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The recent Adobe happenings and some projections

Yes, I have been away for blogging for quite sometime now and my apologies for the same. The last few months have been quite happening with new launches of innovative products by some companies like Adobe and some new events and work at an induvidual front as well. Now that I got a little bit of time, I thought I would post a recap and my perspective of it.

Flash 11 and Adobe AIR 3 is on its way. Molehill will be present full-on in this release. Also coming is Captive runtime for AIR, meaning you can package the runtime along with the app and users don’t have to download AIR separately before installing the app. There are some other cool features in this release as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With respect to Adobe, we saw the launch of Adobe Muse(codename). For those who missed it, it is a tool for interaction and experience designers and artists to create highly interactive webpages with no programming. It runs on Adobe AIR technology and from its early impressions, it is likely to mature or get integrated into a big software like Adobe Dreamweaver. Why is it amazing ? Cuz you only need a design or aesthetic sense to create rich webpages and don’t have to know jQuery, or <html> tags. You simply design on a canvas and it gets reflected into a website.

Another fascinating tool that has garnered some early interest is Adobe Edge, that makes animating HTML components or elements easy. In the dawn of HTML5, it is important it’s learning or adoption is smooth. I would say, this is Adobe’s yet another attempt in capturing the supply chain. The idea was very simple, if HTML5 was gonna make animations, transitions smoother, then it also has to be simple for designers to create those rich animations. It was pretty much the premise in which Flash started gaining momentum. Good designs can be planned and improvised only on a canvas and not from a HTML or text editor. So, Adobe Edge provides a canvas for animation which gets translated into HTML5 codes, making life the way it is meant to be for designers.

Seeing such tools emerge, I think interaction designers are gonna be key players in moulding tomorrow’s internet media future. As things evolve, my prediction is that there will only be two major kinds of techies in internet companies – interaction designers (who do all the art/design and basic interaction level coding) and back-end developers (those responsible for data engineering behind the scenes). My argument is that if more and more code components and tools/frameworks( like ones mentioned above) are readily available to make apps/websites quickly and easily, then the work of a front end UI programmer is gonna diminish slowly. With people advocating MVC programming, interaction designers don’t have to bother about data, their schema etc. All they need to do is make sure they have space(real estate) and navigation modes(scrolling and moving between) through that data.

What about HTML5 and Flash ? Yes it’s a hot question. With Flash now available as a tool to develop for iPhone/iPad, does it mark its dominance again ? Not necessarily, because it is not available on the browser yet. Consumers or developers don’t know if the app is running off Flash(translated objective-C bytecode) or native code. With the absence of Flash for 3-4 years on mobile platforms, developers have to an extent learnt to live life the hard way, writing native code. And the huge base of 4 million and 2.5 million apps and games on iOS and Android devices are an evidence to that. On the contrary however, we have seen Flash/Flex apps (like Politifact or Machinatum) top the charts of AppStore. Hence, we are getting positive response for using Flash to develop engaging mobile content. However, on the broader context Flash is beginning to disappear. I even heard recently that Slideshare adopted HTML5 leaving behind Flash. Microsoft (announced during showcase of Windows 8) that only a very small percentage of popular websites have Flash content (other than ads). Slowly, we should begin to accept that HTML5 will be the medium of delivery of advertisements on the internet. Adobe has also understood that and pushing its bet on Rich media applications like 1024px Video rendering, extensive use of GPU rendering for improved performance and 3D content as well. Hence we are seeing a shift in roles, the laggard HTML has caught up with Flash Player of ,say early 2000s.

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AIR 2.6 Launched

Repost from the Adobe Blog,

Adobe is pleased to announce the availability of the Adobe® AIR® 2.6 SDK and AIR® 2.6 desktop runtimes for Windows, Mac and Linux. With AIR 2.6, AIR achieves feature parity for Android and iOS platforms. This new release provides significant improvements for iOS app development as well as updates for Android and desktop app development.”

Here are the updates:

iOS:

  • Updated AIR for iOS support with improved performance. Developers can take advantage of new features in iOS 4 like multitasking, Retina display for higher screen resolutions, and front and back camera support. Developers can now build application that capture audio with the microphone and take advantage of the same graphics hardware method used in AIR for Android using OpenGL ES2 for fast graphics.
  • Packager for iPhone (PFI) is now replaced with and the functionality integrated with AIR Developer Tool (ADT) a comand line tool for compiling application in the AIR SDK. ADT can now be used to package AIR files, native desktop installers, AIR applications for Android and iOS.

Android:

  • Submit apps to be included in the Amazon Appstore for Android when the store launches.  Companies now have an additional distribution option with one of the largest online shopping destinations on the web.
  • USB debugging was added as an additional debugging option to WiFi.

