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Adobe Refresh 10 Sydney, Flash is reborn

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Yesterday I went to Darling Harbour for Adobe’s Refresh 10 conference. I was all hyped for a big day.

Signing was my first disappointment, no show bags, and only three stalls on offer, ho hum. The conference got underway with all the presenters showing us one at a time why we enjoyed the Adobe Creative Suite so much with some very OOoo and Aaaah moments. Followed by a demonstration by a design company which has offices in Sydney. The skills were extremely impressive and their work of the highest class on the net.  This was followed by news and demo of Adobe’s newest merger/buyout. Not exactly sure how all this worked or how to explain it, there was a section on tracking revenues from your websites, which was interesting for those in eCommerce. The system worked much like Google Analytics does except that it allowed you to make adjustments to your site on the fly and have some idea as to how many clicks these changes may generate as well as suggested improvements to your revenue stream.

The day after this was sectioned into sequential sessions which you had to choose from on registering for the event a month ago. I chose to go to Extending PDF’s with Flash, AIR with HTML and AJAX/HTML5/CSS3, Multi-target apps, Flash Future technology sneak and Building an iPhone app with Flash CS5. In the opposing sessions they were learning about about Adobe Live Cycle and making forms, collecting data and that boring stuff.

Extending PDF’s with Flash was enjoyable. Having already experimented heavily with this concept this year I still picked up on some interesting pointers especially with alpha transparency swf’s and video over laid on text. There was an interesting section on PDF Portfolios, how they actually work and that the best results come from using the adobe.com service. (does anyone from DETNSW know if we have access to this from the DET Portal?)

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February 24th, 2010 at 8:32 am

What would you want from a School web app

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Having bought an iPhone just before Christmas and learning its capabilities and down falls, I started to look into how it displayed websites such as those which I have developed, specifically the schools website. Without any iPhone specific changes they worked ok, using the phone network only, they took to much time to download. These sites are not big in size and download to the desktop extremely fast.

So what to do? First I thought lets find out how many of these devices are out there? Well finding information out about phones is difficult normally, the iPhone specifically even more so. After searching the web I found this little snippet…

The iPhone is selling well in Australia. Research firm IDC reports that the iPhone has taken 21% of the Australian smartphone market share in the past 12 months, putting Apple in 2nd place behind Nokia and just ahead of Blackberry.

I imagine having seen more and more iPhones and other smart phones in the hands of people over the holiday break there are even more out there then these figures suggest. Google has released the Nexus one Google phone. Although not available in Australia until some time later this year, this device will have more smart phones in the hands of people who are not keen on an Apple iPhone.

So back at the start of a new school year with an Apple announcement in a few days, I did a quick survey of my students. Who has an iPod Touch?, who surfs the net with it. More then half of 60 students answered yes to both and added that the local burger joint now has a free wireless service again.

A couple of days later Apple finally showed the world the new device, the iPad. The iPad takes your smart phone and makes it bigger. It has most of the functionality of a smart phone, minus the phone. Obviously we now have a world of smart portable devices, connected to the internet all the time. Which leads to my question.

“What would you like from a School based web app ?”

Web apps are not just for the Apple mobile devices, any mobile device that uses the Android (Google developed) system can access most of the same features which the Apple devices enjoy. These modern web apps all use the new HTML5 and CSS3 standards, unlike your Windows based desktop or mobile devices which are not compatible unless they are running the Google Chrome Web Browser. Web apps also are not like the applications you have to purchase from iTunes or the Google apps store, they are actual web sites/pages which you can download to your mobile device or desk top if compatible.

There is so much more technical detail I could go into, but if you have seen an iPhone or an Android phone in action with web apps like Flickr, Google etc…  you can see what the future holds for our students. The future is web apps, it may not be visible to all this year or the next, though when Windows and Internet Explorer become aware of the new HTML5/CSS3 standards it will be like a punch in the face.

So please, anything you would like to see easily available through a school based application for mobile devices, let me know in the comments. I would like to develop an initial web app which would portable throughout the NSW DET.

Note: Not just for Apple mobile device systems.

Written by themolisticview

February 20th, 2010 at 5:32 am