Entries Tagged as 'flash'

Why #section331 makes Apple Beta and Android VHS

Remember Beta Folks, ok for you younger ones it was like HD DVD, one of those great formats that a still few use in high end roles but went the way of the dodo.

Today’s announcement of Section 3.1.1 by Apple.

“Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. ”

Of course this is aimed squarely at Adobe and the upcoming CS5 which will let Flash Developers port to the “I” platform. And as it turns out happens to be the biggest step down the road of turning Apple into the next Beta Format. Like Beta it will be around for many years to come and I am sure that many people (most much smarter than I) will be able to put forward lots of technical reasons why the Native only path is the best way to go.

But why did the public, yes not developers and not marketers choose VHS over Beta… because it was cheaper easier and OPEN. Sure when VHS was first coming out, Beta was better, but people didn’t care.

Apple got the jump going for the “people” aspect with the iphone… but the market is bigger than just the iphone and whilst Nokia still hold the high ground on numbers and devices (Sorry Apple users but my N95-8gb is still more useful than an iphone!), Android is on the rise.

Reviewers who have lauded the iphone and now looking at devices like the Nexus One and the HTC Desire which pack all the “wow” of the iphone with one extra little toy… OPEN Platform.

Now if you are a development company and can build a new game/widget/etc and output it via Flash to Android, Nokia, WinMo and all the devices that are on this.. but miss the “I” platform what are you going to do. In the medium term, sure you will develop for both, but not long term.

The restrictions of the “I” world are starting to bite and the noose is getting tighter, due in no part to Apple pulling on it themselves.

The times are a changing.. the rise of Android will see to that… the rise of the OPEN environment where people change things on their device without voiding warranty are coming….

This graph helps to show the rise of Android in the Mobile Operating System Market in the US….

Mobile OS Traffic Share in the US
(Source from JavaLobby)

It is about the money… not about Flash.

You may remember (or not) the controversy over the Commodore 64 App for the iPhone. Of course it finally did come (but minus the key little bit.. the Basic Compiler)

“Thank you for submitting C64 1.0 to the App Store. We’ve reviewed C64 1.0 and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it violates the iPhone SDK Agreement; “3.3.2 An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Apple’s Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).” Source: http://nexus404.com/

Sorry but anything that even Mr J says about (or not) about how crap Flash is or that it is a performance issue with the processor, or that device X can’t multi-task e.t.c are all for want a better word a lie.

See Flash or even the Commodore 64 Basic complier do something that is a much bigger threat to the Apple brand than stability issues. They are a threat to the bottom line. If you can make and download apps from anyone or anywhere, then you are not inside the walled garden. The real money is only to be made for Apple by keeping the gates to that garden all locked as possible. Once inside this garden it is often quite hard to get yourself out of it. Once you have all your music in Itunes, all your purchases in Itunes and no way to get them out, why would you move. Imagine if you could get Apps for your device and not be locked into the Apple Garden.

I have Flash running on a number of devices that are a lot older and not as “grunty” as the iPad tech specs say it will be. But all those that have drunk the Kool- Aid want you to believe that they removed Flash from their site around the time of the launch of the iPhone because it was just so buggy on the browser.

When the public can load any app on these devices without voiding the warranty (aka all of you that have Jail broken your device), then I will come back and fix this blog post. Something I am sure I won’t be doing in quite sometime.

In the mean time I will keep playing with Flash on my N95-8gb, and even Flash 10 on my Asus R2H whilst I multi-tasking doing other things on my devices as well.

If Apple weren’t so scared of the Basic Compiler from the C64 which was the computer of choice in 1982!, then the argument might be very different, however it is not.

I do not have a problem with Apple framing their business model in this way.  Most business do this in one degree or another.  Silverlight didn’t come out from Microsoft because they wanted to work hand in hand with Adobe.  I do have an issue with them not just coming out and saying why.

It is about the bottom line to Apple fullstop.

Flash 10 Plugin….is out

Adobe have released the shipping version of Flash Player 10 (Mac, Windows and Linux) (good to finally see a simultaneous release across all three platforms)

You can download the player for Mac, Windows and Linux players from http://www.adobe.com/go/getflash.

Apart from some security updates to deal with Clickjacking… (thus making this an update you need to get….) it does include such neat new things as…

(which you can see here..  http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/features/)

and real world examples of the cool stuff here..  http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/action/

3D effects
Create more intuitive, engaging interfaces using built-in support for 3D effects. Get started quickly without being a 3D master by designing in 2D and easily transforming and animating in 3D. Fast, extremely lightweight, and simple-to-use APIs, along with 3D tools in Adobe® Flash® CS4 Professional software, make motion that was previously accessible only to expert users via ActionScript® language or custom third-party libraries available to everyone.

