1 October 2011
For anyone who is not yet convinced, Adobe has truly arrived in the mobile space. With one codebase, developers can leverage Flex and Flash Builder to build and deploy to many different app stores across a wide variety of platforms. But will these apps be successful? In today’s column, I look at an application that is currently available in four different app stores, an application that takes mobile design customization to the next level, and an application that is taking Apple’s App Store by storm. All of this is possible with the power of Adobe technology.
Technology: AIR (packaged for iOS)
Platforms: Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, and iOS
Adobe Evangelist Renaun Erickson recently developed the Caltrain Times application for mobile devices. This useful application provides information on the schedule of Caltrain from one station to another. In addition, it also provides many other utility functions like finding the nearest station based on your current location. This application is essential for anyone wanting to navigate the San Francisco Bay Area via Caltrain.
The Caltrain Times application truly demonstrates the power of one codebase deployed on a variety of platforms and app stores. The current version is supported on Android and iOS devices as well as the BlackBerry PlayBook. Erickson published the source code (under a Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license) to assist other developers in developing engaging cross-platform mobile applications with the power of Adobe tools.
Technology: AIR (packaged for Android and iOS)
Platforms: Android, iOS
Another Adobe evangelist, Terry Ryan, recently developed an application that illustrates the power of Flex to build visually unique applications for mobile devices. Finicky, a mobile journaling application, enables users to log locations where other users can find hard-to-locate items. The organic user interface provides many custom skins so developers can include the controls users are accustomed to interacting with on their particular mobile platform. This degree of customization can provide a roadmap for developers and designers who want to have an experience that truly stands out in the mobile space.
In addition to producing the application, Ryan offers several tips and tricks to follow when building similar applications that have a high degree of visual customization.
Technology: Flash Professional and Flash Builder
Machinarium is currently taking Apple’s App Store by storm. It has hit #1 as a paid iPad application in all categories. This compelling point-and-click puzzle game was built with Adobe Flash Professional and Flash Builder software. The developers, Amanita Design, have had great success with this application across a wide variety of platforms, including the browser and the desktop.
It’s clear to see why the game is so popular once you experience it. The gameplay is beyond addicting. You have to walk the main character through several puzzles, with each one presenting new and unique challenges. The soundtrack for this game is far beyond any other iOS application I have used. It complements the game’s environment perfectly and makes the world even more immersive.
If you are interested in learning more about how this game was created, read Adobe Evangelist Tom Krcha’s interview with Amanita Design.
Machinarium is available from Apple’s App Store for $4.99.
The success of apps like Machinarium is further evidence of the power of Adobe technology on mobile devices. In addition, development shops that want to deploy to multiple platforms have publicly identified Adobe technology – from Flash Builder to Flash Professional to AIR and more – as by far the easiest way to accomplish this.