7 October 2011
Some familiarity with Adobe Flex is helpful.
Additional required products
iOS, Android, or BlackBerry Tablet OS device is useful but not required.
Note: This article has been updated to include information about the BlackBerry Tablet OS and Apple iOS support added in the Flex 4.5.1 and Flash Builder 4.5.1 updates.
With the release of Adobe Flash Builder 4.5, you can now develop Flex applications for Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, or iOS devices using the same workflow you use to build web or desktop applications today. In this quick tutorial, you'll build an application that gets the latest trending topics from Twitter and lets you see the tweets for each topic, as well as information on the user who posted each tweet (see Figure 1). Along the way, youll see how to create and lay out a mobile Flex application, bind it to data using the data connectivity features in Flash Builder, and test your application on both the desktop and on a physical device.
The mobile development features in Flex and Flash Builder 4.5 provide several key features:
- Many of the core Flex components have been made mobile-ready, so when you use them in a mobile application, they automatically appear with skins and interactions optimized for small screens and touch input.
- Unlike web or desktop applications, mobile applications are typically structured around a series of simple views, as shown in the diagram above. Flex 4.5 provides View and ViewNavigator components to make it easy to build these types of applications.
- Flex provides mechanisms to make it easier for your application to adapt across screens with different pixel densities—a common problem in mobile development.
- The core Flex components have been optimized in order to perform well on devices with limited memory and CPU speed.
- Mobile applications built with Flex 4.5 use the AIR runtime, and are packaged using the native application format on each device, so they can be deployed and sold on application stores or markets the same way as native applications on each platform.
To start with the tutorial, download the following:
For more information about building apps for mobile devices, read Mobile development using Flex SDK 4.5 and Flash Builder 4.5.
For more information on packaging an application for final deployment for each platform, see:
- Using Flash Builder 4.5 to package applications for Apple iOS
- Using Flash Builder 4.5 to package applications for Google Android devices
- Using Flash Builder 4.5 to package applications for BlackBerry Tablet OS devices
After finishing this tutorial, if you want to go further and explore building a more complete Flex application with a custom server back end, check out the Flex Test Drive for Mobile.