Development

Adobe Labs is currently previewing their latest animation tool-Adobe Edge, which you will be able to use to create animations destined for screens of all sizes. By using the latest web standards, such as HTML/HTML 5, CSS 3, and JavaScript, animators will be able to use Edge to create motion content with its easy to use, timeline-based interface. Edge will allow you to create compositions from scratch, or to import and animate existing web graphics (bitmap or SVG) and CSS-based HTML layouts.

Here’s an introduction to Adobe Edge from Doug Winnie:


Stay tuned, as an early preview release should be available soon. (July-ish)

  • You can sign up to be notified when the preview release becomes available here.
  • Follow Adobe Edge on Facebook

Today Adobe released version 4.5 of Flash Builder and the open-source Flex SDK. Arguably the most important update in this release is the added support for mobile application development. Developers can leverage Flash Builder 4.5 and the Flex 4.5 SDK to create applications destined for multiple mobile platforms using a common code base (Flex and or ActionScript 3.0). The new SDK includes 21 new, ready-made components that developers can use to build applications for Android, BlackBerry, or iOS. Testing and debugging can done on the desktop by leveraging the AIR-based device emulator, or by connecting devices locally and using a one-click process to package, deploy, and launch the application. Flash Builder 4.5 will generate platform-specific installer files to upload to a mobile application distribution site or store.

Adobe’s Serge Jespers demonstrates how to create an application that can run on several devices running Android, BlackBerry, or iOS using Flex and Flash Builder.

More on Flash Builder 4.5, and Flex 4.5:

Article: Coding productivity enhancements in Flash Builder 4.5

Video: Testing Android applications on the desktop

Download Adobe Flash Builder/Flex 4.5


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Adobe announced yesterday that it is no longer going to provide support  for AIR on the desktop Linux platform. Instead, they will focus their attention on mobile platforms such as Android, Blackberry Tablet OS, and iOS. Adobe also announced that they will be prioritizing a Linux porting kit for AIR, which will include source code. Open Screen Project partners can use this porting kit to implement AIR on Linux-based platforms on PC’s, mobile devices, TV’s, and TV-connected devices. According to the announcement, AIR 2.6 will be the final Adobe-supported version (AIR 2.7 is the most current release). Existing AIR applications will continue to work on Linux PC’s, provided they target AIR 2.6 or earlier. However, users won’t be able to install new AIR applications, or apply application updates, including security updates. It is Adobe’s belief that any need for future versions of AIR on Linux desktop will be met by one or more of their partners.

This decision makes sense when you take a look at the numbers: according to Adobe, Linux desktop accounted for only 0.5% of AIR installations (Linux represents only ~1% of the desktop market overall). However, Adobe is predicting that by the end of 2011 there will be more than 200M smartphones and tablets which can download and run AIR applications.

Yesterday Adobe released AIR 2.7, which offers some important bug fixes, security patches, and very interesting feature enhancements and performance upgrades for both mobile and desktop applications. Developers can download the SDK here. Some of the improvements announced with this release include:

  • AIR to SD installation (Android only) Now end users can install the AIR runtime onto the SD card of their Android device, allowing them to save storage space on the main drive of their device.
  • 4X speed improvements for iOS Runtime optimizations allow developers to create applications for iOS that run up to 4 times faster when running in CPU mode. Click here for  a video of Renaun Erickson demonstrating this new improved performance on the iPad. Here’s an example of an Android application created by Robert M. Hall that will also be deployed to iOS thanks to AIR 2.7.
  • Media Analytics Using Adobe Site Catalyst with AIR 2.7 or Flash Player 10.3, developers can now easily(read: very little code) implement video analytics in both web and desktop applications, regardless of the implementation method or delivery protocol. New open API’s give analytics providers the tools to easily gather real-time, aggregated reporting of how video is distributed, what the audience reach is, and how much video is played.
  • Acoustic Echo Cancellation (Desktop only) Real-time, outside the browser, online collaboration experiences, such as group conferencing, in-game chat, and telephony now benefit from AIR 2.7′s new audio quality feature enhancements such as, Acoustic Echo Cancellation(AEC), noise suppression, voice activity detection, and automatic compensation for various microphone input levels. End users can now experience higher quality audio without the need for noise-reduction headphones.
  • Improvements to HTMLLoader API Developers now have more control over how clickable links behave within HTML content in standalone desktop applications. Magazine readers and eBook readers can now benefit from weblink-style navigation.
  • Faster development and debugging for iOS Applications By using the AIR Developer Tool (ADT), a command line development tool which is part of the AIR SDK, developers can dramatically speed up the testing and debugging process when creating applications for iOS. By enabling the Interpreter Mode for iOS in ADT, developers can enjoy a streamlined testing and debugging workflow.
  • Bug fixes and security enhancements Important fixes delivered with AIR 2.7 are outlined in Security Bulletin APSB11-13.

