The cool thing about developing on the Air platform is that the end result should be device independent. So if I am developing an application for an Android tablet I can probably get away with testing the app on any tablet OS that supports the Air runtime. At least in the development stages anyway. Of course, most of the time, you will be able to get away with using the ADL desktop player, but testing on a device simulator is necessary to test gestures work as you would expect for your application. So we know the Android Emulators are slow. To be honest, they are so slow I think they are the wrong tool for doing intermediate development testing. I now use the android emulators when I want to test the application actually works on specific devices before I submit to the marketplace. Of course, you should always test on the actual hardware if you can. So what can we use in the development stages?
Use the Playbook Simulator
Of course, if you are using Flex Builder, then this may seem a little more obvious. However, with Flash Develop, the device support is not so integrated.
RIM has a great Playbook simulator which works a treat. Simply download the Playbook SDK and simulator package, install it and use the following command line to package to the simulator substituting the arguments with your project specific values.
blackberry-airpackager -package bin\MyFlexProject.bar
-C bin -installApp -launchApp application.xml
bin\MyFlexProject.swf -device 192.168.189.128
You will need to start up the simulator virtual machine before you run this command and swap the IP address with the IP of the virtual device.
You can find more information on the command line deployment process on the RIM website.
You can download the sample Flash Builder project containing the DeployToPlaybook.bat file that I have created from here.