AIR 2 runtime.

Thank you for your continued help and support. In addition to our blog, please be sure to follow us on Twitter for AIR-related updates.

Rob Christensen
Product Manager, Adobe AIR