Adobe announces The Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Product Family

Today Adobe has announced a very  significative update to the Creative Suite family of products, The Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 which is also the first time Adobe does a mid-cycle release, according to Adobe this releases will help developers and designers get up to speed on technology changes the milestone releases (such as CS3, CS4, CS5) are moved to a two-year cycle , I was part of the private prerelease beta for Flash Builder 4.5 and Flash Catalyst 5.5 and let me say it comes with a lot of new and cool features. This release has a lot of mobile targeted features “Android, iOS, Blackberry” which will facilitate You targeting various devices using the same codebase there’s also great new features in Flash CS5.5 and all the HTML5 cool stuff in Dreamweaver CS5.5 including the jQuery mobile framework integration for browser-based content. So here is a list of some of the new features and be sure to check out the introduction post and  AdobeFlash PlatformCS5 Twitter timelines.

Flash Builder 4.5

  • Android, BlackBerry and iOS development
  • Lots of new coding enhancement and productivity features
  • Improved workflow between Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst
  • Uses Eclipse version 3.6.1 “Helios”
  • Performance improvements
  • Supports code and design view of the same document
  • Introduces a new version of Flash Builder 4.5 aimed for PHP developers with Zend integration

 

Flash Catalyst 5.5

  • Resizable applications and components
  • Timeline and animation enhancements
  • Custom skinnable components
  • Improved interaction choices
  • Common library panel

 

Flash Professional 5.5

  • Workflow improvements for mobile development
  • Content scaling on stage resizing
  • Performance optimization with rasterization for symbols
  • Enhanced layer controls
  • Code snippet handling improvements and enhancements
  • Inverse kinematics pinning support
  • File auto-save and recovery
  • Incremental compilation with asset caching
  • Seamless mobile testing

Dreamweaver 5.5

  • Multiscreen preview panel
  • CSS3 and HTML5 support
  • JQuery Mobile integration
  • Native Android and iOS apps development and packaging
  • Adobe BrowserLab integration
  • FTPS, FTPeS support

 

 

Quickguide: Using AIR 2.6 in FDT 4

So finally I got some free time to write this post about using the new Adobe AIR 2.6 in your FDT 4 environment, so let’s get to it:

As you know Adobe recently released the Adobe 2.6 runtime and SDK with significant improvements including iOS support bringing feature parity for Android and iOS platforms, more info on Adobe AIR team’s blog.

Some of the new features are:

AIR for iOS

  • Updated AIR for iOS support with improved performance. Developers can take advantage of new features in iOS 4 like multitasking, Retina display for higher screen resolutions, and front and back camera support. Developers can now build application that capture audio with the microphone and take advantage of the same graphics hardware method used in AIR for Android using OpenGL ES2 for fast graphics.
  • Packager for iPhone (PFI) is now replaced with and the functionality integrated with AIR Developer Tool (ADT) a comand line tool for compiling application in the AIR SDK. ADT can now be used to package AIR files, native desktop installers, AIR applications for Android and iOS.

AIR for Android

  • Submit apps to be included in the Amazon Appstore for Android when the store launches.  Companies now have an additional distribution option with one of the largest online shopping destinations on the web.
  • USB debugging was added as an additional debugging option to WiFi.

So what do You need to start testing this new capabilities in AIR SDK 2.6, if You’re part of Adobe’s Flex SDK and Flash Builder private pre-release program You can start testing this right away. If You like to start working with the Adobe AIR 2.6 SDK inside of FDT4 the following guide should be a good start.

1.-Download the SDKs.

Download The Adobe AIR SDK 2.6 and Flex 4.1 latest stable release.

2.- Merge the SDKs

To start using the AIR 2.6 specific features You need to merge the AIR SDK with your flex sdk to do that I created a new copy of my flex SDK renamed it to “flex_sdk_4.1.0.16076_AIR_2.6” and then copy the entire contents of the AIR SDK in there it will ask You to replace files and folders  just click ok and move on to next step.

3.- Adding the SDK to FDT


Fire up Your copy of FDT then go to “Preferences->FDT->Installed SDKs “ click the Add button located in the top right of the panel this will open a new panel asking for the “Path:”  select the folder path to Your newly created SDK, mine is located in “C:\SDKs\flex_sdk_4.1.0.16076_AIR_2.6” give it a name I called mine: “Flex 4.1 AIR 2.6 SDK” hit Ok and  now You’re ready to build a project using AIR 2.6 features, on to next step.

4.- Create a project.

Create a new Flash project by going to “File->New->New Flash Project” give Your project a name, set the project type to Desktop and in the options section of the window change the Flex version to  Flex 4 AIR click the “next” button it will take You to the SDK configuration panel, select the one You created in the last step in my case it was “Flex 4.1 AIR 2.6 SDK” then click finish.

5.- Change the compiler settings.


Right click the project You just created select Properties–>FDT Compiler and change the target player from “-target-player={playerVersion}” to “-target-player={11}” this will let You compile and debug Your project without any errors. Remember to set the version of  your application to “2.6” in Your descriptor file.

 

I will make a full example on how to deploy and debug both to Android and iOS using an ANT file in another post, until then, happy coding.