Installing Flash Lite apps on your phone – just how easy is it?

This week we announced the distributable Flash Lite player, which enables end-users to install Flash Lite applications on their mobile phone, regardless of whether the runtime is already on the device.

You can use Flash CS4 Professional and Adobe Device Central to create your Flash Lite application and then use the new mobile packager tool to create the appropriate SIS file (for Series 60 phones) and CAB file (for Windows Mobile devices); when the end-user downloads and launches the application on their phone the required version of Flash Lite will be downloaded and installed if it is not already present.

distributableplayer_workflow.jpg

Whilst we continue to work on bringing Flash Player 10 to mobile devices, which in turn opens up opportunities to use future versions of Flex SDK (and developer tooling) to target mobile, the distributable Flash Lite player enables Flash designers and developers to create, distribute and monetize compelling mobile applications today.

To show how easy it is to install a Flash Lite application on a supported phone I captured the process I went through to download and install a Flash Lite application on my Nokia E71.

1. To get started, I headed over to http://m.adobe.com/ to see what featured applications are available (you can also get applications from ZED, Thumbplay and GetJar):

flashlite_1.JPG

2. I selected the type of phone that I’m using – in this case a Nokia E71:

flashlite_3.JPG

3. I then selected where I am located – currently the over the air distribution of Flash Player is supported in the US, India, Italy, Spain and UK:

flashlite_2.JPG

4. There are a number of applications featured on the Adobe site, but I chose to download Finetune – a streaming music service (which also has web and desktop versions built using the Flash platform):

flashlite_4.JPG

5. There are a couple of install dialogues and progress screens presented – these are part of the standard installation process for the phone you’re using:

flashlite_5.JPG

6. The newly installed application is shown on the phone and I can launch it in the normal manner:

flashlite_6.JPG

7. As this is the first Flash Lite application on my device I’m alerted that I also need to install Adobe Flash Lite and the Adobe version checker:

flashlite_7.JPG

8. Once that’s done (again, a couple of standard phone dialogues are presented) I can then launch the Finetune application:

flashlite_8.JPG

That was all pretty easy – there was one gotcha (which is listed on the site) in that you need to enable installation of ALL applications, not just signed applications, on Series 60 devices. I believe that this is a limitation of the current release and that it’s something we’re looking to resolve in a future release.

For more information on the distributable player solution and how to get started packaging your applications check out the Adobe Labs site. We’ve also announced a $100,000 Flash Lite developer challenge to encourage you to get started building applications – head over to the contest site for details.

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9 Responses to Installing Flash Lite apps on your phone – just how easy is it?

  1. DannyT says:

    Do you have an approximate figure for how many devices this will be applicable to?

    “(for Series 60 phones) and CAB file (for Windows Mobile devices)”

    Surely that would be a better/comparable figure to numbers of iPhone devices. The next challenge I can see is conditioning users to make use of non-bundled apps, something inherent in iPhone users.

    Assuming this is a consistent experience across devices this would surely be a preferable platform for development to flashers rather than defaulting to noob status with Objective C for iPhone?*

    *from a commercial standpoint, of course it could be fun to learn iphone dev but from a business objectives perspective FL will be much more familiar and offer a quicker time-to-market.

  2. The total number of addressable devices today for the distributable player (on the currently supported phones) is over 27 million handsets – this number is only going to go up as we make the player available for more devices and more geographies.

    Flash Lite continues to be pre-installed on a wide range of devices also – take a look at the current and forecast figures for Flash Lite here: http://www.adobe.com/mobile/pdfs/flash_lite_forecast_installed_base_jan09.pdf

  3. DannyT says:

    wow, looks like a very aggressive forecast but even so there are vastly more flash lite enabled devices even when looking at v3.x only.

    Now just to convince those millions of people with compatible handsets to start downloading and using flash lite apps perhaps with a few high profile must-haves. :)

  4. Pingback: Video tutorial: Introduction to Adobe’s mobile platform | Flash Player roundup

  5. Dale Rankine says:

    Danny, the great thing with Flash Lite Distributable Player is that it’s content-driven player installation – much like the way a new version of the Flash Player has faster adoption now because sites like YouTube use the latest version.

    To convince the millions of people with addressable handsets, you just need great content. When they download your content, they will get the new Flash Lite 3.1 Distributable Player (if they’re in a supported country of course … for the time being) as part of your content. They don’t even need to know it’s Flash content when they are downloading it :)

  6. Guys,

    We’re on board with Adobe on this. The more flash lite apps that are uploaded to GetJar and other sites for free distribution, the more traction flash lite will get, the more players will be installed, etc etc in the typical network effect. But the key is to go to http://www.getjar.com and upload your apps. The bigger the catalog, the better the traffic, and the better for developers because they get more downloads. If you need any tech support, just write to support at getjar dot com.

    Thanks!

    Bill Scott
    VP Sales/BD
    GetJar

  7. I thought the E71 came with Lite3 factory installed. Does the “package install” always reinstall the Player even if there’s one there already?

  8. Hi Graeme – As far as I know the E71 only comes with Flash Lite 3.0 installed; the current version is 3.1 and so this version will be downloaded and installed if the application requires it.

  9. Alessandro says:

    Ciao,

    just couple of comments.
    When the FL3.1 OTA player is install, it’s lives in parallel with the pre-installed one. It does not replace the embedded one.

    Also the 22millions devices are from 5 countries only and 20 devices. Adobe is targeting the devices that from market research are the most used by users to access the mobile internet. The reason is that you must have a data plan to download the FL3.1 player. So the 20M is based on the above assumpions.
    In reality there many more FL enabled devices which can be reached with the new market solution from Nokia, the OVI Publisher.
    Alessandro

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