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Tuesday March 8, 2011 12:38 pm

iPad 2 gets Flash with Adobe Wallaby

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Software

iPad Flash

Despite a new pair of eyes, trimmer figure, and nimbler mind, the new iPad remains flummoxed by Flash. Wallaby, a brand-new tool from Adobe Labs, aims to help the iPad and its iOS brethren manage the once-taboo multimedia format. The free, cross-platform desktop application, available today, makes transforming Adobe Flash files into iOS-appropriate HTML5 as easy as drag and drop.

First previewed at the MAX 2010 Developer Conference last October, Wallaby's launch today at FITC Amsterdam fulfills months of fomenting developer excitement. Built on Adobe Air, the application runs on Mac or Windows and enables developers to convert Flash Professional (.FLA) files into the building blocks of simple animations or online ads—folders comprised of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript—suitable for DreamWeaver.

"Adobe's goal is to support our customers with whatever tools they need to get their creative content onto any device," said Tom Barclay, senior product manager for Flash Professional at Adobe, when asked for a comment. "We look forward to the user feedback about the code they're generating with Wallaby and the use cases for which they end up using Wallaby. We believe Flash is the best long-term solution for things like games, video and RIAs where high levels of interactivity are required. And we believe HTML5 is just as imperative for things like banner ads, especially for devices such as iPad and iPhone."

In addition to drag-and-drop simplicity, Wallaby supports batch processing and diagnostic reporting. With the power to script conversions or to simply drag and drop folders of .FLA files into the app, Wallaby helps developers ensure that their ads—no matter the number—reach their users, regardless of the platform. There's also a diagnostic report that identifies unsupported inputs.

While the experimental software handles content including vector graphics, text, keyframes, tweens, and roll-overs, it has its limitations—mainly, the limitations of HTML and CSS. Developers will find filters (save simple alpha), drop shadows, color matrices, blends, and 3D transitions discarded in the conversion process. And, at the moment, Adobe Labs targets only webkit-based browsers, such as Apple Safari and Google Chrome.

Despite constraints, developers have reason to hunt down Wallaby. After more feedback on code and usage, Adobe Labs hopes to free Wallaby, and, with sufficient interest, perhaps the technology might hop into a future release of Flash Professional.

This article, written by William Fenton, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc..

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