If you hadn’t heard yet, Beta 2 of AIR 3.0 and Flash Player 11 are now availabe on Adobe Labs. The AIR 3.0 beta release is sporting some great new features, including hardware accelerated video playback for mobile, iOS background audio, android licensing support, front-facing camera support, encrypted local storage for mobile, H.264 software encoding for desktop applications, and last, but not least, captive runtime support for desktop and Android applications.
If you are wondering what “captive runtime support” is, then I’ll try to explain… Currently all AIR applications that are deployed on the desktop and in Android require the 3rd-party Adobe AIR runtime. If you are familiar with the process for developing mobile AIR applications for Apple’s iOS devices, then you may already know that these applications don’t require the 3rd-party runtime; they are completely self-contained applications. These AIR applications for iOS already take advantage of the captive runtime. All necessary components of the AIR framework are bundled into a self-contained, compiled distributable application that has no dependence upon other frameworks.
With AIR 3.0, you will have the option to bundle the AIR framework into your applications to eliminate the 3rd-party dependency. However, one thing to keep in mind is that you can only export mac application packages on Macs and Windows EXEs on Windows. You can’t target native installers or bundled runtimes for cross-platform development. You can only have a single app that targets both platforms if you export a .AIR file (which requires the 3rd-party AIR runtime).
Instructions for using the captive runtime:
First, make sure that you extract the AIR runtime SDK from the archive. Instructions for extracting the AIR SDK are located at: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/495/cpsid_49532.html
Next, add a compiler argument for swf-version=13.
Then use the ADT command line utility to build and package your application. If you run the ADT tool on the command line without passing any arguments, it will show you all of the packaging options.
For the Android captive runtime, you just need to select the target “apk-captive-runtime“, as identified by:
adt -package -target ( apk | apk-debug | apk-emulator | apk-captive-runtime ) ( CONNECT_OPTIONS? | -listen <port>? ) ( -airDownloadURL <url> )? SIGNING_OPTIONS <output-package> ( <app-desc> PLATFORM-SDK-OPTION? FILE-OPTIONS | <input-package> PLATFORM-SDK-OPTION? )
For the desktop captive runtime, you need to select the target “bundle“, as identified by:
adt -package SIGNING_OPTIONS? -target bundle SIGNING_OPTIONS? <output-package> ( <app-desc> FILE-OPTIONS | <input-package> )