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Adobe Making it Easier to Develop for PlayBook Android and iOS

One Codebase

Adobe is working on quite a few tools to bring to the BlackBerry PlayBook along with other platforms. They have a dream to allow developers to create one codebase and share it across multiple device platforms while just tweaking the UI and interface for each device. It is what they are calling “One Tool. One Framework. One Codebase.” Right now this new Flash Builder 4.5 is only really tooled for Android devices but when it is released in the next 30 days it will be easy to target all three major tablet OS devices from one tool. You can then simply take the process from development to deployment including code signing from one place.

New Flex Mobile Project Mobile Debugger

Their first steps in that direction have already been seen in the early builds previewed of Flash Builder 4.5 that developers are seeing for the PlayBook. Their vision seems to be a bit deeper and they showed off some cool development tools. For example, through the tool you can not only see how the app will look on different devices you can even use it to deploy a debug version to a PlayBook (they showed me an Android device since they didn’t have a PlayBook) and set breakpoints on the actual device. The second you end the debug session the app is removed. I wish all of RIM’s tools had features like this!

Screen shot 2011-04-08 at 5.29.24 PM Screen shot 2011-04-08 at 5.29.10 PM

Adobe also announced today that they are working on a Photoshop SDK for tablets that will allow iOS at first and then the PlayBook and Android devices to interface with your desktop Photoshop. This new SDK is coming to iOS in early May with the PlayBook and other version following. The SDK will allow for apps that let you draw on the screen and import it in called Adobe Eazel. Another tool is Adobe Color Lava which lets you create custom color swatches and then their is Adobe Nav which lets you drive Photoshop tools from your tablet.

All in all it is cool to see Adobe has a vision for a mobile future instead of all the doom and gloom we are hearing about HTML5 replacing Flash. HTML5 definitely has its place but Adobe is not going down that easily. After hearing about all of this I plan on picking up the latest Flash Builder release that Adobe promised to send over. I will report back on how it works!

Check out the latest press release on Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 at this link

21 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Adobe Air still sucks. With the modern day uses of smartphones, Air is too weak to fulfill the “One Language”. Adobe should probably be spending their time improving Air and not wasting their time trying to get developers to use it. Haven’t the last couple years shown them we don’t want it? At least not with the current shortcomings.

  2. Devguy is obviously an apple guy. Why don’t you think of it this way. Smartphones put out so far are incapable of running Air because the smartphones are crap.

    As Smartphones become more like computer, a la Playbook, then they will be more capable of running sophisticated programs.

    This is good for RIM, but I don’t think apple will like it. Every time an app is developed it will automatically run on all platforms. This is too much like the internet for Apple. Their goal is to close you off from the internet and charge you money for what you can get on the net for free.

    Apple has done very well with their “rip gullible consumers off” model so far, but one has to wonder how long this will last. Middle agers think Steve Jobs is a God, but young Kids have to be saying who’s that skinny creeping looking old grandpa in the black turtleneck. 😀 Face it, 55+ year olds are not cool to young people.

    Let’s hope open standards win, we’ll all be better off.

    • Obviously an Apple guy? lol, I sure hope you’re not a detective in real life. Because you’re not a very good one on the net.

      I think you’re the one who needs to think of it in a different way. How many Adobe Air applications are you running on your desktop? How about your Laptop? 99.9% of people can safely say 0. I guess Desktops and Laptops are “crap” by your logic.

      Adobe Air in its current state isn’t even close to what developers are looking for in a cross-platform language, “One Language” in Adobes words. It’s a giant step backwards from Java aside from graphics.

      • So why don’t you just say this is good fro graphics but not much more. Your overall point seems to be let’s stop attempts at cross platform. This is not good and why I give you the apple logo. You may not want to take it, but it’s all in what you are saying.

        • I’ll change what I say when one of the following 2 things happens:

          1. Adobe touts Air as a cross-platform flash game language and nothing more.

          2. Adobe invests the time to bring Air up to par with Java so developers can actually create powerful and responsive applications.

    • P.S. whether or not a smartphone/tablet has the ability to run “sophisticated applications” is besides the point. Because Adobe Air is incapable of creating “sophisticated applications”. Now tic tac toe games…that it can make. A gui to show some database entries….that it can make. But without threads or powerful networking it’s pretty much useless.

      • Sorry, I read the New York times on Adobe Air. There are many adobe Air applications maybe you should open your eyes and your mind.

        • Quantity != Quality. I’ll put this into words maybe you’ll understand better. 100 fart apps != 1 internet browser.

