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My First Flex Mobile App: Quick Shopper

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My First Flex Mobile App: Quick Shopper

· Mobile Zone ·
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Work has kept me from doing much personal coding lately, but when I had some time to spare I spent it building a mobile app with Flash Builder, and I've now released it (for free) on the Android Market.

It's called Quick Shopper.  It's a fairly unremarkable app that I built mainly for my own use, to replace the pen and paper list I would always take to the grocery store.  There are more than a few apps like it in the Android Market, but I felt like building my own.

In fact, I had originally planned to code it as a native Android app but never got around to it, and after attending a workshop Adam Lehman gave to the local Flash/Flex user group that showed how easy it was to build and deploy an app with Flash Builder 4.5 I thought it would serve as a good learning experience.

And it was. I hadn't touched Flex since version 2, so while certain concepts were familiar I had to relearn a few things.  And of course all of the Spark stuff was brand-new.  But the documentation and blog posts I found online helped me figure out how to get everything working, and the device emulator and mobile device debugger in Flash Builder helped me work out some of the details via trial-and-error.

So am I a mobile Flex convert?  I'll put it this way:  when I come up with my next idea for an app I want for my Android devices, my first thought will be "can I build this with Flash Builder?"  If I can, and I don't see any significant advantage in coding the app in native Android code, then I'll probably go the Flash Builder route.  There may be some app designs that would work better as native apps (apps with widgets, or apps that utilize the scheduling and notification services of the Android OS), but now that Adobe's adding the ability to create native OS code extensions that work with Flex mobile apps, the number of cases where one would have no choice but to go the native route will probably get smaller.

As I said, it's not a very exciting app, but feel free to download it and check it out (it's free, after all).  I made use of the new feature in the Android Market that lets you provide multiple APKs for an app, so tablet users who download it will automatically get the tablet version with the larger icons and slightly tweaked UI layout, and phone users will get the "regular" version.


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