Cool Stuff with the Flash Platform - Pre-MAX Edition 2011

Posted on Sep 26, 2011

Flash PlatformIt is hard to believe that MAX is less than one week away. For any of you interested in meeting up with me, I will be attending and TA-ing a number of sessions as well as speaking at the FITC Unconference on Monday afternoon. I know there will be many very exciting announcements coming - though to be honest many are a surprise to even me. Can't wait!

Of course, the big news this week was the Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 announcement that generated tons of buzz and quite a few of the posts in this week's list. It received some notable, and generally very positive, coverage in places like the New York Times, Mashable and GigaOm to name just a few (though, sadly, the NY Times article did reprint the rather widespread misstatement that Windows 8 won't support Flash). Most of the media focus was on the browser-based 3D gaming aspects of Flash Player. However, most of the community focus seemed to be on things like native extensions and captive runtime in AIR 3 - perhaps, in part, because Stage3D/Molehill has been available for some time via the Incubator program. Adobe evangelist Ryan Stewart had a great overview of all the news and announcements in Flash Player 11, AIR 3 and Flex/Flash Builder 4.6.

Cool Mobile & Devices Stuff (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Television)

Adobe evangelist Mihai Corlan demonstrates the versatility of Flash mobile by highlighting three different applications that were built using Flash and AIR. The three applications are Cassandra Stand, Web Reader and Hungry Cho-Cho, each of which is a very different type of application from the others and targeting different platforms.

Adobe evangelist Holly Schinsky discussed a less publicized new feature in AIR 3 that allows you to use the EncryptedLocalStore on mobile devices. She shares some sample code showing how to use this feature along with a sample project to download.

Adobe evangelist Paul Trani shares the various hardware and device setups for creating iOS and Android apps with Flash on Windows.

Adobe's Christian Cantrell demonstrates how to write a cross-platform and cross-device function for browsing images whether it be in an AIR application targeting desktop, tablet or phone.

Dan Florio wrote several worthy blog posts this week. First off, he shares his tips for creating AIR mobile games using Flex from the perspective of a relative beginner in mobile game development. Second, he shows how to programmatically control the stage orientation in mobile AIR apps to allow you more fine-tuned control over the way your application reacts. Finally, he demonstrates how to play YouTube videos in your AIR mobile apps by utilizing the StageWebView and adding in an exit button to return to close the video playback.

Speaking of using StageWebView, Randy Troppmann is loading in some local content via HTML and StageWebView but shows how to linking to/from local files in StageWebView by capturing the location changing event.

Erich Cervantez offers this code sample that allows your application to capture long-touch events on Android and iOS mobile devices using Flex and ActionScript.

Devin Reimer discusses the release of his new game Maze Mover for iPad and Playbook that was developed using Adobe AIR.


Adobe evangelist Lee Brimelow posts a two-part video tutorial series on Android Native Extensions. In part one, you learn how to tap into the native notification system on Android from your AIR application. While part two shows how to create a Flex mobile project to use the native extension and build everything.

On the topic of native extensions, Milkman Games has released a free Nook Color native extension for AIR 3 that provides an ActionScript 3 API to the Nook SDK.


Kwazi, the developers behind the Hungry Choo-Choo game, share their six secrets for developing efficient Flash games for iOS.

Another native extension released this week was iBattery for iOS created by Todd Anderson. As the name implies, the native extension gives you access to battery information on the iPod or iPhone and Todd shares both how he built it and how to use it.

Code and Visual released an ActionScript class to automatically convert dynamic text to bitmaps with support for filters. The goal of this class is improving performance on iOS.

Emanuele Feronato walks you through the steps required to create an iOS application using Windows.

On a similar topic, Adobe evangelist Duane Nickull walks through generating a digital certificate and a provisioning file for iOS in order to deploy iOS applicatoins from Flash Builder.

Cool Flex, Flash Builder & Catalyst Stuff

Jason Hanson set out to integrate Swiz with AS3Signals and released an extension called SignalCommandMap based upon Joel Hooks project of the same name for RobotLegs.

Jeff Ardilio shows how to create a custom Flex 4.5 SDK for Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 so that you can create applications that target these preview releases from the current version of Flash Builder.

Tom Gonzalez has ported his Axiis project to Flex 4.5 and made it fully Spark compliant. Axiis is designed for creating complex data visualizations in Flex.

Cool ActionScript/Flash Stuff

Adobe's Thibault Imbert introduces a 2D framework for game development called Starling that was developed by Gamua, the company behind the iOS framework Sparrow, and Adobe. This is a direct port of the Sparrow framework and takes advantage of the GPU using Stage3D. If you're interested in getting started with game development using Starling, Adobe's David Deraedt posts this first in a series of tutorials, this one covering project setup.

Adobe's Serge Jespers highlights 3 "hidden" gems of Adobe Labs that may have been overlooked in all the Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 excitement, including Visual Size Report, a new version of Pixel Bender 3D and a discussion of the future of Alchemy. Speaking of Alchemy, Adobe's Tom Nguyen offers more details on the future of Alchemy, which was in large part based upon feedback from the community.

Luca Mezzalira shares code and a sample project for using the Google+ API with ActionScript 3.

Adobe evangelist Andrew Trice revisits an old blog post that he says is still relevant today on getters and setters versus public properties and why he chooses to use the former rather than the latter.

Emanuele Feronato shares code for the creation of a Box2D car with ten customizable parameters such as the car width and height as well as the wheel radius.

Jackson Dunstan compares the performance of two ways of composing BitmapData scenes with either BitmapData.draw and BitmapData.copyPixels.

Mark Knol shares a new code generation tool he created called the Actionscript 3 Enumerator that can be used for creating "grouped" value objects.

Roland Zwaga continues his Spring Actionscript v2.0 progress reports with some discussion of the documentation and the launch of a new beta site.

Adobe's Jay Armstrong highlights a set of beginning ActionScript 3 tutorials created by Ryan Hodson that helps you learn by writing the code.

Cool AIR for Desktop Stuff

Of course, AIR 3 native extensions are not only for mobile platforms. Sean Fujiwara created AIR 3 Native Extension for Windows called ImageProcessor to transcode BitmapData into BMP, JPG and PNG formats faster, Sean says, than ActionScript or Alchemy on Windows.

Adobe's Oliver Goldman discusses how captive runtimes and custom installer in AIR 3 create a number of new deployment options including installation without administrative rights, GPO-based deployment of AIR applications, XCOPY deployment, run-in-place from flash drives, tight binding to specific versions of AIR and more.

Cool ColdFusion Stuff

Adobe evangelist Raymond Camden shows how to generate EML files with ColdFusion so that the email opens within the native desktop client like Outlook.

Pete Freitag shows how to add two factor authentication to the ColdFusion Administrator by integrating a security solution from DuoSecurity.


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My name is Brian Rinaldi and I am the Web Community Manager for Flash Platform at Adobe. I am a regular blogger, speaker and author. I also founded RIA Unleashed conference in Boston. The views expressed on this site are my own & not those of my employer.