Flash Camp in Milan

I’m glad to announce an interesting Flash Camp that will take place in Milan this month at 20 and 21.

All the topics of the Flash Camp will be focused on mobile side, so Flex for mobile device, iOS, Android and Playbook development, code technique for mobile applications, optimizing video content for mobile, design pattern and architecture for mobile project.
Flash camp will be hosted by the whymca the mobile developer conference, that for the second year will show the mobile opportunities not only with Flash Platform but with any technology could be use for mobile purpose.
The event will be in Milan in Milanofiori (Assago), you can find more information on whymca web site.

Back on the Flash Camp side, speakers will be:

Mihai will talk about Flex on mobile devices and how to deploy a content on multiple devices, in the afternoon he has a live coding session where show how to create a mobile application with Actionscript 3.
My good friend Fabio will talk about video encoding optimization for mobile devices, Andrea will show how to create a game cross-platform with Flash Platform and Piergiorgio will give us great suggestions on how to optimize our code and improve the performance of mobile solutions.
Finally me, I’ll talk on how to organize a multiple screen development with Design Pattern and Architecture to re-use code and have great performance on mobile solutions.
For a limit number of people we are organizing a post event for the evening so try to come from the beginning of the Flash Camp and you’ll receive more information about it or keep update reading this blog.
See you there Flashers!!!

Adobe CookBooks Reader for Android

Hi everyone,

I’ve just released on Android market the CookBooks Reader application where you can read all new recipes about Flash Platform technologies.
It’s FREE and it’s based on Flex 4 and Adobe AIR so remember to download it before download CookBooks Reader.

If you try it, feel free to leave here comments with new features or suggestions…  I’m looking for you! Let’s go Flash Platform geeks! 😛

Flex on mobile: first impressions…

Like you know I love work with mobile and embedded stuff, in particular I love working with Flash Platform on mobile devices.
In latest months I worked on Android and iOS with Flash Professional but in latest weeks I started to work with Flex HERO sdk.
I love so much work with Flex but on mobile I’ve never tried yet.
First impression is that work with Flex on mobile stuff is quite fast respect Flash because it adds a lots of usual features that a mobile application needs.

Splash page

Any mobile application that is called like that, needs a splash page to introduce the real application.
In Flex you can set it very easily directly in main MXML file.
The executable MXML file on mobile project is called ViewNavigatorApplication instead of WindowedApplication like every AIR application, this new class allow you to set splashScreenImage, splashScreenScaleMode and splashScreenMinimumDisplayTime.
Those properties allow you to choose an image file for the splash screen, set its minimum duration and finally how it works in each screen’s dimensions where application runs.

Views

I mention ViewNavigatorApplication, this is a new concept of Flex mobile applications, in fact each application is composed by different View components.
Views are so interesting because they have a lots of things pre-builted like ActionBar, activation and deactivation events, View title, caching data and so on.
Every view is managed by a navigator, with the navigator you can push or pop views (like an array) to change them.
You can also choose how they will be animated, by default you can see a simple slide left or right (depends if you are adding or removing a view).
ActionBar is a new interesting component composed by 3 elements:

  • navigationContent
  • titleContent
  • actionContent

Usually actionBar could be used like a context menu of the view, remember that on mobile development is necessary to go back in the previous mask and also remember that your user doesn’t work on an application like uses a desktop application so shortcuts are so important.

Mobile Components

The new Flex framework “Hero” added optimized components for mobile purpose.
Until now I worked with textinputs, labels and lists that works very well, I tried in 3 different Android phones and performance are quite good.
Another new component added is IconItemRenderer that is an optimized item renderer for list component for example.
This component could be customized with: title, message field, icon and a decorator class that allow you to add for example another image. This is an IconItemRenderer sample where I added also filters (a drop shadow in this case)

Device Interaction & Flex Performance

Another cool thing that allow you to save time is that back button on the smartphone is managed by the application and it automatically goes to the previous view when a user click on hit.
In my few samples I tried to work without using cacheAsBitmap and cacheAsBitmapMatrix to have better performance and believe me that you remain astonished by the performance.
In fact performance are so good, it is so optimized for mobile purpose and everything works well, I tried to add custom effects and filters but performance were amazing too.

