Adobe Systems announced a new version of its Flash Builder and Flex technology for developers of smartphone and tablet applications.
The company's new Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 software enables developers to build applications for iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook, as well as Android devices. Support for Android devices was released in April 2011. Developers now have a single platform for building mobile applications that can be distributed via the Android Market, Apple App Store and BlackBerry App World. Offered standalone or as part of Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium and Master Collection, Flash Builder 4.5 enables the creation of applications that work seamlessly across leading mobile-device platforms, Adobe officials said.
Meanwhile, Flex 4.5 features productivity enhancements that allow developers to rapidly build applications for the desktop, Web and top mobile platforms. Using best-practice code templates, code-completion and code-generation features in Flash Builder 4.5, developers can accelerate the creation of Flex and ActionScript applications and deploy them using Adobe AIR software, Adobe's runtime for standalone applications, Rob Pinkerton, senior director of product marketing at Adobe, told eWEEK. This enables developers to reach more than 80 million Android devices, BlackBerry PlayBooks, iPads and iPhones in the marketplace today, Adobe said. By the end of the year, more than 200 million mobile devices are expected to support AIR applications.
"The reaction from developers to the new mobile capabilities in Flash Builder 4.5 and the Flex 4.5 framework has been absolutely fantastic," Ed Rowe, vice president of developer tooling at Adobe, said in a statement. "They are amazed by how easy it is to create great mobile apps for Android devices, BlackBerry PlayBook, iPhone and iPad. Companies can now effectively reach their customers no matter what type of device they have."
"We saved a significant amount of development time using Flash Builder 4.5," Nahuel Foronda, owner and president of AsFusion, a development shop that specializes in creating Rich Internet Applications, said in a statement. "We used 100 percent of Conqu's initial code base and logic to quickly deploy to several mobile platforms, including Android, BlackBerry PlayBook, iPhone, iPad and the Barnes & Noble Nook Color."
"Flash Builder 4.5 allowed us to develop our Mr. Mixit and Pyramix apps and use the same code base to quickly and easily deploy them to multiple platforms," Sean Carey, president of HD Interactive, said in a statement. "To create an app natively for one platform would have taken at least three times the amount of time-and then we would have had to start from scratch all over again for a native app on the next platform. It's unbelievable the amount of time we save using Flash Builder 4.5 to build and deploy our apps."
Many applications built with Flash Builder and Flex have already been published to the Android Market, Apple App Store and BlackBerry App World. A sample of those applications created for Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS using Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5, leveraging existing code and logic to quickly deploy to leading mobile platforms, include the following:
- Conqu is an easy-to-use yet powerful task-management tool designed to help conquer an email inbox and get things done.
- Mr. Mixit is a spin-based matching game in which users must frantically mix record labels against the clock.
- Muni Tracker tracks San Francisco Muni locations and arrival-time predictions on a map, updating live every 10 seconds. Favorite transit stops and lines can also be bookmarked for easy access later.
- Netflix Queue Manager lets users browse, search and manage their Netflix Queue on the go. New features include viewing queues, updating queues, and adding/removing/viewing movies.
- PolitiFact Mobile App helps you "find the truth in politics," with features including the Truth Index, Truth-O-Meter and Flip-O-Meter. PolitiFact.com is the fact-checking Website of the St. Petersburg Times and received a Pulitzer Prize in 2009.
- Pyramix is an easy-to-learn, highly addictive word game that combines the strategy of Cryptoquote with the simplicity of Boggle.
"PolitiFact's fact-checking journalism is ideal for a mobile app because it's backed by solid reporting and presented in a concise, creative way," Bill Adair, editor of Politifact.com, said in a statement. "You don't have to be a policy wonk to understand the Truth-O-Meter. The app allows us to present our journalism in lively new ways."
"The new mobile application-development capabilities in Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 allowed me to create Netflix Queue Manager quickly, and debug the application across a variety of configurations," Jonathan Campos, founder of UnitedMindset, said in a statement. "I can now create, develop and test mobile and multi-screen apps in one place, ultimately bringing our apps to market faster on multiple devices."
The Flex and Flash Builder news accompanies Adobe's announcement of the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform. With consumers increasingly engaging with more content on smartphones and tablets, large enterprises are required to add mobile applications as a core part of their marketing strategy. And IT organizations are looking to build business-process, CRM and other employee-productivity applications to support the broad range of devices and platforms in use today. Using Flash Builder and Flex, enterprises can now use one tool, one framework and one code base to create applications that run on desktops as well as on smartphones and tablets, Adobe said.