Archive for the 'Apollo' Category

Project Aviary

Given the announcements at MAX this morning, this is very interesting.


Aviary is a suite of rich internet applications geared for artists of all genres. From image editing to typography to music to 3D to video, we have a tool for everything. At Worth1000, we are creating a complex ecosystem for artists and providing the world with free, capable collaborative tools and an approach to collaboration and rights management that will turn the marketplace for online art on its head.

“All of our tools are based right in your browser or as downloadable AIR applications. Our tools all communicate and relate to each other. To illustrate an example: You can import a swatch from Toucan into Phoenix, while doing complex bitmap processing of a 3D object developed in Hummingbird. Finally, you can take your finished artwork and lay it out in Owl as the DVD artwork for a music CD you and your friends put together in Roc and Myna and offer it for sale in our marketplace, Hawk.”

From the screenshots on their blog, it would seem as if all these applications are built in Flex or AIR.

Woodpecker – their smart image resizing app – was demoed at Techcrunch40 the other week and incorporates Seam Carving, the process of smart image resizing first pioneered by the brilliant Dr. Ariel Shamir, and can be seen working at MAX if you email the guys at aviary( a )

The full suite of applications which sit in the Aviary are:

Phoenix – Image editor
Toucan – Color swatches and palettes creator.
Peacock – Computer algorhythm-based pattern generator.
Raven – Vector editor
Hummingbird – 3D Modeller and skinner
Myna – Audio editor
Roc – Music generator
Starling – Video editor
Owl – Desktop publishing layout editor
Penguin – Word processing software geared towards creative writers.
Pigeon – Painting simulator
Tern – Terrain generator. This is a mini tool.
Horus – Font editor
Woodpecker – Smart image resizer (seam carving). This is a mini-tool.
Rookery – A free, unlimited distributed file system network that anyone can connect to and store data in. It also powers our search engine.
Hawk – Digital content marketplace
Eagle – A smart online application that can identify complex data about an image based on the pixel patterns (i.e. which specific camera an image originally came from).
Crane – Custom image product creator, that can integrate with other websites.

A complete list of tools that are being created can be found here.

Buzzword, the online word processor Adobe announced purchasing this morning would seem to fit into the ‘Penguin’ category…I’ll be watching this space avidly since they seem to have covered off pretty much every aspect of digital design.

Google Analytics in AIR


This unofficial AIR version of Google Analytics delivers the functionality of browser-based Google Analytics but with greater
usability and a richer experience. If you haven’t heard of AIR (once named “Apollo”), it’s a platform developed by Adobe that enables web developers to deploy their web services outside of the browser so they function more like traditional applications.

This is the first AIR program that I have tested that really gets me excited about the platform. As a beta program, it’s not perfect (I ran into a few errors), but overall it has been executed very well. It’salso nice to see such a fully-functional program.

Check out Google Analytics AIR beta. If you don’t already have AIR, you need to download it to use any AIR-base applications (as with Flash).

Both Adobe and Google are involved in this project now. Adobe has included the application in its Showcase program, and
Google product managers and engineers are providing him with feedback and helping him make it more secure.

The beta 2 of Google Analytics AIR will focus on improved international support and the integration of AdWords.

via Techcrunch

Apollo – first impressions

Very interesting posts around the place concerning what people have seen today of Apollo. There have been a number of huge steps that seem to have been made from what I’ve previously seen. But this ability, to have working websites as Flex DisplayLists, is awesome. Shame the only two plugins they’re going to support are Flash and Acrobat – One of the key aspects of using html in Apollo is going to be script bridging, a more tightly integrated solution than External Interface. By using script bridging actionscript will be able to communicate with JavaScript and vice versa. And the calls to functions across the scripting bridge will be synchronous.

The HTML renderer that’s been adopted by Adobe is very interesting. They’ve opted for WebKit, an open source browser engine with an open source Mobile solution as well, possibly enabling the same feature on both platforms?

Adobe are enbracing XHTML and AJAX as part of the solution, not a rival technology, as I’ve seen many developers on the AJAX world do. Adobe are acknowledging that there is a geniune purpose for XHTML & AJAX combined with the rich media features offered by the swf format.

In the presentation Adobe’s chielf Apollo engineer talks of combining the text render engine in both the WebKit renderer and the swf player,  known as Saffron and currently part of the Flash player 8 and above feature set, in order that the user is unaware of the makeup of the app.
Oh, and one other thing I found out after watching this presentation about Apollo, is that crossdomain policy files will not be required in order to access information on different servers.

The bottom line from my point of view is that Apollo offers a solution in which the Interface becomes the most important aspect. We’re actually getting to a point where we’re able to think more about why we’re creating this particular solution, instead of “wow, look what we’ve done – It nearly killed us achieving it, and it’s not a great expereince, but isn’t it impressive!”

I don’t beleive that Apollo is going to be the right way to go for everything. But I certainly feel there will be a type of interface and set of functionality for an Apollo app which may work very well in partnership with a mobile and web interface solution.

Update – this got sent to me just today – It’s a recording of the Apollo session at Max last week

The Future of Web Apps

Mike Arrington, of Techcrunch fame, spoke at The Future of Web Apps Summit and gave a low down of who, as he saw it, the winners and losers throughout the year were. It makes for a very interesting read. His opinion, and who am I to doubt him, suggests that the obvious winners have been the Social Networks… Continue reading ‘The Future of Web Apps’

Apollo screenshots

The transparency is nice and the travel app looks thorough, but what I really want to know is whether we can skin up iTunes and tap into the machine’s graphics card ;o)

Apollo screenshots

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