These days I spend most of my time in the mobile
world so I do not get the chance to blog like I used to. For those of
you that have worked with Device Central in CS3 here is a Wiki where
you can share your tips and techniques.
There were two Flash Lite products released publicly today for download.
- Flash Lite 2.1 for Symbian
- Flash Lite 2.1 for Windows Mobile 5.0 (Marina)
These may be downloaded here:
Flash Lite 2.1 for Symbian
Flash Lite 2.1 for Windows Mobile 5.0
The release of the standalone Flash Lite 2.1 for the Symbian & Windows Mobile 5.0 platforms as a free download from Adobe.com is a significant milestone in the evolution of Flash Lite. This will allow you to build, test and deploy Flash Lite 2.1 content ahead of the wave of OEM shipments with FL 2.1 embedded. Click here to read the FAQ.
Also available today is the Flash Lite 2.1 Update for Flash Professional 8, a free plug-in enabling developers to create, test and publish rich Flash Lite content for Symbian, Windows Mobile and BREW handsets.
On a recent trip for work to Japan I started working with Flash Lite on mobile devices. One of the challenges in working with new technologies is where do I start? I have been working with Flash Communication Server, Flex, Actionscript for quite some time but Mobile devices are much different. A great start is the "Getting Started with Flash Lite 1.1" Breeze presentation. It is about 1 hour but it will provide a great start with Flash Lite and provide a jump start to developing content.
If you have a mobile phone or device that supports Flash or if you are not sure you can check on the macromedia website for a listing of supported devices . If you are one of the lucky owners that has Flash pre installed you can move on to developing content. Otherwise if you were like me and did not have it installed the following may help you out. I have a Nokia 6620 phone and according to the website it supports Flash but the player is not pre-installed. To install the player you first need to purchase the player from the macromedia.com website. You will need to provide you IMEI number from the back of your phone and a small charge for the phone. You will then be provided with a *.sis (Phones running the symbian OS like my Nokia) file that can be installed through the software on your phone. I used Bluetooth from my laptop and the Nokia software to install the Flash Player on my phone.
Next I downloaded the Flash Lite 1.1 Content Developer Kit (CDK) from the Mobile and Devices Developer Center. You will need Flash MX 2004 to author Flash Lite content and I highly recommend downloading the latest Flash Updater so that it is at a minimum of 7.2. The latest update for Flash MX 2004 provides a runtime environment so that you can test you Flash Lite content before deploying to your phone. After unzipping the CDK review the PDF that is provided to become familiar with the content. I went ahead at this point and downloaded a few of the example SWFs under the examples directory to my phone and ran them to test out the flash player. You can open the example FLA's to become familiar with the content. Depending on your phone model and software you have multiple options for copying over the content to your device. This is why I love bluetooth it provides an explorer like interface for my phones memory and the additional memory card. I can just drag-n-drop the content to the phone then browse to the content on my phone and run it.
If you are familiar with Actionscript from Flex or Flash you will want to review chapters 4 & 5 from the CDK. Flash Lite is based on the actionscript available for Flash Player 4 but offers additional actionscript enhancements as well as new commands for FSCommand and FSCommand2.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for Flash Lite though. Flash has taken off in Japan in recent years and many of the menus and features are built around Flash. The US is lagging a bit behind but don't be left behind as US manufacturers start to quickly adopt the technology.