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Archive for the ‘Actionscript 3.0’ Category

New Playbook app – Confidential manager

I recently launched a FREE app for Blackberry Playbook called Confidential manager. It essentially speeds up the time taken for online purchases, by storing all your Credit / Debit card numbers in one place. All you need to do is swipe between apps and copy-paste the numbers. It comes with a very simplistic and user centric design and interface.

Since the app does not connect to any network and stores all information securely on the device, users can be sure of protection of their data.

Here is the description to the app 
Do you struggle doing online payments from your BlackBerry® PlayBook™ ? Experienced the hassle of opening your wallet and keying in the card numbers everytime to pay online ? Well, all that is OLD STUFF. You shouldn’t do it that way. Because time and security are important to you.

Introducing Confidential Manager that reduces online payment hassles to simple copy-paste actions. Launch the app, flick through your credit cards and COPY-PASTE into desired location. The application never connects to the internet and stores all your information securely within the device. So you don’t have the fear of loss of security. Additionally, you set a master password which controls entry into the application itself. Meaning, full protection to your data.

The application supports multiple cards including Mastercard, VISA, Diners Club, American Express, Discover. Even if your card is not supported you can include that information in your Bank Name field, giving you complete flexibilty. Copying of numbers is simply a button click away.

Users of this application are observed to have reduced payment times by 7 times. Experience a smarter online shopping lifestyle.

*COMING SOON*
Support for general email and web logins.

AS3 Chrome Extension

Most of us being Actionscript 3 or Flex developers, very often require quick access to adobe documentation. After CS4, the docs don’t come along with the IDE. Although some of the reference can be obtained from intellisense and code hinting, very often I am in real need for complete docs. Today I was suggested by my friend about AS3.0 Chrome Extension. It caches all as3 classes the first time (first time alone it performs index retrieval and takes two or three seconds), and after that you get search suggestions of the classes you type in no time. It is very handy and I would recommend it to all AS3/ Flex devs.

Install it from Chrome Store.

A game Score ticker in Flash as3

Well, I have been doing a lot of small code UI components that are heavily reused. One such component that I made today was a game score ticker. Remember seeing scrolling numbers in lottery or jackpot genre games, where the numbers keeps flipping until a target number? If you have been playing games, you would have noticed similar elements being used score displays on HUDs in games.

I recently created a similar cmoponent which I intent to use in a future game. But since this can be used useful to others I thought I should share the code behind it. I am not making it a perfect component that is completely customizable. But its very easy to change its features. The slider above allows you to check the functioning of this component, but is no way tagged to the slider component (Illustration purpose only).

Benefits –

1. Simple to skin and extend – its just a movieclip that you can explore and edit.

2. There is also a feature where you can make it blink. Blinking is quite an important glitter effect as it can capture the player’s attention. It can be used when user crosses a milestone or a high score.

3. Designed for 4 digit numbers but easy to extend.

Usage is pretty simple –

simply use (MovieClipName).showValue(numberToShow: String, milestone :int);

// First parameter is the number to which the score ticker scrolls to (0 – 9999). Second parameter is the milestone(0-9999).

You can use this component available as a MovieClip in this FLA(Download). You are free to modify / re-use / distribute it. But I ll be glad if you simply drop in a comment here.

Blackberry, Playbook, Flash, AIR….etc.,

I have been quite busy over the last 1 month that I couldn’t spare sometime on blogging. The reason can be attributed to a lot of things

1. Rapid innovations and new toolkits in the Flash platform.

2. The new Nokia Microsoft deal

3. Cricket World Cup  😉

There are a lot of good reasons to develop for the Playbook. One is that, all SWFs that run on the computer / web can be wrapped into an application seamlessly. And Playbook’s hardware and initial showcases have been impressive. The device seems solid. Blackberry has been encouraging developers to code for their platform and have been offering a free playbook upon a successful submission. Blackberry understands that apps in the marketplace are essential for the success of a platform. And to overtake Apple’s iPad, they need to have a launch with a marketplace ready with diversified content. One also has to remember that Playbook is equivalent to iPad 2’s hardware (has dual cameras) and is hence not behind in the race.

Anyways, so I created an app for the Playbook that can be used to watch TED videos. I used the TED RSS and it’s published for free. In future, I will be adding newer features to it. Previously, there were loose ends in the process of testing and signing the content for the Playbook. The toolchain has been improving and we are now seeing more blogs writing about it (one is this by Hemanth). Adobe will shortly be releasing a more streamlined process for development. Additionally, Blackberry was taking quite some time to give any response on the submission of apps. It took me 30+ days for the TED app to get approved. Now the approval times have been drastically reduced to nearly 1 week only. Since, my content has been approved I will be receiving a Playbook after its launch. I shall later attach screenshots of my app.

