There are two types of areas (5.5+), GlobalAreas and normal Areas.
Global Areas are the same on every page no matter what, they extend the Areas model so all of the same methods are available.
The following methods are available when working with areas.
Gets the page ID of the Area's current page.
Gets the page object of the current Area.
Returns the current area's ID.
Returns the handle of the area object.
Returns all custom templates defined within the area.
Sets a custom template for all blocks of a certain type within an area.
$area->getTotalBlocksInArea($page = false)
Returns the total number of blocks in an area. Page must either be passed here, or if $area->display($page) has already been run, it can be omitted.
Limits the number of blocks in an area.
The passed $html will be printed out before every block in the area.
The passed $html will be printed out after every block in the area.
outputs all blocks within that area on the passed page. Typically used within page templates.