Adobe MAX 2010

Adobe MAX was two weeks ago, but it has been a busy two weeks since. So, finally, you will get a glimpse of all that I saw at the MAX conference.

To start, aside from the Jobs bashing and many discussions on the Flash vs. HTML5 situation, a major topic of discussion at MAX was multiplatform development. Adobe AIR has made it easier to deploy to different platforms like iPhone, Android, and Google tv.

I saw, first hand, how easy it was to create applications for Android using Actionscript 3.0 with both Flex and Flash. A few new additions to the API and some sleek new features soon to come to the masses in upcoming updates to Flash Builder and Flash Professional.

As for HTML5 vs. Flash, Adobe made it clear that the two were not interchangeable, but also that there is no reason that the two could not be use to supplement each other. They even showed off a tool that was being worked on that essentially took Flash animations and translated them to HTML5 as CANVAS.

Now for some neat sneaks:
-Dreamweaver is going mobile with some upcoming mobile site templates. Adobe is working with the guys from jQuery to get jQuery mobile fully operational.
-A really cool mobile media player with a working title of video tapestry was very cool and could potentially reinvent media playback on mobile devices
-3D animation in Flash with a new API built on top of mole hill

I’m sure there is more that I am just forgetting about but I’ll update the post with anything else I remember.

3 Exciting New Classes At Ascend Training!

With scads of new technology that CS5 has introduced and enabled, Ascend Training has expanded it’s class offerings with three new additions to our regular schedule!

Adobe InDesign CS5 Interactive Level 1: InDesign Documents for Web and Distribution–This 2 day class is geared towards current InDesign users who are looking to make the leap from print to interactivity. Learn how InDesign has evolved and can now create many interactive functions previously exclusive to Flash. You’ll also learn how InDesign and Flash can work hand in hand through new export functions in CS5.

Adobe Flash CS5 for Android: Building and Deploying Android Apps–Want to take your ActionScript skills to the next level? The newest update for Flash CS5 will allow users to develop Droid Apps. If you want to learn more about this exciting new technology and the potential it holds, check out this 5-day class! Also, take a peek at this related class topic: Adobe AIR.

HTML 5: Designing Websites with HTML 5–After 10 long years of waiting for a major HTML release, here it is, HTML 5. In this 2-day class students will be introduced to the newest HTML tags and image controls. Be on the forefront of this cutting edge technology that incorporates CSS3, CANVAS, and JavaScript.

Apple Facing Government Probe into Antitrust Flash Tactics

Uncle Sam steps in between Adobe and Apple

- by Jori Curry

Apple has started an all out war against Adobe Flash, and it seems that the government may soon step in. While Apple vows that the reason is that Flash would diminish battery power on the iPhone and iPad, the reality is that allowing Flash on the iPhone would create a huge hindrance for the Apple App store. The government is investigating whether their policy violates antitrust laws. According to the New York Post, both the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice are vying to be the first to file suit.

In addition to prohibiting Flash on the iPhone/iPad, Apple has also locked out Sun’s Java and Microsoft’s Silverlight. The CEO of Adobe, Shantanu Narayen was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying any crashes have “something to do with the Apple operating System.”  He also called the charges leveraged by Steve Jobs as “Patently false and a smokescreen.”

The backbiting between Adobe and Apple has created a very interesting climate within the creative community. Apple and Adobe users are wildly loyal, and this rift has forced many users to pick sides. Many Flash developers wonder if this is simply Steve Jobs with a Flash-competitor behind the curtain that will be released soon. The underlying question is this: Is this truly an argument about this software not being appropriate for Apple mobile devices, or is this a fight for the future of the video marketplace?

Adobe On The Go (be)

Now you can take Adobe Photoshop with you wherever you go! If you have an iPhone, and Android device, or even a mobile device with Windows Mobile, you can can edit, crop, and color-correct all your images just like you can at home…but you probably already knew this–what’s important is that, now that the iPad is out, we’re all going to be paying a lot more attention to Mobile Versions of things–that is, if the trendsetters at 1 Infinite Loop have again set the trend.

