And for the last day of sessions, How to Extend Your Mobile AIR Applications Using Native Extensions, building Facebook Flash apps, and the most strategic one: Flash 11 & AIR3 : Changing the game.
Building Facebook apps with Flash
Not the most interesting session as I spent a year working on Facebook API at AKQA in Amsterdam. I pretty much did the tour of it. So here’s the presentation by Ryan Stewart – replacing Daniel Dura at the last minute. Ryan gives a good introduction on the mechanics of the API and their implementation in as3. He also reminds a priceless advice that took me a while to understand back in the days: always follow the Facebook API itself. You need to understand what’s possible, and even more than that, the way it evolves and the direction it takes for the future.
The facebook-actionscript-api is indeed managed by Adobe and other contributors, but if you don’t know how Facebook works, you’re going to have a hard time building apps using it. Especially if you push on the newest parts of it, some functionalities are actually available but neither documented nor recommanded by Facebook. So if you want to avoid emails from their legal department, take time to read the docs
Flash 11 & AIR 3: Changing the game
The new architecture of Flash is now the following: one layer for video, StageVideo, GPU accelerated, one layer for 3D, Stage3D, GPU accelerated as well, and another layer for 2D (which can be GPU accelerated as well, using frameworks like Starling – Thibault Imbert blogged in depth about it: http://www.bytearray.org/?p=3371).
StageVideo will render all video content on the GPU; .h264 can now be decoded direcly on GPU, on mobile and desktop.
Thibault Imbert (Flash’s product manager) insisted on the fact that Flash is now reaching a billion people. Facebook is not reaching that number – yet – and talking about a web phenomenom, that’s really impressive. If your paid game reaches 1 on 1000 users, this means you already reach a million.
Other improvements added to FP11:
- Adobe Native Extensions: basically, allows to package binaries on mobile, tablets, desktop and AS3 classes in a single file and use it in Flash. This, and the rendering optimizisations are the 2 silent things that are, in my opinion, changing the game for good. If the rendering is GPU powered, and all native extensions available, how could you make the difference between an app made using Flash and a native one? Except from the time it takes to build it, obviously.
- Front facing camera
• FP 11 is fully 64bits
• fast native JSON support
• better garbage collection, can be managed manually (more or less)
• LZMA compression: reducing SWFs size to up to 40%
• JPEG-XR support
• asynchronous bitmap decoding (done in another thread)
-> check concurency in flash player session on adobe tv
next in minor revisions of FP11:
▪ telemetry (more or less the Monocle project, the more it matures, the more you will see it in the next revisions) – advanced debugging
▪ low latency audio playback
▪ right and middle mouse click
▪ molehill 2 (next 2D, 3D engine w lots of small improvement like alpha channel)
▪ language improvements, as3 will evolve a bit to fit coding standards better
▪ fullscreen text input
• 5.1, 7.1 surround: shipped in AIR3
• as4? just interest (a team is on it), but nothing planed outside of minor improvements (as3 will stay as3 for long)
• starling on mobile? coming soon. will be ready when stage3D will be on mobile
to register for stage3D mobile : http://adobe.ly/on6qeS