Custom filters and effects
Create high-performance, real-time effects for cinematic experiences that quickly engage users. With new Adobe Pixel Bender™, the same technology behind many filters and effects in Adobe After Effects® software, these dynamic and interactive effects can be used both in production with After Effects CS4 and live with Flash Player 10. The Pixel Bender just-in- time (JIT) compiler can also be used to process other types of data, such as sound or mathematical functions, asynchronously in a separate thread.

Advanced text support
Take advantage of a new, flexible text layout engine that brings print-quality publishing to the web, building on more than 25 years of Adobe expertise in typography. Gain more control over text layout using an extensible library of ActionScript 3.0 text components to flow text and sophisticated typographic elements such as ligatures across multiple columns, around inline images, bidirectionally, vertically, or chained together. Create multilingual rich Internet applications (RIAs) using device fonts that can now be anti-aliased, rotated, and styled, or build your own unique text components.

Dynamic sound generation
Use enhanced sound APIs to dynamically generate audio and create new types of audio applications such as music mixers and sequencers, real-time audio for games, and even audio visualizers. Work with loaded MP3 audio at a lower level by extracting audio data and supplying it to the sound buffer. Process, filter, and mix audio in real time through the Pixel Bender JIT compiler to extend creative freedom beyond the visual experience.

Drawing API
Perform runtime drawing more easily with restyleable properties, 3D APIs, and a new way of drawing sophisticated shapes without having to code them line by line. Developers can tweak parts of curves, change styling, replace parts, and use custom filters and effects, delivering improved throughput, creative control, and greater productivity. Enhancements to the Drawing API add the z dimension, real perspective, textured meshes in 3D space, a retained graphics model, read/write rendering, and triangle drawing with UV coordinates, while adding memory and improving performance.

Hardware acceleration
Use the hardware processing power of the graphics card to paint SWF files into the browser and accelerate compositing calculations of bitmaps, filters, blend modes, and video overlays faster than would be performed in software.

Vector data type
Use the new typed array class for better performance, efficiency, and error checking of data.

Dynamic Streaming
Show exceptional video with streams that automatically adjust to changing network conditions. Leverage new quality-of-service metrics to provide a better streaming experience.

Speex audio codec
Take advantage of the new, high-fidelity and open source Speex voice codec, which offers a low-latency alternative for voice encoding. Flash Player also supports ADPCM, HE-AAC, MP3, and Nellymoser audio.

File upload and download APIs
Bring users into the experience by letting them load and save files from your web application. New file reference runtime access allows local processing of data without roundtripping to the server.

Adobe Device Central Update…

CS3 Device Profile Update #6  (get it here)

Number of device profiles included: 173

This is the sixth device profile update for Adobe Device Central CS3. This update contains 63 new device profiles from all regions of the world, many released in the last few months, as well as updates to 110 existing profiles.


Of course it is horribly out of day as is the case with these things these days missing phones and flash versions as well.  But it will help.  The other thing to do is realise that most people never upgrade their firmware anyway so you can take device central as a decent place to start.

It's not Photosynth… its flash and google….

Whilst not quite as cool as Photosynth this technology leverage’s of a lot of existing content and gets google up and running in the “Dynamic Interrelated images” space very nicely.

Quick thoughts are this is going to take off, and MS are going to pull their fingers out and get Photosynth out much quicker…. all they need to do is get the Flickr image base and they win. The Panoramio image base is nothing compared to say Flickr which would allow you to move “indoors” from a series of photos, where as the Panoramio images are only external and highly moderated. (not sure if this is a plus or minus)

The simplicity of this interface may also be part of it success and less savy users may find it easer to navigate. – anyway on with the show…


Sydney Opera house example – http://www.panoramio.com/photo/288737

example and how it is done…

and the main article – google-lat-long

“Panoramio enables photographers to geo-locate, store and organize their photographs and to view those images in their geographic context. You may already have seen photos from the Panoramio layer while zooming around in Google Earth or Google Maps (just click the “more” button), but have you visited the Panoramio website? Now, when browsing photos on the site you can explore multiple images of a particular location in a more seamless way.