A Few Noteworthy Stats !

Here are a few noteworthy statistics that can help you in decision making. Very soon Flash will be present in iPhone and more Android devices will host Flash Player 10. So, if you are wondering what your target device should be, who the audience would be and how much you can earn form the application, then go through this presentation made by Scott.

It covers topics involving the Apple iPhone 3.0 and the Android 1.5 overviews along with the major highlight – Statistics of the different platforms and how they are performing.The presentation also holds key information on the app stores of each platform and what they offer to the developer including the initial and running costs.

Excerpts on sales stats from the presentation –

  • the iPhone apps are the most cooking ones and iPhone developers are reaching a pool of 15M customers worldwide.
  • Symbian continues to be the enjoying the richest customer base with approx 50M devices worldwide. Its appstore – Ovi has only recently been launched but has been making brisk sales.

Now estimating how much a flash developer’s reach would be in the next few years ? You have the symbian’s 50M + iPhone’s 30M and this population is bound to skyrocket too 🙂

Remember, Nokia dominates the smartphone category with a share of approx 40%.

Touch The Future. Or Lose It!

Via  Mark ,

In 2008 Samsung, LG and a few others shipped 20 million Windows Mobile devices around the world.  80% of these had touch screens instead of standard keypads, and so for development ongoing it’s looking less important to handle devices with keypads. Saying that, the majority of the installed base of Windows Mobile users from 2006/2007 are still happily using their QWERTY devices like the Samsung BlackJack.  So the net of the story is, the future is touch enabled.

Google’s Andriod is also a touch enabled phone. Apple’s iPhone, needless to mention, is the most succesful touch phone engineered till date. Nokia is also racing in this movement of making the World, touch based.  The most awaited Nokia’s N97 handlheld computer( as I call it ) is both touch and QWERTY provisioned. We also hear this magnum opus will be out very soon – June is what I hear.  So, as developers we need to move ahead and start touching others lives.

Flash developers, remember, that you already have touch sensing capabilites.

Apple’s ‘Brick’ Is First All-Screen Laptop? Look here…..

This article sounded very interesting to me.

Is Apple’s feverishly-anticipated “Brick” project is the world’s first all-screen laptop?  Like this mockup of the OLPC version 2 by designer Yves Behar.

Yes, there’s slim chance, of course, but I for one would love a computing device like this: A hybrid iPhone-meets-Macbook-Air that would put many other gadgets likethe EeePC to shame.

Apple’s “Brick” would be a hybrid laptop/tablet/ebook that dispenses with a physical keyboard and trackpad in favor of a virtual, adaptive UI that blends multitouch, gestures and its own orientation to switch between different modes:

Laptop — When the Brick is held horizontally with the two screens at an angle, the bottom screen turns into a virtual keyboard and touchpad. There’s no tactile feedback for touch typists, but never mind, corrective text handily makes up for the myriad errors. The top screen acts like a regular laptop screen, except that it also is touch sensitive, and is responsive to multitouch gestures like double-tap to zoom, pinching and scrolling.

Tablet — When the two halves are opened fully they snap together in the middle to make a tablet with a continuous touch-sensitive screen. This mode is best for surfing the web, browsing and editing photos, and displaying mind-altering music visualizers.

eBook — Like laptop mode but held vertically. Each screen transforms into an electronic page for easy reading. Displays eBooks, eMags or specially laid out websites. Readers navigate by swiping the screen to turn the pages.

Tabletop — Like tablet mode but for two people. When an onscreen button is pushed, the screens are oriented for two users sitting opposite each other. Great for collaborative tasks and especially games.

I hope, they are calling it as “Brick” just because it can smashes Windows!

Adobe says Flash will be inside iPhones

People!!

Adobe Big Boss Shantanu Nayaran during the a conference call today, said, “We believe Flash is synonymous with the Internet experience, and we are committed to bringing Flash to the iPhone,” adding, “We have evaluated (the software developer tools) and we think we can develop an iPhone Flash player ourselves.”  Now Steve Jobs cannot shirk giving way in iPhones.  Also Adobe firmly believes that the Internet is a barren wasteland without Flash, and with the iPhone being the number one choice of discerning consumers for a mobile internet experience, Adobe wants to do something about that.

Microsoft’s License of Adobe Flash Lite For Mobile Devices is Good for Consumers Says Dan Rayburn

Yesterday morning, Adobe (ADBE) announced that Microsoft (MSFT) had licensed Adobe’s Flash Lite software so that Flash based content will be able to be viewed within Internet Explorer on future versions of Microsoft Windows mobile phones. (more…)

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