dev giveaway 3
Last Updated: July 7th, 2011

To help aspiring Android developers get off the ground and develop our next dream app, Android Police has partnered with O'Reilly Media, one of the largest technical book publishers, to give away a multitude of Android books to our readers. Each week or so for the next few months, we'll be giving away a different O'Reilly Android book, asking for nothing but a minute of your time in return.

Developing Android Applications with Flex 4.5

This time around, we're giving away Rich Tretola's Developing Android Applications with Flex 4.5, which was published by O'Reilly just last month (May 2011). The book starts by describing the process of creating and debugging a Flex Mobile project, and then goes into more detail on application layouts and various permissions / configuration settings. You'll also be taught how to use a number of common Android APIs, as well as how to properly work with the file system and SQLite databases. At the end of the book, after a chapter on interacting with the Android OS, you will learn how to publish your completed application using the Android Installer.

You can take a gander at the first few pages via Amazon, look at the table of contents on O'Reilly's website, or read the book's full description below:

Ready to put your ActionScript 3 skills to work on mobile apps? This hands-on book walks you through the process of creating an Adobe AIR application from start to finish, using the Flex 4.5 framework. Move quickly from a basic Hello World application to complex interactions with Android APIs, and get complete code examples for working with Android device components—GPS, camera, gallery, accelerometer, multitouch display, and OS interactions. No matter how much Flex experience you have, this book is the ideal resource.

  • Use Flash Builder 4.5 to create and debug a Flex Mobile project
  • Choose a layout option to determine which files Flash Builder auto-generates
  • Select permissions that control which devices can install your app from the Android Market
  • Explore APIs that enable your app to interact with specific Android OS features
  • Learn how to read and write text files, browse the file system for media files, and create and write to an SQLite database
  • Use the URLRequest class to open your app in the browser, place calls, and create emails and text messages
  • Load web and video content into your app with StageWebView
  • Publish your app to an Android installer file with Flash Builder

Developing Android Applications with Flex 4.5 costs $19.99 on Amazon, but we're giving away one free copy - read on for complete instructions.

How to Win

The contest is now over, and the winners have been posted here.

In the vein of past book giveaways, this contest does not involve social media. To enter, simply leave a comment here in this post (not on Facebook) and tell everyone why they should use Flex for developing Android apps as opposed to the conventional approach.

The winner will be selected by the Android Police and O'Reilly panel after June 29th 11:59 p.m. PT. Make sure you use your real email in your comment, as that's what we'll use to contact the winner.

Oh, and we try to fight for this every time we do a giveaway, so I'm happy to report that this contest is open to anyone in the world!

Good luck, and may the best aspiring developer win!

Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

  • Robert Waites

    Flex is a better way to go

  • http://L33.me Lee Graham

    I've been a part of the Adobe Beta programs for Flash & Flex because their goal has been "code once, deploy everywhere." Flex 4.5 is truly the first release to do so.

  • Kyle

    Flex makes life sooo much easier! I would love this book!

  • claudiu

    A Flex mobile app can be deployed on Android, Blackberry OS as well as iOS. The perfect way to code mobile apps. I would love this book.

  • Brian Bockelman

    I want this book so I can learn to code.
    My face staring at the keyboard will be my mode.
    What's with the hype of Flex 4.5?
    Give it to me, make me feel alive!
    I'll be coding all day I won't have time to shower.
    Download my apps and feel the power!
    I may start to smell and my head full o grease.
    But at least I'm a fan of Android Police!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/jaroslav-stekl/ Jaroslav Stekl

      Well played, sir. Well played.

  • Matt

    Flex is extremely powerful and very simple to use. Makes life so much easier. Would love a book to help me learn more.

  • Daniel Davis

    I think you should use Flex to program as it will allow you to enter a larger market for your product. Not only can Flex be used to program Android, but other applications as well.

  • Morgan

    I need this book because Flex sounds SO much easier than the other methods!

  • sergiu

    Flex allows for a lot more complex animations and effects. Just imagine the games we'd be able to create!

  • http://twitter.com/modah modah

    I don't know how Flex works, so let me learn it with this book please.

  • Nocturnhabeo

    why code in Assembly when you can code in C why use java when you can use flex :D

  • ryannab

    flex is real good

  • Eric Belair

    It's simple: use one code base and deploy to multiple platforms!!! Why would use anything else? Unless you like wasting time...

  • aalphons

    I want to try making my first android app with the help of this book!

  • Vishal

    I don't expect to win but I'm new to mobile development and would like to make Android the first platform that I develop for. Flex would be a great starting point.

  • Mgamerz

    Flex saves you the pain of more null pointer exceptions. My nightmares have null pointer exceptions D:

  • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

    Anything that makes a developers life easier means we can spend more time on refining and delivering a great product.

  • http://odoe.net Rene Rubalcava

    Being able to quickly knock out a prototype, then refine it using Flex to Android is such a great workflow that any developer should be more than happy to at least give it a try.

  • Abel Guzman

    because its awesome

  • mskks64

    I would tell everyone why they should use flex to develop apps, but I don't know what it is. Maybe with this book I will understand

  • Ary

    flex is a true cross platform sdk. it run anywhere flash can play. and with air it's simply a whole new level of programming options. one can make the most sofisticated ui to their apps anywhere that air is supported, pc, mobile.
    even apple broke and understood that they have to let flex air run on their ios or else android will win.

