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Top New Features in Adobe Flash Builder 4.5

Adobe Flash Builder 4.5

Adobe Flash Builder CS5.5 enables you to develop rich interactive applications for desktops and for mobile platforms like Android, iOS, and RIM with Adobe AIR, Flash Professional, and Flash Builder.

Mobile application development for multiple mobile platforms—Build standalone applications targeted at one or more mobile platforms using new mobile support for ActionScript and Flex projects. Both Design and Code View now support mobile development, leveraging new mobile-ready components for optimal touchscreen user experience and on-device performance.

Preview, debug, and profile mobile applications—Test mobile applications on the desktop using a mobile AIR runtime emulator, or test on a locally connected mobile device using a one-click process to package, deploy, and launch.

Package and sign mobile applications—Deploy, package, and sign required resources as a platform-specific installer file for upload to a mobile application distribution site or store.

Code templates—Leverage best-practice code templates (aka snippets) for ActionScript, MXML, and CSS, now shipping with Flash Builder. Use the content assist functionality to review available templates and insert them into code. Create custom code templates and import or export templates for sharing within or across teams.

Metadata code completion—Take advantage of metadata code completion that enhances the existing content assist functionality, providing suggestions for both Flex Software Development Kit (SDK) and custom metadata tags. ActionScript proposal cycling allows grouped collections of templates, variables, functions, classes, and so forth to be easily viewed when using content assist.

Code generation—Use Quick Assist/Fix to easily access variable renaming, variable manipulation, generation of getter/setters, generation of event handlers, organization of imports, and much more. Use the override/implements feature to define methods from a superclass or interface.

Designer and developer project workflow—Work in parallel with designers using the new roundtrip workflow between Flash Catalyst CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5. Use the compatibility checker to help ensure that application code and project structure will allow a user interface to be created and edited using Flash Catalyst CS5.5.

Custom Spark component creation for designer skinning
—Rapidly prototype user interface elements and build component business logic by creating custom Spark component classes. Then skin components using Flash Catalyst to open the project and convert visual artwork to the required component parts.

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Great New Features of Adobe Flash CS5.5

Adobe Flash CS5.5

Expanded platform and device support
Flash Professional CS5.5 makes it easier to reach audiences on the latest Flash Platform runtimes, including Flash Player 10.2 and Adobe AIR 2.6.

Deliver to desktop computers. Take advantage of the ubiquity of Adobe Flash Player within browsers, and extend beyond the browser with Adobe AIR. Your content displays with a consistent look and feel across operating systems and browsers.

Deliver to mobile devices. Deliver content that plays back on millions of devices worldwide, and reach audiences on smartphones that run Android 2.2 and above. Use Adobe AIR for iOS Support, included with Flash Professional CS5.5, to compile ActionScript bytecode into native iPhone application code.

Deliver to tablets. Produce immersive content optimized for tablet devices. Take advantage of touch input and gesture-based actions that enhance the user experience.

Deliver to Internet-enabled televisions. Extend the reach of your content into consumers’ Internet-connected living rooms, with immersive experiences and applications that run on Adobe AIR for the Digital Home

Efficient workflows for multi-target content
Simplify the creation and management of multiple FLA files that are created for a single project, but that target multiple devices. Share code and assets across documents and device targets to efficiently create, test, package, and deploy content for a wide range of screens and devices. For example, symbols modified in one document update across other documents. The New Project dialog box has been enhanced to include a Default Document section, which allows you to specify a document name, target player, and ActionScript version.

Content scaling when resizing stage
One of the most time-consuming aspects of designing content that is optimized for various screen sizes is scaling content to fit to every size. Designers spend much of their time adjusting a single design to work at multiple sizes. With Flash Professional CS5.5, you can choose to scale the contents of your file when you change the size of the stage. Everything on the stage, including symbols and motion paths across all scenes, are scaled. There are also controls for limiting scaling to unlocked or visible layers.

Enhanced layer controls
Flash Professional CS5.5 gives you more control over the contents of your document with the ability to do even more with layers. Copy and paste layers—including ones with motion and inverse kinematics armatures—to a different timeline or even to a different FLA document. You can also cut and duplicate layers, and even copy and paste folders.

