Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Adobe has partnered with one of the most popular social networking Web sites, Facebook, to give developers a new set of tools to create applications.

The applications will use Adobe's Flash platform and the new ActionScript 3 Client Library for Facebook the two companies developed together. The client library is a free open source programming language that supports Facebook application programming interfaces (APIs) including Facebook Connect.

Adrian Ludwig, Adobe's group manager for platforms, told Macworld that the companies will release the library and then gather feedback from developers. The libraries will be updated, adding functionality based on that feedback, allowing developers to make better applications.

The number and types of developers using Flash is increasing all the time. Some of the developers are focused on Flash, while others are coming from more traditional segments of the market.

"We are seeing that it's becoming quite easy for traditional developers to start using Flash," said Ludwig. "That's quite a change from where it was five to eight years ago when Flash was focused on animation."

Adobe said that Flash Player 9 has 98 percent penetration, meaning that 98 percent of all Internet connected computers have the application installed. The company did a study two months after the release of Flash Player 10 and found 55 percent penetration. While not released yet, Ludwig said he expects the latest adoption rate for Flash Player 10 to top 80 percent.

Those numbers give Flash Player 10 the fastest adoption rate of any version of Flash Player, according to Adobe.

Writing Facebook applications in Flash is not new. In fact, 12 of top 20 apps on Facebook use Flash. However, the new tools should make it easier for developers in the future.

Source: http://www.macworld.com/article/139727/2009/03/adobefacebook.html?t=232
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Microsoft plans to make those announcements and others related to the Marketplace on Tuesday at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas.

Some of the features of the Marketplace match those of existing mobile application stores from Apple and Google, but Microsoft -- and any other company that launches a new mobile app store -- will have to add exciting capabilities in order to match the popularity of the iPhone's App Store.

Microsoft plans to announce that people who buy an application from the Marketplace will have 24 hours to return the application for a full refund. The setup is similar to one adopted by Google when it launched its Android store last year, but different from Apple, which doesn't allow returns of iPhone apps. If a user returns an application, Microsoft will refund its 30 percent share of the sales price and the developer will return its 70 percent share.

Marketplace users will also have more options on how to pay for applications than do users of the competitive stores, said Aaron Woodman, director of consumer product management for mobile communications at Microsoft. Windows Mobile 6.5 users will be able to pay with a credit card or put the purchase on their mobile service bill. iPhone users pay for apps through Apple's iTunes content platform, and Android phone users can only pay for applications through the fledgling Google Checkout payment service, a limitation that some developers blame for slow sales.

Microsoft will also let mobile operators create stores within the Marketplace, Woodman said. The operator stores will appear among categories such as games and productivity applications in the store.

Windows Mobile users are likely to be most interested in some of the name-brand applications that Microsoft plans to announce at the conference. Despite Microsoft's financial stake in Facebook, there is not yet an official Facebook application for Windows Mobile phones. That will change in four to six weeks, when a Facebook application will become available for current Windows Mobile users. Facebook also plans to release an application

Source : http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/033109-facebook-app-return-policy-to.html
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