A Great New Tool Fresh from Adobe Labs – Adobe Edge

Just yesterday a brand new tool was released to the public. Adobe Edge is a tool that allows you to easily create HTML 5 animations in a Flash-esque application. It uses a timeline, much like Flash, where you can add objects onto the stage and manipulate them in various ways across the timeline. These animations are created using SVG and CANVAS of HTML 5. Your projects are saved as HTML, Javascript and CSS files that make up the animations and this makes it very easy to place in your web pages through Dreamweaver.

In the current version only animations are available, but Adobe has promised that there will be new features added in new builds of the preview version. So, if you find Adobe Edge to be a useful tool (and how could you not?) be sure to follow the updates.

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.

The End is Near, Part II

Time is quickly running out for Ascend Training’s regularly scheduled CS4 classes. Our last CS4 hands-on training will be:

Dreamweaver CS4 Level 1, Chicago, Aug 30 – Sep 1, Deerfield, Oct 11 – 13

Ascend Training is happy to put CS4 classes on our regular schedule for groups of 3 or more people. We will also be happy to provide our CS4 curriculum for our on-site training. Any of our students taking CS4 classes are still eligible for 8 months worth of free retakes in the CS5 version of the class. Those retaking a class in CS5 who have originally taken CS4 classes will also have the option of buying the book used in the new class.

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.

Flash Breaks into TV

- by Jori Curry

Adobe Flash headed for television!

Adobe Flash headed for television!

Flash for Televison

With 98% of all computers having Flash installed on them, it was only a matter of time before Adobe migrated to television. At the recent NAB conference, Adobe announced a new, optimized version of Flash for televisions, set-top boxes,  Blu-Ray players, and other entertainment devices. The goal is for your provider to deliver Flash content without the use of a computer. 

In the 2nd half of 2009, Atlantic Records, The New York Times, Intel, Disney Interactive, Comcast, Netflix and others are thought to be on board to deliver content through Flash TV. 

“Comcast is constantly working to deliver richer user interfaces and services to our customers,” said Labeeb Ismail, Comcast vice president of Technology. “As an active participant of the Open Screen Project, we are working closely with Adobe to integrate the optimized Flash runtime with tru2way technology, enabling a new range of engaging, interactive services to consumers.”Viewers will be able to participate with their television in new ways by switching between television programming and Web content. 

 

The History of Adobe Flash

Flash began as the brainchild of Jonathan Gay, who was looking for a better way to visualize sketches of houses he was drawing. 

“If you ever think Flash is difficult to use, you should try drawing with a joystick on an Apple II before the concept of undo was invented. That will test your patience.” Jonathan Gay, Creator of Flash.

After a variety of software ventures including gaming and SuperPaint II, Future Splash Animator  was developed and were looking for a buyer and nearly sold to Adobe in 1995. In 1996, Future Splash Animator was sold to Macromedia, and became Macromedia Flash 1.0. Just like Xerox neglected to take advantage of the Apple GUI interface, it seems Flash nearly slipped through Adobes’ fingers.