Launching the camera from an AIR for Android app

•August 22, 2012 • 6 Comments

To access the smartphone camera from an AIR for Android app, you can try the following code. It would launch the camera and let use capture a photo. It then trace the photo name/path which you can use a loader object to load it onto the AIR app.

import flash.media.CameraUI;

import flash.events.MediaEvent;

import flash.media.MediaPromise;

import flash.media.MediaType;

var cam:CameraUI = new CameraUI();

cam.addEventListener(MediaEvent.COMPLETE, doComplete);

function doComplete(e:MediaEvent):void

{var mp:MediaPromise = e.data;  trace(mp.file.url);}

cam.launch(MediaType.IMAGE);

Loading external images into an AIR for Android app

•August 22, 2012 • 1 Comment

I have been building an Android AIR app that needs to load an image from the phone storage. After various trial and errors, I have the following actionscript code that would let user select an image from the phone and trace its name and path. From there simply use a loader object and you can attach the image to a movieclip.

import flash.filesystem.File;

import flash.net.FileFilter;

import flash.events.Event;

import flashx.textLayout.events.SelectionEvent;

var fileType:FileFilter = new FileFilter(“Image (*.jpg, *.png)”,”*.jpg; *.png”);

var fileChooser:File = File.userDirectory;

fileChooser.addEventListener(Event.SELECT, doSelect);

fileChooser.browseForOpen(“Open”, [fileType]);

function doSelect(e:Event):void

{trace(e.target.url); }

Screencast an Android phone/tablet onto a PC

•August 15, 2012 • 4 Comments

Quite often these days I would need to do a presentation from an Android phone or tablet and hence the need to project the device screen onto a data projector. One option is to bring along HDMI-VGA adapters. Another option is to connect the device to a PC (via USB or WiFi for example) and run some screen mirror software to mirror the device screen onto a PC screen. One such software which I came across recently is MyMobiler:

http://mymobiler.com/

I have been using it for sometime now with my Samsung Galaxy Note running ICS4.04 and it works very well so far. The mirrored screen refresh rate is a bit slow, about 1 fps I think. However the software is very capable. It even lets you use the PC mouse and keyboard to control the device. One important thing to note is that the devices needed to be rooted. Not a big challenge as I am reasonably tech savvy.

Image

My Windows 8 Consumer Preview experience so far

•May 27, 2012 • 1 Comment

I have been using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for a few months now on my Thinkpad X300 (at a resolution of 1280×800) and I have to say it is very stable and smooth so far. I have no problems running Adobe CS6. I particularly like the very fast boot-up time of Win 8 and the quick toggle between Metro and the traditional desktop screen using the Windows Key. I don’t understand why some people complain about the Metro screen. To me it is a quick way to start a software. On Win 7, I would have to click the Start Button, then navigate through the Program list to locate the software. On the Metro screen, the software appear in the tile and it is one-click to start the software. Of course, the search function is still there, just like in Win 7. I don’t miss the Start button at all. It can go.

Suddenly the Windows Key seems very important to me and that leads me to think that a Windows 8 tablet (as distinct from the Win RT tablet) better has a dedicated hardware key to function like the Windows key.

For now, I think Microsoft has managed to create a nice hybrid OS suitable for both the touch and mouse interactions. Finally a unified OS across tablets and desktops.

My Samsung Galaxy Note experience

•April 28, 2012 • 21 Comments

Having used the Samsung Galaxy Note for over 2 weeks, I can say that it is the most satisfying smartphone for me so far. Initially I have great reservation about its size. But I soon got used to it and now every other phones look tiny to me. The generous 5.3 inches screen, together with the pressure sensitive S-pen make this a really portable and productive device. Who would want to write or draw with finger when you can use a proper pen. At present it runs on Android Gingerbread. I can’t wait for Samsung to update it with Ice-cream Sandwich and the collection of S-Pen apps. I have also tested the 8 mp camera and have to say the image quality is surprisingly good.

