Flash is back in my radar

With the recent release of Adobe’s Apollo, I was quite impressed how far they have become. I’ve lost touch of Flash since actionscript1, there’s just not alot of reasons to write in AS2, needless to say AS3. I saw a demo of FlexBuilder2 and here’s some online tutorial by Mike Chambers – at lynda.com. Building a Flex app is pretty easy and skinny of the controls seems incredibly easy as well. There’s a library of themes that looks like OSX, WindowsXP etc. With the adobe and macromedia integration, the tools become alot more powerful. The new CS3 suite will have alot of new features that make skinning and prototyping on Fireworks alot easier and Illustrator / Flash talk nicely to each other.

So the tools right, what about the Flash player? The Flash player has improved alot with its speed (if you write in AS3 and Flex). It compile the script just in time (JIT) into machine native byte code. There’s some demos of flash player 9 and the speed of 3D rendering are just unachievable from before. This is going to make 3d party tools like holomatix alot more usable. I think Flash has done alot to get here, quite frankly I just couldn’t keep up with its frequent update of actionscript and it just wasn’t the right tool. Now with speed improvement and high roadband penetration, it is definitely a platform for a very smooth experience for the users. Its integration with video and audio is just unachievable with ajax and javascript. The SVG rendering engine in the browsers is alot slower than Flash VM, although I’ve heard that they open sourced their compiler architecture to Firefox 3.

The last thing left is for the Flashlite player to catch up to all these improvements. It is still very difficult to create mobile flash app because most phone still come with Flashlite 1. While Flashlite2 is alot nicer, its not as easy as building flex and apollo applications. But definitely this will be the space to watch. Mobile Apollo apps will have their place because it’ll allow local storage and data synchronisation, which is perfect for mobile use. In the mean time, you can check out this mobile developer guide from BlueFlavor for HTML based mobile web development.

Some Cool Flash apps

EYE-PROJECT BY KDDI

Kuler by Adobe labs

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