By Pahup Bilala



26 June 2014

Recently, with AIR 14, we announced x86 support for AIR applications. In this article, we explain how developers manage the binary upload on Google Play Store for ARM and x86 binaries. Android devices are available with three kind of architectures – ARM, x86 and devices which support both x86 and ARM architectures (eg: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1). AIR SDK ( beta onwards) allows developers to create separate APK files for ARM and x86 architectures. And Google Play Developer console provides CPU architecture (ABI) as a filter criteria to support multiple APKs for the same application. The way Adobe AIR developers should make use of this filter criteria would depend on the packaging mode – captive or shared.

For Apps packaged with Captive mode

Refer the following documentation. AIR developers should follow the same guidelines, as is mentioned for native applications.
Assigning a higher versionNumber  (in application descriptor) for the x86 version of apk would ensure that the Google Play serves x86 binary to devices with both x86 and ARM support,  thereby resulting in better performance.

For Apps packaged with Shared mode

After the recent release of x86 support in AIR, Play Store has two different binaries for AIR Runtime app– one for ARM devices, and another for x86 devices. For devices which can run both, ARM binary version will be preferred as it used to get downloaded even before we introduced x86 support. We plan to continue with the same preference to ensure that shared apps dependent on AIR runtime aren’t affected. To align with AIR Runtime app, applications packaged in shared mode should also keep their x86 based binary with lower version number. With this approach, if you face any performance related issues on devices that support both the processors, you can opt for captive mode of packaging.
The table below summarizes what version gets downloaded on device with different processor type:
ARM Device
x86 device
Device supporting both x86 and ARM
ARM version
x86 version
ARM version
Captive App ARM version x86 version x86 version
Shared App ARM version x86 version ARM version