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Adobe AIR Development

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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.


helex wrote:

Is it even possible to add the native extensions to the AIR apps inside the apk files or is there anything BlackBerry could do to make the native extension possible inside the runtime?


In theory, yes, but you'll have to re-write your native code in Android Java. In theory you could also drop down to C/C++ via JNI, but this would add even more plumbing to an already rather kludgy solution. And this is probably all untested and unsupported.

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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.

The UI ANE works fine on Android. Except for ActionBar overflow and a few other things that can be recoded.

If they are going to drop the SDK, then they should at least open source the SDK.
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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.

[ Edited ]

All this outrage seems to be a bit silly imo.

 

The AIR runtime has been in dissarray for over a year, the latest update took AGES to come out, and was absolutely FULL of bugs. Then Blackberry announced they would do no further updates to the runtime. AIR support was basically on life-support, with no signs of ever awakening.

 

Now, we get word that we can use Android Captive runtime, and that Blackberry is providing solid tooling to convert APK's to BAR.

 

If we look at Pros vs Cons:

 

PROS

* Extended lease on life. Can now use latest version of AIR, as they are released.

* Vast reduction in bugs, Input Text will no longer crash apps for example

* Improved GPU Render Mode support (total **bleep** in bb10-air-runtime)

* Ability to use Ad-SDK that were previously unavailable

 

CONS

* Need to convert existing apps, which takes time

* Need to remove existing BB10 API hooks

* Issues with packaging and removing "air." prefix

 

As long as Blackberry continues to work on the conversion tools, and makes sure that the workflow is solid and fairly frictionless, this is overall a positive development I think. At least it brings new life to the runtime and allows us to keep up with latest API's.

 

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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.

[ Edited ]

-jtegen wrote:
The UI ANE works fine on Android. Except for ActionBar overflow and a few other things that can be recoded.

If they are going to drop the SDK, then they should at least open source the SDK.

Thanks for sharing and looking into this,

 

I do have a small number of apps that I could probably convert over if I wanted to, good to know that some UI is working and may not need recoding.  If I ever change my mind on BBRY in the future, it will help me (and others) with reworking the applications.

 

Open source sure would have been nice Smiley Happy

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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.


shawnblais wrote:

 

All this outrage seems to be a bit silly imo. [....] If we look at Pros vs Cons:

 


That may be because you are overlooking a lot of cons:

 

  • No Built-for-BlackBerry
  • Android apps cannot run in the Work perimeter. With Flex being used a lot in corporate environments, this is a major blocker for many developers doing LOB contract work;
  • There is often no equivalent for the BB10 API's under Android for apps that require this functionality;
  • The AIR runtime on BB10 contains quite a few additional functions from the desktop profile that are not implemented in the Android version of the runtime;
  • Many hardware features that are available under BB10 via native extensions are impossible under Android, such as BTLE, NFC.
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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.

We've added an FAQ section to the End of Support notice that covers many of the questions that have been asked on this thread.  Here's an inline copy from that page:

 


 

FAQ

 

Why is the Adobe AIR runtime being removed from the BlackBerry 10 OS?

BlackBerry is focusing its efforts on its HTML5, Android runtime, and native development offerings. The latest BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps, available as part of the upcoming 10.3.0 SDK OS beta release, offers new feature support and greater compatibility, so you can easily create an Android version of your AIR app and repackage your .apk into a BlackBerry app for distribution in BlackBerry World.

 

When is the Adobe AIR runtime being removed?

We expect BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 to be commercially available toward the end of the year. BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 and above will not support the Adobe AIR runtime.

 

What happens if I do nothing with my Adobe AIR app?

Your app will no longer function for users that are running BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 on their device, nor will they be able to download/install your app from BlackBerry World. To ensure a smooth experience for your end users, we strongly encourage you to begin exploring one of the migration options.

 

Are new Adobe AIR app submissions to BlackBerry World still being accepted?

BlackBerry will continue accepting Adobe AIR app submissions to BlackBerry World. However, AIR apps will not be available in BlackBerry World for users running BlackBerry 10 version 10.3.1 and above. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to use this opportunity to migrate your existing AIR app using one of the available migration options.

 

Will my Adobe AIR app be removed from BlackBerry World?

Your Adobe AIR app will not be available in BlackBerry World for users running BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.1 and above. Users running BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3.0 and below will still be able to purchase and/or download your app in BlackBerry World.