For select photos on www.panoramio.com, you’ll find a new link below the photo:

When you click it, a pop-up will appear that looks like this:

When you mouse over an image, you’ll see polygonal frames appear. Each of these frames represents a photo of the same location taken from a different angle or perspective. Just click on the frame to view that photo, and continue exploring. You can also click the thumbnails on the right-hand panel.

Follow the “Look around” link from this photo of Notre Dame in Paris or St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow to see them from all different angles. Take a look at these beautiful photos of the Astrological Clock in Prague.”

Map Monsters..

Nokia are really about to push the mapping world and gps judging by this site.


They are doing the whole cute animation instruction manual for building and using maps….  This is going to tie in the with OVI think I put on the blog the other day I am sure.

Whilst it is a bit cutsie for me as a power user I don’t think I am the intended audience for this anyway. But the Flash Animations are worth looking at anyway.

Thanks to allaboutsymbian

Flash 10 Beta!

yes this is a long post (and yes I did just cut and paste it from Adobe Labs but worth reading the whole lot).

and now you can go and get your own version to play with as well.


Flash Player 10 includes new features, enhancements and bug fixes, including:

Creative Expression

Flash Player 10 will further the innovative and cinematic experiences users have come to expect from RIAs and rich media, taking web applications to a level previously only seen on the desktop.

Custom Filters and Effects — Expand your creative control by creating your own portable filters, blend modes, and fills using Adobe Pixel Bender, the same technology used to power filters and effects in After Effects CS3. Pixel Bender is a high performance image processing language that takes the pain out of writing custom, multithreaded effects and filters that can be added to web applications without any Flash Player update. Custom filters and effects can be combined with existing native Flash Player filters and applied to all display objects, including vectors, bitmaps, and video while retaining full interactivity. Custom effects can be parameterized to animate and change the effect at runtime. There is minimal impact on application size as complex filters are generally under 1KB.

3D Effects — Add a new dimension to your applications and extend the creative possibilities by easily transforming and animating any 2D display object through 3D space, while retaining all of the interactivity that exists in 2D space. Fast, extremely lightweight, and native 3D effects make motion that was previously reserved for expert users via ActionScript or Open Source libraries such as PaperVision3D, Sandy and Away3D available to everyone. Create complex effects with simple code by nesting 3D-transformed objects inside each other. Inheritance makes it easy to rapidly apply changes across objects.

New Text Engine — A new, highly flexible text layout engine, co-existing with TextField, enables innovation in creating new text controls by providing low-level access to text layout and interactivity APIs to create component-level text objects. The new text engine expands creative freedom by treating device fonts as first class citizens that can be anti-aliased, rotated, and styled and have filters applied as if they were embedded. The new text engine also offers right-to-left and vertical text layout, plus support for typographic elements like ligatures.

Text Layout Components — An extensible library of ActionScript 3.0 text components, coming in future to Adobe Labs, provides advanced, easy-to-integrate layout functionality that enables typographic creative expression. Layout and style text with tables, inline images, and column flow through components that are compatible with both Flash and Flex, all while getting the benefits of the new text engine. Rich text components allow designers and developers to flow text and complex scripts, such as Arabic, Hebrew, and Thai, across multiple columns like a newspaper, around tables and inline images, from right-to-left, left-to-right, bi-directionally, or vertically. Selection, editing, and wrapping of text are handled as would be expected for the different layouts.

Drawing API Enhancements — Enhancements to the Drawing API make runtime drawing much easier with re-styleable properties, 3D APIs, and a new way of drawing sophisticated shapes without having to code them line by line. Developers can tweak parts of curves, change styling, replace parts, and use custom filters and effects, delivering improved performance, creative control, and developer productivity. The enhancements extend the current drawing API to allow for read/write rendering and 3D effects, while adding memory and performance improvements that allow developers to create shapes using ActionScript that can be modified at runtime without re-drawing, edit dynamic drawings by modifying paths, and chain methods together to instantiate operations with a single method call.

Color Management — Flash Player 10 employs color management to deliver web applications with the most accurate color possible, so your favorite web destinations look the way they were intended. Opt-in color management allows you to convert SWFs into sRGB (standard RGB), an international standard color space formulated by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Color management works with the monitor’s ICC color profile, turning the entire SWF into a color-managed object. Color management can be toggled on and off at runtime.

Visual Performance Improvements

Flash Player 10 builds on the dramatic script execution performance improvements introduced in Flash Player 9 with the new ActionScript 3.0 Virtual Machine (AVM2) by enhancing the equally important visual performance of your RIAs and rich media experiences. Leveraging the power of the GPU for blitting and compositing reduces the load on the CPU and can provide a performance boost to many graphically intense applications, resulting in more fluid, realistic and responsive user experiences.

