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Flex 4.6 and AIR 3.0 New Features for Mobile Apps
Illustration by Don Barnett

Understanding native Android code


From:

Flex 4.6 and AIR 3.0 New Features for Mobile Apps

with James Talbot

Video: Understanding native Android code

In this video we're going to explore the native Android code that we need to create in order to use a native extension within Flash Builder and AIR. So the native Android library is in the directory here called VibrationAndroidLibrary in your student files. Now generally most Android developers utilize Eclipse with the Android extensions installed. We're just going to take a look at this code and explore it, and we can just utilize Flash Builder as Flex developers here.

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Flex 4.6 and AIR 3.0 New Features for Mobile Apps
1h 49m Intermediate Jan 30, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Controlling adaptable tablet layouts
  • Controlling view hierarchy
  • Using 16-bit and 32-bit render modes
  • Using the Date Picker, Scroller, and List components
  • Adding a splash screen to a mobile app
  • Using native extensions for iOS and Android
  • Testing with FlexUnit on Wi-Fi
  • Packaging the application for release
Subjects:
Developer Mobile Apps
Software:
AIR Flash Builder Flex
Author:
James Talbot

Understanding native Android code

In this video we're going to explore the native Android code that we need to create in order to use a native extension within Flash Builder and AIR. So the native Android library is in the directory here called VibrationAndroidLibrary in your student files. Now generally most Android developers utilize Eclipse with the Android extensions installed. We're just going to take a look at this code and explore it, and we can just utilize Flash Builder as Flex developers here.

Now if you were utilizing this in native Eclipse, you would actually build the Eclipse file. What you'd have to do is you would have to take the Flash runtime extension.jar file, which is inside the AIR SDK, and it's under the Lib directory under Android, and you'd have to copy that to your directory inside of your Eclipse project called VibrationAndroidLibrary libs to actually successfully build it. Again, now we're just going to look at the code and what our Android developers would need to do.

So just click File > Open File in Flash Builder, and then browse to your exercise files, go to Vibration, and you'll see that there's a directory in here called VibrationAndroidLibrary. So this is your Eclipse project that you can actually import into Eclipse, and you'll see there is an SRC directory source, and then we have AIR, and we have extensions, and here you'll look at the VibrationExtension.java file. So I'm going to go ahead and open that, and you'll see here that this works actually by implementing the FREExtension class, right here.

So again, this actually needs to be able to work, and this is part of the native library. So also, if you look at the VibrationExtensionContext here, okay, you'll also see that there is a VibrationExtensionContext file. And notice of these implements the FREContext class as well, and you can also see that there is a VibrationSupportedFunction that determines whether or not this is actually supported. And again, all of these implement the FREFREFFunction class.

The native library contains examples of utilizing these different FRE object methods, such as get as int and new object. So in the initialization, the native library uses the get activity method of the FREContext class to get the application's Android activity. Using the returned activity, the initialization method, which is the vibration initNativeCodeFunction.call, actually gets the vibration service.

Okay, so you can see that. And again, the call from the ActionScript side to the ExtensionContext.createExtensionContext must return before the native library can call methods of the object derived from this class, from the FREContext class. So therefore, the call of the get activity occurs in the initialization function that the ActionScript side calls after the return from the create extension context.

The call to get activity cannot occur in the FREContext object constructor. So again, as ActionScript developers, that's what you need to worry about most of all, and you need to make sure that your Android developers derive their objects from these classes.

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