Category Archives: News

ZeroBrane Studio updated to 0.90

The excellent ZeroBrane Studio for Lua development has been updated to 0.90, download it here or check out the source code at github.

This open source and free IDE is the best I’ve used for Lua / Corona SDK development. Support from the developer is also quick and excellent. What else can one ask for?

Update: Version 0.95 has been released.
Update: Version 1.00 has been released!

P.S. Check out this blog post for adding Corona SDK show reference.

Flash to iPhone development

When I asked about the possibility of a tool to convert Flash/ActionScript code to Cocoa/Objective-C, I got an “interesting idea” response from one of the Adobe employees. It seems Adobe is now doing the logical thing:

Update: Oops, I guess that was a premature blog post. It’s now a 404.

Update 2: now has the information:

Update 3: Now they’re showing it at Adobe MAX live.

Update 4: Mike Chambers has a blog post on this. Also article at Adobe Developer Connection. And Mark Doherty wrote about it too.

Got questions? Check out the FAQ.

Flash Player 10.1 features and demos

As expected, news of the upcoming Flash Player 10.1 has been announced at Adobe MAX conference in L.A. today.

Here are the features in the new version and demos of 10.1 running on two different devices.

Also announced: Google and RIM join the Open Screen Project.

Watch live stream of the Adobe keynote here, and follow MAX news with Adobe MAX Companion.

Flash Builder 4 beta 2 and Flash Catalyst beta 2 are now available at Adobe Labs among a few other new releases.

Flash Player 10.1 for mobile devices is a full version of the Flash Player (i.e. not Flash Lite). Hardware acceleration, multi-touch, accelerometer… are supported.

It seems the last couple of years I spent in mobile Flash development is finally becoming mainstream! It is a nice refreshing change when regular news sites such as the BBC reports about this new Flash Player for mobile devices.

FITC Mobile – Sneak Peek

Today at FITC Mobile, Mark Doherty from Adobe gave a sneak peek of upcoming Flash mobile.

Cone of Characteristics

The most surprising bit was Flash Lite 4.0. Most developers I talked to thought Flash Lite 3.x is the last version of Flash Lite. As it turns out, FL4 is planned while Flash 10 for devices is also in the making.

According to Mark, Flash Lite 4.0 supports ActionScript 3, and it is a browser plugin (i.e. not standalone player). Same for Flash Player 10 for devices – a browser plugin (in his slide it was showing 10.1 in Device Central 3). AIR for mobile is the standalone player.

Flash Lite 4.0 is for slower, less powerful and memory-constraint devices, and Flash 10 is for more powerful devices, possibly with hardware graphics acceleration.

Mark also shown Device Central 3. It supports some hardware emulation such as accelerometer and geolocation. Custom device profiles can also be created easily in Device Central 3.

Another upcoming tool is SWFPack, a mobile packager (created in AIR) for S60 3rd edition and up, and Windows Mobile 5 & 6. It builds deployment bits (.sis and .cab) for the two platforms with just a few clicks.

Update: Mark clarified that “(Flash Lite 4 is) targeted as a browser plugin and standalone player for brew devices.”

At the Samsung booth, I had the chance to play with the Omnia II (to be released later this year). The 3.7″ AMOLED screen at 480×800 is simply the most beautiful device screen I’ve seen to-date. This phone’s OS is Windows Mobile 6.5, and Samsung has implemented a much nicer UI (TouchWiz 2.0) that reminds me a bit of the Android interface. Overall operation seems quite decent, although I’m not a big fan of the haptic touchscreen. Apparently the Omnia II has 2 CPUs, one for radio frequency, and one for UI and apps. And it has a dedicated graphics accelerator. There was also an Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy. Unfortunately, both phones don’t have the standalone Flash player, but there is supposed to be a “hidden” Flash Lite player without exposed public API for things like widgets.

Trip to Seoul

For those who haven’t been following my tweets, my flights from Toronto to Seoul via Chicago started with long delays on the runway due to snowstorm in Toronto, and the plane had to be de-iced twice before it was safe for takeoff. Instead of departing at 7:50am, it got off just after 10:00am.

The connecting flight in Chicago was to depart at 11:20am, by the time I stepped off the plane it was already 11:13, with 7 minutes left to go from one terminal to another by monorail. Thinking there was no way I could catch the second flight (which required check-in again at another airline), I walked quickly towards the next terminal. Then I saw a few people running, and they all looked like they were catching the same flight. By the time I arrived at the check-in counter, the staff were calling the plane to wait for us. Then we all ran through customs and to the gate, and got on the connecting flight to Seoul. That was quite an exercise running through two terminals after a sleepless night!

By the time I arrived in Seoul another 14+ hours later, my lugguage was nowhere to be found. Well, not just mine but all those who were coming from the same flight in Toronto. So I’m now without luggage, tired and ready to sleep after 28 hours of traveling, waiting, more traveling… There’s a full day ahead starting early in the morning. Time to rest.

Google Chrome & Mobile

Since reading the Google Chrome comic, the possibility of running a new class of (web) applications in this new browser is exciting, especially considering that it’d most likely be part of Android in the future. With this new browser from Google, it’s not only re-igniting the browser war (mostly with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer), but also a step towards OS-independent applications that can run either online or offline. It’s another strike at Microsoft’s OS market share (something that Adobe has been achieving with the Flash Platform, except this time, Google is making it with a larger footprint). Chrome is in effect an operating system in its own sandboxed world. Google Chrome

Here are some of the more interesting features of Chrome:

  • uses the open source WebKit – the browser engine used by Safari (Mac OS, iPhone/iPod Touch, Windows), Adobe AIR (Windows, Mac, Linux), S60 (e.g. Nokia browser) and many more
  • in return Google Chrome is also open source
  • a new JavaScript Virtual Machine (V8) that compiles JavaScript to native machine code when interpreted, with the goal to improve JavaScript speed for complex applications
  • separate process and sandbox for each tab
  • Google Gears is built-in (GeoLocation API would be especially useful for mobile devices)

One logical direction for Chrome is to have it run on devices. With Android devices coming out soon, it’d be interesting to see where and how new applications will be deployed and developed if Chrome takes off and becomes a relevant platform.

Download Google Chrome Beta (for Windows).

Flash on the Beach

Flash on the Beach

Keith Peters leaked the speaker list of Flash on the Beach, to be held from November 4-7 in Brighton, UK. According to the list, I’m one of the confirmed speakers.

Here’s the list so far:

Andries Odendaal
Aral Balkan
Branden Hall
Brendan Dawes
Carlo Blatz
Carlos Ulloa
Carole Guevin
Chris Allen
Chris Orwig
Craig Swann
Dave Williamson
Dave Yang
Erik Natzke
GMUNK (Bradley Grosh)
Grant Skinner
Hillman Curtis
Hoss Gifford
Jim Coudal
Joey Lott
John Grden
Joshua Davis
Keith Peters
Kristin Henry
Lisa Larson
Marcos Weskamp
Mario Klingemann
Michael Ninness
Mike Jones
Neville Brody
Niqui Merret
Renee Constantini
Rich Shupe
Richard Leggett
Rob Chiu
Robert Hodgin
Robert Reinhardt
Seb Lee-Delisle
Tink (Stephen Downs)

Confirm or deny? (Sounds like Apple’s Vista ad…)

[ May 7th update: The Flash on the Beach 2007 site is now live. And I can confirm that I’ll be speaking there this November. Looking forward to it! ]