The full set of release notes for AIR 2.7 can be found here.

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OSMF 1.6-Sprint 5 is Here!

Posted on June 06, 2011 at 2:27 pm in Development, Media Solutions

Today Adobe announced the release of the latest sprint for OSMF 1.6, and it includes some exciting new features in terms of how it can handle audio. The biggest new feature is support for multiple audio tracks for HTTP Dynamic Streaming. Known as “late-binding audio”, this methodology allows producers to present multiple audio-only tracks attached to a particular video to the end user. Consider, for example, the need to deliver videos in more than one language. Late-binding audio allows producers to include seperate audio tracks for each language, and then have the viewer choose the appropriate one based on their needs. The benefits to having multiple audio tracks associated with a single video file are savings in encoding time, as well as reduced storage requirements-much more efficient than having to encode and store several different versions of each video. OSMF also supports the ability to switch between audio tracks during playback, which allows even more flexibility in terms of what kind of user experiences are possible.

Currently late-binding audio is available for video-on-demand only, but Adobe promises live/linear support in their next drop.

Check out the original announcement here.

Mobile Flex: View Data

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:05 am in Development

From the previous post you should know how to navigate from 1 view to the next using the ViewNavigator.  Now, you want some data in that view right? No problem, this is where the View object’s ‘data‘ property comes into play. Setting the data property is accomplished by passing the data object, in addition to the View’s class name, into the pushView() method on the navigator object.

Example:

navigator.pushView(MyNewView, dataObject);

This effectively calls the setting for the data property of the new View (MyNewView) object that is created.

Managing View Data

You could work with the data property on the View object directly. For instance, if the data object passed into the View via the pushView() method was a simple user object that contained a name property, you could bind the name property to a label control.

Example:

<s:Label id="name_lbl" text="{data.name}" />

Overriding the Data Property Setter

Usually though, you’d want to override the setter for the data property. Then you can type your object and work with it in a better manner.

Example:

protected var user:User;
override public function set data(value:Object):void
{
 super.data = value;
 user = value as User;
}

 

<s:Label text="{user.name}" />

So now we’ve got the data in the view. The next step is to manage the state of each view. With mobile apps you can’t count on the view staying around, so we’ll need to keep a tight control on the state of each view. That way we can bring the user right back where they expect to be when they come back to the app after a call for example. In the next post we’ll look into how to do this. Stay tuned.

Mobile Flex: ViewNavigator Basics

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 8:45 am in Development

Flex 4.5 provides some pretty slick updates and enhancements, the least of are the of Mobile components and the ability to easily slam out some pretty nice mobile apps. The first thing I’d like to talk about is a new concept, the ViewNavigator. The ViewNavigator provides some pretty intense functionality such as view management.

What is the ViewNavigator?

The ViewNavigator keeps track of your views. It does this by keeping your views in a list.  To add a new view you ‘push’ the view into the list, to remove a view you can ‘pop’ a view out of the list. You can think of it as a stack – first in, last out – and the last view in is the visible view.

Popping a view out of the ViewNavigator's 'stack'

Pushing a View into ViewNavigator's 'stack'

Popping a view out of the ViewNavigator's 'stack'

Popping a view out of the ViewNavigator's 'stack'

Using the ViewNavigator

Using the view navigator is a pretty straight forward process of capturing a user interaction, such as a button click, then pushing the new View into the ViewNavigator’s stack.

For example, let’s pretend that you have a new Flex mobile project. The default view of that project has a button, that when clicked should display another view named MyNewView.  MyNewView also has a button, that when clicked returns you to the home view.