Adobe’s Photoshop Mobile is limited, to be sure, but its basic uses are the same as those used by many Photoshop (regular?) users; as aforementioned you can crop, color, and resize, but you can also make specialized albums, apply certain filters, add nifty effects. Perhaps coolest of all, you can add vignettes and things like “Warm Vintage” to your photos (this makes them look a little like old photos scanned from your parents’ wedding albums, with lots of red and brown and even more contrast).

At my job, we were all wondering (with, I think, good reason) if the Mystery Tablet would run Adobe software–and it will, sort of. This type of mobile approach to high-powered, sophisticated applications is not new, but it does seem to be the trend; stripped-down mobile browsers, mini-players for all sorts of files, and games that run on the (comparatively) itty-bitty screens of mobile devices have become the norm. In the effort to make mobile phones and devices that can do anything a desktop or laptop can do has made it more of a priority than ever for companies like Adobe to go mobile. Photoshop Mobile (cruise over to photoshop.com to check that out, by the way) is a step in the right direction, but where’s my Illustrator Mobile and (dare I suggest it?) Flash Mobile? At Ascend, we’ll teach you how to program for your iPhone, and how to use Photoshop, but isn’t it time we could combine them?

We all wait with baited breath for when we’ll be able to get an email of user requirements, build and code a website with interactive content, and mock up some examples for the client, all on the train from our phones. ‘Till then.

-This Blog sent from my iPhone

The battle behind the screens – Flash vs. Silverlight

It’s definitely a war–it’s just that it’s a Cold War.

Since Microsoft released Silverlight, (and by the way, watch what happens when you surf over there) their answer to Adobe Flash, in 2007, there’s been a (sort of) silent war going on behind the two software giants about who gets to play your movies.

When you go to a site like Youtube or Hulu to watch videos (and who among us does not, these days?), isn’t it awesome how fast it is? How clear? How the videos you watch don’t take up space on your hard disk or really even slow down what you’re doing in the background? That’s because when you go to those sites (and soon others like Vimeo and possibly Dailymotion), your browser loads a plugin to let you read the Flash Video that someone has posted and that the website has slightly reconfigured–and plays it right from the source, like you’re looking through your computer to where the video really is, somewhere else. This means that anyone, anywhere can see it, which is good news for video producers and marketers alike. Just as Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux can all (usually) read the same types of files, now we can all see almost any type of video–the trouble is that not everyone feels like they’re making enough money this way.

Any guesses who? (*coughSilverlightcough*)

Well, you’re mostly right, but it isn’t JUST Microsoft. There are plenty of people out to get Flash, now that it’s the standard for video playback on the web: Sun Microsystems (who makes Java), plenty of open-source proponents, and Apple have either resisted or worked around integrating Flash into their video products (iPhone, anyone?) but more than ever, Adobe is realizing that if they want their product to stay at the top, they’re going to have to get into some heretofore unexplored venues. To that end, the rumors are flying about new tools for developing iPhone apps using Flash, putative Flash support on the theoretical Apple Tablet (if it exists, right?), and more.

Microsoft is responding to this by leveraging their power toward pushing Flash out of certain areas; ever notice that the streaming function of Netflix is run on Silverlight instead of Flash?

So here’s the question: both Flash and Silverlight are proprietary software, and both are the big boys when it comes to video playback on the web–now whom would we prefer as the keeper of our vids? Because someones’s going to win this battle–and either way, it’s going to mean a lot about how we get (and what we can do with) our video.

What do you get for the phone who has everything?

iphone, rumors, questions, next

What to do next with the coolest phone Ever?

So ok–it’s going to be a while until we get Flash for the iPhone, but I think we can all agree that it’s still pretty cool. The question is: now that you can do almost everything on the iPhone, like getting GPS Driving directions, reading e-books with the Kindle App, checking your email, stock quotes, and weather forecasts, and watching movies…what’s next for this niftiest of devices? I know! NEW APPS for it!

When the iPhone came out in 2007, most users were impressed and pleased with the number of cool applications you could get for it; in fact it’s this that makes the iPhone more of a palmtop computer than strictly a phone–you can load new software and get upgrades just like you can with your laptop or desktop. That said, the idea of WRITING software for the iPhone was, and still is for many, a black box. What’s involved in writing an app for the iPhone? Do you have to learn a new language? Does it mean you have to HAVE a Mac computer…or even own an iPhone?