  • Liz

    Flex is easier to use, more versatile (across more platforms) and can handle more complex tasks. Why wouldn't you want to use it?

  • Tommy

    I want this book so much! I want to learn how to make my own android apps and sounds like flex is the way to go!

  • http://android.jamtheman.dk Jacob Markussen

    Flex simply offers a better and more unique way of developing multi-platform mobile apps of the highest quality!
    And this is why not only I but every eager mobile developer should have this book!

  • Enrique Sanchez

    I need this soooo badly.....

  • Joe

    Flex provides the ability to create some stinking powerful applications with an amazing look and feel.

    You can take your RIA that you already have OR create an new one or create games, business apps, utilities etc.

    The Flex platform is solid in terms of development and mature in the world of design, it's a win win for everyone (Developer and User)

    I'm a flash developer and would love to learn more via this book about how to code for Android with Flex!

  • Warner

    Adroid devs out there should use Flex in creating android applications because Flex Applications are highly interactive, expressive interfaces, increase the speed in application development, and it runs faster compared to the conventional approach. Just read the book "Developing Android Applications with Flex 4.5 from O’Reilly" to learn using Flex for Android. Enjoy Flex programming =)

  • Kiran Parmar

    Developing on Android & can't think of what conventional methods would be able to give your app the design you dreamed about?
    Well, use Flex with Android & you know what-- Imagination is the limit!

  • http://www.twitter.com/four8fifteen16 Ben

    Please and Thank You

  • http://www.elkotek.com.tr Nesat Ufuk

    That's the best way to write an Android app for non-programmers.

  • Jeppe Rishede Thomsen

    I hope to be able to earn a bit from developing apps for smart phones, and Flex will make it easier for me to make nice looking apps and deploy them on multiple platforms.

  • @deho777

    Flex is the best. It allows the developer the "Flex"ibility to develop not only for Android but multiple devices and platforms such as BlackBerry PlayBook and iOS.

  • kevin

    Cool contest. I have been itching to get rid of my iPhone and move to an Android phone for a while, now. I am currently waiting for news of the Samsung Attain being released on AT&T and that will most likely be when I make my move.

    Much of my interest in moving to Android is due to the ease at which applications can be developed for the platform. Pair that with the fact that I have been developing flash and flex applications for a few years now and it seems like a natural move, for me, from web to the mobile environment.

    I would really enjoy picking this up, here's to hoping I win :)

  • Timothy C

    I have never tried using Flex for mobile programming but I would love to begin. If previous comments are true regarding the ability to port the same program to multiple platforms (BB, iOS, android) then I would love to begin developing using Flex. Count me in!

  • Curtis

    I could write what you want to hear; Like how awesome FLEX is etc...or I could tell you the truth. I have no idea what Flex is, never even heard of it before today. However I'm an old school programmer; Basic, C, and Oracle DB/Java. I love the Android platform and recently, I have some time to devote to learning to program again. From the comments already psoted, it seems Flex is a very worthwhile language to consider, given it's cross platform capability. I am a firm believer in freeware/shareware and my programming is mostly a hobby as I'm employed in the Canadian Navy, thus I will "pay it forward" if I do happen to program with Flex. Thanks for the contest and for offering some free stuff to the dev community.
    Fair winds and following seas my friends!

  • Hayashi

    Flex is pretty cool and is basically means what its name is, its flexible. Being able to create an app based off on set of code for all the different OS's is such a nice feature and saves so much time.

  • http://www.tomauger.com Tom Auger

    Developing for Android using Adobe's Flex platform makes a ton of sense and is a great thing for both the Android development community as well as the Android user base at large. For developers, leveraging Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 the advantages are hard to resist: an easy Design View where you can literally drag-and-drop common interface elements and components that are already skinned to look like conventional Android UI elements; publishing/testing/debugging direct to the device using a USB connection; simple one-stop authoring (no need for multiple manifest files, XML and so forth until you're ready to deploy); direct access to most of the hardware and low-level APIs all wrapped up in well-documented ActionScript 3 methods.

    For the Android community in general, this is also a great thing: an entirely new class of developers with ActionScript 3 skills now have access to authoring for mobile platforms. Not only does this mean more apps and more variety, but one may notice a difference in quality or usability as well, since many of the developers coming from Flex/Flash backgrounds have a stronger focus on UI/UX than their Java brethren. And we'll see less and less "iPhone envy" as with Flash Builder, a developer can target iOS, Android and even PlayBook with a fair degree of ease, making it likely for apps to be able to be pushed out simultaneously to all three major mobile platforms.

    Well, that's how I see it, and it suddenly makes mobile authoring a possibility for me - not only can I defer delving into Java for a while, but the potential to be able to release an app in three markets simultaneously makes the revenue potential that much more attractive and can better justify the investment of time and learning curve. I can leverage my many years of ActionScript 3 and web-based RIA authoring experience and quickstart the process of mobile development. This is some of the most exciting news in a long time for me!

  • http://flexology.wordpress.com Venkateswaran Viswanath

    Flex is the easiest way to create Android apps. You have a ready to use, out-of-the-box application called Adobe Flex where you can literally code once and use the application in different mobile platforms like Android, iOS and Blackberry playbook.

    It reduces development time and helps create consistent UIs for mobile applications.

    Way to go Flex 4.5!!!

  • Zigmar

    Don't want any goddamn flex

  • Elias

    Flex is much easier than the conventional approach. Skip the learning curve and get to the results!

  • Martin

    Flex 4.5 lets go!