Archive for September, 2010

AIR for TV Sessions at MAX

Adobe MAX is right around the corner and we’re super excited to start showing off the latest and greatest that AIR has to offer. There’s going to be a ton of exciting sessions covering desktop, mobile devices, and now the newest screen, TVs.

We’ve got two sessions specifically aimed at getting our customers excited about and educated in what AIR for TV is going to offer them. We also have a lab that will give you a chance to learn how to actually develop AIR for TV applications. Plus, as usual, we’ll have a couple of surprises up our sleeve that you won’t want to miss!

Our two sessions will help you learn two things: first, the ecosystem around TVs, Blu-ray Players, and set top boxes; and, second how to actually use the new AIR for TV platform to build and optimize applications that run on those devices. Expect these to be info-packed, fun, and engaging sessions to learn about a whole new screen to take your apps and content.

Flash Platform for TV: A New Ecosystem by Aditya Bansod (Principal Product Manager)
Join us for a sneak peek of Flash Player 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 for TV

How to Develop & Optimize AIR for TV Applications by Don Woodward (Principal Scientist, Consumer Electronics)
Learn how to build engaging applications for the TV screen using Adobe AIR. Special focus will be made on design considerations and optimizations for building applications for the television.

In addition to the two sessions above, we will also be hosting three hands-on labs at MAX. You won’t want to miss these! We’ll be giving you all the tools you’ll need to walk out of the lab a super-charged TV developer.

Lab: Developing Your First AIR for TV Application by Don Woodward (Principal Scientist, Consumer Electronics)
Learn in this lab how to build engaging applications for the TV screen that run on Adobe AIR. Special focus will be given to design considerations and optimizations for building applications for the television.

So join us at MAX, sign up for the sessions, and learn what Adobe has been doing the last year to open up a whole new ecosystem for our community.

Aditya Bansod
Principal Product Manager

A Sneak Peek into Flash Player “Square”

Today we’re making available a preview of Adobe® Flash® Player that we’re calling “Square.” This preview includes support for two new areas, namely enhanced support for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 Beta and native 64-bit support for all major desktop operating systems including Linux, Mac, and Windows.

As part of our collaboration with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team over the past few months, Flash Player “Square” has been enhanced to directly support the hardware-accelerated graphics capabilities in the newest version of IE. Flash Player “Square” leverages the new GPU support available with Internet Explorer 9 Beta to deliver a faster and more responsive user experience. In our internal testing, we’ve seen significant improvements in Flash Player graphics performance – exceeding 35% in Internet Explorer 9 Beta compared to Flash Player running in previous versions of IE. While the performance improvements will vary based on the type of content and how it’s created, bitmap-heavy content for Flash Player will experience the greatest benefit. Content created for Flash Player that’s embedded as transparent (wmode=”transparent”) will also run more efficiently given the benefits of offloading the HTML and Flash content compositing to the GPU. Try it out by downloading the Internet Explorer 9 Beta and the Flash Player “Square” preview. We’d appreciate your feedback and observations on performance.

The community has been very vocal around the need for native 64-bit support and we’ve heard you loud and clear. Today we’re also sharing a refresh of the Linux 64-bit version of Flash Player together with the first preview of both the 64-bit Windows and Mac versions. If you’re using a 64-bit browser, I encourage you to install a 64-bit version of Flash Player and give it try. Those using the previous 64-bit version of Flash Player for Linux should find this new version even faster and more reliable.  These new versions are fully functional, so all content should be compatible. We’ve found “Square” to be stable and ready for broad testing, but keep in mind this a sneak peak and not everything will be fully baked. If you encounter any issues, I’d encourage you to file a bug in our public database so we can investigate.

I hope you enjoy this early preview into some of the areas of focus for the Flash Player team. I encourage you to take the opportunity to try them out and share your feedback with us.

Sneak peak at upcoming AIR sessions at Adobe MAX

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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. 
  8. Learn to Build a Desktop Application using HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Adobe AIR by Andy Matthews (Founder, commadelimited)
    Learn by example how to develop rich, engaging applications that run on the desktop using Adobe AIR combined with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This session will focus on developing applications for the desktop that can read and write to the local file system, display notifications, and leverage popular JavaScript frameworks including jQuery. Code samples will be used to help guide you through the workflow of creating your first AIR application. 

Important MAX-related links:

If you are unable to attend MAX, please note that many of the sessions will be recorded and I will request that speakers share their slides publicly.

Rob Christensen
Sr. Product Manager, Adobe AIR

Flash Player 10.1 for Android – Update 1 Now Available

We are pleased to announce the first update release of the Flash Player 10.1 binary for Android devices.  Earlier this summer, in June 2010, we released Flash Player 10.1 to all of our OEM Open Screen Project partners and achieved general availability of the Player binary for all Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) devices on August 16, 2010.  This update release includes new device optimizations for recently certified devices, additional bug fixes, and security updates.

While many of our OEM partners will be shipping their new devices with Flash Player 10.1 pre-installed, we highly encourage you to download the latest version of Flash Player from Android Market so that you will be able to receive auto-notifications from Android Market when new update releases and versions become available.  If you do not update the pre-installed Flash Player, you won’t receive auto-notification from Android Market for new update releases.  These updates will include new certified device optimizations and feature enhancements, and will also provide security and bug fixes.

As we continue our collaboration with our silicon partners, and as our OEM partners go through the device certification process for Flash Player 10.1 for their new devices, we are receiving more information and insights on how we can further optimize our runtime for variances between device models and OEMs, including, for example, for hardware H.264 video decoding and the performance of OpenGL ES drivers.  We are also identifying device/chipset specific bug fixes and optimizations as Flash Player is supported across a broader set of hardware and devices.

As new devices come through certification, we will be providing regular Flash Player update releases to Android Market that will include device optimizations and security updates as appropriate. Now that we’ve deployed a single binary for all Android devices, we can seamlessly deliver new capabilities and optimization to all supported devices using Android Market.

Disney Releases Preschool Time Online Powered by Adobe AIR

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!

Adobe AIR Launchpad accelerates app development

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
  • Local database
  • Displaying PDFs
  • Sockets
  • Clipboard access
  • Native process
  • 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.

Note that LaunchPad currently does not support HTML/JavaScript. If you would like to see this application enhanced to support HTML/JavaScript, AIR for Android or anything else, please leave a note on Greg’s blog post.

In addition, James Ward, enterprise evangelist at Adobe, recorded an excellent overview of Launchpad:

Related posts:

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!