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Using soft keys

From: Flex 4.6 and AIR 3.0 New Features for Mobile Apps

Video: Using soft keys

Flex 4.6 includes some very nice soft keyboard enhancements to be aware of, including setting a certain type of keyboard or setting the default return key label, and even autocorrecting and autocapitalizing text. There is a new soft keyboard type property on the TextInput and TextArea components that will allow us to set the different soft keyboard types available on mobile devices. The value for this property could be set to any one of the following: number, email, punctuation, URL, contact, or default, and will invoke the native soft keyboard of that type on the given device.

Using soft keys

Flex 4.6 includes some very nice soft keyboard enhancements to be aware of, including setting a certain type of keyboard or setting the default return key label, and even autocorrecting and autocapitalizing text. There is a new soft keyboard type property on the TextInput and TextArea components that will allow us to set the different soft keyboard types available on mobile devices. The value for this property could be set to any one of the following: number, email, punctuation, URL, contact, or default, and will invoke the native soft keyboard of that type on the given device.

Let's explore how to do this in Flash Builder 4.6. The first thing I am going to do is of course open up Flash Builder 4.6, and I am going to import this starting file from my exercise files, which is located in the Starting folder, and I am just going to say 1-10.fxp, I am going to click Open, and then I am going to click Finish. And then I am going to open up the source directory, and I am going to open up the SoftKeyboard.mxml. And you will see I just have a bunch of different text input fields here, with a certain width. And for example, here I have one called Email, one called Number, one called Punctuation, and so on. And if we look at this actually on an iPad, so for example, if I go to Mobile Application, I create a new Run Configuration and I say Apple iPad and I click Run, you should see I have an Email field I have a URL field, a Contact field, a Number field and a Punctuation field.

Okay, let's invoke the email SoftKeyboard type on the device when a user clicks in that field. So that is as simple as just specifying the property called softKeyboardType and simply just saying email. And for the number, let's do the same thing. So I am going to make sure my code hinting appears. I am going to say softKeyboardType is equal to number and for the punctuation, let's have our softKeyboardType for, let's make sure this is set to punctuation. Perfect. Notice it's all lowercase here. And for the URL, I am going to simply say softKeyboardType is equal to url, and then for the contact,I will do the same thing, and I will say softKeyboardType is equal to contact.

Okay, so now I am going to hit Save. There is email, number, and punctuation, and then we can also add the auto- capitalize, which would mean that everything will automatically be capitalized. So for example, if I go to the punctuation text field, I can add a property on here. I will say autoCapitalize, and I can again set this to either all, none, or sentence or word. Let's set this to all, so it will mean everything will be automatically capitalized.

And then I can also turn on autocorrection if I like. Again, especially in our iOS devices, I can set up autoCorrect, and I can specify that to be true or false. So this means that autocorrection will work on this text field as well. Okay, let's go take a look at this on a Zoom. When we look at this, you will see when I click in the Email, that here I have an Email field. When I click on the URL, I have that URL soft keyboard. Here I click on the Number, I have the Number soft keyboard, the Contact soft keyboard, and the Punctuation soft keyboard.

So I can really utilize those device capabilities directly from my application.

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Flex 4.6 and AIR 3.0 New Features for Mobile Apps

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James Talbot
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