All the hype about Flash Player 10.1 for mobile devices made a lot of people forget about all the other feature phones that do not have big screens or powerful processors and which will never be capable for running the full Flash experience. For these other phones Adobe is going to release the fourth edition of Flash Lite, which for the first time will support ActionScript 3.0. There are no details about this at all on Adobe’s own website, but according to Blogger Anand Joshi, the new Flash Lite 4 is now available for phone manufacturers from Calsoft – one of Adobe’s partners.
Anand points out that Flash Player 10.1 is merely a plugin for the browser, while Flash Lite 4 is both a plug and a standalone application. The fact that it also resides outside the browser makes it possible for the phone manufacturers to add device-specific capabilities to it, while the same cannot be done for Flash Player 10.1.
You can read more about this on Anand’s blog and on Scott Janousek’s blog as well.
Earlier this month Adobe release the public beta of its upcoming AIR 2.0 SDK – codenamed Athena. The latest version of the SDK will enable you to create AIR applications with new features such as the support for mass storage devices, advanced networking capabilities, multi-touch gestures, HTML5 & CSS3 support, and many other new features. You can learn more about Athena and download the SDK at Adobe Labs.
Adobe announced recently that has canceled its plans to release a public beta of Flash CS5 before the end of this year in hope of delivering a more fine tuned final product sometime next year. I am like the majority of other Flash users disappointed as I was looking forward to try out the new features of Flash CS5, especially the tools for creating Flash iPhone applications using the IDE. It is unknown if there would be a public beta release of Flash CS5 now before its official release in 2010.
On a more positive note, Lee Brimelow posted a video showing some of the new features of Flash CS5 including on-stage video playback and cue point creation tools, new Flash file open uncompressed format, code snippets, custom class code hints, Flash Builder integration, and the new TLF text format. You can view the video at GotoAndLearn.com.
Flash CS5 is expected to be released in the first half of 2010.
This is probably the biggest Flash announcement of the year, Adobe announced that Flash developers will finally be able to create iPhone-compatible Flash games. The next version of the Flash authoring tool, Flash CS5, will have a feature to export AS3 projects to native iPhone applications. This feature does not mean that the iPhone will be able to understand Flash files or that its Safari browser will be capable of running Flash movies, but it means that Flash developers will be able to use Flash CS5 to make native iPhone applications and games by using their existing ActionScript 3.0 skills.
Flash CS5 iPhone applications will have some restrictions such as the inability to use the camera or the copy-and-paste features, but will have the majority of other features including SQLite. Developers will still have to acquire an Apple Developer’s License to be able to sell their applications on the App Store.
This is a truly amazing step forward for Adobe and it will help make Flash developers have a new medium to distribute their content. The beta of Flash CS5 is expected to be released by the end of the 2009.
You can learn more about this, watch a demo video and download sample iPhone applications at http://Adobe.com/iPhone . You can learn more about the restrictions of Flash iPhone Application from the Flash Mobile Blog.
This ActionScript 3.0 tutorial will teach you how to draw lines, make fills, and create simple graphical vector shapes in Flash by using the Graphics Class. Click here to read the tutorial.
Learn how to create a link to another webpage using the ActionScript 3.0 navigateToURL() method. Click here to view the tutorial.
Adobe Labs released yesterday a beta AS3 Class called Squiggly that operates as a spell check engine for Flash Player 10 movies and Adobe AIR projects. The spell-check engine will underline wrongly spelled words and will show suggested corrections in the right-click context menu.
Squiggly could be used in with Flash Professional or Flash Builder, but currently the class relies on Flex UI components to underline the text, however, developers may write their own UI interface to be able to use Squiggly without relying on any Flex component. You can learn more about Squiggly and download it for free from this link.
This tutorial will teach you how to use keyboard events to execute commands in your ActionScript 3.0 Flash movies – a helpful tool for game projects. Click here to view the tutorial.
Earlier this month Adobe released its August issue of Adobe Edge, which include a nice tutorial on how to do augment reality in Flash CS4 to show an interactive 3D object on a real image captured live from a camera. The tutorial does not explain every single line of code used, but does provide a general guide on how to create each separate piece and the general function of each code segment. A nice read for someone interested in such a project. View the tutorial here.
Adobe recently released a new product in Labs called Adobe Wave, which is basically a service tied to an AIR application to send updates directly to the desktop of end users. It serves the same function as a desktop based RSS reader, but is proprietary, does not read regular RSS feeds, and has no web based access for users to check the latest updates. The service will probably not have any wide spread due to the effort necessary for publishers to set up their feeds and integrate the Wave API into existing feeds.
Anyway, Flash developers should still check it out because it is a great example of a light-weight AIR application that has a nice simple interface and great web connectivity.
You can learn more about Adobe Wave at Adobe Labs.