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Flash Builder 4.5.1 rocks

34 Comments 20 June 2011

Flash Builder 4.5.1 rocks

The mysterious “June update” is out ! It’s Flash Builder 4.5.1. I’m a Flex developer and I AM SUPER EXCITED. For many years, I have been able to build first-class web applications and even desktop apps thanks to the AIR runtime. This morning I woke up, and I discovered a new skill: I’m now a mobile application developer and I can run my apps on Android, iOS and the PlayBook. I love this new spell. You can now build and deploy your Flex applications on Android, iOS and the BlackBerry Playbook and the applications perform great. A Flash Builder 4.5.1 developer can target Web applications, desktop apps, mobile and tablet apps. Thanks to Flash Player, Flex developers can reach 98% of web users (desktop users). Now that they can package native applications for Android, iOS and the Playbook, they can also reach a big majority of smartphones and tablet devices. That’s why I wanted to challenge myself in this video.

The challenge is quite simple: develop a twitter app, deploy it on an Android device, on the iPad and on the Playbook in less than 10 minutes. Do you think I can make it ? Answer at the end:

I nailed it in 8 minutes and 34 seconds ! Flash Builder 4.5.1 is really impressive as a coding environment, but also the “debug and deploy” experience is so unique. Some additional comments:

– Flex 4.5.1 and the new mobile framework are very easy-to-learn and efficient. You should be able to build your first mobile application in a few minutes! Seriously, what are you waiting for ?

– The coding part of my challenge is fast thanks to the new coding productivity features of Flash Builder 4.5. If you’re still using Flash Builder 3 or 4, please consider upgrading to 4.5 just for the coding experience. You’ll save a lot of time. I also used the data wizards to generate a bridge with Twitter. Check out the new coding productivity features here.

– To deploy it on Android, just turn on the development mode on your device, plug it via USB and you’re done. You can deploy your application. Very easy.

– To deploy it on iOS, get a developer certificate on the website and create a provisioning file for your application. Holly just published a tutorial that describes the full process. Flash Builder 4.5.1 directly packages your app as an IPA file. Use iTunes to deploy it on your device. In the video, I’m using the “Fast Packaging” option. You obtain an IPA in a few seconds, but it’s just for testing purposes as the performance is not as good as a “Standard Packaging” process. But it can take several minutes to package your app with the standard option… so.

– On the PlayBook, we still must wait for the PlayBook OS update that will embed AIR 2.7. I think that this update will happen in the coming days. That’s why I have to change some compilation parameters in the video to run it on this device. But usually, you just have to plug your device and deploy your application as the AIR runtime is by default installed on the PlayBook.

– Remember that if you have a Flash Builder license, you don’t have to buy the full product again. You can just upgrade it (it’s only $49 to upgrade your Flash Builder 4 license for instance).

– If you have developed a Flex application for these three platforms, please contact me. I’d like to get some feedback on this new development workflow.

– Last point: HAVE FUN! As you can see, I can code an app dancing and singing (although “dancing” is not part of my DNA).  Mobile development is a fantastic new territory for our community. Thanks to Flash Builder 4.5.1, we have a unique value proposition: “One code base, one skill, one tool for multiscreen”

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34 Comments so far

  1. Excellent!!! I cannot wait to create my own challenge :)

  2. JC Lang says:

    Hello Michaël,
    very excited here too !
    Flash Builder rocks indeed, it’s a real pleasure to develop with this great tool.

    I just wanted to point out that PlayBook OS 1.0.6 has just been released, running AIR 2.7.

  3. Alex31 says:

    Excellent, I’ll try it right now!
    Thanks a lot 😉

  4. JC Lang says:

    Ah, and short question, just to be sure:
    is SuperHero = Flex SDK 4.5.1 ?

  5. Eugene says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for this post. I’m curious to try new Flash Builder right now!

  6. admin says:

    @JC Lang: yes SuperHero was the internal codename for Flex 4.5.1. Now you know everything :)

  7. Super choré Mike :))

  8. admin says:

    @Julien Merci. J’ai failli me froisser un muscle, mais pas de casse au final.

