Adobe just blurred the line between native and Adobe Flash/AIR development on the PlayBook yet again with the release of Adobe Flash Builder 4.6. This update is a complimentary update for developers from Flash Builder v4.5 and adds what they call Native Extensions and Captive Runtime. I could try to explain them but I will let Adobe do the hard work:
- Native Extensions allow developers to complement their Flex applications with native C, Objective-C, and Java libraries. With access to Apple iOS, Google Android, and BlackBerry Tablet OS APIs, your applications can take advantage of native features like notifications and the calendar. Flash Builder provides complete support for both managing and packaging Native Extensions. To learn more about the possibilities and how to build your own native extension, see Oliver Goldman’s article.
- Captive Runtime provides a new way to package your applications, offering a streamlined on-device install experience that no longer requires an install or update to runtimes from the Android Market. Everything your application needs to run — on any device — is packaged directly into the native install file.
The new Flash Builder 4.6 also adds support for:
- monitoring network for mobile projects
- unit testing support for mobile projects with FlexUnit
- and an improved Flash Builder start page that highlights new content and extensions.
If you have Flash Builder 4.5 and want a free upgrade or simply want 4.6 you can check it out here. I am really curious to see if this will allow developers to create native apps for the PlayBook with an Adobe AIR frontend…