Thought I’d get in a quick blog while my computer updates (sigh).
Today, I was sent a video demonstrating the iPhone app for Adobe Conenct!! If any of us here were wondering how the new Apple & Adobe frenemy-ship was going to affect us, here we have it!!
For anyone that hasn’t used Adobe Connect Pro at Ryerson yet – it is a real-time collaboration environment that enables text chat, audio/video chat, screen sharing, and much more! It’s a chat environment on steroids!!
Until recently, Apple wouldn’t allow Flash-based applications on the iPhone/iPod touch, instead requiring users to download apps from the iTunes store. Late last year, it was announced that the two companies were taking a step in the right direction — allowing the development of iPhone applications in Flash. Not quite what many of us were looking for, but a start.
Sometime in the future, we can expect to be able to participate in online Connect sessions via our iPhone or iPod touch! This is a very cool development, and surprisingly one that Ryerson users may be able to take advantage of… whenever the pieces all fall into place.
(Note: the part about Adobe Acrobat Connect starts a couple of minutes into the video – they start by quickly showing apps for Boost Your Brain and Digg)
I got it a few weeks ago, but haven’t really had the opportunity to try it out in a meaningful way. There’s no point in playing alone… Wave’s potential lies in the ability to collaborate with others. “Potential” is really the key word here. My first experiences with the features and user interface have left me hoping that it will evolve in the right way, but it does fall short in some ways.
What is a wave? It’s hard to describe… it’s like an enhanced wiki tool that you could use in place of email, plus gadgets.
Actually, it’s much more complex than that, especially once you start taking into account the ability to make public waves (so now you have a public forum? a public blog?) and embed waves into other sites (like your existing blog).
This video explains the concept behind Wave pretty well (and it’s pretty funny, too). Also be sure to check the Google Wave Intro at the bottom of this post… it shows some cool features that will be possible in the actual release of Wave.
One thing to keep in mind is that it is in preview — not even in Beta! There are no guarantees that features will work (and, in fact, I’ve had some work one day and not the next), so you can’t really use it professionally yet. Many of us are just trying it out, to see what we think we can do with it, and provide some feedback on things that just aren’t working for us.
Things I like:
Wiki-style group collaboration on documents (asynchronous… and kinda synchronous)
The ability to embed tools like polls, map tools, conferencing, etc. (although I haven’t been able to try them all yet)
The ability to make your Wave public, and search public Waves on different topics. Very cool!
The ability to add things like Twitter into a Wave. Not sure I know what to do with it, but it’s neat that I can.
The group of folks attending Educause that decided to try using Wave for sharing conference notes and info… I’m TOTALLY spying on you all!
Things I’d like to see improved:
The total destruction of the darn “Done” button you have to click when you’ve made an update to a Wave. Doesn’t seem like a big deal when you’re testing Wave on your own and have a 2-line wave. When you are participating in a BIIIG wave that scrolls forever, and has various long replies, etc. the “Done” button is tricky to find.
Long complicated waves can be complicated to navigate. Not sure how to improve this, but I am finding it challenging.
Difficulty in locating changes to a Wave. I know there’s a green bar on the side. Doesn’t help if I have to scroll for 10 minutes to find it. Give me a ‘history’ page with a list of changes, like you’d see in a regular wiki. The playback feature seems like a cool idea, but has been useless for me so far.
There are other points, but I’ll save some for my next post. Overall, I do see its potential, and I hope that Google takes the feedback that they are given.
One weird thing that’s come out of this is trolling for account invites. I’ve actually had strangers ask me for a Wave account invite when they saw me post on Twitter that I had an account myself. Weird, no? Unless I know you personally or professionally, please don’t ask me. I want to use my invites to gather a group of people that I can test and collaborate with.
I didn’t catch all of the keynote today, but there was one big announcement that I wanted to repost here.
Flash CS5 will include the ability to develop iPhone Applications using Action Script 3.
This is one of those announcements that is both positive and yet a little disappointing. Let’s start with the good stuff — Flash can be a great tool for developing interactive applications delivered online. We’ve all seen examples of Flash at work, with things ranging from online games to animations to video sites like Youtube. People with a creative mind can take Flash really far! Now Flash developers can create iPhone Applications that can be delivered via the Apple iTunes Store (or iPhone developers can use Flash to develop… either way). Sounds great!
Apple and Adobe have not been playing well together when it comes to Flash on iPhones. I’m not pointing any fingers, but I know that I want to pull my hair out every time I have trouble accessing a site on an iPhone because it uses Flash. The hair-pulling will continue, unfortunately, because they have not agreed to permit in-browser Flash support for the iPhone.
Regardless, it is a good first step — now I hope they can take it all the way home!