To illustrate the workflow of developing Android apps in Adobe Air I created a very simple application that can react to screen orientation changes, gestures and touches – it’s written in ActionScript.

The user interface consists of checkbox, label and a button.
If the user clicks the button or make a swipe gesture the background color will change to a random color.
Checkbox enables the screen orientation – this is an interesting feature since we can decide whether or not to let the screen rotate.

I used a set of Android-like components created by Kevin Hoyt, Adobe’s Platform Evengelist. They are very easy to use and mimic the Android look & feel pretty good.

The process is made of following steps

  • create Flex Project
  • generate the certificate
  • package the Air application into an apk file
  • install the apk to device / emulator

I assume that you have all the necessary dependencies already installed (Flex SDK with AIR 2.5 , Android SDK and an emulator /device), if not then check my previous post.

Creating Flex Builder project

1. Create a new Flex Project. Be sure to use Flex SDK merged with AIR 2.5 SDK.

In the second step change the main application file extention from ‘.mxml’ to “.as”, since we won’t be using Flex framework, only ActionScript 3.

Using Flex for mobile applications is possible but the performance would suffer. Until mobile version of Flex 4.5 isn’t released (should be available later this year) it’s better to stick to ActionScript only.

Modify application’s descriptor xml

Flash Builder has generated all the necessary files, there are only few thing to modify in the xml descriptor  – set the <visible> tag to “true” and specify Android manifest – if your application is going to use Android APIs (camera, wifi, file access, etc.). If you don’t specify the functionality you need, the application won’t work properly.

Create an apk file and deploy it to the device / emulator.