The Adobe Engage event worked out well. The audience was sharp and with a broad range of perspectives. A few interesting points worth noting:
- Apollo comes with the WebKit engine. This is telling of Adobe’s ultimate desire to let Apollo apps go to mobile devices (WebKit is the basis for Nokia’s S60 browser).
- Robert Scoble asked a good question: can you build P2P apps using Apollo? Although you cannot build servers that process in the background the basic answer is yes because you can (a) open sockets and (b) start asynch file transfers and get woken up (through an event) when the transfer is complete.
- Apollo is installed by the Flash player and skips the native OS installation process. This is huge for Apollo apps in terms of ease of distribution and low barriers to installation, as pointed out by Joe Chung, CEO of Allurent.
- Issues to consider
- Adobe hasn’t fully thought about how to integrate the Apollo installation process with anti-virus and anti-spyware vendors.
- Apollo apps are native OS apps and therefore cannot be hosted in the browser, used as widgets, etc.
- Demos worth noting
- Jeremy Allaire gave a demo of AfterMix, a new consumer product by Brightcove led by my friend Sean Neville. AfterMix uses Apollo to get local file access.
- InteliSea a Flex 2.0 app for controlling luxury yachts. It combines diagnostics and control with weather, tides and maps with cool new capabilities such as anchor drag alarms. It’s even mobile-enabled with Flash Lite. Very impressive. Just because of it, I should put the 130′ yacht on the Christmas list this year.
- Acesis did a first-time-ever public demo of extensible, interactive forms for healthcare. They’ve solves the information architecture problem but still have to address the flow of Q&A, which is the area where most electronic medical records front-ends fail.
- Goowy showed YourMinis widgets downloaded to the desktop with one click. IMO, there is a big opportunity for Apollo to help with cross-OS widget deployment. It makes no sense to have Mac/Vista/Yahoo/Google-native widgets. Web widgets should just run on the desktop.
- Joe Chung demoed the new Allurent e-commerce 2.0 site design tools. The e-commerce experiences that can be created are pretty impressive.
- Scrybe‘s interface is getting more and more appealing. Scoble videotaped the presentation. Check out that video.
- Virtual Ubiquity‘s editor has made a lot of progress–their pagination and typography engines are impressive. The company will open a private beta in May. The skip paragraph numbering feature alone is worth the trial. I hope someone from MS/IW/Office/Word is reading this.
- Mike Sundemeyer, head of the Adobe design team (working across 70+ products) showed a number of very innovative Flash Lite interfaces for mobile phones for an Asian audience (cute, highly animated, etc.).
- Deep thoughts
- Tim O’Reilly pointed out that Adobe is focused on creating great experiences for content providers, which is not always the same as creating great experiences for consumers.
For other posts on the event, go to the aggregation that John Dowdell is keeping.
“Apollo comes with the WebKit engine. This is telling of Adobe’s ultimate desire to let Apollo apps go to mobile devices (WebKit is the basis for Nokia’s S60 browser).”
I fundamentally disagree with you on this. It’s more like Adobe’s ultimate desire not to be left behind. Flash is used to add functionality to HTML/JS/CSS websites, not the other way around. Adding WebKit just reflects how people are using Flash today. Without it Apollo would suffer from a serious impedance mismatch with development and deployment practices today.