  9. Arnaud says:

    j’ai hâte de m’y mettre aussi 😉

  10. Skyrick says:

    Great video michael !
    And good news for the update 4.5.1 :)
    but … the update 4.5 at 50$ : sic! :(

  11. n-coder says:

    It just works!
    Impressive job at Adobe.

  12. admin says:

    50$ to target 3 mobile platforms and use 50 new coding productivity features ? Come on. It’s not that much :)

  13. Rajiv says:

    This is excellent. I want to know about the Android and Flex. Is Flex support the front cam for Android OS? Will you please tell me regarding this in detail, please?

  14. admin says:

    Not yet… It works on iOS and on the playbook. I’ll check the status on Android. It should be available soon.

  15. Cymbals says:

    I went thru your video and built one also, thanks to you. Thanks!

  16. Martin says:

    What About the Front cam suppport for Air 2.6,2.5 is not supported,Any news?

  17. admin says:

    It’s coming… but it’s not available today unfortunately. In the next update I guess of AIR

  18. admin says:

    @Cymbals congratulations Cymbals !

  19. sydd says:

    The 4.5.1 update is great, but im more cautinous about the future of Flex/Flash on mobile.

    Now if you make an application it works only on a limited number of devices:
    – iPhone 3GS or newer only – I can accept this tradeoff
    – No Win phone 7 support – I can accept this, although Adobe should develop this feature ASAP
    – On Android, youll need Arm Cortex A8 or better CPU – eeh. This leaves out like 50% of the current devices being used. Basically if you dont have a high-end Android phone, then no app development for you. (and this situation will stay for a while, for example ZTE Skate – probably the new king of bugdet smartphones has Cortex A6 CPU)

    So i’d be cautious regarding Flash mobile development. If we are lucky and Adobe can keep up with the super fast pace of Android development and wont get stabbed in the back by Apple, then we will have a super tool for cross-platform development.

  20. Nadav says:

    Any chance you’ll be willing to share the code of this somewhere? it will be much appreciated :)

  21. vlefur says:

    Très bons posts tels que celui-ci ou sur les Dynamic UI Patterns.
    Je te suggère de réaliser quelques posts sur certaines features d’AIR comme la géolocation, l’accélerometer ou la gestion de la camera.

  22. Kral says:

    It just works!
    Impressive job at Adobe.

  23. Dom says:

    Looks good, but a bit in the dark! Got any pointers for someone who’s new to flash on where to start to learn to code with Flash Builder?

  24. daslicht says:

    is there a way to use those smooth scrolling lists also in a standard flex based app ?

    How about that the row of such smooth scrolling list are snapping to its boundaries, so that the visual appearance is everytime granted ? and never cut “trough”?

  25. johny cage says:

    Where is the “Fast Packaging” to compile ipa file faster (while debugging). Sorry for my ignorance, i cannot find it in flash builder 4.5.1.


  26. johny cage says:

    Dont worry about the question, I found the answer for Fast packaging at adobe

    Just in case someone is looking for it

  27. dtc says:

    I’m getting bored by those “Oh look my new super IDE: I can code a cool and useless twitter client in 10 minutes!” videos …
    What’s next ? Coding a Flex facebook client with balls in less than 1 minute ?

  28. admin says:

    @dtc Actually I recorded this video but it has been censored by Youtube for some weird reasons. I guess I should post my Facebook client tutorial video on youporn next time.

  29. Awesome!
    It seems that lots of folks are now developing mobile applications based on the 4.5 release.

    Is there any iOS/Flex app already available on the AppStore?

  30. matias says:

    Excellent!, I hope that at least flex developers have success with mobile phones, since the web is killing us html5, Greetings!

  31. Saidi Reddy says:

    Wow Great presentation ….. i have on query could u please help me , Panel control not supported in Flex Mobile Project . There is any alternate control to add some data dynamically (using Actin Script). please help me thanks in advance …

  32. Many thanks Michaël.




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Who am I ?

I'm Michaël CHAIZE, Adobe Flash Platform Evangelist based in Paris. I'm a big fan of Rich Internet Applications and I promote the Flash Platform in the Enterprise world.
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