Building Rich Apps For Smart Phones and Tablet Devices Using Adobe AIR

Adobe evangelist Christophe Coenraets recently made available an extremely helpful tutorial called Flex for Android in 90 minutes (.pdf). In around 90 minutes, you will learn how to build an Android application using Adobe AIR, Flex Mobile and the Flash Builder "Burrito" preview release.

The tutorial covers a number of important topics including how to create a basic mobile application, using mobile item renderers, navigating and passing information between views, creating an action bar, integrating with the device capabilities (dialer, SMS, email), using a RemoteObject, and using a local SQLite database. To get started, you will need to first download the Flash Builder Burrito release from Adobe Labs.

Below is a summary of the material covered directly from the document:

In this tutorial, you use Flash Builder "Burrito" and Flex "Hero" to build a simple, yet fully functional employee directory application for Android devices. "Burrito" is the code name for the next version of Flash Builder, and "Hero" is the code name for the next version of the Flex SDK. You don’t need an Android device to complete this tutorial: you can use the simple emulator available in Flash Builder Burrito to run and debug the application. The Employee Directory application allows you to: search for employees, view employee details, navigate up and down the org chart, and call, text, and email employees.

Of course, Christophe is known for pushing the limits. With the recent beta 2 release of the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR, Christophe decided to see just how difficult it would be to port his Android application to the BlackBerry Playbook. How difficult was it?

"It turned out to be amazingly simple: I was able to run the application without changing a line of code, with a great and consistent deployment experience: You select the target platform, hit the run button, and the app is packaged, deployed, and started on the device you selected."

Below is a video demonstration by Christophe showing the application running on a Google Nexus One, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry Playbook Emulator.

Our team is fully focused on making it as easy as possible for developers to target applications that can run across different devices from desktop computers to smart phones to tablet devices and televisions. If you are building an application and would like to let us know about it, please leave us a comment!

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29 Responses to Building Rich Apps For Smart Phones and Tablet Devices Using Adobe AIR

  1. I’m pretty excited about Air for mobile devices. I believe when the Molehill APIs are finally available, the quality and performance of Flash based mobile applications will be astounding. I’ve been working on a mobile version of my application, Lucid Viewer lately. The first tests are being done on a Galaxy Tab (Android). Lucid Viewer is an application for viewing 360° immersive video experiences.

    You can see a video demonstrating the progress here: http://lucid.it/media/peek.mov

    Regards,
    Jason Villmer
    Senior Architect, Lucid

  2. I’m pretty excited about Air for mobile devices. I believe when the Molehill APIs are finally available, the quality and performance of Flash based mobile applications will be astounding. I’ve been working on a mobile version of my application, Lucid Viewer lately. The first tests are being done on a Galaxy Tab (Android). Lucid Viewer is an application for viewing 360° immersive video experiences.

    You can see a video demonstrating the progress here: http://lucid.it/media/peek.mov

    Regards,
    Jason Villmer
    Senior Architect, Lucid

  3. I’m pretty excited about Air for mobile devices. I believe when the Molehill APIs are finally available, the quality and performance of Flash based mobile applications will be astounding. I’ve been working on a mobile version of my application, Lucid Viewer lately. The first tests are being done on a Galaxy Tab (Android). Lucid Viewer is an application for viewing 360° immersive video experiences.

    You can see a video demonstrating the progress here: http://lucid.it/media/peek.mov

    Regards,
    Jason Villmer
    Senior Architect, Lucid

  4. Rob McKeown says:

    I have to say that I am very impressed with Hero so far. In a matter of a couple of days, I was able to create the first beta version of Klok for Android. When the Playbook SDK was made available, I had a similar experience to Christophe. I was able to repackage the app to run on the Playbook without changing any code. I’m not sure the tablet version should be exactly like the phone version, but the ability to code once and run anywhere is pretty impressive. If anyone wants to try the Android version, visit http://www.getklok.com and download the beta now.

  5. Rob McKeown says:

    I have to say that I am very impressed with Hero so far. In a matter of a couple of days, I was able to create the first beta version of Klok for Android. When the Playbook SDK was made available, I had a similar experience to Christophe. I was able to repackage the app to run on the Playbook without changing any code. I’m not sure the tablet version should be exactly like the phone version, but the ability to code once and run anywhere is pretty impressive. If anyone wants to try the Android version, visit http://www.getklok.com and download the beta now.

  6. Rob McKeown says:

    I have to say that I am very impressed with Hero so far. In a matter of a couple of days, I was able to create the first beta version of Klok for Android. When the Playbook SDK was made available, I had a similar experience to Christophe. I was able to repackage the app to run on the Playbook without changing any code. I’m not sure the tablet version should be exactly like the phone version, but the ability to code once and run anywhere is pretty impressive. If anyone wants to try the Android version, visit http://www.getklok.com and download the beta now.

  7. Christophe…

    Can you please give me some guidance about getting the Playbook set up with Burrito? I had success running the PlayBook SDK with Flash Builder 4, but installing beta 2 of the PB SDK and Burrito and I no longer see the option to run as PlayBook.

