Multicast Chat Across Devices and Platforms

In preparation for my session at Streaming Media Europe in a couple of weeks I had a play with the IP multicast feature in Flash today. Tom Krcha posted an excellent example on his blog a few months ago which demos this feature very well.
It's worth pointing out that this code works in a LAN setup, not over the public internet. This also means that Cirrus (aka Stratus) is not required for the P2P introduction - Flash Player can handle this itself on a multicast enabled LAN. Therefore you can try this using the devices on your local network, but not with your friends elsewhere on the net.

I wanted to try Tom's example on my iPad and Nexus One. The phone was easy since it can run Flash Player 10.1 and Tom's example app worked fine there. But what about the iPad?
Since I have got an Apple iOS developer account I am able to use the iPhone packaging feature in Flash CS5 to build iPhone and iPad applications. All I needed to do was to port Tom's Flex example to Flash as using the Flex framework on a device is not the best thing to do - at least not until themobile-optimised Hero SDK ships.

This blog post is therefore just a record to say: it worked and it worked well. Porting took only half an hour, and I then spent another half hour fine tuning a few bits and pieces, nothing major. The photo shows the app running on my Windows 7 netbook, the Nexus One and the iPad. I also had it running on my iMac and in the Flash IDE.

Say what you want about Flash on devices, there's something very cool about getting your code to run so easily in so many places. And remember this app now not only spans devices but also platforms and even runtimes since the iPad app is practically AIR based.

You can download my Flash app including sources here, but note that you need an iOS developer account to compile and install it on an iDevice.


Flash Player and AIR Announced for Android

As you may already know, the Mobile World Congress kicked off today in Barcelona and it did not take long for the first announcements to hit the interwebs. Adobe has of course a large presence at MWC and today announced support for Flash Player as well as Adobe AIR on Android devices. While we have seen some demos of Flash running on Android already, support for the AIR runtime gives developers yet another option for deployment on mobile devices, besides the traditional Flash content for (mobile) web browsers that is going to hit mobile screen sometime in the first half of 2010. Adobe states that 19 of the top 20 phone OEMs are committed to delivering Flash and expects more than half of all smartphones to ship with Flash Player by the end of 2012. 19 out of 20... can you guess the missing one?

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Suggest Filename and Extension in browseForSave() in AIR

As if Flash Lite development combined with FMS wasn't enough fun already I decided to start yet another side project, this time using AIR. The idea behind the project is to build (yet another) webcam snapshot tool - but with a twist.

I use Freeagent for my company accounts (which I can highly recommend btw - just note that multiple currency support is in the works and not yet supported - sorry to be harping on about this Olly ;-) and I would like to have a little tool that lets me capture, upload and attach receipts and other paper related snippets to specific transactions. Luckily, Freeagent have a cool API which I think will allow me to achieve what I want.

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Microsoft Silverlight vs. Adobe AIR/Flex Debate

Here's an interesting video of a discussion on RIA technologies including Silverlight, Flex and AIR. Sam Stokes, academic developer/evangelist at Microsoft Corporation and Kevin Hoyt, platform evangelist at Adobe represented the two sides.
You can watch the video here - but be warned, the viewing experience isn't great, especially if you are on a Mac.


Flex 3.0 and AIR 1.0 Released

The blogosphere is flooded with info on Flex 3 and AIR 1.0 today and I won't add much to the noise apart from pointing you here and here to find out more. Great job Flex team!


Adobe Media Player Prerelease 2 Is Now Live on Labs

Adobe have just launched the prerelease 2 version of their Adobe Media Player (AMP). This second version brings the Player in line with Beta 3 of AIR, Adobe's cross platform desktop runtime, and it adds a few new features such as H.264 support, hardware acceleration for fullscreen playback as well as new video scaling options during playback.


Adobe Media Player Delayed

According to Beet.tv, who have a video interview with Chris Hock, the Adobe Media Player will be delayed until next year. A beta is expected this year.
I'm not sure if the player had been announced for this year or not but in any case it's not long now, even if the release is indeed pushed forward a bit.
I have been lucky enough to see some demos of the Adobe Media player and it's a very nice app and worth the wait in any case ;-)


Deeje Cooley: Video Demo of the Adobe Media Player

Here's another video from video.onflex.org. In it you can see Deeje Cooley demoing some more of the upcoming Adobe Media Player, codenamed Philo. Watch the video here.

Enjoy.


Nice Writeup on Apollo at The Register

It's great to see a publication such as The Register identify Apollo as a useful alternative to traditional web apps. I also love the subheader... :-)
Read the article here.


Apollo Video Chat

Here's a video chat app (uses FMS) that I ported to Apollo. It's a in essence a Flex application that uses none of Apollo's functionality but merely wraps the my Flex app that's online here into an .air installer. The Apollo client connects to the same server as the browser based app which is kinda cool.

Here's the Apollo runtime which you need to run my app (Win or Mac).

Here's the Apollo installer for my app.

What's cool to note is that I managed to port what's essentially a browser app onto the desktop in something like 30 mins. The code changes were almost non-existend.
You *will* get a warning with this installer that the app may access your file system (as any executable may do). However this app does not.
To uninstall you can run the installer again and then choose uninstall or remove it via the normal means (add/remove programs if you're on Win). Not tested on Mac but with a bit of luck it'll run there too I think ;-)


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