Today, Adobe announced the availability of AIR apps in the Android Market. A quick refresher: AIR is Adobe’s runtime environment for Flash Platform applications. It allows Flash movies to run as closer-to-first-class citizens – they can get access to system hardware like the accelerometer, save/load files, run in fullscreen AND allow keyboard use, and more.
I’ve been developing in AIR for the last year or so, and I’ve just released my first Android app, Bridge Invaders:
It’s a lo-res animation application, originally designed as a full-size video installation. I was able to take the code, made to run using a WiimoteWhiteboard setup, and run it, unmodified, on my phone. For the release, I made a number of tweaks to optimize it for my phone – but the code is maybe 97% the same, which means I can continue to develop it for the desktop, web and mobile platforms with ease.
The application as it stands is mostly an editor, with only basic play/pause and tap-tempo playback options (no live switching of loaded animations, for example). However, once the editor is dialed in, I plan to create a more robust player that could then be integrated into my Storyteller environment. At that point, the editor becomes a handheld workstation for my more powerful system – enabling you to create animations on the bus, in the cafe, or while standing against the wall and not-dancing at a minimal zarkcore show. I’ve done this while testing the app the last few months, and it’s fun – I find it much more relaxing to draw a few frames in an animation than to catch up on world news when I’ve got a few minutes to kill.
While I doubt that I’ll be switching out my Shuttle PC for a Pandora or an Android device running Processing , the possibilities for integrating the powerful machines so many of us now keep in our pockets are growing – and I look forward to the coming innovations in interactive art.