    However, in your example, I see that you’ve simply created a “Flex Mobile Project” and you’re choosing to run it as Playbook. Is this going to be the new method? Was there something special you did to get it working with Hero? Renaun and I are having trouble getting it to run and I’ve even reported this issue on the Blackberry forums.

  8. Christophe…

    Can you please give me some guidance about getting the Playbook set up with Burrito? I had success running the PlayBook SDK with Flash Builder 4, but installing beta 2 of the PB SDK and Burrito and I no longer see the option to run as PlayBook.

    However, in your example, I see that you’ve simply created a “Flex Mobile Project” and you’re choosing to run it as Playbook. Is this going to be the new method? Was there something special you did to get it working with Hero? Renaun and I are having trouble getting it to run and I’ve even reported this issue on the Blackberry forums.

  9. Christophe…

    Can you please give me some guidance about getting the Playbook set up with Burrito? I had success running the PlayBook SDK with Flash Builder 4, but installing beta 2 of the PB SDK and Burrito and I no longer see the option to run as PlayBook.

    However, in your example, I see that you’ve simply created a “Flex Mobile Project” and you’re choosing to run it as Playbook. Is this going to be the new method? Was there something special you did to get it working with Hero? Renaun and I are having trouble getting it to run and I’ve even reported this issue on the Blackberry forums.

  10. @Jason — That’s an amazing demo. Let us know when you have a blog post with additional details!

    @Rob — Great story! I’ve relayed this to our marketing team. The application looks gorgeous!

    @Andy — I’ll ping Christophe to see if he can reply back to your question as I’m not positive he reads these comments.

    - Rob Christensen, Adobe AIR Team

  11. @Jason — That’s an amazing demo. Let us know when you have a blog post with additional details!

    @Rob — Great story! I’ve relayed this to our marketing team. The application looks gorgeous!

    @Andy — I’ll ping Christophe to see if he can reply back to your question as I’m not positive he reads these comments.

    - Rob Christensen, Adobe AIR Team

  12. @Jason — That’s an amazing demo. Let us know when you have a blog post with additional details!

    @Rob — Great story! I’ve relayed this to our marketing team. The application looks gorgeous!

    @Andy — I’ll ping Christophe to see if he can reply back to your question as I’m not positive he reads these comments.

    - Rob Christensen, Adobe AIR Team

  13. Hi Andy,
    Yes, creating a Flex Mobile Project is the way to do it.
    After installing the Playbook SDK with Flash Builder Burrito (MAX build), creating a new Flex Mobile Project as described here: http://docs.blackberry.com/en/developers/deliverables/21877/Create_a_Flash_project_FB45_1397366_11.jsp (using Flex Mobile Project instead of AS Mobile Project)
    … and then running the project as described here:
    http://docs.blackberry.com/en/developers/deliverables/21877/Run_app_FB45_1397696_11.jsp
    … should work fine. This is what I did for the employee directory.
    Christophe

  14. I did a article myself recently on the debate of native API development versus Adobe Air:
    http://savagelook.com/blog/android/mobile-development-native-vs-adobe-air

    In brief, you are doing yourself a great disservice if you are not learning this workflow. Great stuff.

  15. Moomenissa says:

    In any way thank’s

  16. Moomenissa says:

    In any way thank’s

  17. Moomenissa says:

    In any way thank’s

  18. Sean says:

    I think the ability to write once and run in many places will be key for the future of app development. There are so many different platforms now, that there needs to be some consolidation, and needs to be a way to port between platforms with minimal changes.

    How easy is it to adapt the Android specific code in this example app for other platforms?

  19. Sean says:

    I think the ability to write once and run in many places will be key for the future of app development. There are so many different platforms now, that there needs to be some consolidation, and needs to be a way to port between platforms with minimal changes.

    How easy is it to adapt the Android specific code in this example app for other platforms?

  20. Sean says:

    I think the ability to write once and run in many places will be key for the future of app development. There are so many different platforms now, that there needs to be some consolidation, and needs to be a way to port between platforms with minimal changes.

    How easy is it to adapt the Android specific code in this example app for other platforms?

  21. Nico says:

    awesome job so far :) It’s very cool (and fun of course) to develop mobile apps for android.

    I hope that we will see iOS in future burrito Releases as well.

    i really like the idea to code one Application, create different views (i think you have to “edit” these things for each platform to provide the best interaction)
    and that’s it.

    so.. gogo to finish buritto^^

  22. Nico says:

    awesome job so far :) It’s very cool (and fun of course) to develop mobile apps for android.

    I hope that we will see iOS in future burrito Releases as well.

    i really like the idea to code one Application, create different views (i think you have to “edit” these things for each platform to provide the best interaction)
    and that’s it.

    so.. gogo to finish buritto^^

  23. Nico says:

    awesome job so far :) It’s very cool (and fun of course) to develop mobile apps for android.

    I hope that we will see iOS in future burrito Releases as well.

    i really like the idea to code one Application, create different views (i think you have to “edit” these things for each platform to provide the best interaction)
    and that’s it.

    so.. gogo to finish buritto^^