Archived:Adobe Flash Lite
Flash is a multimedia authoring tool originally brought to prominence by Macromedia in the late 1990's. Macromedia merged with Adobe in 2006.
Based on vector graphic and time line animation, its success has been largely due to the ease of learning curve, and its evolving and extending Actionscript language.
The tool has gone through some important changes in its lifetime, notably in moving away from proprietary and limited scripting toward more object oriented methods.
Notable changes occurred with version 4, when interactive support boosted the basic animation engine. With v.5 and v.6, changes were made to create a more robust scripting structure, using dot rather than slash syntax. The use of classes and functions were also introduced.
With version 6.5, video streaming was added, which has quickly established Flash as the emerging standard for video delivery on the internet. The penetration of the Flash player into the desktop market has helped this move into video delivery.
Flash versions 7 and 8 have extended further the sophistication of the interface, and added new features such as components, as well as increased player speed, and extended capabilities.
Flash Lite 1.1
Flash lite is the cut down version of Flash that has been designed to run on mobile devices, originally shipping with version 1.1. It used similar code syntax and capabilities as desktop Flash v.4 - and also came with a lot of depreciated scripting terms.
Flash Lite 1.1 was taken up with great success in the Far East markets, as it was integrated with various operator packages. The market for Flash lite screen savers, games and applications has developer far in advance of either Europe or the Americas - helped also by a successful content subscription model.
Nokia began shipping handsets with Flash 1.1 pre-installed in Europe during the last half of 2006. However, without the same operator support, ecosystem and subscription models that exist in the East, it has taken some time for the platform to be adopted by developers. Without an established revenue model - such as that enjoyed by Ring Tones or Java games, Flash Lite development has been a "kitchen industry" essentially for small developers doing R&D.
However, the tide is beginning to turn. Some channels are opening up, and it is now possible to see a financial return on flash development projects.
Flash Lite is now distributed on a huge number of S60 and Series 40 handsets.
For a brief overview of the capabilities that each version offers - refer to the Flash Lite Comparison Chart
* load text data over http/https * load swf (Flash 1.1 or 4 version) over http/https * invoke the SMS, MMS, Tel, Email mobile phone system * invoke browser using getURL API * retrieve IMEI * retrieve some specific phone information via Fscommad2 API
* cannot save data (text or binary) to the phone * cannot directly load images (jpeg/png/gif) * cannot directly load sound * cannot define functions (there are some tricks to simulate functions!) * no arrays (there are some tricks to simulate arrays!) * no Video
Flash Lite 2.0 and 2.1
In 2007, Adobe made the move to open up the Flash to more developers. A developer version (there is a 6-second splash screen on this player which cannot be removed - the embedded clients will not have this splash animation) of the new player was made available for free download, and real improvements were made to the tool set and engine. The ActionScript syntax is much closer to later desktop flash code (basically ActionScript 2.0, similar to Flash 7), releasing the developer from re-learning or acquiring obsolete code techniques.
Flash Lite 2.0: can do everything Flash Lite 1.1 can do plus,
* save data as Mobile Shared Objects (pretty much cookies) * load text data over http/https * load images (jpeg, png, gif) via http/https * load sound (mp3, aac...) via http/https/local file/embedded * play video (3gp, mp4, mov) via streaming http/rtsp, local files/embedded * define functions and classes * define arrays * and more ....
* streaming audio * cannot save binary data
Flash Lite 2.1: can do everything supported by Flash Lite 2 + inline text and XML Sockets
Flash Lite 2.1 is preinstalled on Nokia Series 40 5th Edition devices.
This article is incomplete - please dive in and add/correct/edit, as you see fit.