| Jodie O'Rourke's Flash Mobile Application Development For Dummies is the first book to supply needed information, not easily found on the web or in other books, about developing apps for Android and iOS .|
For the last eight months, I've been researching how to create a storybook app in FlashR Professional. I have purchased many books about Flash and AIRR but they all seem to give the same information, falling short of supplying the critical information needed to create a performance optimized app in Flash Professional. I was able to find a little information on the AdobeR site and a few blogs, but nothing that completely covered this important topic.
Also, most of the Flash-related mobile development books available concentrate on using Flash BuilderR to develop mobile apps and only touch on Flash Professional. This was very frustrating due to the high visual nature of a storybook application and Flash Builder's limitations in this area. Flash Professional is the best choice for apps that rely heavily on illustration, animation and user interaction.
Jodie O'Rourke's book, released a few days ago, not only concentrates on Flash Professional as the development environment but covers the advanced topics that will help you to optimize your application's performance. You will enjoy Jodie O'Rourke's subtle humor throughout the book as she discusses some very complicated topics in non-technical language with simple step-by-step instructions.
As you would expect, being a For Dummies book, the author starts with the basic topics from mobile-related terminology and what makes a good app to an introduction to the Flash Professional tools and workspace. Covering both the AndroidR and iOSR platforms, the sample project that you develop throughout the book is an arcade game called SpaceShipZapZap. You can try the game for free from the app stores and also download the source code from the Dummies website. As you build the app, the author shares her experience in app development and discusses how to avoid common pitfalls with good development decisions.
You begin by building a start screen for the game, using the Flash drawing tools. The author explains how she creates filter effects, such as drop shadows, without using those CPU hungry filters and how ActionScript code, such as bottlenecks, can become CPU problematic and how to avoid them in your code.
You use ActionScript to initialize the app and to create your alien fleet. But you can't have a game if the fleet just sits there. O'Rourke teaches animation basics from frame-by-frame animation and tweening to coding your animations with ActionScript and collision detection. She discusses how to create interaction, such as drag and drop, using event listeners and how to avoid performance problems such as event bubbling. She also explains how garbage collection works and discusses other performance aids such as using device fonts, object pooling and bitmap caching.
Of course, she also covers incorporating mobile features into your app, such as geolocation, SMS, calls, maps, multi-touch gestures and the accelerometer. She discusses the development considerations when using embedded audio/video versus the various ways to stream over the internet. She also covers how to collect user information with forms and the mobile keyboard and your storage/retrieval options.
Now that you have built the perfect app, you need to test it on a target device using the Flash testing tools and WiFi. She also covers how to test your app in Device Central and Flash Builder and discusses how to set up your app for Ad Hoc testing with multiple testers. Finally, she covers what is needed to submit your app to both the Android and iOS app store.
Although this book concentrates on Flash Professional, the author includes a chapter on creating and testing an RSS reader app in Flash Builder. The Part of Tens section includes tips on performance optimization, pleasing the app user and app store success.
Jodie O'Rourke is an Adobe Certified Flash and Flex Platform Expert and Adobe Community Professional specializing in Flash, Flex and AIR development.
*I purchased this book with my own funds.
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