- Adobe Flash Lite
Adobe Flash Lite is a lightweight version of
Adobe Flash Player, a software application published by Adobe Systems. This version is intended for mobile phones and other non-phone, portable electronic devices like Chumbyand iRiver, and allows users of these devices to view multimedia content and applications developed using Adobe's Flash tools, which had previously been available only on personal computers.
Flash Lite is a development technology implemented at the
client-side, or user interface layer. In this realm Flash Lite competes with other technologies like Qualcomm's uiOnemarkup language and Sun Microsystems's JavaFX Script. Recent changes to ActionScriptallow Flash Lite to better integrate with and even compete with device-layer technologies like Java MEand BREW. Flash Lite should not be considered a mobile operating systemlike Symbian OS, Windows Mobile, Mac OS Xfor mobile: it is a technology for developing applications that run on a mobile operating system.
Flash Lite 1.1 supports Flash 4 ActionScript. Flash Lite 2.0, based on Flash Player 7, supports Flash 7's newer ActionScript 2.0. Both versions also support the
Adobe Systemscompleted its acquisition of Macromedia, the original developers of Flash. At that time, Flash Lite had been available to mobile users in Japan and Europe for some time prior to its availability in the United States. NTT DoCoMo and au by KDDI were the first carriers to adopt Flash Lite in June 2005.
As a promotion for Flash Lite in February 2005,
Macromediaconducted its first Mobile Flash Content Contest. From the over 150 applications submitted, nine winners were selected in areas of Best Business and Productivity Application, Most Innovative use of Flash Lite, Best Animation, Best Business Application, Best Educational Content, Best Game, Best Interactive Content, Best Productivity Application, and Best Overall Use of Flash Lite. [ [http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/devices/articles/flashlite_winners.html Adobe Mobile Flash Content Contest Winners] ]
May 2006, the iriver U10 (later re-branded as the iriver clix) was released, which supported Flash Lite content in a landscape page orientation. The U10 was the first digital audio playerto support Flash Lite.
In 2005, almost 100% of Flash Lite enabled devices were found in Japanfact|date=May 2008. In February 2007, Adobe claimed that over 70% of Flash Lite devices were shipped outside of Japan [cite web
title=Adobe’s Mobile Flash Technology Now Seeing Growth in Europe and North America
In October 2006,
Verizon Wirelessannounced support for Flash Lite [cite web
title=Verizon Wireless Customers Can Now “Flash-Enable” Their Phones With New Get It Now Applications
date=2006-10-25] , making it the first operator in the USA to adopt the technology. Flash Lite was initially available on four handset models (Motorola RAZR V3c and V3m,
Samsung SCH-a950and LG The V (VX9800)) as a BREWextension. This allows users to download Flash Lite applications from Verizon's " Get It Now" service, but it does not allow users to view Flash objects from their web browser.
In February 2007, Adobe announced at the
3GSM World Congressin Barcelona that the next release of Flash Lite (version 3) would support video, including streaming video [cite web
title=Upcoming Release of Flash Lite to Integrate Video Playback Capabilities
date=2007-02-12] . In October 2007, Adobe announced the release of Flash Lite 3 [cite web
title=Flash Player for Mobile Devices Delivers High-Impact Video and Dynamic Web Content
At Adobe's 2007 Financial Analyst Meeting, Al Ramadan, then senior vice-president of Adobe's Mobile and Voice Solutions Business Unit, announced that by December 2006, 220M Flash Lite devices had been shipped. He also noted Adobe's acquisition of certain vector rendering technology by
Actimagine, intended to reduce the Flash Lite player's memory footprintin future versions [cite web
title=Adobe Presentation on business opportunities in mobile
publisher=Adobe Systems] [cite web
title=2007 Financial Analyst Meeting] .
As of March 2008, neither Adobe nor
Verizon Wirelesshave announced the availability of Adobe Flash Cast, per the February 2007 press release for availability by the end of calendar year 2007.
Flash Lite compared to similar development platforms
Flash Lite is a mobile development platform that can either be used in place of
Java MEor run on top of Java ME in a Flash Lite Player. Other platforms include BREW, Symbian, and Windows Mobile. In 2006 Qualcommannounced a partnership with Adobe to bring the Flash Lite player to the BREW runtime.
Flash Lite content may be viewed on handsets installed with the Flash Lite player in the same way that Java content may be viewed on phones with a Java ME runtime. Both of these technologies may be present on the same handset and do not compete directly.
Applications, games and other content may be developed in either technology. Flash Lite has several advantages and several disadvantages when compared to Java ME.
* Rapid development due to the Adobe Flash IDE makes iterative
software prototypingand software testingrelatively easy.
* Better support for the
Write once, run anywhere(WORA) methodology that does not depend on specific APIs being available. This results in little or no porting, which is a major cost in Java ME development fact|date=April 2008
* Graphics are vector based (bitmap support is also included) which allows for scaling, rotation and other transformations without loss of graphic quality fact|date=April 2008
* Ability to pack more animation and graphics into the same file size provided by the use of vector graphics fact|date=April 2008
* Ability to convert web-based (desktop) Flash content to mobile and vice versa, with minimal effort
* Flash development skills -- understanding of the IDE and of the scripting language -- readily ports from the desktop IDE to the mobile development environment
* As of April 2008, only a minority of phones offer support for Flash Lite. However this is changing rapidly in North America and Europe with carriers like
Verizonand manufacturers like Nokia, Sony Ericssonand LGhaving announced Flash Lite devices in 2006 and 2007. Its limited availability means a limited audience compared with that of Java ME, Symbian, or BREW.
* Relatively poor graphical performance (due to higher processing required for vector graphics)fact|date=April 2008
* Poor handling of sound fact|date=April 2008
On April 30 2008,
Sony Ericssonannounced Project Capuchin [ [http://developer.sonyericsson.com/site/global/newsandevents/latestnews/newsapr08/p_project_capuchin_announcement.jsp Sony Ericsson's new Project Capuchin bridges Java ME and Flash Lite ] ] , a bridge that allows Flash Lite to run as a front-end to Java MEand in this way, combine Java's APIs and direct communication with the mobile phone's hardware ( bluetooth, WiFiand others) with Flash's graphical interface. [ [http://www.macworld.com/article/133226/2008/04/sonyeric.html Macworld | Sony Ericsson combines Java and Flash ] ]
SWFfile format, the files generated by the Flash application.
* [http://www.adobe.com/products/flashlite/ Official Flash Lite information]
* [http://www.flashdevices.net Bill Perry - Flash Lite Evangelist for Asia, Japan and the Americas]
* [http://www.flashmobileblog.com Mark Doherty - Flash Lite Evangelist for Europe, Middle East and Africa]
* [http://www.adobe.com/devnet/devices/articles/developing_for_brew.html Adobe article on Developing Flash Lite for BREW applications for Verizon Wireless]
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