I must also say about 2 things that has not been highlighted adequately

1. There is a package of UI, media and other components that have been designed and developed by Adobe + Blackberry to suit the Playbook and  the QNX platform. It is better to use these components when targeting the playbook.

2. The community at Blackberry developer site is hyper brisk. I think there are people answering queries with sleepless nights ! You generally get answers in less than 20 mins time. I used these, when I had initial difficulty with signing and packaging and found them to be really useful.

With Nokia going into deals with Micrsoft, it means that Flash Lite’s future in diminishing. Symbian had good support for Flash Lite. But I do believe that Flash Lite is a good platform to target the millions of devices that are today in the market and more that will continue to ship over the next few years. My latest game on the Ovi store, HAPPY SUN has been doing very well. It is also being featured by the Ovi store. Being a Forum Nokia Champion and an avid Flash enthusiast, I hope that Flash soon makes its way into WP7.

I am also attending the Adobe Refresh Singapore event tomorrow. Really hoping to catch up with dev friends.

Security Analysis Of Flash Applications..!!

While my primary involvement at Adobe happens to be around the ActionScript language, I also have some background in security, and recently I have been thinking about channeling some of that into designing and implementing tools for secure programming in ActionScript. ActionScript programs are compiled to run as Flash applications (on the web) or as AIR applications (on the personal computer / mobile device); as such, they are run on platforms with security models, and their security on those platforms is controlled by various security mechanisms, both at the language-level as well as at the platform-level. (More here.(Adobe blogs)….>)

Facebook Graph API Development with Flash: Beginner’s Guide’s by Michael James Williams

Facebook Graph API Development with Flash: Beginner’s Guides by Michael James Williams, his twitter ID:@MichaelJW (Published by Packt Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-1-849690-74-4, with TOC and Index) is a surprisingly comprehensive how-to book that should be on the book shelf of all levels of flash Developers, especially those who starting to work on Facebook API Development with Flash.

This work includes some of the topics that are covered in “Accessing the Graph API through a Browser,” traversing the Graph and other instances. But it goes well beyond that. Although I’ve been in writing my tutes in several flash websites for long time, I was delightfully surprised to read about some interesting topics that are rarely talked about in books of this kind.  In Chapter 5: Search Me; in Chapter 6: Adding to the Graph; quite interestingly in Chapter 7: FQL Matters (Yes, it is FQL, Facebook’s version of the database language SQL) and a lot more.

The scope and quality of this book is no doubt directly related to the excellent credentials of its author. Michael James Williams is a technical concept writer and freelance Flash developer. He is the technical editor for the tutorial website “Activetuts+” and also runs his own blog about Flash game development. He currently lives in England, in a nice little town that has both a river and a canal. As per his say, he has been using Facebook since it was just some site that his American housemate wouldn’t stop talking about.

His method of delivery is to introduce the main idea, the concept of a writing category, and then take the structural components of the document in question and explain each action component in detail. We can feel the patient hand of a well-seasoned developer leading the reader chapter by chapter towards knowing in detail.

For example, before explaining the individual components of this book (Abstract, Introduction, Body, Conclusion, pop quiz), the author first explain the major steps involved in approaching and researching. Much forethought and planning went into the preparation of this 324 pp. Beginner’s Guide, obviously.

Those who’d like to do some developing Facebook apps in Flash will be delighted by the chapter 6 devoted to “Adding to the Graph.” I found the list of topics of “Putting it online” on p. 265 very useful too.

Every chapter is capped by “Topics” section, which presents many visual elements that the reader/student is asked to cope with by coming up with the correct solution, as explained within the chapter.

The book is so thorough that even topics such as how to use Facebook features, what’s that got to do with the Graph API, and the basic rules of Facebook’s security restrictions and its access are also covered. Oh, let’s also not forget the delightful support of Packt Publication and others that adds a welcome light touch to this serious volume.

Highly recommended e-book for anyone who works or intends to work on Facebook applications as well as those learning in a classroom settings.

 

Audio visualizer in AS3

Yes, this is something fascinating that I came across, this week and not something I generally blog upon.

I must agree that there are many audio spectrum visualization schemes done on Actionscript 3. But this one, created by friends at office Mitch Ellis, is someway different. He has aggressively used colors, alphas and tweens to make the whole visualization interesting.

Take a look at it here.

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