          • Well you obviously don’t know me and haven’t read my comments on this site before. I’m no proponent of fart apps. I don’t think the air applications I’ve used are that bad, maybe I’ve just been lucky.

            Still the spirit of build once for all platforms should be applauded. Your first remark, negative. That’s got to say something.

            • Yup lets applaud Adobe for their great cross-platform idea. The whole point is who cares, theres multiple cross-platform languages. Ones with the ability to create truly dynamic and powerful applications. Air has been around for a long time kiddo and it’s been cross-platform (clap, clap, clap), if you take a little time to research it you’ll see why it hasn’t caught on. With the increasing power of smartphones/tablets we’re doing a whole lot more on our devices. And I for one don’t want this to be wasted on Airs current situation. And I’ll speak out about it.

              Your obvious lack of knowledge on this whole topic says a lot more than my first remark.

          • Hey guys. I actually had a briefing on adobe air and with Flex it seems pretty powerful. We actually use an Air app to compress images on BerryReview. I just thought it was cool that devs with air knowledge could create cross platform apps

            • But while and image is being compressed do you have the ability to do anything else with the application, other than maybe look at an hour glass or other progress indicator. This is my whole point, and it really spurs from RIMs choice to lead out with Air on the PlayBook. The PlayBook is being touted for it’s multitasking, multiprocessing capabilities. Yet the only applications we’re gonna see until the native SDKs are out are applications that can’t take advantage of this itself. Yes the OS can run 2 things at once. But the apps can’t do 2 things at once, which in the end is much more important if you’re gonna view the PlayBook as a “Professional” device with the computing power being shown off.

              • But, but but…

                You are not sounding so hot now are you. Just keep talking and reveal how limited your knowledge is.

                EA sports already developed for the Playbook using the native SDK, so has SAP, so your point about we won’t see any apps taking advantage of the Playbook’s abilities until SDKs are out is, in a nutshell, wrong.

                • I’m pretty sure the ability of applications to do multiple things is what I’ve been talking about the whole time. Research the word “threads” in the context of programming. I used it in my 3rd post after you called me an “Apple guy” for not liking Air.

                  You’re being pretty ridiculous now. Just because RIM allowed EA to make a game for their “Professional Tablet” using Native SDKs doesn’t fix the fact all the other developers are stuck with Adobe Air and will only create “disposable apps” (to quote RIM). P.S. Games != Apps no matter how many times Apple says it, it doesn’t make it true. When I say Apps it means Applications, the original meaning of the word. And when talking about “Professional” tablet(s) I don’t think it is at all out of line to stick to that meaning.

              • I can’t speak for the Air sdk but my webworks apps use webworkers to perform processes in the background. Pretty cool if you consider that the main competiton does not allow for multitasking except in 7 areas.

                • Air doesn’t have that ability, which is why I’m against it. It is a plus webworks allows this, but as we’ve seen in the past, webworks doesn’t produce many applications for us. But when you think about it we don’t want computationally expensive applications running through all the layers of abstraction javascript/html would require.

                  As for the competition…I could care less what they do. The fact will be at the launch of the PlayBook, my Torch apps will be more powerful and efficient than my PlayBook apps. So until Native SDKs release or Air is upgraded to this century I will complain. Am I still getting a PlayBook? Yup when RIM sends me it for creating my “disposal app” with AIR.

              • Actually, AIR 2.6 runs image compression on a separate thread now. There’s many other APIs that run on separate threads, throwing off events when they are ready.

                Also Adobe just the past week started demoing a new WebWorkers-like API that is coming to future versions of Flash and AIR. I’m guess we are going to have to wait until the end of this year for Flash Player 11 and AIR 3.0.

                In the meantime, there are green threating APIs (simulating multiple threads in single thread environment). Plus other methods of getting around UI lock up.

                That said, having worked on a PlayBook app with AIR and seen some apps other Flash developers have been working on this hasn’t been too much of a limitation and there’s some really great apps coming to the PlayBook.

  3. I’m not sure exactly when this came out, supposedly it was in reaction to Apple not supporting flash, but Adobe also has a flash convertor to help developers reuse some (not all) of their flash work.

    Whether or not you like Adobe (I wish they had been more interested in security in years past) it’s nice to see a company try to make sure you can reuse and extend the working life of your work.

  4. This is very good news from Adobe. As an artist the SDK is something I’d be very interested in.

    • Yes… I really want some sort of access to adobe products on my playbook. And I was disappointed to hear that they were not publishing the three photoshop apps in QNX. I say my playbook because it has been preordered. 🙂

  5. Good job Adobe!, im not a dev. but it looks cool! 😀

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