Adobe Flex & AIR: One Developer Platform, Many Devices

In this series, I’d like to highlight Adobe’s mobile offerings, and the variety of platforms that can be supported from a single codebase.     I wrote a simple URL Monitoring utility application that will check the status of various HTTP endpoints using the AIR URLMonitor class.   I now have that application running on 3 OS platforms, in 4 ecosystems (5th coming soon), supporting phone and tablet interfaces, and all with a single codebase

Many Apps, One Platform

Here’s the official app description that I’ve been using:

URL Monitor is a simple diagnostic application that will allow you to quickly and easily monitor the status of various URL endpoints. Simply enter a URL into the text box and add it to the list. A polling HTTP request will be made every 10 seconds to determine the availability of a given endpoint. HTTP codes 200, 202, 204, 205 and 206 will be identified as a success with a green check. All other HTTP codes will indicate a problem as a red ‘X’. To remove a listing, simply perform a horizontal swipe on a given row to reveal a delete button. All monitoring is paused when the application is in the background.

This application is currently available in the following ecosystems:

  1. Apple’s App Store
  2. Google Android Market
  3. Amazon Appstore
  4. Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  5. BlackBerry App World (coming soon)

You may be wondering, “How did you get a single codebase into so many markets?”… Well, you’re in luck.  Here’s detailed instructions how to get from Flash Builder into each Ecosystem:

  1. Flex/AIR on Devices: From Flash Builder to iOS
  2. Flex/AIR on Devices: From Flash Builder to Android Ecosystems
    1. Google Android Market
    2. Amazon App Store
    3. Barnes & Noble Nook App Store
  3. Flex/AIR on Devices: From Flash Builder to BlackBerry App World (coming soon)

What’s really interesting about this is the activity that I have seen on each market.  The application is free on each market, and became available over the last few weeks.   I have done absolutely no promotion of it… This is the first announcement that I have made.

As of 9/15/2011, the application has been live in Apple’s store for 3 weeks, and has had 554 downloads; it has been live in the Google Android Market for 3 weeks, and has had 20 installes (only 11 active); it has been in the Amazon market for 2 weeks, with 0 installs (yes, that is a zero); and surprisingly, it has been on the Nook store since Sept 1, and has had 816 downloads!   Now, that was unexpected.

  • http://none marvin

    Thanks for the input. Using Air for cross-development is a really nice idea.

    I’m wondering if you know if it’s possible to add Windows Mobile (7.5) to that list?

  • manoj cm

    Nice software. . But is it possible to create apps for symbian ^3 os ??

    • Andrew

      It is not possible to build apps for Symbian with Flex, however you can use PhoneGap to build Symbian apps.

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  • Nene Odonkor

    Is it possible to use HTML/JS & AIR? What are the advantages?

    • Andrew

      You can build desktop apps (OSX & Wintodw) with AIR that are 100% HTML and JavaScript. However, mobile AIR applications need to be based on ActionScript projects. Both mobile and desktop AIR include an instance of the webkit engine, which you can use to render HTML content via the StageWebView control (basically a HTML rendering view). If you are building mobile apps and only want to use HTML/JS, I would look at PhoneGap.

  • Nene

    I had no idea there was AIR for mobile and and AIR for desktop. Never saw it on the Adobe Air website. Does Adobe intend making it possible to develop 100% HTML/JS with Mobile AIR? I do not really like actionscript 🙂

    However, I will look at PhoneGap but the reason why I asked is because you have to download the tools for each platform and that is headache to me. I thought AIR was the solution. Write and develop in AIR.

    • Andrew

      You can use PhoneGap Build to compile for multiple platforms. You can edit the HTML/JS/CSS in any tool that you like, and just upload a zip archive of your code. PhoneGap build will compile the platform-specific binaries for you.

  • Nene

    Thanks but one last question. What are app frameworks?

    • Andrew

      In general, they are tools or libraries to help you create applications.

  • Nene

    Thanks. There are so many tools that making a choice is difficult.

  • Patricio Fernando Alvarez

    Hi, is it posible to develop a WEB Facebook APP and an Android APP from the same source code with Adobe Flex & Air regards