Creating AIR applications using Google's GWT

Just saw this cool project on Flexcoders: gwt4air. Gwt4air is project that allows you to use Google's Web Toolkit (GWT) to build Adobe AIR applications without having to learn MXML or Actionscript at all. For myself personally this has never been a problem, as I am fond of saying, if you know Java, you know MXML and Actionscript. Mind you, there are some things to learn, that goes without saying when learning any new programming language, but the similarities between the two technologies is so similar that the learning curve is small.

But with gwt4air, that learning curve is further minimized, and this now becomes one of these easiest ways for someone to immerse themselves in Adobe AIR programming coming from a Java development background. Basically write some Java code and voila, an AIR application is born! Then once the programmer is comfortable with that, they can then take the next step of programming directly in MXML and Actionscript, using the compiler, etc... Just another great tool for a great technology I say :)

The Incubator

Adobe has a new thing over at the Labs web site: the Incubator. The Incubator contains pre-beta versions of the Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR. These versions are highly unstable, but do contain the latest cutting edge features that developers might want to play around with and get a glimpse into the far future and help mold it at the same time :) But it is important to remember that such features might never actually be included into any final release of these aforementioned products.

And just to give you an idea of what currently can be done with the Incubator version of the Adobe Flash Player (codenamed "Molehill"), check out these cool videos!


Looks like a great year for Flash in 2011

On the heals of the Flash Player 10.2 release, which includes great performance enhancements, 2011 seems to be a great year for Flash overall. With the increase in competitiveness between manufacturers in the mobile and tablet space, basically many new devices will include support for Flash, which is great news for content creators. You can basically create your content in one language/platform and have it delivered to many devices thus reaching millions of end-users.

There are a couple of short videos released today that describe this in numbers. Go here.


Flash Player 10.2 makes Linux users happy

With this week's release of Flash Player 10.2, Linux users are very happy. I was just over at my mom's, and my brother who uses Linux everyday for his school work, just upgraded to the latest version of the Flash Player and the speed improvement is noticeable. We were watching some YouTube videos with version 10.1 when I told him to upgrade to 10.2, and then we re-watched the same videos and you can definitely tell the difference. Especially in full screen mode, where before it was completely choppy and now playback is a lot smoother. It is still not as smooth as it can be, as I find the same videos still play better on Windows based PCs.

This is good news all round for the Linux community and also bodes well for mobile phones and tablets that run the Android OS.

If you run Chrome on Linux, you just need to update your Chrome to the latest 9.x release and it will include Flash Player 10.2. For those using FireFox, just download the latest Flash Player from Adobe's site and you are set!


Flash Player 10.2 now available

As of today, Flash Player 10.2 is available from Adobe. Below I've highlighted the main changes in this release, but you can read about them in full detail on this page.
  • Stage Video! Basically means full hardware acceleration for video playback on Windows and Mac (something that started back in version 10.1). Suppliers such as Vimeo and YouTube will be upgrading their content to take advantage of this feature.
  • Full screen support on multi-screen systems
  • Support for custom native mouse cursors
  • Text-rendering enhancements
  • Support for GPU rendering in upcoming IE 9
You can get it from their web site as always, but here is the directly link for anyone who needs it.


Optimize your app for Google TV

Was just reading an article about how Google is now providing an HTML5 and Flex 4.5 library to help build applications that will run better on Google TV. The library can be downloaded from the following location: http://code.google.com/p/gtv-resources/

From what I've read it seems that the library contains a set of components that are optimized and better suited for the Google TV experience. I haven't built any such applications myself, but if you have or are going too in the near future, I suggest you check it out!