I realize I haven't been blogging a lot about what I've been up to in the last few months so thought I'd better get a post out and share some of those things with you.

Cocoon P2P

The open source Cocoon P2P library has been released and got Dirk Eismann on board as a contributor after speaking at FFK11 in April. With his help we were able to take it from more of a proof of concept to a solid solution for doing local IP multicast with the Flash Player (no server required).

We have great support for device discovery, messaging and object-replication. Reworking the video streaming and fixing some bugs on the accelerometer support is still on my todo list for the very near future.

HTML5 Solutions

I've had the pleasure to work on a book called "HTML5 Solutions: Essential Techniques for HTML5 Developers" with fellow authors Marco Casario, Charles Brown, Nathalie Wormser and Cyril Hanquez.

My contribution to the book is on using the Geolocation API - which, if you haven't already tried it - is one of the most exciting features that is starting to become widely available with HTML5.

It turned out - in my humble opinion - to be a very good publication and should be shipping soon. I can't wait to get hold of my author copies and hear reader feedback when it hits the stores.

Mobile Development with Flash video training

Together with Joseph Labrecque I've recorded a video training title for Peachpit called "Mobile Development with Adobe Flash Professional CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5: Learn by Video" that is now available for pre-order.

We cover developing for Google Android and Apple iOS with Adobe AIR, ActionScript and the Flex framework from the very start of setting up your application, to using various APIs, debugging and finally submitting it to the marketplace and app store.

I had a great time recording this title in Graz, Austria with the nice folks at video2brain.

Mobile application development

I've been playing around with different mobile platforms - releasing a couple of applications for Window Phone 7, Google Android and Apple iOS as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook.

VAT validator on WP7 and Android

A while back I was giving the opportunity to do some development on Windows Phone 7 and have to admit it was a very nice experience and a solid development platform. Most of all the app submission and approval process was incredible, consistently taking only 2 days and getting detailed feedback on any problems they find - the best I've seen on any curated marketplace so far.

I decided to port the VAT validator app I had built some years back for iPhone in Objective-C in C#/Silverlight and did the same on Android through the Adobe AIR runtime. Also took the opportunity to test ad integration on mobile and made paid and free ad-supported versions to compare how well they do. I hope to share some statistics soon on how that goes and what model is most suitable for developers that do utility apps.

Sanskrit Clock iPad app

I thought it was high time to explore native development on Apple iOS again and see what the app store experience is like since I last tried it in 2008. Approval time has certainly improved and in less than a week after submitted, my Sanskrit Clock iPad app made it on the store.

Not sure how many people are interested in an app like this (aside from the handful of geeky Sanskrit enthusiasts like myself) but it includes optional romanized transliteration of the numerals, a couple of different color themes and a setting to disable the screen lock so you can use it as a clock on your desk or nightstand.

TWiT Live for PlayBook

TWiT Live is my second PlayBook app that lets you watch the live stream of Leo Laporte's TWiT network shows. I plan to add support for play/pause, volume control and switching between high and low quality streams some time soon.

It doesn't look like things are slowing down for me any time soon, end of next week I'm moving to London to start my new job at Google as a Rich Media Flash Developer. If I manage to find the time I'll be delving deeper into native Android development to do some experiments with widget development and other fun stuff.

Onwards and upwards!

 

I'm certainly not Apple's biggest fan these last few months, there's a lot left to be desired around many of their company policies, openness and developer relations. That said I did get an iPad today. Why?

In many ways this device is breaking new ground in a tablet form factor that is going to be increasingly important in the next few years. Flawed as it might be feature wise, if you're serious about mobile and devices this is something you should start looking into now.

At Project Cocoon we're heavily invested in mobile application development and the iOS devices are part of that. Apart from iPhone and Android app development we were already doing, we're now also fully equipped to develop iPad apps and plan to do so with a strong focus on user experience.

I needed a portable device for email, twitter and blogging at conferences with a battery that will get me through the day. My Sony VAIO barely making 3 hours and obviously being a lot bulkier to carry around, the iPad hit just the spot. It'll be my device of choice to carry with me on days when not presenting.

HTML5 - no, its not a Flash killer but it is no doubt going to play an important role on the web. If there's anything I've learned over the years is to explore beyond the confines of your geeky comfort zone. This is also a way to force myself to learn the technology and start using it on iOS optimized mobile sites.

Apple has provided the only app store that has given me a decent amount of sales and monthly revenue coming in. I plan on porting most of my existing iPhone apps to iPad and there are several other ideas for apps that should see the light of day in the months to come.

 
Now, let there be no doubt I'm still very much committed to Flash Platform technologies and convinced it has a bright future ahead across desktop and devices.

