July 20, 2011

AIR and Mobile still missing a notch

Everybody's happy about the move Adobe made when it finally managed to push Flex application into the iOS. You have to admit - it is amazing, no less.
Still, being the bitter man that I am, I have to poop the party and tell you that it is far from being all a bed of roses. To be more specific, here are 2 issues that I have encountered with that made me realize that there is still a lot of work to be done on Adobe's behalf.

First one is the GPU usage and Spark layouts. You see, Spark layouts are one of the strong features that flex gives us. Having the ability to relatively easy (and I do mean "relatively", it’s not super-easy as Adobe claims it to be) create custom layouts for DataGroups is a big differentiator over other technologies. Adding the ability to transition and rotate object in 3D, makes it even more powerful. Alas, harnessing the GPU for rendering these 3D layouts on a mobile device is currently not available. Even when using the "cacheAsBitmap" and "cacheAsBitmapMatrix" properties, nothing really improves. I guess that we will have to just wait on that.

Second thing is embedded fonts. After embedding the a font, it looks pixilated and not smooth. Playing with it's style doesn't do the trick either (anti aliasing and the sort). Having the text inside an item render that supposed to be rotating and moving as a part of a layout and you have a very-very pixilated glyphs. How disappointing.
These 2 issues are critical, in my opinion. I hope that the next versions of Air for mobile will include fixes for it, but for now - just know that there are problems with it, so look out.


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