Adobe Flash And AIR Updated With New Features

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Adobe Flash And AIR Updated With New Features
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Adobe Flash and AIR are nigh inseparable these days. Developers wanting to create high quality Flash games for mobile devices use AIR to take advantage of the same technologies, and each update brings a number of enhancements to the platform.

Adobe announced in July that Flash and AIR had both been updated with a number of new features and enhancements that should help out developers wanting to get the most out of their Flash/AIR-developed games.

The big addition to Flash and AIR this time around is support for the GameInput API. With this latest addition, Flash and AIR-based desktop apps can now support a variety of game controllers. Here’s what Adobe says about it:

The GameInput API provides an interface for applications to communicate with the input devices attached to your platform. The API design makes it easy to add support for new controller types whenever you desire to do so.

The GameInput API includes classes and methods to interface both at the device level as well as the control level. The API includes properties and methods for operations like retrieving values, enabling devices, sampling control values, among others. The API, however, does not provide mapping between the physical controls (for example, buttons) and their logical counterparts (for example, the DPAD right button or left trigger).

Adobe notes that the GameInput API on Android only supports devices with Android 4.1 and above. There doesn’t appear to be similar restrictions on desktop applications. If you want to know more, check out Adobe’s exhaustive guide.

Here are all the other new features added to Flash Player 11.8 and Air 3.8:

  • Stage3D baselineExtended profile
  • recursive stop on MovieClip
  • Support for large textures (extendedBaseline, 4096)
  • Rectangle texture
  • DatagramSocket
  • ServerSocket
  • Substitute a redirected URL from a source URLRequest for part of the URL in a new URLRequest
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    • Patrick

      It’s worthwhile to note that AIR can support lots of stuff that its native APIs don’t (via their NativeExtensions technology). Things like game controller input have been available ever since Adobe Native Extensions were first made available (in AIR 2.6?), it’s only now that they’re supported natively within the ActionScript API.
      The fact that ANEs are typically coded in C++ means that they haven’t been easy to produce for most AS developers. Additionally, ANEs aren’t supported in Flash, and neither are a host of the new APIs (including GameInput), which require desktop-application-level privileges and access to do what they do.

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