One of the most exciting announcements that came out of Adobe today is that Palm is joining the Open Screen Project. Robert Scoble has some interesting comments and is following the news as well. What this means is that the Flash Player is coming to Palm’s new webOS platform and the Palm Pre. If you haven’t checked out the Palm Pre and its revolutionary OS, go check out this video on Engadget. The goal is that OEMs will have Flash Player delivered by the end of 2009, which means you will probably start seeing it on phones in 2010.
To me, the Pre represents everything great about the iPhone, and more. While hardware is a huge part of the appeal to any particular platform, it is the whole picture that matters. With Palm, not only is the Pre a great form factor (it has a keyboard!), but webOS builds on all the ‘Web 2.0’ ideals and allows developers who have invested in Ajax and Flash based technologies, take advantage of those skills for creating content and applications for a true open web platform. And last but not least, using Palm Synergy it creates a single view for all of your cloud based information and helps maintain your data independence.
So, while I am a huge fan of the iPhone (I have two for heaven’s sake), I am extremely excited about getting my hands on the Palm Pre and hopefully I can pull a few strings and get a build of the Flash Player running on it before it is generally available! There have to be perks to having this job, right?
I found this really great example of a social networking based app built in Flash for Pocket PC devices. This application was developed as part of Steven Blyth’s thesis project. Not only is it a great example of Mobile Flash, but it illustrates a powerful application of social networking software.
Quoted from the project site: “Idea/problem/context: While tending not to let things slide in professional environments because of the immediate repercussions, we often neglect our personal lives, where the effect of our actions are less apparent. Good at building systems that assist us in structured environments like the workplace, we find it difficult to design for the ambiguous, less tangible nature of our social lives.
What it is: The Social Fabric is a representation of your social world, displayed as a single visual array on your mobile phone. It does not replace your address book or calendar but keeps you subtly informed about which relationships are prospering, which you have neglected, and the overall state of your social fabric.
How it works: Your phone’s screen shows a crowd of human figures, each an avatar of one of your friends, acquaintances or relatives. The frequency of all digital communications between you and each person, which the system monitors, determines that avatar’s posture: an alert stance indicates frequent recent contact, for example; a lethargic posture or turned back means neglect. You can also register non-digital contacts manually. The avatars can be grouped manually according to sentiment, category, and so on, or programmed to begin clustering together before an upcoming event: your family before a birthday, say.
Value/potential: More generally, this project shows how, as well as hard information (amply served by current applications), personal management tools can also record and represent the ‘softer’, more ambiguous, but still central aspects of our lives – and with no less elegance and power.”