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Hype @ Apple

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When I first read Steve Jobs Thoughts on Flash I knew something was up. It seemed so strange that after years of diplomatic relations between Apple and Adobe – Steve Jobs was bashing one of Adobe’s most popular products and listing reason after reason as to why users won’t see Flash on Iphones and Ipads. That’s not to say that Jobs didn’t make some valid points, but the entire essay struck me as a bit odd. Could Apple be working on software that could eventually replace Flash?

“That’s crazy talk”, I thought to myself. Apparently I wasn’t too far from the mark.

Enter: Apple Hype

Offering many of the familiar interface elements that Adobe Flash has been providing, Hype is a new HTML5 animation builder and authoring tool.
This recently released app available exclusively through the Mac App store at a fairly affordable price of $29.99 USD (much cheaper than Adobe Flash) and is focused on encompassing the HTML5 formats that can include CSS3, HTML5 tags, and even the latest in Javascript technologies.

The Good News

Fortunately for those who already have some background in Flash, learning Hype may not be all that difficult. Although their graphical user interface is laid out in a different manner, the basic components remain the same.
Most developers are huge fans of drag-and-drop working function and will not be disappointed with Hype in this manner either. Users can drag:

• Images
• Vector Art
• Videos

And just about any object onto the creation stage and begin to animate them by utilizing key frames. Hype also has a fairly nifty record feature. In this manner, developers can quickly create ‘dry runs’ on freshly created animations to find out if they will work through the entire progression of a script. Oneof the big ways Hype separates itself from Adobe Flash is that instead of using a proprietary file type, the animations created in Hype can be converted into a JavaScript and CSS based animation. Say goodbye to those annoying “you must download and install the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player to view this content” messages.

Hype does offer a fair share of default elements such as text boxes, buttons, and other elements that are readily available to add to your animations. To create even more complex forms of animations Hype users will also be able to utilize scenes to break up the content, allowing developers to create their own transitions. The programs Flash-like IDE does make creating animations much easier.
So easy in fact, that even the most basic user can likely download their own copy, research the introduction movie and check out their tool bars, and create their own basic animation in a matter of minutes.
The Not So Good News

Despite excessive amounts of claims, Hype does not actually generate HTML5. Instead, it generates CSS, HTML4 and JavaScript. Hype also shows a distinctive lack of canvas elements nor does it use any of the newest APIs. However, this shouldn’t take away from what it is proficient at.
Ironically, because Hype doesn’t utilize a history API, and due to the manner in which the documents are embedded into the page, Hype disables the browsers back button. This is unfortunately not even necessary, with the support of the History API, this most important element of web browsing would remain functional.

Embedding simple Hype animations may require a bit of tweaking or alteration but it can be done. It isn’t that hard to do, but it will mean fishing into the code, which seems in a great part to defeat the purpose of Hype itself.
Only time will tell how much this program will be of benefit, and to whom.

Sources:

Steve Jobs Thoughts on Flash

Apple Engineers Create Hype

Hype Animates the Web

Build Animations in HTML5 with Hype

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Comments

  1. Thanks John. I always wondered about Steve Job’s ‘allergy’ to Flash. It is good to know that there is now an alternative. Your listing of the pros and cons is both helpful and thorough. I am delighted to be part of DBME with you and everyone else.

  2. Nice review John, thanks. And I agree the whole Apple vs Adobe thing did absolutely stink of “we’ve got a release up our sleeve”.

    I’ll definitely pick up a copy of Hype, because ultimately it may be a great toolbox for mobile. I am disappointed that it’s not producing HTML5 out of the box though.

  3. i’m excited to see what all the ‘hype’ is about 🙂

  4. Mary Carson says:

    This is something new that Apple has to bring. After all, Steve Jobs really never considered flash on Apple products. However, this might be a big difficult for everybody to learn. Although it is said here that it would be almost similar to Flash, but still it’s a different language.

  5. John Summers says:

    I think Hype would be Apple’s answers to those concerns with Adobe Flash. A lot of application are using Flash it’s just that Steve Jobs heart is hard on Adobe Flash. There’s no piece of his creations that would allow Flash. He now creates Hype which could go good or bad for consumers and developers.

  6. This is a notable improvement on Apple’s side. Finding a solution for “flash” problems is just key. However, I don’t know if it would be easy for programmers to shift from one programming language to the other. Flash is a bit tricky and learning a new one might take a longer time to make another version of apps just so it would be compatible to Hype.

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