Mobile Utility Applications

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Several mobile utility applications are available for AIR developers.

Launchpad

As its name indicates, this Adobe Labs beta tool gives Flex developers a head start in creating AIR desktop and mobile applications. Launchpad is an AIR application that generates a complete Flex project that is ready to import to Flash Builder.

The process consists of four steps. The Settings option is for the application descriptor and permissions. The Configuration option is for setting up listeners of various events, such as the application moving to the background. The Samples option is for importing sample code for the APIs, such as Geolocation or Microphone. The Generate option creates a ZIP file at the location of your choice, ready to be imported. Sample icons and assets are automatically included based on your selection.

For more information on Launchpad, go to http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/airlaunchpad/.

Device Central CS5

Adobe Device Central is not available for AIR development. At the time of this writing, it is targeted at Flash Player development only. It provides useful tools such as accelerometer simulation that can otherwise only be tested on the device. ADL provides some, albeit more limited, functionality. It can simulate soft keys and device rotation.

Package Assistant Pro

Serge Jespers, from Adobe, wrote an AIR application that facilitates the packaging of AIR applications for Android. You can download the Mac OS X and Windows versions from http://www.webkitchen.be/package-assistant-pro/. Note that you need the .swf file, the application descriptor file, and the code-signing certificate.

The packager preferences store the location of the AIR SDK adt.jar (located in AIRsdk/lib/) and your code-signing certificate. The packaging process consists of a few easy steps, all accomplished via a user interface. Browse to select the required files, enter your certificate password, and choose a name for the APK file. You can choose to compile a device release or a debug version.

This tool is convenient if you use one of the tools we will discuss next, and is a nice GUI alternative to using the command-line tool.

De MonsterDebugger

De MonsterDebugger is an open source debugger for Flash, Flex, and AIR. Version 3.0 provides the ability to debug applications running on your device and send the output straight to an AIR desktop application. It lets you manipulate values, execute methods, and browse the display list. For more information, go to http://demonsterdebugger.com/.