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  • Flash CS5 iPhone dream ( nightmare ? )

    Posted on December 4th, 2009 Cahit Crcioglu No comments

    Apple JuiceHowever this is not a recent news, i wanted to note some facts on my blog too.

    First of all, it’d be good to note that i have been using/coding on flash since year 1998; which makes it 12 years of experience till today. It’s fullname was Macromedia Flash 3. So i’m not an enemy of the Flash, animation and actionscript.

    Warning! Some of these sentences may tease you; read them calmly before shouting at me, there is an extra paragraph related to these teasing sentences (:

    First of all, for those who are not aware of the topic: Adobe announced that, CS5 will have a feature to export Flash applications as iPhone applications. iPhone will continue to NOT support SWF files in anyway. There will not be (at the time of this post – not announced by Apple) a Flash plugin even for Safari for iPhone. Flash will convert your Flash project into native/somewhat compiled iPhone application. You (currently) will not be able to test it on your computer (iPhone simulator), you have to install it to your device to try it… Ofcourse you still have to be a certified Apple iPhone developer by paying $100 per year (at the time of this post).

    Creating projects on Flash for iPhone is a dream!

    • For new flash creators:
      • You don’t have to find algorithms for animations. You can make them in flash easily. So becareful, because that’ll also show your imagination power..
      • You don’t have to learn objective-c. However it’s a good language, it’s a little strange for people who never ever saw a code written with it. Other than that, people with no programming experience can use Flash to create iPhone projects which means, every person using Flash ( in anyway ) is a potential iPhone Application creator.
      • You do not have to buy Apple products ( but ofcourse developer certificate ). ( I am a mac owner, but an old/current microsoft user too ) (However, you may buy.. they are not bad.. really..!)
      • You do not have to think of ways to optimize memory usage, ( i do not mean performance optimization, i mean memory management. ) that is Adobe’s job.
      • You shouldn’t have to completely rewrite your flash applications to work on iPhone, you just have to rearrange screen dimensions and optimize everything to work as fast as possible. ( assuming you are not using features those are not supported in flash cs5 for iPhone. )
      • You can quickly create/convert widgets as iPhone applications.
      • You’ll no longer have to be angry and try to close your ears with your hands when someone near you talking about iPhone coding and earning money from it.
      • You don’t have to blame iPhone anymore for being a bad platform ( since you were unable to create projects on it because either you didn’t have mac or you didn’t know objective-c ) ( just kidding)
    • For users:
      • You’ll see more creative and visually astonishing applications; people who are not capable of coding, now can show their imagination power.
      • You’ll get better applications for less price because of the huge competition between application creators.
      • You may play your favorite flash games, those already exist on the web, on your iPhone.
    • For existing creators:
      • Don’t worry, because if you are making good applications, everybody will see that you are still showing yourself. There won’t be any excuse, because nearly everyone will be able to make applications for iPhone. So if you are still doing good, then, you will probably have more fame and respect.
      • If you also know Flash, you may be unbeatable with a good crew working with you.


    Creating projects on Flash for iPhone is a nightmare!