Mobile project Architecture

This is my favorite topic, when I started to work on mobile stuff with Actionscript 3 I thought on how to have great performances but with a good architecture that allow me to maintain my application during own life.

So I investigated on how new mobile technologies work and I found that Nokia QT works on mobile with a MVVM architecture, usually instead of controllers you can use delegates but depends of the application.
Working with MVVM architecture and a good design pattern like observer you can solve any problem in a mobile project, performances are perfect and you can optimize your code in the best way you like.
There are other tests that I want to try, the first one will be using Signals instead of Observer, I’d like to know performances in a mobile project (stay tuned :P).

Final Conclusion

The new Flex framework is an interesting step to the future, with this framework I’m sure you can create cool application in few days focusing on details and not on the application skeleton.

I suggest to take a look at Adobe TV, Adobe labs and Adobe Opensource to start work with Flex HERO!

UPDATE

take a look here to the Flex mobile performance

Adobe Community Professional for 2011

I’m so excited to announce that I become Adobe Community Professional for 2011!
It’s my first time in this group and I’ve no words to say thanks Adobe and all the community staff that decide to get me in.
I hope this year to do a good job and I really want to meet other guys next MAX in L.A.
This 2011 will be for me and my company an year with tons of changing and becoming ACP gives me new forces to make them!
Thank you again to everyone 😀

mPresenter: new tool for speakers

I become speaker 4/5 years ago, after 30/40 talks in Italy and around the globe and tons of lessons like instructor, after study how to prepare slides for presentations, after a couple of courses about public speaking and so on, finally this January I started to think about how can I help speakers during own presentation?

When I answered to this question I started to think about mPresenter.

mPresenter is composed by 2 different applications: a mobile application and a desktop one.
Obviously everything is build with Flash Platform: AIR 2, Flex 4 and AIR for Android.
The mobile one allow you to manage your presentation, pointing or drawing on slide, changing them.
Also, it allows you to read notes added in each slide during preso composition.

AIR application allows speakers to make own presentation: moving slides in right position, adding notes to a slides and zooming on it.
You can easily drag and drop images from your OS to mPresenter and create the perfect presentation.
We are working to add new features on this software but for now you can see a preview video on youtube.
I really love if you can give us your feedbacks and suggestions to improve this software and become a really useful utility for all speakers.
We believe in you!

Flash Platform Geeks: new community is born

And YESSSSSS!

In this hot summer, I’m really glad to announce Flash Platform Geeks, a new Flash Platform community made in collaboration with Peter Elst!
Flash Platform Geeks is dedicated to all flash platform lovers like us!
Soon you can see online our website, our forum and so on, I’m really excited about this new adventure

It will be crazy, totally insane and if you go to Flash on the beach this year, believe  me, when I say that you’ll remain astonished!

So please, start to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr too!
See you around guys and thank you in advance to spread the word and follow Flash Platform Geeks

Flash Platform on Android

Sorry if I don’t post anything until now but I study a lot during last months and finally I’ve time to write a new post about Flash Platform on Android.

I’m glad to talk about this argument because after Flash Lite experience I was not so excited to work with these technologies on mobile, but finally I can say that we can forget Flash Lite experience in this new way to think mobile.
First of all I’d like to share with you a thought about Adobe mobile direction.
Adobe is releasing 3 cool mobile technologies Flash, Flex and obviously AIR; the most interesting for me is Flex 4.1 (codename HERO) that allow to create contents for RIAs, Dekstop Apps, Mobile RIAs and Mobile Apps.
In fact with HERO, Adobe gives us opportunity to develop better and faster with the same framework! Yes, you read well, 1 framework for everything!
They add some cool components dedicated for mobile development like ActionBar or ViewNavigator. It’s really impressive!
If you have an Android FroYo device, try to download some .apk file made with Flex on Coenraets blog.

I think Adobe is going to the right direction and new technologies that will be released in next months give us a new opportunity to bring our contents and deliver them to mobile! So THANK YOU ADOBE!

