Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cleaning up behind Adobe Edge Preview

Over at Labs.Adobe.com there's a new release of Adobe Edge (Preview 5). For those who want to try it out, but have already used Adobe Edge Preview 4 (or prior) we want to share some important news:

It's not enough just to drag the Edge folder to your recycle bin and empty the trash!

Ok, why not? Turns out that elements of Edge (no pun, for those who have used this JavaScript-based HTML5 interactivity tool) remain on your computer in various places.

Consider this typical request for help from one of the Adobe forums (based on the error message "A conflicting or prerelease version of Adobe Edge Preview exists on this computer. The conflicting version must be removed before installing from the current media"):

I removed Edge Preview n by trashing and emptying the trash, not by the uninstall. That message persists. I can find nothing in the Libraries (I’m running OSX Lion on my iMac) either under Application Support or Preferences that is leaving a trail that would show the installer that Edge 3 still exists on the computer. How can I solve this problem and install [the next preview version of] Edge? 

Anyone who has faced this problem has seen this error screen:

The answer to the vexing problem (not necessarily solved by reading the above error screen)comes in the form of an older, smaller application (around since the beginning of the Adobe Creative Suite 5 - CS5 - days): the CS Installer Cleaner Tool more formally known as the Adobe Creative Suite Cleaner Tool.

Launching the cleaner tool presents the user with a few options:

In this case, the user had vestiges of Adobe Edge Preview 1 still on the machine, so the cleanup tool worked by selecting "Adobe Edge Preview 1" and clicking on "cleanup" to eliminate those pesky Preview 1 elements.

One piece of confusing information: upon choosing Cleanup, the software prompts you to try an uninstall first. It's sort of overkill, as you wouldn't be using the cleaner tool if dragging the folder to the recycle bin and emptying the trash had worked in the first place, but feel free to click "Try Uninstall" before clicking the "Cleanup" button.

Once the Cleaner Tool works its magic, the machine will install the next version of Adobe Edge Preview n with no problems and you're underway. A few quick pointers about Adobe Edge Preview 5 can be found in an article we wrote for StreamingMedia.com (direct link to article here).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Logitech Revue now an endangered species

A bit late on this topic, and it's not necessarily good etiquette to speak ill of the dead after they're buried, but The Verge reported a few days ago that Logitech Revue sales dropped significantly in Q4 2011.

"Unsurpisingly, Logitech cites the Revue as part of the reason for its eight percent decline in American sales, noting that Revue sales were down by $15 million this year, partially due to the pre-announced discontinuation, and partly due to the significant price cuts the Revue experienced since it launched."

The term "unsurprisingly" may have as much to do with the fact that Logitech CEO, Guerrino De Luca, had scapegoated the Google TV-powered product (or should we say, partially Google TV-powered product, since Logitech never fully implemented the 1.0 or 2.0 Google TV specs).

It's odd that the Logitech, which had a $100 million revenue loss in Q3 due to EMEA missteps and the Revue, would choose to cut off its own sales for the Q4 holiday shopping season. Something doesn't add up, but it's now looking like the EMEA misstep was the real issue for Logitech and the Revue was the convenient red herring to deflect from the strategic missteps in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The good news for all those who still want a Revue box is that the price has dropped. We'd mentioned the $79.99 refurbished units on Amazon, but there are also new units now for $99.99 from Tiger Direct (while supplies last, of course).

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Streamlining Android Interfaces

During our Streaming Media Europe 2011 presentation on video challenges and opportunities for the Android OS, an audience member raised the question of UX (or user interface) designs being inconsistent.

As I showed in my presentation slides, and detailed in response to the audience members question, we had to add additional time into our testing methodology to compensate for the hodgepodge of UX designs—a problem that's consistently plagued the open-source operating system spread across dozens of handset manufacturers and hundreds of wireless service provider networks

Scott Main, lead tech writer for developer.android.com, put together an informative blog post ("Say Goodbye to the Menu Button") on the need for streamline interfaces.

The post was published on Tim Bray's blog and has garnered attention for the more consistent and, one hopes, minimalistic approach to Android interfaces .

Now that Ice Cream Sandwich is gaining steam—and not just for its use of Apple HTTP Live Streaming, or HLS—Main writes that it's time to retire the overused fourth wheel, the Menu button catch-all that impacts so many pre 3.0 Android device interfaces.

"If I had to put this whole post into one sentence," wrote Main, "it’d be [this]: Set targetSdkVersion to 14 and, if you use the options menu, surface a few actions in the action bar with showAsAction="ifRoom"."

It's about time we moved Android UX to a consistent approach, and eliminating the fallback Menu button is a good first step...