Aviary — a word currently sparking interest in the Web design community is a set of multimedia tools, built with Flex whose functionality ranges from image to sound to 3D editing. What's revolutionary about these tools is that they offer quite complex features and run directly in your browser.
At the moment there are three applications available in beta: Phoenix, an image editor; Toucan, a colour swatch and palettes creator; and Peacock, a pattern generator. Raven — a vector editor — is in alpha and is only available to users who choose to pay US$14.99 a month.
Phoenix is a Web-based image editor capable of some pretty fancy effects. It's like Photoshop that runs in your browser.
Toucan generates colour swatches and palettes for you, and can be used together with other Aviary tools.
Aviary has named Peacock its "Visual Laboratory", because of some of the cool things you can do with pixel-based images.
Other apps to be released as alphas are:
- Hummingbird — 3D modeller and skinner
- Eagle - pixel pattern recognition
- Myna — audio editor
- Owl — desktop publishing layout editor
- Penguin — word processor
- Woodpecker — smart image resizer
- Pigeon — painting simulator
- Crane — custom image product creator
- Roc — music generator
- Starling — video editor
- Tern — terrain generator
The company is also planning to make available Adobe AIR versions of the apps that can run offline on your desktop.
In addition to the tools, an API will be released for developers to create their own apps.
The tools are labelled as trustware — you are given full access to them, but Aviary trusts you will pay for them when you've tried them out.
What's interesting is that Aviary is trying to build a community around its tools where members can share their works, allow others to comment on them, and use them as assets in their own projects.
These tools show the real power of Flex and what we can expect from future Web apps.