Finally, Adobe’s Apollo is out for developers to try out their Flash, Flex and AJAX Ninjutsu and build cross-platform desktop apps. Mike Chambers, who runs the excellent Developer Network there (and did at Macromedia before) introduces it nicely.
Previously, I have used a product called Zinc to build desktop apps from Flash, but now a lot of this functionality is in the box with Apollo and has has HUGE potential for a amazingly simple and useful applications being built very quickly. The reason I use Zinc is for the FileSystem and FileI/O functionality, meaning I can read and write files on the local hard disk like a ‘real’ application with proper Setup installs for PC and Mac. With that and the ability to download and upload files, as well as run other processes and languages, it’s pretty useful.
I will be having a go at building some Apollo apps (with their .air extension), when I get the time (how could I not!). To give you some ideas, this is what I would do (and no doubt many others will do) in order:
– An RSS/XML reader
– A Twitter app
– A podcatcher
– A podcast publisher (a la podbat)
– A basic OPML Editor
– Podcast directory widgets
– Web publishing system
– Go to the moon
It should be relatively easy for anyone with existing AJAX, Flash and Flex skills to build any of these now. (OK. Bar one 😉 )
This is also hitting the blogsphere :
Scoble says the downside is it needs to be online. Not so, dear Robert. People could write apps which have data persistence, storing stuff locally, which could then be synced on connection 🙂