Building A Mobile App Using Flash Builder 4.5

Building A Mobile App Using Flash Builder 4.5

Adobe has recently launched Flash Builder 4.5. This release permits builders to construct “Mobile Apps” for some of cell device systems, further to growing internet applications and laptop packages using MXML and Actionscript three.

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This launch seems squarely focused at dealing with the latest comments from Steve Jobs and others, and the ensuing debate over whether Flash is useless, given the abilities of HTML 5 and other technological trends.

Since this is pretty a primary release for Adobe and a critical new capability for us Flex builders we notion we would go through the technique of developing a smallish App and enforcing it on some of the devices. The concept of being capable of increase Mobile Apps for a wide range of cell devices the use of an unmarried code base is truly an attractive one.

Overall, the developer experience that Adobe has delivered with Flash Builder four. Five is quite brilliant, even though there are one or two pretty essential omissions. Given the variations in Operating System, screen length, display resolution, and handset functionality deploying a Mobile App for a variety of gadgets is a frightening project. Whilst it would not resolve all troubles, Flash Builder four. Five is certainly a super begin.

Target Market

Flash Builder 4.Five would not target every cell tool in the marketplace. It objectives cell gadgets strolling Android 2.2 and upwards, iOS (iPhone 3G, iPhone 4 and iPad) and QNX (Blackberry Playbook Tablet). These are essentially the excessive capability of modern Operating Systems for Smartphones and Tablet PCs. That covers round 50% of the present cellular tool hooked up the base and quite possibly a miles higher percent of new mobile device income. The crucial omissions to the goal platforms available are Symbian, Blackberry Smartphones and Windows Mobile 7.

Development Environment and Experience

Overall, the usage of Flash Builder 4.5 to increase Mobile Apps is widely much like the use of it to develop laptop applications for Adobe Air or web programs running inside the Flash Player. The Flash Builder development environment is properly included with the rest of Adobe’s services inclusive of Creative Suite five.5 and Flash Catalyst so that you can increase belongings in those applications and import them into Flash Builder without difficulty. Developers use MXML and Actionscript to broaden the App, but there may be an extra constrained range of person controls. Importantly there’s the same connectivity to records offerings using Web Services, AMF, http and comparable.

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The first difference you note with developing Mobile Apps is that rather than an Application tag which is used for growing Air and net packages, you’ve got a ViewNavigatorApplication tag. With the Application tag you normally region a navigation manage and then place infant components (effectively the different perspectives) within the navigator control. This offers builders the capacity to recognize what additives are being used irrespective of how deep they’re buried in the reporting hierarchy. With ViewNavigator however whilst you navigate to an exclusive View you “pop” a specific View onto the display screen via name. You can then pop different perspectives later in reaction to occasions and personnel moves. You need to go return to the home display via the identical view order, however in the opposite.

With the Application tag because you are privy to what components constitute your infant screens you can configure the utility to skip any required statistics from the primary utility to the kid additives. Since houses are generally strongly typed, Flash Builder will give build time errors if you are trying to get entry to or pass a property that doesn’t exist. With Mobile Apps and the ViewNavigator tag, the compiler would not really see the alternative Views that are part of the software until runtime accordingly the developer loses an important level of mistakes checking before runtime. In addition, Views only have an unmarried “Data” assets. The Data property may be any object so that you can skip a group of all the records you require but build time error checking is misplaced on whether homes inside the statistics being handed certainly exist.

No Drop Down List

There isn’t always a drop down listing in Flash Builder Mobile. No, there definitely is not. To me, this seems the biggest oversight and I expect in Flash Builder 5, or with any luck before that, they’ll fix it. However, for now, the workaround is to have a button that seems like a drop-down listing (has pores and skin with a drop-down listing icon) and then while the user clicks the button, to pop up an aspect based totally across the “SkinnablePopUpContainer” with a list of your gadgets inner it. So you can grow to be with some thing that appears to the person like a drop down list but is absolutely a button that calls a pop up with a listing of objects.

No MX Components Except Charts

No MX components will work except charts. The MX namespace isn’t to be had in Mobile Apps so a maximum of the MX components is not available in the drop-down menu in the intellisense editor. In addition, some of the Spark components (eg dropdownlist) are “Not Mobile Optimized” that is Adobe’s manner of announcing they in all likelihood might not work. In popular, however, there are enough controls to create the display you need.

From the appearance of it then, is capable of coming up with some thing so that it will look precise on each display seems like mission not possible. However, Flash Builder comes with integrated features that assist drastically. Firstly, you can say what display density you are targeting and then whilst the App masses if the tool being used has a specific screen density, the App will cut back and amplify buttons and other components as required. Flash Builder categorizes every device as having considered one of 3 display densities, either one hundred sixty, 240 or 320 dpi.

Bitmap pictures but shrink and grow very poorly so the above technique is not appropriate. To manage this, Adobe has furnished the “MultiDpiBitmapSource”. This is wherein in case you are the usage of a bitmap because the icon for a button, you could offer three extraordinary variations of the equal bitmap to the button, every sized to target display screen density one hundred sixty, 240 or 320. Flash Builder will then locate what the device is and use the appropriate bitmap as the icon.

Finally, you could also offer different settings to your css document that permit you to trade settings for distinctive display densities, and also special Operating System.

 

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The result is that you may code as soon as after which and then after spending a few efforts making sure it seems as good as possible in diverse situations, it will appear pretty suitable in maximum devices. If you are focused on the whole spectrum of gadgets you may need to have a few forms of change-off of time spent on styling v the payback for every tool. Some studies into the target market size for every device and then prioritization will allow you to make suitable decisions on what the principle device need to be and then how a whole lot time need to be spent styling for the opposite gadgets.

Testing the App in Flash Builder

Flash Builder comes with an awesome technique of being able to see what your screen will look like on distinct gadgets. Firstly at layout time you can pick from a drop-down listing of gadgets and notice the results. Then through choosing extraordinary run configurations by Operating System and device, you can run the utility and notice the outcomes on each device.

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