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Flash Pro and Flash Builder Mobile App Development

Still working in Flash Professional, the instructor discusses using the ActionScript navigateToUrl to allow the user of your app to make a phone call, send a text message, use the device map feature, send email using the native email system and open the Android marketplace for a custom search.

Moving back to Flash Builder, the instructor discusses aspects of working with data by interacting with the filestream to read, write and delete data from the sample To-Do app. He also covers how to display the data. Next, he introduces the local SQLite database and discusses how to setup and connect to the database, how to create a table and add a record, and how to add the UI components to your app to allow the user to perform these tasks. For a recipe app, the instructor demonstrates how to query the database and how to build an edit view screen for your app to update and delete a recipe.

Still working in Flash Builder, the instructor discusses online/offline features. He explains how to detect if the user is connected to the internet and display the latest online file. If not connected, you learn how to display the saved version of the file. Next, he moves on to using local shared objects. He demonstrates how to add a login form to your app and how to use shared objects to save the user's login information between sessions and populate the login form on his return. He also covers using XML to load, parse and display a Twitter feed and using JSON with the Google search API. The next topic is Open Authentication for online services. The instructor discusses OAUTH and how to use a 3rd party library with Flash Builder to setup this gateway.

Now, we are back into Flash Professional and the instructor covers adding multi-media to your app. He demonstrates how to use ActionScript to playback audio/video and control the device for recording audio/video to be stored on the device. He also discusses the ActionScript StageWebView to load a website url, capture bitmap data and display advertisements.

Finally, you are ready to learn how to prepare your app for testing and distribution to both the iOS and Android market. The instructors discuss how to prepare the necessary graphics and profiles for submitting your app to the marketplace and how to sign and package your app.

The last section is about optimizing your app. The instructors cover several tasks that must be considered such as detecting device resolution, monitoring app memory usage and releasing system resources when exiting your app. They also discuss using Google Analytics Tracking.

Overall, I was impressed by the amount of information packed into this video series. I liked the approach the instructors used by starting with a blank app for each topic, making it easier to learn each task without distraction from other aspects of a complicated app. Moving between Flash Professional and Flash Builder was helpful only if you are interested in working with both programs. If not, you might feel that some of the video content is not useful.

Peter Elst has over a decade of experience in the Internet industry and is a certified Flash instructor. Joseph Labrecque is a senior interactive software engineer at the University of Denver and often teaches a variety of Flash platform and web design and development.

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*Peachpit Press provided a copy of this book to me for review purposes.

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