GPU Compositing — Combining images, filters, and video in your SWF just got faster. Your video card can be used to do compositing on all raster content. Utilizing the hardware processing power of the graphics card, GPU compositing accelerates compositing calculations of bitmaps, filters, blend modes, and video overlays faster than would be performed in software on the CPU. GPU compositing is applied when specified in the HTML parameters provided appropriate graphics hardware is available. If the hardware does not provide required capability, Flash Player will fall back to the software rendering without user interaction. Hardware compositing takes advantage of the tremendous memory bandwidth and computational horsepower of the GPU, reducing the load on the CPU, and can provide a performance boost to many graphically intense applications, resulting in more fluid, realistic and responsive user experiences. Open GL 2.0 video card with GLSL capabilities required to use this feature. When in use with the beta, a green square will appear in the upper left corner when accelerated.

GPU Blitting — Paint SWFs into the browser using your video card by choosing this new HTML parameter. Your content can run faster and give you the freedom to do more. Developers can enable or disable GPU surfacing to perform hardware blitting for each SWF within a web page without having to recompile the SWF. GPU surfacing extends the hardware-scaled fullscreen view introduced in Flash Player 9 Update 3 and applies it to the browser window so that the pixels drawn to the browser go through the GPU, resulting in improved performance and reduced CPU demand, rendering video- or image-intensive applications faster.

Anti-Aliasing Engine (Saffron 3.1) — An update to the Saffron anti-aliasing text engine increases performance and quality of anti-aliased text, particularly for Asian character rendering. Support for stroke fonts reduces memory requirements.

Vector Data Type — Flash Player 10 and ActionScript 3.0 add support for a new data type called Vector that is an ECMAScript 4 proposed language addition that is similar to an Array but requires that all elements be of the same type. By having a consistent type, performance on Vectors is significantly higher than Arrays. Vectors work as a parameterized type.

Rich Media

Flash Player 10 introduces new audio and video features that will be available with intended future releases of Adobe Flash Media Server or other Adobe server products to optimize the delivery of rich media and enhance end-user experiences.

Dynamic Streaming — Always show the best video possible with streams that can automatically adjust to changing network conditions. By changing bitrates, you can keep your user engaged and avoid start-and-stop video. Dynamic streaming provides the best possible experience to the video consumer based on their bandwidth environment. Video streams over RTMP from intended future releases of Flash Media Server can dynamically change bitrate as network conditions change. Quality of Service metrics, exposed via ActionScript and providing real-time network or CPU information, allow developers to take control of the video playback and adjust the streaming experience accordingly. This feature is part of Flash Player 10 but will only be available with intended future releases of Flash Media Server.

RTMFP (Real Time Media Flow Protocol) — RTMFP provides a UDP-based secure network transport alternative to RTMP-over-TCP. To take advantage of the feature you will need to establish a net connection via future releases of Flash Media Server or other Adobe server products. UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is an efficient and standardized Internet protocol for delivering media assets because of its support for lossy delivery, improving performance of real time communication. RTMFP is always encrypted which helps protect media delivery. This technology is a result of Adobe’s acquisition of Amicima, Inc. in 2006. If you are interested in being part of the private prerelease for RTMFP, please send an email to fmsprerelease@adobe.com with your contact details.

Speex Audio Codec — The new, higher fidelity Speex voice codec offers an alternative to Nellymoser for audio that delivers the lowest-latency audio experience possible. When RTMP or RTMFP is used with future releases of Flash Media Server, live and unbuffered Speex transmissions will take advantage of RTMFP’s partial-reliability feature to reduce network latency.

Other Community Requested Enhancements

In addition to the new creative expression, visual performance and rich media features, Flash Player 10 includes a number new features that have been frequently requested by the community.

File Reference runtime access — Bring users into the experience by letting them load files into your RIA. You can work with the content at runtime and even save it back when you are done through the browse dialog box. Files can be accessed as a byteArray or text using a convenient API in ActionScript without round-tripping to the server. You no longer have to know a server language or have access to a server to load or save files at runtime.

Dynamic Sound Generation — Dynamic sound generation extends the Sound class to play back dynamically created audio content through the use of an event listener on the Sound object.

Large Bitmap Support — Flash Player 10 now provides the ability to manipulate large bitmaps up to 16,777,216 pixels (4096 by 4096) with a maximum length of 8191 pixels per side.

