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Adobe AIR for Mobile 2.5 on Android 2.1

20 April 2010 | 25,766 views | 14 Comments

Adobe is currently in it’s prerelease stages of testing AIR for Mobile, specifically on Android, and I’ve been one of the lucky developers invited to participate. Adobe was even kind enough to send over some Google Nexus One phones to get going and testing on multiple devices. (Thanks Michael Chou).

The first thing I’ve noticed when using AIR for Mobile is that it’s WORLDS easier than porting Flash content to the iPhone. Simply publish your swf and use the AIR SDK and Android SDK to convert and port the content directly to your phone. Done. You can either install the newly published apps using the Android SDK, or you can upload them to a server and browse to the the .apk files and install them directly from a website. If you install from a server (and not Google Marketplace) you just have to be sure that your device allows for “Unknown sources”.

I’ve also been involved in the CS5 Prerelease, and when publishing for the iPhone there were mobile provisioning files connected to certain devices and those devices were particular in the UDID provided with every Apple product and producing the security certificates (.p12 files) just added even more to the headaches in getting setup.

Well, when working with AIR 2.5 and the Android SDK, it way faster/easier. It took just a little getting used to the command line prompts, and my first Hello World app was off and running.

Note: The command prompt interface is only part of the early development stages. It will not be necessary in future releases.

I’ve also noticed quite a difference in terms of the speed at which Android seems to run compared to the iPhone/iTouch. AIR on Android reacts just as fast as the native Android applications, or at least really close. It’s performing much better than any results that I’ve gotten from the iPhone or iTouch. We’ll have to see how much it will improve over time, as this was the first build of AIR 2.5.

Now, the app that I had setup for iTunes is a Educational piece created for Pearson Education, and done in coordination with Media-Fuse. Here’s a video of the Android version for Digit Cards – Close to 20, 100, 100 Math Card game in action.

Here’s the same game, but in the iPhone version (in this video, an iTouch is used).

I also successfully installed Digit Cards on the Motorola Droid, but the resolution still needs to be adjusted from the Nexus One. I’ll see if I can port it over to the 480×854 from the Nexus 480×800, and also share that video here.

Overall, AIR for Mobile on Android is really off to a great start. Can’t wait for more builds to test. Adobe, you rock!