FlickrMobile: A Flash Lite 2 Applicatio

*** Update 4.25.2006: Provided a Flash Player 6 version for PSP.

*** Update: Yes, I used FAME (Flashout + ASDT + MTASC + Eclipse) to build this.


As has been reported by Scott F. and Scott J., the Flash Lite 2 Update for Flash Professional 8 has been posted, allowing Flash Developers to create content for the Flash Lite 2 player which has been on sale for only a short while. Since the update gives you the SDK, all the documentation you need to get started creating Flash Lite 2 applications, and the emulator to preview your content in Flash 8 Professional, I figured I’d show you an example of what can be done.

FlickrMobile – A Flash Lite 2 Application

FlickrMobile is a small app I put together showcasing my favorite apps for phones; using Flash as the front-end to access server-side content. All of the web API’s that have been appearing are just ripe for harvesting, and Flickr is one of the best.

Now, you can email/multmedia message your pictures to Flickr from your phone AND view them from your phone… how cool is that!? I am constantly emptying my memory card on my phone where my images are stored, and my other camera that takes better pictures already has all of its images up at Flickr. So, even if I am not posting anything, it’s nice to show friends some images I have no matter where I am (one of these days I’ll get a laptop).



I used phpFlickr on the back-end with AMFPHP. Since Flash Lite 2 doesn’t support Flash Remoting (found this out in the middle of development, hehe), I just used a simple PHP FrontController pattern to take LoadVars commands, and spit back XML. Easy stuff. I love PHP.


Flash Lite 2 Components

If you are like me, you thought using Flash 4 syntax was a joke. I swore I’d never do Flash Lite development until I got AS2. Macromedia over delivered, giving me other features I didn’t even think about using on a phone.

One key thing missing, though, were components. It is implied you should use the Flash Lite 1.1 ones, but I’d rather be thrown in a burlap sack tied shut with a dog, snake, and a monkey all inside with me as the sack is thrown into a deep river vs. using those things for “application development”. (context: the Romans did that, George Carlin told me so)

Richard Leggett felt… somewhat the same way. So, we made a lighter version of the v2 components to work in Flash since the v2 ones that come with MX 2004 & 8 do not work on phones; they are too bulky.

Unfortunately, they were also a testing ground for seeing what Flash Lite 2 can do, as well as my failed attempt at doing deferred instantiation like Flex does, so they really aren’t mature enough for mass developer usage. However, they are something, and allowed me to create this application as a proof of concept.

What did it prove? Flash Lite 2 is f’ing sweet. J2ME just got served.



Once connected, use left and right keys to change images.


Source Code

FlickrMobile – ZIP

Tested and works on my Nokia 6680.

Known Issues:

  • Slow – Flickr’s sometimes extremely slow and unresponsive and my Cingular MediaNet is dog slow.
  • Cannot press next and back quickly; if you do, it’ll wait to download the images in order, before downloading the next, thus causing a long wait to see the image you selected. Known bug in Flash Lite 2.
  • Some Flickr images from their static server do not load. Unknown cause.

To use, just install Flash Lite 2 on your phone, copy the compiled SWF to your phone (included in ZIP), and run from Flash. At the connect screen type in your Flickr name in the field, and click “Connect”.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.


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