I got the phone from Vodafone and am glad that its network  is performing well for me so far. To top it off the Galaxy Note  comes with the Navigon GPS software with ANZ/NZ updatable maps. Locking the GPS signal takes only a sec or two. Amazing.

For presentation to a roomful of people, I have bought the MHL cable which output HDMI from the USB port. However, some data projector may only have VGA interface. So I went to eBay and bought an HDMI-to-VGA adapter. Now I can connect my Galaxy Note to any data projector wherever I go.

 

All in all, I can highly recommend this phone to anyone reading this post.

Integrating Adobe Edge with Dreamweaver

•February 15, 2012 • 6 Comments

Have you been testing Adobe Edge lately? I did and I like what I saw. As a pre-release v.1 software, it is very promising in terms of functionalities and user interface. Given that it can generate nice HTML5 animation and interactions, I see it as a great tool for creating web banners and the likes, potentially replacing Flash in those situations.

So the question then is how do we integrate Edge content into a Dreamweaver CS5.5 web page. There is no Edge object to speak of in DW. The output from Edge is an html file, together with a bunch of related js and assets. A simple way to use Edge is simply open the html page and start work from there with Dreamweaver. Alternatively you can also put Edge content into a DW webpage by loading the Edge html page as external html content into the web page.

Below is the list of files in a typical Edge output:

edgeContent.html
edgeContent_edge.css
edgeContent_edge.js
edgeContent_edgeActions.js
edgeContent_edgePreload.js
images (folder)
edge_includes (folder)

Assuming the DW webpage is in the same folder as the edgeContent.html, then one way to load the edgeContent.html into a DW webpage is use jQuery which is fully supported by Dreamweaver. Below is an example code to load the edgeContent.html into a <div> tag on the DW webpage:

<!DOCTYPE HTML>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset=”utf-8″>
<title>Demo</title>
<script src=”jquery-1.5.min.js”></script>
<script src=”rahko_ramen_edgePreload.js”></script>
<script> $(document).ready(function(e) {     $(‘#myBanner’).load(‘rahko_ramen.html’); });
</script>
</head>

<body>
<div id=”myBanner”></div>
</body>
</html>

As shown above, you would need to import the jQuery library.  (You can download the jQuery library from jquery.com). Then add in the Edge Preload js file. Finally use the jQuery load() method to load the Edge content into the div. That’s about it. Pretty simple.

Enjoy!

A new era for Windows 8 means new opportunities for software developers

•September 15, 2011 • 1 Comment

Microsoft has unveiled Windows 8 at the Build conference and developers can now download a preview of Windows 8 at:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/home/

It is an exciting time for us computer enthusiasts seeing the innovation of technologies especially from the last few years. I feel that 2010/2011 brought us the iPad phenomenon and significantly altered the technology landscape. Along with iPad and iPhone came the Apple Appstore and the hundreds of thousands of applications built by small software development house. It is interesting to observe that the most downloaded free or paid apps are typically built by smaller software companies. The traditional big software companies (of which there are only a handful, Adobe included) which dominate the desktop software market mostly fail to respond to the App market quick enough to compete. The bigger the company the less agile they become. Indeed it is difficult to adjust the business model of selling thousands dollar worth of software to one that sells lots cheaper but to the wider market.

I think the 2012/2013 will take us to a new era with Windows 8 which unifies the desktop, laptop and tablet all under the same OS. Indeed to me these devices are all personal computer just in different form factor. Along with Windows 8 come the Metro style apps that are meant to be touch friendly, as distinct from the classic Win32 app which are mouse-centric. Windows 8 can run both types of apps but I see smaller software development houses can again do very well in this marketplace. It is hard to compete with the few big software companies like Adobe in the traditional desktop software but this new bred of apps is a totally different battleground. And the odds are in their favour.

During 2010/2011 iPads and HTML5 came in such rapid pace that Adobe needs to respond midway with CS5.5. I don’t know how big software companies are going to respond with Windows 8 in 2012/2013. But I am happy with more competition. It is good for the customers and good for the employees. So bring it on.