Now that we have announced new workflows in Flash Builder 4.5 to develop, debug and deploy standalone mobile applications for smartphones and tablets, let’s take a moment to clarify which build of Flash Builder will provide Flex and ActionScript mobile project support for Android, Blackberry Tablet OS and Apple iOS.
First off, it’s important to understand the distinction between Flex Mobile projects and ActionScript Mobile Projects. With Flex Mobile projects, you can use all of the new mobile specific functionality added to the core Flex SDK to develop Flex-based mobile applications. For example, Flex Mobile projects lets you use the new Flex mobile components like ViewNavigatorApplication and ViewNavigator to handle the navigation of application views and persistence of data and UI across those views (learn all about the new mobile features in Flex and Flash Builder 4.5 here). Flash Builder 4.5 helps you create a new Flex Mobile project through the File -> New menu:
Similarly, Flash Builder 4.5 helps you create an ActionScript Mobile Project which lets you use pure-ActionScript to build an application for mobile devices (ie, if you are building a game). In an ActionScript Mobile Project, you cannot us any Flex classes within the project.
It’s important to note that both Flex Mobile and ActionScript Mobile projects provide the full workflows in Flash Builder to develop mobile projects in code, in design view, preview the application on the desktop or on the device, debug on the desktop or on the device and package up the application for delivery to a marketplace.
We have officially announced Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex SDK 4.5 which will ship in May of 2011. Flash Builder 4.5 will ship full support for building AIR-based Flex and ActionScript applications atop Google Android. Additionally, Flash Builder 4.5 will ship full support for building AIR-based ActionScript applications atop Apple iOS and Blackberry Tablet OS.
We will deliver an update to Flex SDK 4.5 and Flash Builder 4.5 (hereby referred to as Flex SDK 4.5.X and Flash Builder 4.5.X) in June of 2011 which will enable building AIR-based Flex applications atop Apple iOS as well as Blackberry Tablet OS. This compatibility matrix may be confusing to understand initially, so the table below aims to illustrate the mobile project support for each platform with each release of Flash Builder.
*Project will actually target AIR 2.5. You will need to make a manual change to your project to enable this configuration. This will be clearly documented on the Adobe Developer Center and RIM’s developer site upon launch in May, 2011.
We are incredibly excited to ship Flex/Flash Builder 4.5 in May and follow that release up with a quick update for full Apple iOS and Blackberry Tablet OS support in June!