With the meteoric takeoff of Apple’s App Store, it’s become clear even to the comparative luddite that someone is creating all these apps, and with the iPhone gaining (still!) in popularity, it seems likely that more and more people will learn how–but how?

Well, as far as that goes, there are a couple of ways to get going, but the best we can think of is a class on iPhone Application Development – how to use Objective-C, how to upload and test the apps, and how to get the most out of what you create.

Since the much-touted PastryKit is only a theory at this point, and since it’s gotten even easier to market new Apps with all the upgrades to the App Store, we think now is a fantastic time to start learning to program for what is STILL the coolest phone out there…and what can only be made cooler by a new app…by You!

Adobe Flash for Android: Will iPhone Lag Behind?

flash-android1

- by Jori Curry

In 2009, the iPhone has 43% of mobile web access, while the Google Android Phone is catching up to grab 5%, but the incorporation of Adobe Flash might be enough to tip the scales in favor of Android. Adobe and Apple have had a long relationship, and Adobe was quoted early on that come hell or high water, there would be a version of Flash for the iPhone, but it seems that Adobe is moving forward with other vendors.

“We are excited to be working alongside Adobe to bring Flash technology to Android,” said Andy Rubin, director of mobile platforms at Google. “Adobe Flash is crucial to a rich Internet and content experience on mobile devices and we are thrilled that Google will be one of the first companies along with the Open Handset Alliance to bring Flash technology to the smartphone market.”

Steve Jobs has been quoted saying Flash Lite ““isn’t capable enough to be used with the Web.” Now it seems Adobe is moving forward with other partnerships with Google, Microsoft, Palm and Nokia, as stated at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

iwantflash1Jack Gold, an anylist with J. Gold Associates was quoted with explaining the reasons Apple is blocking Flash on the iPhone: “Adobe wants Flash to run really well. To get high performance, you need to run in the lower layers of the OS or phone. Apple wants to push its own technology, in this case, QuickTime. It has its own interests at heart. Look at how long it took to get Flash onto Macs. I honestly don’t think you will see Flash on the iPhone anytime soon.”

With this shift in the “Adobe-Apple” relationship, will this open the door for the Google Android phone to take the lead? While Apple is rumored to enable video to be streamed via HTML5, will this be enough to fight the wave of Flash that has penetrated the web? According to Market Share, Mac users make up 9.81% of those using the internet. One can only assume that this increase up from the paltry 5% in 2001. The base of “Appleloonians” that have been lifefong users (I myself started out with the Apple Iie in 1983) is growing due to the iPhone, but many of us are seeing difficulties on the web without Flash.

In my opinion, just like Apple said that they would never develop for Windows, there will be little choice but to accommodate Adobe Flash, which is quickly taking over the internet as we know it.

Facebook and Adobe Partner with Flash

- by Jori Curry…

Flash, FacebookAdobe and Facebook have proposed a marriage between Flash and Facebook to give developers a whole new set of tools with the Client Library, a free open source programming language. An announcement that comes after MySpace’s partnership with Microsoft’s Silverlight. Using Actionscript 3.0 Client Library, the new Facebook Connect will integrate the power of Facebook into individual websites using Flash, Flex and AIR. A good example is Red Bull that is engaging customers through Facebook Connect.

Adrian Ludwig of Adobe recently told MacWorld, “We are seeing that it’s becoming quite easy for traditional developers to start using Flash,” said Ludwig. “That’s quite a change from where it was five to eight years ago when Flash was focused on animation.”

This marriage is a library that provides Flash developers a much easier process without the Facebook platform. Many developers have built their own libraries using Ruby on Rails that tie into Facebook, but now will have a much easier time plugging into the Facebook platform through Flash. On the Adobe Developer Connection, there are pages dedicated to tutorials and videos to help get developers started.

“Combining social functionality with the Adobe Flash Platform gives the millions of Flash developers the tools to create Web experiences that are truly differentiated,” said Bryant Macy, Director of Platform Product Marketing for Adobe.

While Facebook Connect is available for the iPhone, we are still unsure if Flash will come to the iPhone anytime soon. One can hope that the recent Adobe Open Screen Project, which is designed to partner with companies to use Flash as the RIA platform is the first step in enabling Flash on the iPhone.

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iFrame Facebook application

iFrame Facebook application