After these considerations, I’d like to talk about few experiments that I tried during last weeks.
Flash Platform on Android works very well, cool performance and with a good coding you can create great stuff.
I’m working on a mobile library with some useful components like grid, list, image and so on; I think that work with Flash Platform on mobile is so easy if you have an idea on how to work for mobile.
Obviously, if you are a Flash developer you are not a Flash mobile developer automatically! But you can become a mobile developer in few easy steps:

1. Optimize your code: remember to remove all listeners, put variables to null, using object pooling instead of create and destroy variables, use design patterns and so on.
2. System.gc() finally works! On Flash Player 10.1 if you run this command it works very well and save lots of memory for your porjects!
3. Don’t insert tons of stuff on your screen: when you design UI of your application remember that you have a small screen so remember to work with 14px fonts (minimum size), big hit button area (50px minimum), optimized images, avoid vector strokes.
Remember also to test if an asset is better in pixels instead of vectors or viceversa, because sometimes trying on device is the best way to find an answer!
4. Test on device anytime you add a consistent feature.
Don’t test your application only when you finish it, but test anytime you add a new feature because what you see on your computer could not be the same on your Android device!

Those are only few suggestions to start to work with Flash Platform on Android; on Amazon I saw that many people will release some cool books about Flash Platform development on mobile device so please take a look!

Finally, I give you a couple of videos about a runtime image manipulation on Android with Convolution filter made in less then 50 lines of code and a new component that I develop for our library called Skeleton component that simulate navigation of iPad Wired app but made for Android with Flash Platform.
I’m finishing it but for now I’m glad for final result; it’s totally XML driven and you can add swf, videos or images, send data to swf files and so on.
A cool test that I made is to port it on an AIR app for desktop and without changing a line of code I have the same result!
So if you plan your development well you can have one core and different deploy, thank you again Adobe!
Now I want to try it on an Android tablet and then I’ll post some results about that.
For now I can say that Flash on Android will revolutionize Android mobile development experience and if Adobe goes in this direction I can say that they will revolutionize mobile developer life (not for all, isn’t it Steve?!).

Creative Suite SDK

Last few months CS5 was presented and few people talked about a new opportunity that is CS5 SDK that allow flex developers to create native panels for Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and so on.

There are great opportunities because you can automatize any kind of process in your daily workflow and create your personal panel made with Flex and Actionscript 3.
If you are familiar with JS opportunities for InDesign or Photoshop, you know the power of those solutions but now you can have an interface that help your daily work.
You can also dialog with other softwares like AIR apps or native apps like a Digital Assets Management or again with other panels made with Flex!
So, believe me, now we have new and amazing opportunities with this new SDK.
The most important thing to start develop for those design softwares is to know how they work and then everything will be so natural.

With my company, we start a new project called Creative Suite Panels where people could download or buy new creative suite panels, ask us to develop one or other developers could sell own panels directly from this site (this last service soon).
We’d like to create a panels store where people can buy, sell or simple download new functionalities for own favorite design software.
In Creative Suite Panels you can also download a Flickr panel made for InDesign CS5 that allow you to search images on Flickr, download them and

For more information take a look at cs5 sdk team blog.

Think different?! NO… but maybe…

I want broken my silence about Apple vs Adobe “war” and share with you my thoughts.

It’s an hot topic and probably not all people will be agree with me but I feel to tell you my point of view.
First of all, today we are sure that Adobe will not invest anymore on iPhone packager for Flash CS5, so from a developer point of view I’m totally agree with Mike Chambers and Adobe too.
Android is a really amazing mobile OS not only for smartphone but also for MID, I saw on a Nvidia Tegra 2 and performance were really impressive.
I had an iPhone a year ago and now I’ve a HTC Hero with Android, guys believe me, it totally changes my life, everytime I say: “Android takes best features of Blackberry, iPhone and Nokia in one OS! Oh yes… phone calls work on Android :P”.

