Mobile Development Hits Its Stride
We've covered lots of niche app development tools for mobile recently, from the likes of iBuildApp with its content-based apps to Counduit's app platform. Now, the big guns are starting to wade into town with heavy-hitting apps for the largest businesses.
Enter Adobe and its massively uprated Flash Builder and Flex open source framework tools that make an appearance in the new Creative Suite 5.5 to offer development power, helping get an app onto the target device faster and using modern design techniques to improve the process and save time.
Adobe reckons there is about a 40% time saving in time-to-market, 70%+ code reuse across apps and rapid production, with apps being delivered as Adobe Air packages, which also means a lot of your favorite desktop Air apps could rapidly end up on smartphones or tablets.
You can check out a demo video of the app creation process and see some in action on this Adobe TV video. The developers estimate that the Adobe Air code runs at the same speed as native apps -- it might be a smidge slower, but you'll probably need a high-speed camera and an accurate time system to spot the difference.
Useful features in the development system allow for creator's choice of resolution, optional scaling, fixed orientation or automatic switching and range of preset templates depending on the type of device. With institutions such as banks and massive corporations looking to roll out their internal applications to corporate mobile users, this is a timely announcement.
Obviously, these apps need to work, and there are extensive emulation and on-device debugging options, which can be done via a device connected with USB. In this mode, developers can dig down to the byte level to find out if there's a problem in the app.
Join the PHP Party
Alongside this news, there is also the release of Zend's Adobe Flash Builder for PHP that includes the same developer tools, allowing PHP coders to bring their apps to the party. The new apps will ship with Android capability built-in and a soon-to-be-released patch will add iOS and BlackBerry support.
Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 products are scheduled to ship within 30 days, with prices around US$ 249 for Flash Builder 4.5 Standard, US$ 699 for Flash Builder 4.5 Premium, US$ 399 for Flash Catalyst and US$ 699 for Flash Professional. Flash Builder 4.5 Premium is also included in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium and Master Collection.