Adobe Refresh 2011 – event review

Published:  March 7, 2011
Adobe Refresh 2011 – event review

From 1 March to 3 March 2011, Adobe held it’s annual Refresh sessions across Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. This one was particularly different being held in cinemas, complete with muffins during morning tea and popcorn mid afternoon. Equally impressive were the two sign language translators that signed the entire time.

The focus of the sessions was to bring us designers and developers the latest on building rich applications and content development across multiple platforms. It also included a town hall and Flash Builder sessions, BlackBerry PlayBook show and tell (the first time it was shown publicly in Australia), and sneak peeks.

The session opened with a keynote by Richard Galvan the Flash product manager and people what an eye opener. If you’re building websites for desktops only, you might want to rethink that, based on the stats he displayed. With more and more people viewing online content on TVs, smart phones and add the influx of tablet devices hitting the market, each vying to claim their place in the market, you need to start designing websites that are optimised across multiple devices.

In his session, Richard also showed us a sneak peek of Flash’s ability to resize a Flash document and it’s graphics, including anything on the timeline, movieclips, buttons and layers. If anyone using Flash, has ever been asked by a client to resize an entire document when you’ve just about finished the project, you will know, this will be a major time saver. Please let this be in the next version of Flash.

Then it was over to Paul Burnett, APAC Evangelist, to explain and demonstrate Air, HTML5 and Building Apps and Content for Multiple Devices. He created an app, called Mini Dodgem AIR Hockey and yes that’s basically the crux of the game. Two cars, trying to slam the Adobe squish ball into their respective goals to score. Using Flash he was able to publish it as a desktop app, then to an iPad and then a Galaxy Tab without changing anything. What was more amazing, was that he then output it to a TV and then to the BlackBerry PlayBook, again, no changes to the actual app. To complement the game he also built controller apps, allowing an iPhone and an Android phone, to control the cars on the TV, Galaxy Tab, iPad and PlayBook. One app, multiple devices, all working exactly the same. Mission accomplished.

Then Sarim Aziz from Rim showed off the yet to be released Blackberry Playbook. Can I say. Oh. My. God. We got to touch, play, tap and swipe but no holding the Playbook. Impressive.

Then it was time for the Town Hall session where designers and developers could ask and discuss anything about Adobe products and developments.

After the banter, Michael Stoddart, also an APAC Evangelist, discussed Adobe’s Digital Publishing Solution, demonstrating how InDesign files could be output to digital magazines, which could then be used on iPads and other tablets. It’s an exciting time to be in the digital age.

Ryan Stewart, Platform Evangelist, followed lunch with a look at the next version of Flash Builder code named Burrito and the new components designed for mobile, code named Hero.

To finish the day all the presenters came back on stage and showed some future technologies including a Stage Video demo showing 1080p Flash video running using a tiny amount of the CPU, a demo of Molehill, the new 3D api for Flash and then finally, the Wallaby demo that showed the ability to take a .fla file from Flash and output an HTML only animation.

Refresh 2011 tour is now heading to Seoul, Hong Kong and then Singapore. You can follow #adoberefresh on Twitter.

Anyone else attend Refresh 2011? What did you think and what was your favourite sneak peak?


One Response

  1. I loved Refresh. Was great to see that Adobe cares about us users enough to send over some great guys from the US and to mix it up with the sound effect and flash wizard himself, Mr Paul Burnett, was just a great vibing showcase of talent.

    My favourite sneak peak was Wallaby. I think the power to leverage existing flash skills with new browser technology is just brilliant.

    Now if they can just send me version….

    O and while they are at it some HTML5 publishing from Captivate would just put me forever in their debt.

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