Adobe Flex brings Flex and Adobe Flash Builder to smartphones and tablets. Leveraging Adobe AIR, you can now develop mobile applications in Flex with the same ease and quality as on desktop platforms.
Many existing Flex components have been extended to work on mobile devices, including the addition of support for touch-based scrolling. Flex also contains a set of new components designed to make it easy to build applications that follow standard design patterns for phones and tablets.
Flash Builder has also been updated to add new features to support application development for mobile devices. With Flash Builder, you can develop, test, and debug applications on the desktop, or directly on your mobile device.
Design a mobile application
Because of the smaller screen sizes available on mobile devices, mobile applications typically follow different design patterns from browser-based applications. When developing for mobile applications, you typically divide the content into a series of views for display on a mobile device.
Each view contains components that are focused on a single task or that contain a single set of information. The user typically “drills down”, or changes, from one view to another by tapping components in the view. The user can then use the device’s back button to return to a previous view, or build navigation into the application.
Build applications for phones and tablets
For a tablet application, you are not as concerned with screen size limits as you are with phones. You do not have to structure a tablet application around small views. Instead, you can build your application using the standard Spark Application container with the supported mobile components and skins.
Author mobile applications in Flash Builder
Flash Builder brings a productive design, build, and debug workflow to mobile development. The goal of the mobile features in Flash Builder is to make it as easy to develop an ActionScript- or Flex-based mobile application as it is to develop a desktop or web application.
Flash Builder offers two options for testing and debugging. You can launch and debug the application on the desktop using the AIR Debug Launcher (ADL). For greater control, launch and debug the application directly on a mobile device. In either case, you can use the Flash Builder debugging capabilities, including setting breakpoints and examining the application’s state using the Variables and Expressions panels.
When your application ready for deployment, use the Export Release Build process, just as you would to prepare desktop and web applications. The main difference is that when you export a release build of a mobile project, Flash Builder packages the build as a native installer, not as an .air file. For example, on Android, Flash Builder produces an .apk file that looks the same as a native Android application package. The native installer enables AIR-based applications to be distributed the same way as native applications on each platform.
Deploy mobile applications in AIR
Deploy mobile applications built in Flex using Adobe AIR for mobile devices. Any device on which you want to deploy a mobile application must support AIR.
Your applications can take full advantage of the integration of AIR with the mobile platform. For example, a mobile application can handle a hardware back and menu button, and access local storage. You can also take advantage of all features that AIR offers for mobile devices. These features include geolocation, accelerometer, and camera integration.
On a mobile device, it is not necessary to install AIR before you run an application built in Flex. The first time a user runs an application built in Flex, the user is prompted to download AIR.
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