A few weeks ago, one of our Flex QA engineers, Shashwati Keith, built a mobile app in Flex and deployed it to the Android Marketplace. The app is Muni Tracker. Muni Tracker lets you track San Francisco Muni vehicle arrival time predictions on a map updating live every 10 seconds. Since Shashwati built this app, internal builds of Flash Builder can now target iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, etc.). Because Shashwati is super busy getting the upcoming release of Flex 4.5 and Flash Builder ready for the world, I volunteered to take her Flex project and attempt to get the app running on my iOS devices and video the entire conversion. It actually turned out to be almost too easy! Basically, I set up the Apple cert and provisioning profile, made a couple of minor tweaks to the app config XML, and got it to work without touching a single line of Flex code. The 12 minute video is below. The total conversion time from importing the Flex project and demonstrating the app running on my iPad 2 was less than 10 minutes! Without my commentary, I can do it in 6 minutes (1 minutes for import/modifications, 5 minutes for iOS packaging and deploy).
In a few weeks, you’ll be able to build Flex apps that target Android, BlackBerry PlayBook, and iOS devices using Flash Builder 4.5.
- Shipping software availability:
- Flash Builder 4.5 ships VERY soon and includes Android support out-of-the-box
- An update to Flash Builder will be available in June that adds iOS and PlayBook support
- Pre-release software availability:
- If you join the pre-release program (see below), you can get 4.5 today with Android support
- The pre-release site will be updated in a few days with a version that adds iOS and PlayBook support
How to see for yourself
If you would like to give this a try, I recommend the following steps:
- Join the pre-release program for Flash Builder. A recent build is already available with Android support. A newer build with iOS support is coming very soon. There is also a version of Flash Builder on labs code-named “Burrito”, but it’s a bit old and missing some recent advancements. I recommend that you skip Burrito and get into the pre-release program so you can get the hot-off-the-press bits.
- Download and install Adobe AIR Launchpad — this tool is one of the best learning resources you’ll find. It will help you create your first mobile project with well commented sample code. This is a pre-release of Launchpad 2.6 that supports the current Flash Builder pre-release
- If you have an Android device, go install Tour de Mobile Flex on the device. It’s another great learning resource.
If you are new to Flex, here are a few additional resources: