MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2011

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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FEA TURE REVIEW all received a good deal of attention with the update. As with Dreamweaver, the theme continues to focus on parallel development for multiple platforms. Thanks to Adobe AIR 2.6, interactive Flash content has found its way onto Apple's iOS, leading to a period of relative peace between the two companies, a lot of opportunities for developers and a generally happier world for end users. has matured and grown since its introduction in CS5, providing several features and workflow improvements for designers. The most notable change to the interface is the transformation of the original sparse wireframe panel into a more visually meaningful component library display. You get a much better visual sense of what the elements are intended to do. Though they are still essentially placeholders, a good number of them can be skinned within Catalyst without a trip to Flash Builder. It's also much easier to swap out graphic placeholders in a project with the actual images you'll be using. Controlling how elements resize on different kinds of screens now benefits from a -like system of constraint handles that manage the spatial relationships between objects and their relative positions on the page. Smooth interactions and transitions between object states can be one of the most appealing aspects of a Flash- based interface and this is an area where Catalyst has become far more flexible while retaining what is essentially a point- and-click interface. One work-saving addition is that it's become much easier to create the reverse of a transition; for example sliding an object back in with the same kind of move you used to slide it out. Flash Builder developers and Flash Catalyst designers will have a far peaceful and productive relationship with CS5.5. First, the round trip between the two editing platforms is actually a two-way street. Projects can be passed back to designers for final artwork after a coding session in Builder. This will also make it easier for Flash Builder developers to make use of Catalyst as a manageable graphic design environment if they are doing a project on their own. Catalyst will display a warning if changing an element or action will affect the underlying code. Flash Builder itself adds several useful tricks, including Dreamweaver-like code snippit libraries and support for page templates. True to the theme of CS5.5, Adobe has added a variety of Flex components, workflow enhancements and code optimization features for touch- enabled mobile devices. Flash Builder and Flex support for iOS arrived in June. Though there were times when its future in the Apple community was a topic of debate, Flash Professional has evolved into Adobe's centerpiece of multi-device support. In fact, it can help scale projects from a smart phone to an Internet- enabled TV. The CS 5.5 update can automatically resize content when you resize the stage for another device. Reflecting the realities of a multi-platform world, Adobe has quite logically moved the publishing settings out to the properties panel, letting you manage multiple project formats at the same time and in the same place. To improve performance on handhelds, Flash will now automatically rasterize vector artwork. Flash Pro's improved handling of code snippits makes them easier to understand and use by less experienced developers and designers. Another timesaver is the ability to copy and paste timeline layers between projects. Finally, ties it all together keeping on top of the rapidly growing menagerie of mobile devices via online libraries. You download what you need for fast and remarkably detailed local testing. It allows you to simulate network latency issues and even adverse viewing conditions. If you're developing and designing for a wide range of devices and Flash has proven to be an important tool for your shop, the $399 Web Premium CS5.5 update should quickly cover its cost. However, if Flash is not as big of a concern for you, a Dreamweaver-only update (starting at $119) may make more economic sense. And, if you're not planning on accommodating mobile devices at all, quite frankly you may want to reconsider your business strategy. Those little platforms are opening up some big opportunities and Web Premium CS 5.5 will help you answer the call. Product From Adobe Systems ( Price $399 (upgrade) $1,799 (full version); $85/month (subscription) System Requirements Mac OS X 10.5.8 (10.6 required for Flash Builder); Intel processor Pros Breakthrough-level support for multiple device development; PhoneGap integration, HTML5 and CSS3 support in Dreamweaver; Improved ease-of-use and flexibility for all Flash products Cons Some features are still works in progress; Full Suite upgrade may only make sense for Flash-focused shops Rating ★★★★★ 106 MacDirectory D e v ie c C e n t r a l C S 5 . 5 F ls a h B u i l d e r , W F ls a h C a t a l y s t e b P r e m i u m C S 5 F i r e w o r k s

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