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Flash Development for Android Cookbook [Paperback]

Joseph Labrecque
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 55.13 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

June 19 2011

Over 100 recipes to build exciting Android applications with Flash, Flex, and AIR

  • The quickest way to solve your problems with building Flash applications for Android
  • Contains a variety of recipes to demonstrate mobile Android concepts and provide a solid foundation for your ideas to grow
  • Learn from a practical set of examples how to take advantage of multitouch, geolocation, the accelerometer, and more
  • Optimize and configure your application for worldwide distribution through the Android Market
  • Part of Packt's Cookbook series: Each recipe is a carefully organized sequence of instructions to complete the task as efficiently as possible

In Detail

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.

What you will learn from this book

  • Configure Flash Professional, Flash Builder, or FDT to develop Android applications cross-platform regardless of operating system
  • Convert Flex and ActionScript projects to true mobile experiences
  • Work with multitouch and gestures for a truly innovative user experience
  • Use the geolocation and accelerometer sensors to respond to location and movement
  • Make use of the built-in microphone and camera hardware for user generated content
  • Stream audio and video to an application using a variety of protocols
  • Use advanced image display and modifications using custom shaders
  • Effectively scale and position the interface elements across devices
  • Employ a variety of URI handlers to invoke native SMS, telephone, e-mail, maps, and more
  • Work with the Android file system and manage application databases easily
  • Compile and submit your application or game to the ever growing, worldwide Android Market

Approach

Written in cookbook style, this book offers solutions to all common Flash Android development problems through recipes. Each recipe contains step-by-step instructions followed by analysis of what was done in each task and other useful information. The book is designed so that you can read it chapter by chapter, or you can look at the list of recipes and refer to them in no particular order.

Who this book is written for

This book contains recipes covering a variety of topics from the very simple to those that are more advanced. If you are a seasoned Flash developer, this book will get you quickly up to speed with what is possible with Android. For those who are new to Flash, welcome to the world of visually rich, rapid application development for mobile Android devices! If you have any interest in Flash development for Android, this book is for you.


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Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
For any Flash or Flex developer looking to create applications for mobile (in particular Android ones) then this is a great book to have on your desk! Weighing in at 372 pages, there is a lot of content in there just waiting for you to try out and play with.

First things first, this is a Cookbook. It's not a reference title listing every single API and documenting every single class available. Though to be honest, it seems to cover most of the new AIR for Android features. The idea behind a Cookbook is to provide you with a selection of 'recipes' or common tasks, and then explain how to go about solving them in a clear and concise way. This book does this brilliantly. It is the sort of book you can dib into when you have a specific thing to get done in your app and you're not sure where to start. Having said that, I basically read it from cover to cover, and still found it very informative and enjoyable.
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Format:Paperback
This book provides you with everything you need to start developing programs and games on android using Adobe AIR, assuming you already have some knowledge in ActionScript.
It shows short 'recipes' on how to interface with everything that you would want to on the phone, from gestures, drawing, acceleration and geolocation, camera, microphone, images, video, audio, local storage and SQLLite, to even putting the final app on the market.

Every recipe is well written, and specific to the interface you will be looking for, so you can easily find how to use the accelerometer, or load up the browser within your app. Most examples show how to do everything in Flash Builder (Flex), Flash 'professional', FDT, and even command line, so you have many options (although the code will work well in any of them).

The only negative I found with the book is that in Chapter 1, you learn how to compile, and run a program on Android, but Chapter 10 is when it actually goes into debugging, and setting up different configurations for testing your app. I wasn't sure how to have the app test run in Windows instead of running on my Android directly until that chapter (although it is a cookbook- you pick which chapter is relevant what you're trying to do).

If you have built applications or games using Flash/Flex before, and would like to have a version running on Android, this book will give you all the information you need, and is a great reference as well!

