I'm building a AIR mobile application at the moment and currently have no Android device to test on but i had this question:
Do all AIR for Android Apps need the AIR Runtime running on the device? Or is there a way to package an app to install and include the AIR Runtime without showing dependencies to the user? And what is the standard size for an AIR/Android app?
Adobe has obviously a lot of bad press with the Apple/Flash media bashing, and from looking at some apps currently on the Android Market place, there is the occasional dislike over the need for the AIR runtime. It would be good if this was a possibilty.
One of the features of AIR 3.0 and 3.1 is that you can do captive runtime apps. or now you would have to do that by building the app using the command line. I believe it adda something like 9MB to the APK size, but something that has worried people more is that it take up 25MB of internal memory once the app is installed.
Also as a side note to Adobe :
Are there plans to bring this file size/memory down in future releases? IPhone apps do not have this problem. I've noticed there are a number of Android app comments that raise this memory issue ( both the internal memory and download size ). And these criticisms inevitably reflect back to the developer if AIR is not visible. Or to both the developer and Adobe if AIR is visible. Either way it is a serious problem.
I'm a big supporter of what Adobe is trying to do with the AIR mobile solution and have been using Flash for 10+ years. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to convince clients to go down an Adobe route because of the recent Jobs-Apple-Flash bashing. Flash as a platform, was targeted in these negative marketing stunts so easily because everyone on the internet was given the name "Flash" when prompted with "Install this plugin" or "This plugin has crashed". It gave every internet user the belief that they knew exactly what Flash was - and they did in one sense - but only when confronted time-after-time with some half-baked ad content causing a user experience headache and fixing the word Flash = Annoying in a lot of people's heads. This plugin-nature was unavoidable in Browsers but should not be used in mobile if compiling natively is a possibility.
The AIR runtime should be as invisible as possible at the lowest size possble - This enables businesses to convince clients to use AIR and lets the developer take the hit for bad content rather than the platform.
Europe, Middle East and Africa