Building A Mobile App Using Flash Builder 4.5

Executive Summary

Adobe has currently launched Flash Builder 4.5. This release enables builders to build “Mobile Apps” for some cell tool structures, similar to growing web applications and computer programs using MXML and Actionscript three.

This launch seems squarely centered on managing Steve Jobs’s and others’ recent comments. The following debate over whether or not Flash is useless, given the capabilities of HTML five and different technological traits.

Mobile App

Since that is a  prime release for Adobe and a critical new capability for us Flex developers, we notion we’d develop a smallish App and implement it on some of the devices. The idea of developing Mobile Apps for a huge range of cell gadgets using a single code base is undoubtedly attractive.

Overall, Adobe’s developer experience added to Flash Builder 4.5 is pretty staggering, even though there are one or two pretty essential omissions. Given the variations in Operating systems, display screen length, screen decision, and handset functionality, deploying a Mobile App for several gadgets is a frightening mission. While it doesn’t solve all troubles, Flash Builder 4. Five is honestly an extraordinary start.

Target Market

Flash Builder 4.5 would not target each cell device in the marketplace. Its objectives are cell devices strolling Android 2.2 and upwards, iOS (iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, and iPad), and QNX (Blackberry Playbook Tablet). These are the excessive capabilities of current Operating Systems for Smartphones and Tablet PCs. That covers around 50% of the existing cellular device-mounted base and possibly a much better percentage of recent cell tool sales. The vital omissions to the goal structures are Symbian, Blackberry Smartphones, and Windows Mobile 7.

Development Environment and Experience

Flash Builder 4.5 to expand Mobile Apps is widely used to broaden desktop programs for Adobe Air or internet packages strolling within the Flash Player. The Flash Builder development surroundings are well incorporated with the relaxation of Adobe’s services, including Creative Suite 5.5 and Flash Catalyst, so you can broaden property in the one’s packages and import them into Flash Builder effortlessly. Developers use MXML and Actionscript to develop the App. However, there is a more restricted variety of consumer controls. Importantly, there may be the same connectivity to data services using Web Services, AMF, HTTP, etc.

Differences in Developing an Air or Web Application

The ViewNavigatorApplication Tag

The first distinction you observe with developing Mobile Apps is that rather than an Application tag used for creating Air and web programs, you have a ViewNavigatorApplication tag. With the Application tag, you generally are navigation manipulated, after which location child components (effectively the exclusive views) within the navigator manage. This allows builders to recognize what features are getting used no matter how deep they’re buried within the document hierarchy. With ViewNavigator, however, while you navigate to a unique View, you “pop” a different View onto the display screen through the name. You can pop other perspectives later in reaction to events and personnel moves. It would help if you moved returned to the house display screen through the identical view order but in the opposite.

With the Application tag, you can configure the application to bypass any required facts from the main application to the child additives because you know what additives constitute your baby screens. Since homes are generally strongly typed, Flash Builder will deliver build-time errors if you are trying to access or Skip assets that don’t exist. With Mobile Apps and the ViewNavigator tag, the compiler doesn’t see the other Views, part of the utility, until runtime; therefore, the developer loses an important stage of mistake checking before runtime. Also, Views best have unmarried “Data” assets. The Data belongings can be any item to pass a set of all of the facts you require; however, build time mistakes checking is lost on whether or not properties in the statistics being surpassed exist.

No Drop Down List

There isn’t always a dropdown list in Flash Builder Mobile. No, there truly is not. This seems the largest oversight, and I anticipate in Flash Builder five, or with any luck before that, they will restore it. However, for now, the workaround is to have a button that looks like a dropdown list (has a skin with a dropdown listing icon), after which, when the user clicks the button, an issue primarily based across the “SkinnablePopUpContainer” with a list of the interior of your item it. So you can emerge with something that looks to the person like a dropdown listing but is a button that calls a pop-up with a listing of items.

No MX Components Except Charts

No MX components will work except charts. The MX namespace is not to be had in Mobile Apps, so most MX components are not in the dropdown menu within the IntelliSense editor. Besides, some Spark components (e.g., dropdown list) are “Not Mobile Optimized,” which is Adobe’s manner of announcing they likely might not paintings. It is well known, but there are sufficient controls to create the screen you need.