Get it now to get your Flash apps running on Android!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mobile Android Development July 21 2011
By Jeremiah C. Sandahl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Flash Development for Android is a book not intended for absolute beginners. If you are new to Flash, ActionScript, or the Flex Framework, you will need to brush up on those skills before starting into the book. This book is also not intended to be a project guide to help you build a practical project. (The "cookbook" part of the title does not mean that you will be able to build a useable Android project by following directions in the book.)

What this book does do is cover in each chapter how to use built-in features of the mobile device using ActionScript. This is best done in Flash Builder 4.5 or Flash Professional CS5.5. It is intended more as a reference guide than other programming books out there, which focus on how to build a project from the ground up. This one shows very thoroughly how each of the features of the mobile platform can be accessed.

For example, you will find in the chapter about the accelerometer, what statements you need to import. You will find which methods are used to access most, if not all of the functions of the accelerometer.

One thing that you will not find in this book is practical examples. In the chapter on the accelerometer, it will not give you ideas of how to use the accelerometer to build a labyrinth game. It will merely show you how to address the accelerometer and explain what it outputs.

I say this all not to deter from buying the book, but to clarify that this book is not intended for people who want a practical guide to build a game. This is designed for people who already have a concept of what they want to do with the mobile platform. It will help those people who already know what they want to do to get a good idea of how to do it. In this sense, it is an extremely helpful reference guide. The explanations are thorough, and it covers all of the major features one would use in a Mobile device.

I strongly recommend that you buy this book if you are wanting a book if you already know ActionScript and the Flash Builder or Flash Professional framework. If you do not know those, you are better off starting with some basics of those things [...]. You will not be sorry you got this book if you are looking for a guide on how to do things with the Android platform.

By the way, Flash Builder 4.5 now allows you to build the same app for iOS devices as well as the Blackberry Playbook and Android OS with the same source code. This means that your app has a lot of potential. As far as I know, this is the only reference guide of its kind out there on the Flash / Mobile platform. It is therefore seriously worth your consideration.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth A Read Sept. 27 2011
By DannyPG - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
So, lately I've found myself trying to better myself in the world of flash programming. And I've come to the realisation that one of the best outlets for my creativity is on the mobile platform. Namely, the diverse Android mobile OS. However upon approaching this hefty task of writing an app for the Android, I found myself way out of my depth.
You see, to program an app for Android you have to think about 101 more factors than you do with a normal PC app. Well only if you want the app to be any good that is...
However fortunately for me, I just so happened to be presented with a marvellous new book specifically catered for my needs. The name of said brilliant book; "Flash Development for Android Cookbook".
This book perfectly covers all the angles that an existing developer needs to progress on to Android development. Well, I say an "existing developer", but in actual fact you can pretty much pick up this book with very little prior knowledge in programming and still get your head around what is going on in a very short space of time.
Right from the word go, the book is teaching you at a very rapid but very structured pace, all the things you should know. It even covers the basics such as setting up your projects to begin with. Which can be useful even for those veteran developers who just need their technique refreshed.
Within days you will find yourself taking advantage of the Android's Multitouch, Gestures and other Inputs, and before you know it you have completed your app. Having utilised things like the systems accelerometer and visual and audio input, you will be shocked at how fast you have learned.
All in all, I think that this book does a brilliant job at encouraging the learner and motivating them to keep progressing at a fast pace, no matter what level of programming they begun with. Definitely a title to check out if you are interested in breaking into the massive mobile app market. 9.5/10.
If you want to find out more about the book, or get the digital version you can find more information at [...]
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flash for Android Cookbook a Winner Aug. 31 2011
By Brian Mcclain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
All those Flash and Flex developers who are concerned about being sidelined by the mobile revolution need fret no longer. What they need to do is get a copy of the indispensible resource, Flash Development for Android Cookbook, by Joseph Lebracqu. As the title suggests, the book walks the reader through easy-to-follow exercises, each targeting a different , core aspect of mobile development. For example, chapter 2 is all about Actionscript Classses specific to the mobile experience, where there is no mouse. And so, we have Multitouch and Gesture Events. By Chapter 5, you are already ramped up to using audio and video, and tapping into the media stored on the Android device. And of course, tapping into the debice's GPS capabilities for creating uniquely mobile apps is also covered. Best of al -- and this cannot be emphasized enough -- the resulting apps are not simply running in the Flash player. The cookbook shows how to use the Air SDK running in conjunction with either Flash SC5.5 or Flash Develop 4.5 to compile your apps into native Android file format. The result are real Android apps--not just Flash Player running on an Android device. The only caveat here is that the reader must be at least intermediate level in Flash Actionscript 3. Knowledge of AS 3, and its events, functions and data-typing are assumed. That said, the material is logically presented and clearly explained, making it as easy as possible to follow this inherently advanced material. The reader will benefit greatly from owning a copy of Flash Pro CS5.5, and/or Flash Develop 4.5 (although it is possible to develop without these). Naturally, a current Android enabled device to test ones apps is also a must, preferably both a tablet and a phone. The serious-minded developer will also have to put the time in, but these are very worthwhile investments -- so roll up your sleeves and get ready to dive in to the world of Flash Development for Android.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Just-the-Facts Examples and Explaining Android Capabilities Aug. 3 2011
By Jonathan Kaye - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have been a Flash developer for many years and realized I needed to get on the mobile development bandwagon quickly. I've toyed around with Flash Builder and thought this book could help me get up-to-speed quickly via Flash Builder, Flash CS Pro, and FDT. I was extremely pleased with the author's direct yet simple style of presenting the information and examples.

