Last week I created my first ever mobile application. It is an AIR app for Android. The app is called aTabSplitter because ahh, it just helps you to split a restaurant bill between many people. Here are some screenshots with the two screens of the app:
Developing this small application was quite entertaining. But it teach me a few lessons too:
- You know the old saying “premature optimization is the root of all evil”. This is true for mobile apps too. You never know if some framework or workflow will do the job until you actually try. In my case, the common sense was telling me that Flex 4 framework being a desktop framework is to heavy for the mobile world. After trying it, I think actually it works quite good for me. Your mileage can vary.
- Developing for mobile is not easy at all. I spent almost my entire professional life building web applications for desktops. Doing mobile apps after this is like trying to create jewels miniatures with the skills of a mine worker. You need a different mind set; you need to acquire new skills.
- It is highly educational watching people using your app. Because of the touch-input nature of the mobile apps and the personal experience each user carries forward from previous devices/apps, you will certainly notice some interesting behaviors. With my app, a friend tried to remove a person (on the first screen) by throwing him outside of the screen. Needless to say that I didn’t think of this workflow, but it gave me an idea on how to improve the app.
Finally, this week I had the time to clean up the UI and code a little bit, and put together a video (the making-of type of video). Here is the video (you can watch the video in higher resolution here):
If you want to have a look at the code (although I warn you it is not production ready) you can download this project file. If you want to run this on a computer without a touch screen you need to make couple of changes (work with MouseEvents instead of TouchEvents, change root node in main.mxml from Application to WindowedApplication).
I can’t wait to have AIR for Android out and see what people will build!
Update: if you fancy the Belorussian version of this post, check this out.