Symbol rasterization
Complex vector artwork can take a toll on the processors of mobile devices, degrading rendering performance. Flash Professional CS5.5 offers two new options that allow you to easily export content as bitmaps, which help enhance performance of your mobile content. The Convert To Bitmap command allows you to convert selected artwork on the stage to a bitmap. Once converted, the artwork is no longer editable in Flash Professional, although you can edit it in Adobe Photoshop® software. The Export As Bitmap command is a display property that you can apply to movie clip symbols. With this setting enabled, chosen symbols are rendered as bitmaps on stage when the project is published, with the benefit that the symbol remains editable

Enhanced code snippets handling
Flash Professional CS5.5 brings several key enhancements to the Code Snippets panel, offering quick and easy ways to add ActionScript 3.0 code to your projects:
• Place your cursor over a movie clip placeholder in the code snippet, and a pick whip appears. Drag the pick whip to a movie clip on the stage to insert the instance name of your target movie clip into the code.
• Use more than 20 new code snippets, including ones for creating mobile and AIR applications, for accelerometer, multitouch gestures, and save/load data.
• Upon selecting a snippet from the Code Snippets panel, you can view a description or preview the underlying ActionScript code on a heads-up display (HUD) before you apply it.

Streamlined publishing and document settings
Save time with a newly designed and more efficient Publish Settings dialog box, which you can now access directly from the Properties panel. Select multiple formats on the left and edit the corresponding settings on the right. New to the dialog box is the ability to publish a SWC file to a path of your choice without having to publish the SWF file. In addition, the dialog box now returns relative paths when selecting a publish destination so that files can be more easily shared across teams. You can also change the version of Flash Player, ActionScript version, and stage size directly from the Properties panel.

Pinning support for inverse kinematics
With this new release, Flash Professional continues to offer a powerful interactive design toolset that allows for creative exploration and implementation. You can now lock, or pin, bones to the stage, allowing you to place restrictions on the movements of selected bones. In addition, you can now create multiple spans or armatures on a single layer, and you can more easily define more complex movement of armatures, such as walk cycles.

Customer-requested enhancements
Flash Professional CS5.5 includes a number of new features that customers have asked for, including:
• Control over author time playback using a new integrated controller at the bottom of the Timeline and the Motion Editor. A new Loop button helps make it easier to repeatedly review a part of your animation.
• A new conflict resolution dialog box appears when symbols of the same name are imported to the Library, offering the option to place duplicate items into a new folder.
• TLF text support for style sheets, just like Classic text. You can create a StyleSheet in ActionScript and add it to a TLF block to change the attributes of text.
• Support for tab stops. Align text to tabs, and to enter tab characters in TLF text fields on stage. The tab ruler allows tab stops to be added, deleted, moved, or to have their tab type changed.
• Optimized export of TLF text to SWF. Offering decreased SWF file size and generally better performance in Flash Player and Adobe AIR.
• Improved performance for TLF, seen in such functions as scrolling speed and creating and populating TLF text blocks. These enhancements improve the use of TLF on Android mobile devices.
• A new compiler caching feature to help reduce the compile time of documents that use embedded fonts and MP3 sound files, allowing you to deploy rich content faster. In previous versions, these items would recompile each time you tested or published a movie, even if nothing had changed. In Flash Professional CS5.5, the compiler caches the embedded fonts and sound items the first time a document is compiled, and each time you test or publish movies subsequently, the compiler will use the cached assets, noticeably reducing compile time.

Seamless mobile testing
Perform source-level debugging on Adobe AIR enabled devices that are connected with a USB cable. Set break points and use trace statements to test the content directly on the device. You can also package AIR for Android apps and publish directly to the device.

Flash Builder 4.5 integration
Experience better integration between Flash Professional CS5.5 and Flash Builder 4.5. Create and open projects in either Flash Professional or Flash Builder. When you change project settings in one application, the other application’s settings will automatically update to match.

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