Context Menu — Developers now have more control over what can be displayed in the context menu through the use of ActionScript APIs for common text field context menu items, supporting plain and rich text. The clipboard menu provides access to the clipboard in a safe and controlled way, and you can write handlers to paste text.

GB18030 Compliance — GB18030 is the latest character set mandated by the Chinese government for displaying text. Flash Player 10 compliance with this official character set ensures support for all applications deployed on Flash Player that require GB18030.

Ubuntu OS Support — Flash Player 10 now supports Ubuntu, one of the most popular flavors of Linux.

FLV and SWF and the Open Screen Project….

Full Press Release

The Open Screen Project

the hows and whys video….. this is worth watching for a quick how and why.

The Open Screen Project is working to enable a consistent runtime environment — taking advantage of Adobe® Flash® Player and, in the future, Adobe AIR™ — that will remove barriers for developers and designers as they publish content and applications across desktops and devices, including phones, mobile Internet devices (MIDs), and set top boxes. The Open Screen Project will address potential technology fragmentation by enabling the runtime technology to be updated seamlessly over the air on mobile devices. The consistent runtime environment is intended to provide optimal performance across a variety of operating systems and devices, and ultimately provide the best experience to consumers.

To support this mission, and as part of Adobe’s ongoing commitment to enable Web innovation, Adobe will continue to open access to Adobe Flash technology, accelerating the deployment of content and rich Internet applications (RIAs). This work will include:

– Removing restrictions on use of the SWF and FLV/F4V specifications
– Publishing the device porting layer APIs for Adobe Flash Player
– Publishing the Adobe Flash® Cast™ protocol and the AMF protocol for robust data services
– Removing licensing fees – making next major releases of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free

“Adobe is spearheading the Open Screen Project with support from industry leaders who share a common vision to provide rich, interactive experiences across computers, devices and consumer electronics,” said Shantanu Narayen, chief executive officer at Adobe. “A consistent, more open platform for developers will drive rapid innovation, vastly improving the user experience.”

…. this I think is the biggest part….

“Additionally, Adobe intends to make Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR for devices free, starting with the next major releases for devices, along with publishing the device porting layer APIs. As a result of these moves, OEMs, software developers, and content owners will be able to deliver content and applications built with Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR technologies without concerns about device restrictions. By removing the licensing cost and restrictions, as well as opening up the protocols and porting layer, Adobe is making it easier for developers and partners to deliver more engaging experiences to more of their customers, and ensuring that audiences can engage with content no matter what device or medium they use.”

Short version, most phones will get a good swf player very shortly… possibly even the Iphone!

Free Flash Components…

I am a lazy programmer at times… why reinvent the wheel when it already is going around for you. In that vein I was put on to this site to do some things with flash and google maps…

Advanced Flash Components

and today they have this little bonus…

“We’ve just set it up so that everything marked AS 2.0 on the site is free! That’s right, as in zip, zero, nada. Same great components, same great support, now at zero cost. This is our biggest giveaway ever ($310) and we would appreciate your help spreading the word. You can help us out by telling your friends, posting links, posting blogs, etc. (Or, you could just grab what you want and run like a cougar.) Free components include: Flow List, Media List, Tooltip, IMG Loop, FLV Player, Map, MP3 Player, IMG Gallery, IMG Thumbnail Gallery, FLV Gallery, FLV List Gallery, IMG Loader Blur, IMG Loader Pixelate, IMG Loader Tint

So head on over and save yourself a whole pile of work…

Flash lite 3.1 Announced…

Great news… Flash 3.1 has been announced ( sybmian-freak.com)

Much better browsability than FL3

– Support for h.264 codec

– Flash 9 content will play in FL3.1 as long as it is published as AS2. AS3 engine is not ported to FL3 yet.


Does this mean the end of the FLV format…. If I can publish an h264 video, that will now play on mobile, web and be my vodcast file.. why would I need flv???

Just have to wait for new firmware to test this little beauty. And thus the main problem with flash on the mobile platform is the increased fragmentation of the market.

Since Nokia started releasing firmware updates to the Flash player (mainly with including Flash 3 on certain devices) understanding the deployment in the market place will and has become increasingly difficult.

Getting a user to know what version of firmware they have is a whole extra level beyond just saying if you have an n95 then you can run this app.

I think the next year or so may be a difficult time for a lot of developers and users and Adobe move towards a much more unified flash based architecture.