I saw AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 on Android in action during 3GSM in Barcelona and … WOW, Adobe is working very hard on that technologies and I test a Flash website not optimize for mobile on FP 10.1 and it works very well.
Future on Android will be very cool for every Flash Platform developers… but…

I’m also owner of a company and I know a little bit my customers or potential ones and if you talk about iPhone or Android they feel an app or game in different way.
I think the big problem is that few people known the powerful of Android OS and Google is not advertising so much it.
People that use Android after iPhone they don’t come back again, they are so happy about OS but if you take a look at carrier’s advertising they prepare great iPhone campaign but I didn’t see any Android campaign or carrier’s advertising dedicated to Android phones.
Adobe made a good job with iPhone packager and Apple close doors to it, if I see from point of view of both I could think that Adobe didn’t develop anything for iPhone and will not do that in the next future, Apple lose tons of possible applications in own store but they preserve their ecosystem, and freelances or IT companies?! Did you ever think to them?!

We are in a particular market moment where everybody is seeking a new way to make business or to invert the trend, those strategies could be useful in 80’s or 90’s not in 2010! Customers are not so happy to bring a company that make an iPhone app, another one for a RIA on web, another for a desktop apps and so on, or maybe one big company that make all but ask tons of money that there aren’t in this historical moment!
Lots of companies and developers were waiting for this new marketing possibility and probably, this possibility could create a win-win situation for everybody.
Companies and developers work more and have new possibilities to make business in a particular market moment, Adobe would be the first company that introduce in the market a technology that is real cross-platform, with AS3 I can develop on web, mobile, desktop apps and so on; probably many people upgrade to Flash CS5 only for iPhone packagers so they have a high ROI; finally Apple would have tons of new developers that will buy their products, probably approach Objective C maybe only to take a look but they will approach it, and they gain more revenue from the store… so everybody win nobody lose.
Probably it’s a poor point of view from a little man, but a win win situation could help in this moment…

I spent a couple of days to understand what is happening between Adobe and Apple but I think that nobody could know and nobody tell us the truth.
For now we can only wait and change our marketing strategy focusing on Android devices, maybe a day we could count more in big companies decisions… or maybe not…

Directly from Barcelona: MWC 2010 impressions

I’m here in Barcelona at 3GSM world congress, crisis is arrived here too.
There isn’t Nokia stand, only few evening party, there are less people than last previous editions so really, I hope that 2010 could be a new year with new opportunity for everyone because this is NOT the mobile world congress and this is NOT a good scenario to see.

Come back home and start to talk about Adobe news… first of all, my favorite one: Adobe AIR 2 on mobile!

Yes finally is arrived or better, finally I’ve seen it! We really don’t know when will be released we only know that it runs on Android, probably on NVIDA Tegra II, probably on Symbian devices and for sure on Blackberry; so a new market opportunity will be open with Blackberry adoption.
And WIN mobile?! They said to wait 2/3 weeks and there will be a press release about that, meanwhile I see Window phone 7 and it looks nice, not bad but I’m interesting to know how will be integrated with Flash Platform.

Flash Player 10.1 on mobile devices will implement AVM 1 and AVM 2 so probably there will be retro-compatibility  with Flash Lite contents, I say probably because I’d like to test it before to say: “YES It’s alive!!!”.
But I’m sure that AS3 contents will run so well if they will be optimize for mobile; I’m scared that AS3 developers approach this new opportunity like Flash Lite one where everybody know AS2 was automatically a Flash Lite developer, but believe me it’s not the same thing also with Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 on mobile.

Both mobile technologies will be the same of desktop one so we don’t lost any API and it’s great announcement, finally could we start to work in a real platform experience!? I think so!

And Flash Lite?! So now we have a new versione Flash Lite 4 that you’ll can use with Actionscript 3 and will be distributed on S40 and low powerful devices.

I asked also about distribution and probably we will find FP 10.1 and AIR 2 directly with a firmware upgrade of own phone; for now we don’t know there will be OTA distribution also.

So finally, I see great Adobe technologies… but for the future, because when will be release there will be more time to wait to have a great distribution so if you think that will solve all your mobile problems, I think that you’ll wait few months again.

Today is my last day here, I’ll try to grab more information about those news and if you go to FITC in Amsterdam next week, see you there mate!