By Joseph Labrecque
Published June 2011 List Price:$49.99, Your Amazon.com Price: $44.99
Amazon.com Sales Rank:2,319,256 Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours
Flash has now arrived to Android ''' the fastest growing smartphone platform. This offers massive opportunities for Flash developers who want to get into mobile development. At the same time, working on smartphones will introduce new challenges and issues that Flash developers may not be familiar with.
The Flash Development for Android Cookbook enables Flash developers to branch out into Android mobile applications through a set of essential, easily demonstrable recipes. It takes you through the entire development workflow: from setting up a local development environment, to developing and testing your application, to compiling for distribution to the ever-growing Android Market.
The Flash Development for Android Cookbook starts off with recipes that cover development environment configuration as well as mobile project creation and conversion. It then moves on to exciting topics such as the use of touch and gestures, responding to device movement in 3D space, working with multimedia, and handling application layout. Essential tasks such as tapping into native processes and manipulating the file system are also covered. We then move on to some cool advanced stuff such as Android-specific device permissions, application debugging and optimization techniques, and the packaging and distribution options available on the mobile Android platform.
In a nutshell, this cookbook enables you to get quickly up to speed with mobile Android development using the Flash Platform in ways that are meaningful and immediately applicable to the rapidly growing area of mobile application development.
Take your Flash applications beyond the desktop and into the emerging world of mobile application development.
GDNet Staff Review:
First a little clarification. When Adobe dumped mobile Flash a few months ago, they made it clear that it was being dumped as an add-on for mobile browsers. That same Flash plug-in that you have in your desktop browser to play "Bloons" exists in a similar form on several mobile browsers. And that Flash plugin will not be seeing any more major updates. With that announcement, Adobe also made it clear that AIR for mobile would continue to exist and receive updates as a way to build standalone cross-platform mobile apps with Flash, Flex, or other compilers/languages that can create a SWF file.
With that understood, Flash Development for Android Cookbook by Joseph Labrecque covers mobile AIR and how to build standalone native-analog Android apps using Adobe'''s AIR packager and Flash or Flex. And the book wisely does not try to be a "How to make a game in Flash" tutorial. The book is entirely focused on (a) how to build an Android app from Flash or Flex (or the third-party FDT environment in the appendix) and (b) how to do stuff with your Android app that you cannot do with a browser game. In other words, this book is the bridge between the hundred "How to make a game in Flash" tutorials and a standalone game that looks and works like a real Android app and not just a browser game that'''s happens to have its own icon on your Android'''s launcher.
The book is written as several dozen very short "mini chapters", each covering some Android feature that you can talk to with AIR, like the camera, phone, accelerometer, preventing screen-dimming for video playback, etc. It also covers AIR'''s built-in SQLite database and how it can be used to store application settings as well as saving an app'''s state between runs. You also learn how to use the StageWebView class, which is a system-native browser control that'''s just the thing for playing ads or showing content that'''s not displayable with Flash'''s rudimentary HTMLText object.
Most welcome, though, is a good discussion of device layout and scaling. With Android more than other platforms, your app must be able to scale. An app that looks great on a Droid smartphone might look horrible on a 10-inch tablet or vice-versa. With Android, it is absolutely essential that your app be able to scale itself intelligently, and Flash Development for Android Cookbook spends some time on this.
If you have an idea for an application, and you need that extra help necessary to get from a browser-game to a standalone Android app, this book will get you there. Also if you have an existing game and you have ideas for how it can benefit from being able to talk to the camera or phone or accelerometer, Flash Development for Android Cookbook will get you there without a lot of hand-holding.