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Join James Talbot, as he reviews the new features in Adobe Flex, Flash Builder, and AIR for mobile application developers. This course covers the Spark components for building mobile user interfaces in the Flex SDK, and the AIR support for native extensions, which enable applications to use parts of the host operating systems that were previously unavailable. The course also describes new testing and network monitoring capabilities available with Flash Builder 4.6, and the ability for Android applications to be deployed without relying on a separate runtime.
Up until Adobe Flash Builder 4.6, all AIR applications that are deployed on the desktop or inside of Android required the third-party adobe AIR runtime. If you are familiar with the process of developing mobile AIR applications for Apple iOS devices then you may already know that these applications don't require the third-party runtimes. They are completely self-contained applications. These AIR applications for iOS already take advantage of the captive runtime.
All of the necessary components of the AIR framework are bundled into a self-contained, compiled, distributable application, and have no dependencies upon any other frameworks. Now with the AIR 3.0, we have the option to bundle the AIR framework into our application to eliminate this third-party dependency, so our end users won't have to go out to the Android Market or to the Amazon Marketplace and actually download AIR before they can run our application.
One thing to keep in mind is that you can only export Mac packages on Macs however, and Windows EXEs on Windows, if you are developing for the Desktop. You cannot target the native installers or the bundled runtimes for cross-platform development. We only have a single app that targets both platforms if we export a .air file, and still, .air files do require that third-party AIR runtime. So, I am going to take my application here, and what I am going to do is I am going to click on Project, and I'll choose Export Release Build and I will export this to my bin-debug here. And let's just call this NativeExtension with the captive runtime, and I will create a signed package for each target platform.
I'll click Next here. And you can see, for Apple iOS, by default it automatically comes with the captive runtime. There is no other option. So you have to include it with the captive runtime. Now for Google Android, we have a choice here, and we could say either export the application that uses a shared AIR runtime or export it with the captive runtime. The only advantage of choosing the shared adobe AIR runtime is your file size will be a little bit less, so it would be less of a download for the end user because it won't include all of the AIR libraries.
Those AIR libraries will be downloaded in a separate application from the Android or the Amazon marketplace. But if we want to export this with the captive runtime, it's a simple as just clicking Export application with captive runtime. And then of course, we can create a digital signatures, make sure that our data extensions are included, and include any package contents that we would like, and then that will export the APK file for Android with the included AIR runtime. Very, very powerful.
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