Flash Lite Resources


If you haven't noticed, there's quite a lot of resources now for Flash Lite, Macromedia's Mobile version of their Flash Player. The latest version v1.1 is based on Flash 4 ActionScript and Flash 5 objects, adds more access to phone functions (like SMS and MMS), better network support, more sound codecs (including MP3) and basic support for SVG Tiny.

Those people on T-Mobile in the U.K. and Germany can already get their hands on the player via the News Express service. For the rest of us, if you go to Macromedia's Flash Lite Development Center you can get the Content Development Kit which will comes with a variety of sample .swf's made for Flash Lite which will allow you play with the tons of cool UI widgets on your PC and let you get a feel for the capabilities of a Flash Lite app. Also at the bottom of the page are bunch of articles, including Best Practices for Developing Macromedia Flash Lite 1.1, iShop: Flash Lite–Enabled Comparison Shopping to Go (you can download the actual app for your flash enabled S60 phone here) and Phillip Torrone's Selling your Macromedia Flash Device Content and Applications to Clients. Pretty interesting reading.

In addition to the stuff from Macromedia, I also found the Flash Devices weblog with some news (albeit brief) and some more links to articles and forums. The more I look, the more I find actually, it's very interesting. I guess I'll have to pull out all that Flash stuff I had started in on last year. I haven't been paying attention, did they ever release a "developer" version of Flash? For developers like me who don't want to deal with timelines, etc.? I'll have to look around.

Even though right now Flash has only been announced for [i-mode and] Symbian phones, it's shaping up to be an incredible platform to build stuff on for both entertainment and form-based data. In fact, as I'm not a designer type, the latter is the part I'm most interested in and I think the "player" (when is Macromedia going to call that thing the VM that it has become?) could meet that middle ground development gap between J2ME and the Symbian C++ APIs. Nokia is trying to meet that need with Python, I keep bitching at various members of Sun to put a CDC-based version of Java there, but it may turn out that Macromedia beats everyone to the punch with Flash Objects and ActionScript. Seriously.

Lots of cool stuff, I'm not sure if I'd use the expression "worth the wait" but it's definitely way up there in coolness. I saw versions of the player running on 3650s exactly a year ago! Let's go Macromedia! I can't wait until the client is widely available so people can start developing apps on top of it!


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