Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced significant advancements in mobile application development as part of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 release. These innovations include all new tooling and framework support in Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5, an open source framework, for developing, testing and deploying mobile applications on Android, Blackberry Tablet OS and iOS platforms. This new approach enables developers to leverage a single tool chain, programming language and code base to easily create highly expressive applications across leading mobile platforms, greatly improving performance while reducing development time and cost of delivery.
Flash Builder 4.5 accelerates the development of Flex and ActionScript projects, including new round-trip workflows with Adobe Flash Catalyst CS 5.5 that allow designers and developers to work in parallel throughout application development. Flash Builder 4.5 also includes new capabilities to enable faster and more productive coding as well as performance enhancements. The addition of Flash Builder 4.5 Premium to Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium provides a major update to the award-winning suite of software for Web designers and developers.
“With these releases, developers for the first time have a single development platform for building highly expressive web, mobile, and desktop applications, marking a leap forward for mobile app development.” said Ed Rowe, vice president of development tooling at Adobe. “With the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, enterprises now need to ensure that their applications work seamlessly across many different types of devices. Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 will now allow companies to standardise on a common platform capable of delivering rich and consistent application experiences that perform great across Android, Blackberry Tablet OS and iOS devices.”
One Common Code Base, Reduce Time to Market
Updates to the Flex framework enable developers to reuse most or all of their code across applications that target multiple platforms, including web, desktop, Android, Blackberry Tablet OS and iOS. Moving an application across different mobile platforms is often as simple as a recompile. New components expand the Spark skinning and component architecture introduced in Flex 4 while enhancements in Flash Builder 4.5 accelerate coding for Flex and ActionScript projects with best practice code templates, code completion and code generation features.
The new mobile development features in Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 are targeted at creating standalone installed applications using Adobe AIR 2.6 for mobile devices. In addition to Google Marketplace, Blackberry AppWorld and Apple’s iTunes AppStore, mobile apps can now be deployed to the Amazon Appstore for Android providing companies with additional monetisation options through the largest online shopping destination. With advanced tooling and new features, such as soon to be deployed native code extensions, AIR is the most powerful way to deliver applications across multiple screens and platforms such as Android, Blackberry Tablet OS, iOS and desktop operating systems.
Recognising the need for a better mobile experience, Standard Chartered utilised Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 to create a fully transactional banking application that offers a rich, engaging consumer experience across desktop computers, tablets, and smartphone devices.
"For the tablet and smartphone-based app, we cut time to market by 40 percent and investment by two-thirds by leveraging Adobe tools and our existing code for the web-based application,” said Aman Narain, group head of remote banking at Standard Chartered. “Building a native application for each of these devices would not have been financially feasible.”
Improved Designer-Developer Workflow Speeds Development
Also announced today, Flash Catalyst CS5.5 features a new round-trip workflow with Flash Builder 4.5 allowing designers and developers to work in parallel. Now designers can open, make changes and save Flex projects that were created or previously edited in Flash Builder, leading to faster delivery of applications. Additionally, designers can rapidly prototype user interfaces for resisable Flex based websites and applications with new components, craft more precise and expressive transitions and effects, and efficiently design developer-built custom components. Flash Catalyst CS5.5 is also available in the Design Premium, Web Premium, Production Premium and Master Collection editions of Creative Suite 5.5.
“We use the Flex skinning architecture and Adobe Flash Catalyst to automatically generate graphics, which has cut our development cycle by 20 percent,” said Aaron Pedersen, founding partner and web application architect, DevelopmentArc. “This workflow has helped the process of skinning and stylising the look of Flex applications to meet the designer’s needs.”
About Flash Platform
The launch of Creative Suite 5.5 comes at a time when Adobe Flash technology is taking massive strides forward in the mobile market. With more than 131 million smartphones expected to have Flash Player installed by the end of the year, Adobe Flash brings rich browser-based content to desktops and devices. Flash Player is available today on Android, HP webOS and Google TV. BlackBerry Tablet OS, future versions of Windows® Phone, LiMo, Samsung SmartTVs and others are also expected to support Flash Player. For a list of certified devices, visit http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/supported_devices/smartphones.html. A key element of the Flash Platform, Adobe AIR enables developers to leverage existing code and familiar tools including Adobe Flash Professional CS5, Adobe Flash Builder and Flex to build and deliver rich mobile applications to more than 200 million smartphones and tablets by the end of 2011. For examples of the broad variety of mobile AIR applications and content running in Flash Player on the Web, visit m.flash.com. For more information visit http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/.
Pricing and Availability
Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 products are scheduled to ship within 30 days, with availability through Adobe Authorised Resellers, the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/uk
Estimated street price is expected to be £181.20 for Flash Builder 4.5 Standard, £556 for Flash Builder 4.5 Premium, £357 for Flash Catalyst and £556 for Flash Pro. Flash Builder 4.5 Premium is also included in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium and Master Collection. Upgrade pricing and volume licensing are available.