 

What about Adobe AIR apps built for the BlackBerry PlayBook OS?

At this time, apps built built for the BlackBerry PlayBook OS are not affected.

 

The app I built with the BlackBerry 10 Adobe AIR SDK achieved the Built for BlackBerry designation. What happens to my app's Built for BlackBerry designation if I migrate it?

If you would like to keep the Built for BlackBerry designation, we recommend migrating your app to HTML5 with the BlackBerry 10 WebWorks SDK. Unfortunately, Android apps are not accepted under the Built for BlackBerry program, so if you choose to rebuild your Adobe AIR app as an .apk file and repackage it for BlackBerry, the app will no longer be eligible for the Built for BlackBerry designation. If you have an Adobe AIR app that has achieved the Built for BlackBerry designation, we’ll be reaching out to you shortly with details about additional opportunities for direct support and assistance.

 

Can I put the Android version of my Adobe AIR application as a BAR file in BlackBerry World and have users install it as an upgrade?

Yes. As long as your application’s “Package-Name” and the code signing keys do not change, then your application’s “Package-Id” will not change and a new BAR file can be uploaded to the vendor portal as an update to the existing application. The customer’s device will then recognize the new BAR file as an update to the existing application. Note that by default, Flash Builder automatically prefixes “air.” to an application’s package name when exporting as an Android application. Please refer to this article to learn how to export a release without the “air.” prefix.

 

Will my migrated app retain the same ratings and reviews in BlackBerry World as my original Adobe AIR app?

Yes. Ratings and reviews are attached to the BlackBerry World “AppId”, so as long as your application’s “Package-Id” does not change and the BAR file is uploaded as a new release under your existing application, then your ratings and reviews will be retained.

 

My original Adobe AIR app made use of in-app payments. What happens if I migrate it to Android?

The BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps supports in-app payments through BlackBerry World. You can add digital goods in the BlackBerry World vendor portal and then offer them for sale in your application. Learn more about support for in-app payments here.

 

Can Android AIR native extensions be used to replace BlackBerry AIR native extensions?

Native code bundled within your Android application is supported on BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1 and above.

 

Will Android Ad SDKs work on BlackBerry 10?

Most Android Ad SDKs should work without issues. We recommend that you repackage your application as an .apk and test it on a BlackBerry 10 device or simulator to ensure everything works as intended.

 

What is the latest version of Android that is supported in the BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps?

BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1 supports Android 4.2.2 within the BlackBerry Runtime for Android apps. BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.3 will support Android 4.3. The Adobe AIR captive runtime is supported on Android 2.3 and above.

Mark Sohm
BlackBerry Development Advisor

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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.

[ Edited ]

Thanks Mark, that is better (it answers some of the core questions around HOW to convert the app to Android) - it misses a lot of the others but at least its something.

 

Your saying you've decided to pull support.  So any application we have created that uses the BlackBerry ANE's or BFB needs to be rebuilt from scratch in another language - which is frustrating to say the least but not news for us at this point (it has been a week since you guys replied to this thread).  However, because I'm dealing with hundreds of applications (also not news at this point) I'm forced to go with option B (leaving the platform) as the time to recode is greater than any possible profit (basically, I'm being kicked off the platform by you afaiac, but i digress, as again, this also isn't news - I'm not the only one and it isn't all about me).

 

Which means ... on my way out, I have one last question I'm hoping you can help me with.  I need to direct approx 50,000 (probably more) users to someone at BlackBerry to complain about the applications becoming unavailable because that decision was made by you (not me). 

 

Do you want me to send these to developerrelations@blackberry.com or do you have a work email I can forward them to?  Because I sure don't want them replying to me Smiley Happy

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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.

Would the right address be MarkSohm@blackberry.com?  I'm sure you could add an auto-rule and auto-reply if you prefer...

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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.

It would be nice if Blackberry gave an official tip to the users. It would ceratainly help the users to understand those cases when the apps stop working. This is a real problem that users will face, so an official statement to help in the users transition would be nice too.

 

 

Also, Mark:

 

Could you please check if support for flash content in the browser will stop working? I immagine the answer will be yes, but I'd like to be sure.

 

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Re: It's OFFICIAL. Adobe AIR support dropped from 10.3.1.

The larger question is how user's would be informed. Avid users probably know "AIR is dead", but they might not know which application this will impact. This will still not stop user's to run their frustrations towards the developer and not to BB/Adobe where the emails should be focused towards.