What Adobe Air Apps Are You Using?


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This week, Marques is talking about Adobe Air and some of the great desktop apps that run on it. HongKiat has a list of more than sixty different apps which will run on Android, Windows and Mac OS X.

Adobe AIR was first introduced on 19 March 2007 with the name of Apollo and designed as a cross-operating system runtime that enables web developers to use their existing web development skills, code and tools to build and deploy rich web applications and content to the desktop.

Many of the apps are centered around productivity, including an entire section of apps created for Google. There are categories for photo and video apps, including things to help manage your Flickr account.

There are apps built for design, including one to create icons yourself. It’s a simple little program that helps you make a neat little favicon for your website, among other things.

If you are using anything built on Adobe Air that wasn’t included in the article, let us know about them. We’ll be happy to take a look at them.

PDF Error Can Give Hackers Control of Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod

The same security hole that allows users to jailbreak their Apple products can also give hackers easy access to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

iPhone photo by William Hook

According to Reuters, French security firm Vupen has confirmed that by simply visiting a website and opening a contaminated PDF file, you can give hackers complete control of your iOS device.

The hack is triggered when visit a web address in your Safari browser that automatically opens a PDF document. Contaminated documents include an infected font file that causes an error that gives the hacker control of your device. Once the hack is triggered, it can delete files, download your data, or install applications.

If your running iOS 3.1.2 or higher on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod, you’re vulnerable. To avoid the problem, Gizmodo advises that you avoid opening PDFs directly until a fix is released–or if you must, only open PDFs from highly trustable sources.

Adobe is Coming to the iPad

Don’t get all excited just yet. There still isn’t going to be Flash on your iPad. Sorry if I just deflated your dreams, folks. However, Adobe will appear on the popular device beginning today in conjunction with Wired magazine. The app that will be released on iTunes today is an e-version of the June issue. It has more than forty different interactive features – including an exclusive clip from Toy Story 3 and a little game that lets you fly around Mars.

This app is the catalyst that set off the war between Apple and Adobe in recent weeks. Since Flash technology is banned from Apple devices, the partners had to come up with something completely different than originally planned, using Apple-approved code. The app makes use of video and graphical tools to expand on a theme that runs throughout the app: unraveling products and teaching you how they work. The June cover story about Toy Story 3 breaks down the making of the movie and lets you follow the process. Pixar also granted Wired an exclusive clip to use in the app.

The Conde Nast publication says that the rebuilt app still comes with all of the features and capabilities you’d have found in the original version. Future issues will have more social and search functions built-in, including web browsing from within the app. “This is very much a 1.0 release,” said Scott Dadich, creative director of Wired.

For now, each issue will cost $4.99. Executives plan to introduce a subscription model later this year and will sell subscriptions through iTunes. This is a touchy area for publishers, though. Many would prefer to sell their subscriptions outside of Apple’s closed system. Some major players in the industry are working together to create a “digital newsstand” of sorts where they can set more of the financial terms.

Why I Think Apple's iAd Sounds Amazing


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Apple has made a way for advertisers and sponsors to support free apps – but in a way that makes people want to click. iAd essentially makes the ad itself into another app. That iAd is an app that is embedded inside of your download. Potentially, you’re getting a second app for free. They demonstrate something an advertiser might do.

If I were an advertiser, I would be thrilled to have a platform like this. I could create a small game – or even a series of games – which showcase my product in some way. This would give the user a good reason to click on the ads. Everyone loves to play games, right? If it’s interesting enough, the engagement will be higher. Bumping up the emotional factor is a big deal when it comes to advertising.

I think this iAd platform is awesome. I think we’ll see some pretty amazing mini-apps inside of our regular apps. This goes so far beyond a normal text link ad or even a banner. We’re talking about advertising being apps themselves. Don’t fool yourself: if you already have an Apple product, the chances that you have already downloaded an advertisement already are really high. Every single brand on iTunes is an ad of some sort.

People who are kicking and screaming about the iAd platform are the ones who throw a fit when an app costs a buck. They’ll either complain about paying a dollar… or about having a free app that has an advertisement. Nothing is free, folks. Get over yourself already. If you’re going to have a free app, then you’re going to have advertising. If you don’t want ads, try paying for an app.

I’m looking forward to this because advertisers have a chance to be engaging, relevant and creative. They get to do truly unique things, and think outside of the box. That, my friends, is priceless as far as I’m concerned.

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Apple and Adobe: Where is the Common Ground?

There is no middle-of-the-road when it comes to Steve Jobs and public opinion: you either love him or hate him. The same can be said about Apple products. You are either someone who rushes to buy everything the company rolls out of production or you shudder in disgust and swear you’ll never cave in. Any time Steve has something to say, his words are rehashed a few hundred times on pages all across the blogosphere. Steve Jobs is, without a doubt, a man one cannot ignore. Even if you are on the side of the road that doesn’t much care for the man, you have to respect what goes on inside his head. Take, for instance, his post today regarding Adobe Flash.

I have written in the past about my reasons for hating Flash. However, Steve-o today said it better than I could have ever hoped to do. He eloquently lists several reasons why you won’t ever find Flash enabled on his mobile devices, including the fact that it hogs resources and isn’t the most secure offering on the block. However, the part that captured my attention the most was his discussion of being open vs being closed.

Jobs states that “While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.” HELLO! It’s about time someone pointed that out loud and clear for the folks at Adobe to read. He goes on to point out how “Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards.”

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. We finally have all of our cards out on the table. Steve fully admits that Apple’s products are closed systems. What’s wrong with that? No one has ever tried to pretend otherwise. However… the important factor is that they adopt open standards. Apple’s mobile devices make it simple for you to consume media of every type on widely-used and accepted platforms… all of which are open.

Our lives are open. Our Web is open. We have fought for years to get to this beautiful place in time. Why the hell would we want to take a giant step backwards and embrace the closed and stagnant environment of Adobe Flash?