Flash Development for Android Cookbook Paperback – 16 Jun 2011
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About the Author
Joseph Labrecque is primarily employed by the University of Denver as a senior interactive software developer specializing in the Adobe Flash Platform, where he produces innovative academic toolsets for both traditional desktop environments and emerging mobile spaces. Alongside this principal role; he often serves as adjunct faculty, communicating upon a variety of Flash Platform solutions and general Web design and development subjects. In addition to his accomplishments in higher education, Joseph is the proprietor of Fractured Vision Media, LLC; a digital media production company, technical consultancy, and distribution vehicle for his creative works. He is founder and sole abiding member of the dark ambient recording project "An Early Morning Letter, Displaced" whose releases have received international award nominations and underground acclaim. Joseph has contributed to a number of respected community publications as an article writer and video tutorialist. He regularly speaks at user group meetings and industry conferences such as Adobe MAX, FITC, and D2WC. In 2010, he received an Adobe Impact Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the education community. He has served as an Adobe Education Leader since 2008 and is also a 2011 Adobe Community Professional. Visit him on the Web at http://memoryspiral.com/.
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
All the chapters are equally important and cover a wide range of features, but which ones you'll actually need to use will depend on your project and what you are trying to achieve. Although the title of this book specifies Android, most of the code in this book will work equally well on iOS devices and the BlackBerry PlayBook. That's the joy of developing using ActionScript and AIR!
I was particularly pleased to see that nearly all the code examples were IDE agnostic and didn't tie you in to the Flex framework. They concentrated on using pure ActionScript in whatever IDE you feel comfortable working in. In fact, Joseph even went to the trouble of explaining any IDE specific stuff using example in Flash Pro CS5.5, Flash Builder 4.5 and FDT 4.1.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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