This book is for a technical person familiar with Flash CS Pro/FDT/Flash Builder who wants a how-to guide that can both help get one started as well as provide insights as one becomes more proficient (and interested in using more Android features). There are no projects developed, but I didn't want a book that I had to read from start-to-finish to understand the examples -- I just wanted the examples.

While I can usually find snippets here and there from blog posts, as well as exhaustive treatments in the usual Adobe places, I prefer to use cookbook-style books, like this one, to help me solve specific issues and crank stuff out rapidly -- then explore a bit around the topic to get new ideas.

The author clearly has a lot of experience that he distills in simple-to-follow examples. In addition to the recipes, I liked that the author added "There's more..." sections to each recipe, to give some of his experience in the recipe's practical use.

You can see from the table of contents that it touches on many of the areas one needs in Android/Flash development -- dev environment setup, touch/gestures, file system, geolocation/accelerometer, layouts, ad integration, and submission to the Android Market.

Regarding deficiencies, the only one I can think of would be the absence of recipes on integration with web services and remote database access. Maybe this is covered in other Flash Builder books, but I think the book would have even more value if it had a few recipes and guidelines for that.

Overall, this is a handy guide for Flash developers who want to cut through the fluff and get right to coding.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book to add code recipes Oct. 3 2011
By 5-opinions-in-one - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have found the book Flash Development for Android Cookbook very useful in the
coding phase of a project. It is very easy to find a particular recipe of code
cut and paste it into a project and use it. The description for each recipe provide
a good explanation of what the code is doing and also provides background on why
each recipe works.

The book starts by describing several development environments for setup and
debugging and as this is a book targeted at improving coding, this was a
welcome item to see. The book covers quite a few areas including gestures,
gps, accelerometer, camera, microphone, video, audio, network, file system,
database, security, and distribution. While the book is targeted at Android,
it's clear that many of the recipies can be used on other AIR platforms as
well.

What I liked best about the book is that when I choose a recipe, and flipped
to the correct page, there were no jumps anywhere else. That is, everything
I needed for the recipe is included in the recipe. Also, several of the recipes
have found thier way into my production code.

I recommend this book to a mid level developer who is familiar with ActionScript
and is looking to speed up the coding phase of a mobile project, especially if
the target device is Android.
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