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iOS features in Adobe AIR 2.6

12 May

Almost a year ago, Adobe stopped development on AIR for iOS due to a change in Apple’s developer program license. Instead, we began focusing very heavily on Android. The result was AIR 2.5 which brought not only most of the existing AIR APIs to Android devices, but several new APIs, as well. When Apple removed the restrictions late last year, we were therefore in the very strange position of having our iOS and Android versions of AIR almost a full version out of sync.

Although there are several desktop features in AIR 2.6, the primary theme is bringing the Android and iOS releases back into alignment. This article outlines all the new features and APIs available in AIR 2.6 on iOS.

It’s worth emphasizing how unusual the circumstances were that led to our iOS and Android releases being out of step, and that it isn’t an issue that we take lightly. As soon as we decided to continue development on iOS, we put together a plan to get back to feature parity between the two platforms, and we fully intend to keep our platforms synchronized from now on.

StageWebView

In the desktop version of AIR, we bundle WebKit in order to power HTML-based applications, and to allow Flash applications to embed an HTMLLoader for displaying HTML content and executing JavaScript. For mobile versions of AIR, we don’t bundle our own version of WebKit, primarily in order to keep the size of the runtime down. Instead, we added the StageWebView API. StageWebView uses the system web control provided by the operating system so that we don’t have to bundle our own renderer and JavaScript engine. Version 2.5 added StageWebViewsupport for Android, and AIR 2.6 adds support for iOS.

Microphone

AIR 2.6 adds support for the Microphone class on iOS.

Camera

AIR 2.6 adds support for the Camera class on iOS.

CameraUI

The CameraUI class lets users use the default camera application on their devices to takes pictures and capture video. We added the CameraUI class in AIR 2.5 for Android, and AIR 2.6 brings it to iOS.

CameraRoll

The CameraRoll class enables saving images to, and loading images from, a device’s photo gallery. We added theCameraRoll class in AIR 2.5 for Android, and AIR 2.6 brings it to iOS.

Retina Display Support

With AIR 2.6, developers can optionally take advantage of the high-resolution iPhone and iPod touch 4 screens (retina displays). If developers opt in to the higher resolution screen, APIs like Stage.stageWidth,Stage.stageHeight, and Capabilities.screenDPI will be adjusted accordingly. In addition, the AIR SDK now supports the higher resolution 114×114 icons for the home screen.

Better Multi-tasking Support

With 2.6, AIR applications will get activate and deactivate events on iOS as users switch to and from the application. AIR apps will also be properly resumed rather than restarted (unless the OS has decided to kill it for some reason, which both iOS and Android reserve the right to do).

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