Adobe Flex to gain mobile app capabilities

A separate mobile branch of framework had been pondered, but device performance increases made branching unnecessary

Adobe, with the planned "Hero" version of its open source Flex framework for building Web applications, will feature mobile application-building capabilities, the company said this week.

The company had investigated splitting off mobile development into a new Flex framework branch, codenamed "Slider." But performance increases on smartphone-class devices and an optimized performance of Adobe runtimes on these devices make it feasible to support mobile development within the core Fled framework, according to Adobe. Flex leverages the Adobe Flash Player and AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) runtimes. Performance Improvements are featured in Flash Player 10.1.

[ See InfoWorld's report on the ongoing debate about the value of proprietary plug-ins like Flash versus the HTML5 specification. ]

"Hero will augment a number of existing Flex components with mobile- and touch-optimized skins and functionality and will also add new components that support mobile-specific UI patterns," Adobe said in a statement sent to InfoWorld on Thursday.

Mobile features originally planned for the separate "Slider" framework will now be a part of the Flex framework beginning with the Hero release, Adobe said.

Hero, due in a preview version later this year, will offer mobile development features such as a construct for managing "screens" of an application and the ability to scale applications automatically on devices with varying pixel densities, Adobe said.  

Developers building applications for devices can use Flex features like dynamic layout and Spark UI components. But some Flex features are not optimized for mobile uses, such as the original "MX" component set.

It is technically possible to run Flex desktop applications on a mobile device, but the user experience likely will not be ideal, given the screen size and performance constraints, Adobe said.

This article, "Adobe Flex to gain mobile app capabilities," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter and on your mobile device at infoworldmobile.com.

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