The simplest way to install and manage your AIR native extensions and libraries is to use the AIR Package Manager (
apm). We highly recommend using
apm, as it will handle downloading all required dependencies and manage your application descriptor (Android manifest additions, iOS info additions etc).
However you can choose to install it manually, as you would have done in the past.
Note: All of the commands below should be run in a terminal / command prompt in the root directory of your application, generally the level above your source directory.
If you don't have an APM project setup, expand the guide below to setup an APM project before installing the extension.
If you haven't installed
apm follow the install guide on airsdk.dev.
Setup an APM project
You will need an APM project for your application.
There are many ways to do this and for more options see the APM documentation. Here we will just initialise a new empty project:
Check your github token
We use github to secure our extensions so you must have created a github personal access token and configured
apm to use it.
To do this create a token using this guide from github and then set it in your apm config using:
apm config set github_token ghp_XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
If you don't do this correctly you may find the install will fail.
Install the extension
Install the extension by running:
apm install com.distriqt.Compass
This will download and install the extension, required assets, and all dependencies.
apm will have created something like the following file structure:
| |____ com.distriqt.Compass.ane # Compass extension
| |____ [dependencies]
|____ apm_packages # cache directory - ignore
|____ project.apm # apm project file
- Add the
anedirectory to your IDE. See the tutorials located here on adding an extension to your IDE.
We suggest you use the locations directly in your builds rather than copying the files elsewhere. The reason for this is if you ever go to update the extensions using
apm that these updates will be pulled into your build automatically.
- You will need to set the usage description strings for use in the authorisation dialogs. Call the following to step through the configuration values for this extension:
apm project config set com.distriqt.Compass
The following guide is used to manually install the extension, download dependencies and update the application descriptor. We highly recommend installing extensions using
apm will automate the installation and automatically handle updates and dependencies along with greatly simplifying the application descriptor generation.
First step is always to add the extension to your development environment. Download the extension from the repository and then follow the tutorial located here to add the extension to your development environment.
Many of our extensions use some common libraries, for example, the Android Support libraries.
We have to separate these libraries into separate extensions in order to avoid multiple versions of the libraries being included in your application and causing packaging conflicts. This means that you need to include some additional extensions in your application along with the main extension file.
You will add these extensions as you do with any other extension, and you need to ensure it is packaged with your application.
The Core ANE is required by this ANE. You must include and package this extension in your application.
The Core ANE doesn't provide any functionality in itself but provides support libraries and frameworks used by our extensions. It also includes some centralised code for some common actions that can cause issues if they are implemented in each individual extension.
You can access this extension here: https://github.com/distriqt/ANE-Core.
Updating your application descriptor will insert the required
extensionID's and generate the manifest and info additions for your application.
You update your application descriptor by running:
apm generate app-descriptor src/MyApp-app.xml
Change the path (
src/MyApp-app.xml) to point to your application descriptor.
This will modify your application descriptor replacing the manifest additions and info additions with the ones generated from
You should backup your application descriptor before running this command to ensure you don't lose any information.
The following should be added to your
extensions node in your application descriptor to identify all the required ANEs in your application:
On iOS you can access the "true heading" rather than the magnetic heading.
If you are going to be accessing the "true heading" you must add some additional configuration values to your application.
If not, or you are only interested in Android, you can skip this section.
Firstly add a custom iOS configuration file by running:
apm generate config ios
config/ios/InfoAdditions.xml file that was generated to resemble the following:
The values, eg
locationUsageDescription, will get inserted from your apm project configuration.
Once you have added this configuration run the steps above to update / generate your application descriptor.
You must add the following usage descriptions to your application otherwise your application may crash on launch or when attempting to access the compass functionality. These must be added to the
InfoAdditions node in your application descriptor.
<string>This application would like to use your location.</string>
<!-- iOS 8 + -->
<string>This application would like to use your location when in use.</string>
<string>This application would like to use your location in the background.</string>
<!-- iOS 11 + -->
<string>This application would like to use your location in the background and the foreground.</string>
You can adjust the usage description strings as you need. See request authorisation for more.
Checking for Support
You can use the
isSupported flag to determine if this extension is supported on the current platform and device.
This allows you to react to whether the functionality is available on the device and provide an alternative solution if not.
// Functionality here