Styling and Sizing for Different Devices

When growing a Mobile App, several troubles make styling for various devices difficult. In no particular order, they’re:

Different display sizes;

Different display screen densities. This is measured in dpi. Since an iPhone 4 has double the dpi of the iPad, any button with identical pixel measurements might be 1/2 the dimensions of the iPhone 4;

Different tools, particular gestures, and integrated functions, such as inside the iPhone, e-mail consumers a swipe gesture resulting in a delete button stoning up. Some devices have a returned button always available as a part of the machine.
From the appearance of it then, being capable of providing you with something with a purpose to look suitable on each screen seems like venture impossible. However, Flash Builder comes with integrated features that help substantially. Firstly, you may say what display density you are targeting, after which when the App masses if the tool getting used has an exclusive screen density, the App will shrink and make bigger buttons and other additives as required. Flash Builder categorizes each device as having one in every of three display densities, both 160, 240, or 320 dpi.


However, Bitmap photographs cut back and develop poorly, so the above approach isn’t always suitable. To deal with this, Adobe has supplied the “MultiDpiBitmapSource.” Suppose you use a bitmap as the icon for a button. In that case, you may offer three extraordinary variations of the same bitmap to the controller, every sized to target screen density one hundred sixty, 240, or 320. Flash Builder will then detect what the device is and use the right bitmap because of the icon.

Finally, you may offer one-of-a-kind settings for your CSS record that permit you to exchange locations for extraordinary display screen densities and Operating systems.

The result is that you could code once, after which, after spending some attempts ensuring it seems as right as possible in numerous situations, it will look quite suitable for most devices. If you target the total spectrum of gadgets, you will have to exchange time spent on styling for the payback for every device. Some research into the target market length for each device, after which prioritization will allow you to make suitable selections on what the principle tool must be. Then, how much time ought to be spent styling for the opposite devices?

Testing the App in Flash Builder

Flash Builder is an amazing technique for seeing what your display will seem like on one-of-a-kind devices. Firstly, you could select from a dropdown listing of gadgets and spot the effects at layout time. Then, by deciding on distinct run configurations by Operating System and device, you may run the software and spot the impact on each device.

Other than styling problems, there did not seem to be any variations in how the App behaved on every tool in phrases of runtime errors.

Testing Your App on A Device

Once you have evolved and styled your App using Flash Builder, you may, in all likelihood, need to check it at the actual machines themselves before deploying it to the market location. The simulator inside Flash Builder offers a reasonable approximation of ways free apps for computer apps will appear on every device; however, it is no longer similar to its usage on the actual device.

There are a large number of clever phones available, so instead of buying every individual mobile phone and testing it on each, you will probably select to check on one of each of the three running structures: roid, iOS (iPhone and iPad), and QNX (Blackberry Tablet). With Android devices, the process is quite easy. Essentially, you create a dummy certificate for Flash Builder’s usage, after which you can join and download your App to your device.

Apple devices are considerably more difficult to check on. It would help if you observed Apple get a developer license that provides you with a developer key, get a key to your tool, and use the two keys to install it to iTunes, after which you use iTunes to put it in your device.

The Blackberry Playbook continues to be quite new and has not had demonstrably rave evaluations, so the range of your customers to sting up your App on a Blackberry Playbook might be small. A realistic alternative to shopping for the real device is to check it on the Blackberry Playbook Simulator, which runs via VMWare. This gives a more advanced illustration of what the App will appear and experience like compared to the simulator in Flash Builder.

Deploying the App

Once your App is prepared for deployment, you ought to go to the diverse App stores and go through their deployment character tactics.


Adobe knows the undertaking and possibility that cellular gadgets constitute and has dedicated much advertising, development, and promotional muscle to getting the discharge into the market. For experienced Flash Builder builders, growing a running version of an Android mobile phone App is a very comparable system to what they’re used to in growing internet or computer software because the development environment may be very similar.

Styling the App for all devices can take up plenty of time, and improvement efforts should be prioritized in step with the gadgets anticipated for each mission. However, the venture that Adobe has set itself in being capable of building Android mobile phone Apps for a mess of devices using the Flash series is an ambitious one they have largely carried out.

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