Home View Component

In the Home View component all you really need to worry about the click handler on the button:

label="NEXT"
width="100%"
click="navigator.pushView(MyNewView)" />

The click handler calls the pushView() method on ‘navigator‘, a property available from the View class, passing it the class name of the View that you want to display. We’ll cover getting data into that view and transitions in other posts.  The creation of the new View & default transition are all handled by the  framework.

MyNewView Component

The MyNewView View component is basically the same thing:

label="BACK"
width="100%"
click="navigator.popView()" />

You call popView() on the ‘navigator‘ property which removes the view from the stack displaying the Home view again.

Here is a quick screen cast of an application using similar code:
Get Adobe Flash player

Digital-Tutors is a recognized leader in on-demand training for the motion graphics industry, partnering with leading design studios, software manufacturers, and educational institutions.  To extend their platform of web and mobile video applications, Digital-Tutors worked with RealEyes Media to create a new version of their online training library that would allow users to download lessons and courses for offline viewing, while continuing to advance the features in their training platform: Digital-Tutors Vault.

Today, Digital-Tutors is releasing the second major release of Vault, coupled with a new Web application that brings Vault’s advanced user interface and much of its functionality to the browser. Curious about what all the fuss is about? Vault 1.6 includes enhanced group functionality and updates to Digital-Tutors’ streaming technology.

Digital-Tutors Vault provides digital visual artists at all experience levels the opportunity to stream training content while online and use a credits system to download and lease DRM protected content for offline viewing. All users are welcomed to the application with an HTML experience that is seamlessly integrated into the application.  Through an API, the HTML pages can execute actions in the parent AIR application, allowing Digital-Tutors to highlight important content easily. To keep content fresh, Vault has an integrated asset and data update system that ensures users have the most up-to-date local catalog assets. In fact, the AIR application is bundled with catalog assets (local database, images, HTML, and JavaScript) so users experience a robust application right from the start – even when offline.

With the ability to move category tabs such as Browse and Playlists as well as create and organize custom tags, notes and video clips, Vault provides an extremely customizable digital learning environment.  The Vault application also automatically syncs custom user data across Digital-Tutors suite of applications, including web and iPhone, so that items like view progress and clips are consistent across all of a user’s devices.

Want to experience Vault for yourself:
http://www.digitaltutors.com/09/vault.php

RealEyes is pleased to announce the launch of a new series dedicated to making sense of the vast world of digital audio. This series will consist of an ever-expanding collection of posts that aim to provide information about digital audio principles in the form of articles and tutorial-walkthroughs. Topics to be covered include:

  • Acoustic-to-Analog-to-Digital conversion
  • Soundwaves
  • Db
  • Nyquist Theorem
  • Sample rate/bit depth
  • Recording best-practices
  • Editing
  • Audio effects
  • DAW’s (digital audio workstations)
  • Exporting to different filetypes
  • MIDI
  • Audio for the web
  • Audio and Actionscript
  • Much more!

…Stay tuned!

On March 18, 2011, Adobe announced the General Availability release of Flash Player 10.2 in the Android Market for various Android devices (Android mobile – 2.2 Froyo, and 2.3 Gingerbread, and for Android tablets – 3.x Honeycomb).

From Adobe:

“Flash Player 10.2 is now available for download on Android Market.  This is a production GA (General Availability) release for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices and an initial beta release for Android 3.x (Honeycomb) tablets that include at least Google’s 3.0.1 system update.*  To see if your device is certified for Flash Player 10.2, visit: http://www.adobe.com/go/cd1.

The beta of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.x is an exciting release that brings a full web browsing experience, including video, games and other interactive content, to the latest Android tablets. We have been working very closely with Google through the development of this beta to ensure tight integration and optimization between Flash Player 10.2 and new OS and browser capabilities.

Improvements include:

  • Performance enhancements to take advantage of new hardware in both Android 3.x tablets, as well as existing hardware in many Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices
  • Tight integration with the new Android 3.x browser to treat Flash content as part of the web page instead of as a separate “overlay.”  This results in improved scrolling of web pages and the ability to display pages in the way intended by the page designer, including new support for compositing HTML and other web content over Flash Player rendered content.
  • Automatic soft keyboard support to simplify text entry for rich mobile and multi-screen experiences”

Continue reading the full article on the Adobe Flash Player Team Blog