The PlayBook is on sale today and it really is a beautiful device, especially for Flash developers. Having been able to play with one for a while now I am incredibly impressed with the QNX operating system and the general form factor of the tablet.
I did a couple of videos on the PlayBook for AdobeTV. The first one is on using OAuth with the PlayBook. It should be a good primer for PlayBook developers who want to leverage services like Twitter or Facebook Connect. The second one was a video of one of Renaun’s tips on how to use ImageCache in a QNX list to help improve performance. Both are embedded below.
If you haven’t been to SXSW, as a geek, you need to go at least once. The badge is pretty cheap for what you get, and the experience is unreal. As I’ve gone to SXSW I find myself going to fewer and fewer panels, but there is always very good content. And the subject matter is incredibly diverse so you can geek out on everything from development to food. But the best part is connecting with people. One of the best things about SXSW is that everyone there is happy to talk to you about anything. There are always a few people who came to pitch their stuff, but even they’re fun to talk about and the enthusiasm they have is infectious. We held some Adobe events at breakfast and lunch and I got to meet some really fun people who were jazzed about what Adobe is doing.
We also had our crack video team at the event and they did a ton of video. To get a feel for what it was like at SXSW, check out the videos below. And hopefully we’ll see you there next year. Big thanks to the Edge team, and the CS marketing team for putting on some great Adobe events at SXSW this year.
There’s a cool video about the Interactive Web Awards, which we sponsor and some of the winners and how they use Adobe tools. Some of the finalists for these awards are amazingly impressive.
We also snuck some of the next-gen features in Flash Professional and Dreamweaver and did a couple of videos of feedback from the people that came to the session. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.
The BlackBerry PlayBook SDK and Simulator support a couple of different swipe events along the top of the device. I recorded a quick screencast that talks about a couple of different ways you can use the events in your own application.
On Friday I gave the Keynote at Flash Camp Seattle and as part of that keynote I tried to show off Flash Player 10.1 running on Nexus One. Unfortunately the demo didn’t go well and it got some attention around the web. I’ve had a great experience with Flash on my Nexus One but in this case I was running an interim Flash Player build, one I probably should not have installed, and one that I definitely should not have used for any public demos
After I saw Jeff’s blog post, I sat down, upgraded my Flash Player, and went through and tested some of the sites I use on a regular basis. The experience was fantastic. Everything from the Eco Zoo to the NHL video site runs almost flawlessly. While it won’t make up for my mistake at Flash Camp, I recorded a video so people could see an experience that will be much closer to the final experience with Flash Player on Android.
It’s been cool to see so many Flash sites work on mobile devices. However because there is such a variety of Flash content out on the web, it’s important to understand that not all of it is going to run on devices like the Nexus One, both because of lower hardware capabilities of devices and because of user interface design.
A lot of people are clearly interested in Flash Player on mobile devices. It’s a big issue, and I feel terrible that my unpreparedness ended up being a strike against Flash on mobile devices. We’ll be releasing a public version of Flash Player 10.1 at Google I/O and would love to hear how your Flash sites perform. You can always submit issues by using the open Flash Player bug base.
I wanted to do something slightly different and build more of a functional application.
I come from a Flex background and so I haven’t spent a lot of time creating ActionScript only projects. And while Flex performs pretty well on Flash Player 10.1, doing an AS3 only project gives it a better shot at running, especially as the application gets more complex. So I went with ActionScript only and created an application that uses the foursquare API as well as the Geonames database to find and let me check into physical features like mountains, streams, and lakes when I’m out hiking and want to still be able to check into foursquare.
Thoughts on Building for Mobile Flash
As you’ve seen, a lot of Flash content will just work. And because of the AIR for Android packager, a lot of people will just end up building applications and not worry about creating in-browser Flash apps for mobile devices. But I wanted to try it. A few thoughts:
One, the Flex mobile framework can’t come soon enough. I have so much more respect for the old-school Flashers because rolling everything by hand is a pain. And I had it easy because I was dealing with a fixed resolution since I was specifically targeting the Nexus One.
Two, while I didn’t do much in the way of performance tuning, that’s going to be important. These are pretty beefy devices and we’ve done some great optimizations, but for complex Flash content, tuning your code will be central to a good experience.
Three, as Mike Chambers showed, hover content works, but I found it kind of annoying. The way it’s currently set up, the hover event fires after the down event fires. So using SimpleButton the way I normally use it didn’t quite work because the effect was off. I ended up just making the hover state the same as the down state.
Lastly, I was surprised how much just worked. I pulled a LOT of third party content into this application. Keith Peter’s Minimalcomps, the foursquare AS3 API by Tim Walling, my own AS3 library for Geonames, the Google Maps API, TweenLite, Shannon Hicks’ OAuthAS3 library – and it all worked just fine. Part of what I wanted to test was how much I could throw at the device and I was pleasantly surprised by how well it all worked even on the beta bits of Flash Player 10.1. So when you target these devices, you’ll be able to use a very similar workflow, which I think is important.
To see the application in action, you can check out the video above or test the application in your browser here. You’ll need to have a browser like Firefox 3.6 that supports geolocation and if you check in you’ll be checking in this poor guy. All of the code is available on GitHub and you’re free to do with it what you will. Unfortunately my OAuth implementation was half-assed, so the foursquare checkin didn’t work, but it works in the browser.
I took some time over the weekend to dive into the multitouch APIs on AIR 2 and built a basic example with the Google Maps 3D API. I wired up the out of the box gestures in AIR 2 to some specific manipulations so that it goes beyond the typical move and pinch gestures that most of the multitouch mapping apps use. You can see the YouTube clip below and grab the source over on GitHub to see how easy it is to use the gesture events in AIR 2.
A couple of great places to look for more multitouch info is Christian Cantrell’s blog and Matt Legrand’s Multitouchup.com. I’m also working on an Android version of the app but there are a couple of kinks to work out.
If you missed it yesterday, AIR 2 beta 2 is now available on Adobe labs. This release includes some bug fixes, some optimizations, and a few new features including support for TLS/SSL socket communication and much improved support for interacting with printers. I sat down with the engineer who did a lot of the work on the new printing API and interviewed him about it. He also walked me through a demo of the new features. The APIs let you have complete control over printing and customize the experience. It’s worth checking out.
Adobe Stratus is a hosted beta service that uses new RTMFP functionality in Flash Player 10 to connect directly instead of having to round trip between the server and the instance of the player. I chatted with Laurel Reitman and Jozsef Vass about the benefits of RTMFP and Stratus. At the end I demo how to create a very simple chat program using Stratus.
One of my favorite features in Flex 4 is the ability to easily apply custom layouts to your components. It’s going to make things like building lists very, very interesting and let you create some unique looks. A while back I sat down with Evtim Georgiv on the SDK team to talk about layouts in Flex 4 for Adobe TV. You can check out the video below or use the link. At the end I walk through a couple of the methods that Evtim talks about and then show one of his samples that gives a glimpse into what you can do. This is definitely less of a technical session and more of a teaser so you’ll jump in and want to check out more.