| When Flash CS5 was released, we had a new way to develop iOS and other mobile apps. However, Adobe and Apple needed to work out a few problems and the result is FlashR CS5.5. With this new upgrade, we have an improved development system for mobile apps. With the explosion of iPad apps on the scene, this is sure to be everyones favorite feature.|
The first thing you will want to check out is a group of options in the New Document window. We have the options for AIR for Android and AIR for iOS, which create a new project with the appropriate publish settings for the one you choose. You will also notice that we can set the other Document settings such as Width, Height, Frame Rate and Background Color from within this new dialog box. It's nice to be able to set these at this time instead of after the project opens into the workspace.
Another option in the New Document window that you will be using often is the Flash Project option which is used to create a Flash project containing several fla files. One of the nice features added to this option is the sharing of assets between documents. This sharing is controlled by the new AuthortimeSharedAssets.fla file which is automatically generated when you start a new project. Sharing assets between files is sure to save a lot of duplicate work such as creating graphics for each.
One new feature that I have been waiting for is the ability to rescale the contents of your Flash project. I encountered this limitation when I had to rescale a Product Tour project that had seven fla files. All of them needed to be reduced in size. It would have been so nice to set the stage size smaller and have all the content reduced in one step. Instead I needed to resize all the content, tween paths and filters manually. As you can imagine, it took just as much time to resize the project as it did to create the original.
I was so happy to discover that with Flash CS5.5, we no longer need to resize everything manually. When you resize the stage dimensions, everything is resized automatically. We also have the option to limit what is resized to unlocked or visible layers. When it is necessary to change the Document settings, you will notice that you can now use the new controls in the Properties panel. Find the Document Properties icon in the Properties section. This icon opens the familiar Document Settings dialog box which has the same options as before with the addition of the Auto-Save option. When turned on, Flash will automatically save your work at the interval you set (default is 10 minutes).
We can't leave this mobile development topic until we review the prebuilt templates for AIR for Android. If you want to learn about coding for the Accelerometer, an options menu and swipe gestures, you have three prebuilt templates that you can study and customize.
*Adobe provided a review copy to me free of charge.
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