Just wanted to share this with the rest of the world, that we finished working on ITV player for Android a few weeks ago.
Interesting fact is that it is entirely written in Actionscript.
Have a look yourself: http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/android/
It is only available in UK and requires WIFI to play the video, so the reviews aren’t that great, not to mention email capture at start up.
I’ve spent quite a lot of time on this and I am really happy it is live.
Could it be any better? Of course it could in loads of areas, but there is always a lot that adds into the equation (time factor, changing business requirements, costs, just to name a few). This is not the point here.
The point here is that it is entirely written in Actionscript. On top of that it utilises ITVs existing video player written in flex, that they use on their dotcom site (with a few slight changes, like controls etc.) from here :http://www.itv.com/itvplayer. I am pretty sure Android OS did’t even exist yet when this player was originally built and yet it works!
For me that proves how powerful Flash is. When we started, we obviously had a couple of challenges to overcome (at that point we were targeting AIR 2.5, which wasn’t that great). Even now performance could still be improved to make it slicker, run faster and perform better (which we are doing btw).
So what tools developers have need nowadays?
They simply need one, which is Flash Builder 4.5.
You can now target Android Phones and tablets, there is a iOs packager as well and Blackberry Playbook packager. Not to mention PCs, Macs and Linux machines:)
Pretty powerful stuff!
Testing is dead simple on devices, they are picked up by FB immediately, and emulators are also available, it is dead easy to develop.
At this point some might say, it would be better to build this app natively. Some might say Flash sucks and HTML5 is the future. I will say there is no better cost effective development than Flash. Apple fan boys and web developers I am sorry, but flash is better. Performance wise it is obvious, but it is also better cost wise. It is simply cheaper to be building things in Flash. It requires far less time than building it in anything else. It obviously has some limitations but I have faith in Adobe. I have faith they will make it better, it will run smoother and they will be fixing all those bugs in jira!
I would also say Actionscript is the best language to learn, make a living and enjoy yourself while doing it. It is very simple, it is very popular and there is a huge amount of work available out there. And thank God it is proprietary. Build it once and let Adobe worry if it works or not. I don’t care if you are using Firefox, Chrome or IE6 or if you are on a Mac or a PC or a tablet or a phone.
With Flash you can build anything from banners to complex phone apps to real time steaming video players to huge corporate banking applications with LCDS. On top of that the number of devices that now run flash/air are endless! Samsung Smart Tvs run AIR apps! Not to mention set up boxes. Flash is at core of Google TV as well as many other latest TV projects like YouView. I am pretty sure there will be more devices and platforms in the future.
There hasn’t been any better time for Flash than now. Long live Flash!