To make me feel slightly better about supporting Apple with my purchase I'll probably want to jailbreak my iPad at the earliest convenience, do my application prototyping from Flash with the iPhone packager and perhaps distribute some unsigned apps for others on jailbroken devices :)
 

Posted
AuthorPeter
CategoriesApple
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3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).

Just days before the official Adobe CS5 launch, with the now widely reported iPhone packager feature, Apple comes out with a new clause in their iPhone Developer Program License Agreement (see above).

This effectively means that any apps with code not originally written in any of the Apple approved programming languages and are translated, cross-compiled would not be allowed for distribution in the iTunes app store. Obviously this not only affects Adobe but other tools out there such as Unity, OpenPlug ELIPS, MonoTouch, XMLVM etc. and potentially even puts into question the use of any form of code generation or WYSIWYG tools.

There are currently hundreds of applications using third party technologies in the iTunes app store and the question is what will happen with these after this new license agreement comes into affect.

In my view this is clearly a malicious move by Apple to wait until mere days before the CS5 launch to make this announcement and illustrates how communication between Apple and Adobe is sadly at an all time low.

I expect Adobe to come out with a strong statement about its position and a plan of action and hope developers across the board send a clear message to Apple that they are crossing a line here. This goes beyond any form of quality control but dictates how you are allowed to write the code for the application you are submitting to them. The level of control Apple wants to have over their application ecosystem is unprecedented and unreasonable by any measure.

To quote Joa Ebert on Twitter: "Apple forcing people to develop in Objective-C is as if Microsoft would tell you to use MS Paint for your design work".
 
[update] A first official statement by Adobe: "We are aware of the new SDK language and are looking into it. CS5 will still launch on April 12th."
 

Posted
AuthorPeter
CategoriesApple, Rants
37 CommentsPost a comment

Exciting times if you're working with Flash Platform technologies, the idea of deploying the same codebase to multiple screens is really taking shape and I for one couldn't be happier. AIR already allowed us to go cross platform with desktop apps (Windows, Mac and Linux), obviously the Flash Player allows the same across browsers and now with devices you can run your code on Palm webOS, Android devices and even package as apps for iPhone and the new iPad.

Christian Cantrell of the AIR team did an excellent demo on creating an application that automatically lays itself out based on the available screen real estate.

I'm pleasantly surprised about performance they've been able to achieve, that is one area I honestly had my doubts about but they seem to have pulled it off with flying colors (a testament to Flash Player 10.1 mobile optimization).

While we can argue all day long about Apple's decision not to have Flash Player support in their iPhone OS browser or how HTML5 is increasingly becoming an alternative to Flash -- this to me emphasizes the power of the Flash Platform tools and why it has a bright future ahead.

Thank you Adobe engineers for being lazy! ;)
 

Posted
AuthorPeter

I did a little experiment this morning, disabling plug-ins in my browser aka "the iPad experience". See where things start to break down? The Apple iPad web browsing experience, not quite what you expect. Yes, there are native apps for a number of these sites (social gaming on Facebook anyone?) I'm specifically talking about the web browsing which Steve yesterday called "the best web experience you’ve ever had".

The message here seems to be, if you have an interesting site that we don't support create an app for it.

Posted
AuthorPeter
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Just hours after the product got announced, a lot has already been said and written about the Apple iPad and I don't particularly feel I have a lot to add except for that "one more thing". I've been working almost exclusively on Mac for about five years now and its a decision I've never regretted. One thing I've always admired is how polished the user experience is and the attention for details makes Apple products a real joy to work with.

Today, Steve Jobs proudly proclaimed "It's the best web experience you've ever had." -- while I would love to believe him on that, this is what we saw.

iPad - no Flash Player support

No Flash Player support. Surprising? Not really. Disappointing? Yes.

Think of Flash what you will, thats a different discussion, and I've shared my views in an earlier post. Flash content is an integral and important part of the web experience, there's a full decade of SWF material out on the Internet that is essentially out of bounds for your users.

On a mobile device with limited specs we could see some reasoning behind it, although just about every other mobile manufacturer didn't find it a problem to partner in the Open Screen Project and roll out Flash Player 10.1 support on their devices.

With the iPad we're talking about a different device, a processor that clearly is capable of high performance rendering and a user base with different expectations when they sit down in their sofa to browse the web, play games, watch video and cartoons,...

This is your chance to really go for the best web browsing experience possible. With an iPad specific SDK reportedly coming out, work with Adobe and allow them to roll out a Flash Player for your new device. It will allow your users to opt-in to what a lot of us believe is a better experience on this ground breaking device.

To those of you that agree that Flash support is essential for a device like the iPad, I urge you to speak up as many have already done.
 

Posted
AuthorPeter
46 CommentsPost a comment