    • For existing creators:
      • You have to work more! If you can’t imagine much, you have to find someone with more imagination power ( i won’t tell anyone, don’t worry). If you don’t do this, flash users will beat you with their imagination, because flash is a visual tool that you can express yourself easier; you have to compete with far MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE people.
      • You’ve worked hard to learn objective-c and you wanted the respect for that. No way? Now you are nearly equal with flash developers. ( Not really )
      • Save money because people from the flash world can get the jobs you were looking for, so you may need your saved money more than ever, if you earn your money mostly from iPhone.
      • You application may be reviewed and approved/rejected more than 1 month until Apple expands their review team/tools; there will be enourmouse amount of applications. You draw a circle, move it, save it, it’s an iPhone application now (: (for flash users).
      • You may cry because you are no more special. (Not really)
      • If you don’t know how to use flash, then, you may never make better applications than some of the flash based iphone applications. (if you are not really good at non-flash developing. But a bad flash developer may create more selling applications)
      • Even if you are the best person when someone calls for imagination, you’ll be creating your project in a longer duration. Because you/your team have to work on every aspect of the project; you must be sure that you are not leaking memory, you are not missing something that causes your application to crash, etc…
      • Your application may never get found by enough people for at least to balance your effort on the application unless you invent an incredible “thing”; you have to make good marketing plans or deals.
    • For users:
      • You have to deal with xillions of applications now. ( if apple does not filter those one in anyway)
        • Who draws a circle in Flash will be able to publish an application.
        • All of the existing flash games will be ported to iPhone where it’s possible.
      • You may feel strange because if Apple accepts all the standard components of Flash, it may not exactly fulfill the requirements of Apple Human Interaction Guidelines.
      • Don’t expect to get all the features of applications those not made with flash. Because lots of features will be unavailable in Flash (according to the announcement made by Adobe till today).


    • For new Flash creators:
      • You won’t have any excuse if you can’t make your projects work on iPhone platform, if you can’t manage the power under your hands.
      • People shall be right underestimating you because of the lackness of your imagination power, if you fail to make a proper iPhone application.
      • You won’t have enough power to beat objective-c iPhone application developers (for now), because they are free to use all of the public APIs in iPhone SDK where Flash will be lacking some innovative features. ( However innovation does not equal to the limitless API usage, if someone get’s your audio recording from your hands, you can not dream of any project including audio recording feature.. right? Technical possibilities VERSUS artistic possibilities )


    However it may stress the developers those only know objective-c, Flash users will not be able to use these features: ( currently! )

    • Photo selection from file system
    • Contact selection from the address book
    • Camera
    • Cut/copy/paste
    • Accessory support
    • In app purchase support
    • Peer to peer
    • Maps
    • iPod library access
    • Compass
    • Push notifications
    • Audio recording
    • Video recording
    • Parental controls
    • Embedded HTML content
    • RTMPE
    • H.264 Video
    • Dynamically loading SWFs (containing AS3 code)
    • PixelBender

    ( Sources: Mark Doherty, Applications for iPhone:Developer FAQ )

    Flash vs Objective-c = Artistic Freedom vs Freedom = Technical possibilities VERSUS artistic possibilities = Easiness vs Performance ( however Adobe will object to this, and they may be right generally) = … vs ,,,

    I’ve written this post quickly, so there may be many things those can be added to this post or the above clauses.

    Before finalizing the post, i have to note that, i DO consider flash users as (script) developers when they make use of heavy actionscript. So this is not a war between languages, coders, … Do not make war! (: Peace is easier, better, cleaner!

    It’s currently not yet publicly announced that Apple will support and not put any obstacles in front of the Adobe till the end, but i don’t think that Adobe started to this without talking to Apple privately or without trusting on a concrete basis (:

    If you are a company thinking that you can wait for Adobe to develop or make it developed in Flash, think about it again. Flash may or may not help you. If you think that you have enough know-how and don’t want to invest on a firm/person to create native iPhone applications from beginning to end, think about it again. However you may still succeed with that idea, your thinking logic is not right, there’s something wrong in there. If you have waited because objective-c/iPhone developing was the only excuse, you will probably fail in the future. If it’s possible in the world at that moment and if you have ideas to be brought to the real life and if you’re not doing it because you currently think that you can not, then you have very low upper limits and you are only thinking about saving the day, not innovating, creating, expanding; you’ll only be day savers and cloners. Flash can not save you if you are nothing inside (even you are an incredible person/company according to other people). If not, you’ll earn more! (:

    Flash’s performance may never match some other applications’ or it may have missing features, but it just changes the categories of applications those can be made with it. The application itself is still hidden in the mind of the developers/creators, it’s not burried within the development language. So if you have a good idea and motivation to do it, start now. DO NOT TALK, DO IT! DO IT or SHUT UP forever! (:

    Acta non Verba!

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