Building Tablet Applications at MAX 2011!

September 15, 2011By 13 Comments

Adobe MAX is coming soon and I’m very excited to be co-presenting a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Lab with Christophe Coenraets this year! The official title is Building an Enterprise App for Android Tablets in 90 Minutes, however we will be targeting Tablet devices in general, not just Android. You will walk away from the lab with a full-fledged Tablet application that works great on iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab (10in), Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry PlayBook and more. It will serve as an excellent reference for all things mobile since we cover a ton of different mobile development features and use various APIs for some added coolness.

Here are some highlights of the application we’ll be building:

  • Specifically target a tablet with a split panel look (list on the left/detail on the right – think mail clients on tablets)
  • Use states to control layout based on things like current device orientation, OS (android, iOS, qnx) and device type (phone/tablet). NOTE: Honestly, this alone is a reason to come to this session. You will see how you can use a states helper class to automatically update states for all of these things (orientation, OS and device type) and simplify the multi-platform development challenge in a big way!
  • Use a SQLite local database for persisting data
  • ESRI map incorporation
  • Geocoding and reverse geocoding with Google Geocoding APIs
  • Camera Integration – take a picture and save it to your database
  • GPS Integration
  • Using Gestures
  • Using a BusyIndicator
  • Custom styles and skins
  • Custom components including a popup list implementation (to replace a drop-down)
  • Custom item renderers

And much more!

The spots are going fast so register now! At last check we had only 20 or so left out of 100, so if the above sounds good to you then what are you waiting for?! Our session will be held Wednesday, October 5th from 8:30-10am. Don’t miss out!

See you at MAX :-)!!!

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  1. See you there!!! Finally we can meet in person 😀

  2. Lars Klander says:

    I have another conference I need to attend that week…any chance of you making a recording available for sale afterwards?

  3. Georges says:

    Looking forward:

    – Ticks on Optimizing these apps would go a very long way too.

    – If Adobe intends to create wrappers for all iOS components.

    – Is there a way to speed up the push of Views, cause the lag to push a new view is the reason I’m not developing Mobile Apps with Flex.

    Looking forward.

  4. Akshay says:

    I am already registered for this session and I am all excited \m/…But I have Samsung Galaxy 7in. tablet with Gingerbread. Will that work?


  5. ashil says:

    I notice you use the ESRI mapping API. Is this because the Google Maps Flash API has been deprecated and all its community abandoned by Google? (see
    It’s been one month now, and I can’t find any comments by Adobe or any of the Flex evangelists. We can not integrate Google Maps in a Flex application any more! Maybe not the right place to talk about this, but I would like to hear something aboout this important news from Adobe.



    • Ashil – you are correct, Google has decided to deprecate the APIs and focus on their mainstream mapping use cases. Although the Flash APIs get millions of hits daily, it’s a tiny fraction of their overall map usage, so it makes sense for them to focus their efforts on the mainstream javascript maps. Until recently, the Flash APIs offered a dramatic performance improvement compared to JavaScript, but now that the JavaScript engines are getting crazy fast, the benefits are only a few.

      By the way, Google’s deprecation policy states that the APIs will be available for 3 more years, so there is no rush…you can still use them in your apps, as long as you are aware that in 3 years, you need to be using another solution, or implementing the javascript version in your app using native extensions or other means.

      The ESRI maps are very nice, and many think they look better than the Google Maps. Personally, I love the look of them. They also have many enterprise features not offered in Google maps such as demographic data overlays, etc. Also, the Google Maps Flash APIs never worked on iOS because of the way they implemented the mapping (they use module loading which is not allowed on iOS), so this is the primary reason why you don’t see them in many mobile apps. No developer working on a mobile app wants to lock themselves out of iOS.

      The ESRI maps work great on Android and iOS. Also, MapQuest has some new Flash/Flex Map APIs that are fantastic and mobiel friendly.

      There are lots of options, and each choice has advantages and disadvantages. They also have subtle differences in their licensing that you need to pay attention to.

      I’m working on a blog post that should be ready in the next couple of weeks that details the various mapping choices including the ones I’ve mentioned here.


      Greg Wilson
      Adobe Systems, Inc.

      • ashil says:


        Thanks for your response. This topic is critical for my company (and for others according to the maps forum), as we build our product around this API. The deprecation was kind of brutal, and we need to think of other options, even if Google claim they will support the Flash API for 3 years.

        Be sure to describe the licensing terms of each solutions; the ESRI web site is not clear at all about what you can get, and under wich conditions.

        Useful links about Flex/Javascript integration would be nice also; but I suspect there are (still) not much attempts to integrate Google Maps in a Flex App through Javascript.

        Thanks for your informative answers,


        • No problem Ashil – there are some interesting things happening with native extensions and google maps API (Javascript)…. basically having a native extension to trigger an ‘intent’ and having the google map appear on top of the app. Here’s a video that Lee Brimelow did to demonstrate —

          So… there are a few options. Be sure to check out mapquest too.

          Are you going to MAX? The MapQuest guys will be there… not sure about ESRI.


          • ashil says:

            The video is great! Are they using the StageWebView? Native extensions and StageWebView is a HUGE step for Air, as it opens endless possibilties.

            But this is not the case in the browser… Please check out those guys:

            They managed more or less to use the javascript Google Maps API in a Flex App. But it looks like more of a hack, and the iFrame does not allow to draw Flex content on top of it. Anyway, their conclusion is interesting: Flash needs to mash up with other Web technologies. With HTML5 gaining traction, a lot more features will be available through html/javascript. Flex remains a fantastic technology to develop applications without worrying about the platform/browser; opening Flash to other Web contents will assure that Flex App are not tied to third-party companies to maintain their Flex API.

            Today, Google abandons their Flash API; what about ESRI in 2, 3, 5 years? Opening flash to other contents (something similar as native extensions in Air) would be a smart move: software companies could invest in Flex in a long-term strategy.

            Would love to be at MAX…



  6. Babak says:

    Hi Holly

    These all sound great. I wish I could attend Adobe Max but I live in Australia. will Adobe Max session become available on web for download later on?
    Are you guys going to share the source code of the app as well?

    Cheers and good luck.

  7. For those of us who have been using the ESRI Flex api over the years this is very exciting. Our company have actually just launched a free mobile ArcGIS map app written in AIR into the Android and Apple stores. See this post for details:

    Oh, and wanted to agree with Gregs comment about MapQuest. Their new Flash mobile api is fantastic. Particularly for building location based services.

    Looking forward to your presie Holly.


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