Launch Images on iOS with Adobe AIR

Introduction:

To make an impression of a super-quick response and to give the application suitable time to load completely, iOS introduced the concept of a launch image. A launch image is the first interaction of an application with the user; so it becomes vital to have a properly displayed image at start up. The launch image is displayed while the application is loading, and as per iOS human interface guidelines, it’s one of the must-have requirements for an application.

For Adobe AIR applications, a launch image must remain visible until the AIR runtime is completely initialized. To accomplish this, AIR runtime displays the same launch image as displayed by iOS until the application is ready for use.

To support an application on all iOS devices, one should include launch images of various sizes and resolutions as per the following naming scheme.

Naming scheme

Basename + screen size modifier + orientation + scale + device + .png

Basename is the name specified in UILaunchImageFile key in the InfoAdditions element in the application descriptor. Usually it is given as the value, Default.

Screen size modifier when multiplied by the scale factor of the device, gives the actual dimensions of the device.  For example, screen modifier for iPhone 5s is 568h, which, when multiplied by scale factor of 2 gives 1136h – the actual height of iPhone 5s in pixels.

Orientation– different launch images can be displayed on an iPad and iPhone 6 plus, based on their orientation, at the time of application launch.

Scale factor for non-retina display devices is 1x and for retina devices it is 2x. The recently launched iPhone 6 plus has a scale factor of 3x.

Device portion is provided in applications that can run on both iPhone and iPad. Its value can either be ~iphone or ~ipad.

With the introduction of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus in the market, there has not been enough clarity about all the images that need to be included while packaging applications for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus. The following table lists combination of launch images that can be provided to have a properly working application.

 

Devices Resolution  (pixels) Launch image name Orientation

iPhone

iPhone4
(non-retina)
640×960 Default~iphone.png Portrait
iPhone 4,4s 640×960 Default@2x~iphone.png Portrait
iPhone 5,5c,5s 640×1136 Default-568h@2x~iphone.png Portrait
iPhone 6 750×1334 Default-375w-667h@2x~iphone.png Portrait
iPhone 6+ 1242×2208 Default-414w-736h@3x~iphone.png Portrait
iPhone 6+ 2208×1242 Default-Landscape-414w-736h@3x~iphone.png Landscape

iPad

iPad 1,2 768×1024 Default-Portrait~ipad.png Portrait
iPad 1,2 768×1024 Default-PortraitUpsideDown~ipad.png Upside down portrait
iPad 1,2 1024×768 Default-Landscape~ipad.png Left landscape
iPad 1,2 1024×768 Default-LandscapeRight~ipad.png Right landscape
iPad 3,Air 1536×2048 Default-Portrait@2x~ipad.png Portrait
iPad 3,Air 1536×2048 Default-PortraitUpsideDown@2x~ipad.png Upside down portrait
iPad 3,Air 2048×1536 Default-LandscapeLeft@2x~ipad.png Left landscape
iPad 3,Air 2048×1536 Default-LandscapeRight@2x~ipad.png Right landscape

Number of images to include may vary according to the application requirement. If an application is built only for an iPhone, then iPad images can be skipped and vice versa.

On iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus, newly introduced display modes (Standard and Zoomed) makes the situation a bit tricky. In Standard mode, both devices display launch image as per the table shown above. In zoomed mode, however, the launch image of its predecessor device is displayed, which means on iPhone 6 plus, image meant for iPhone 6 i.e. Default-375w-667h@2x~iphone.png is displayed, likewise  on iPhone 6 launch image of iPhone 5 is displayed.

Launch Images

 


How to package launch images:

To include launch images in your application, all launch images are required to be placed at the top-most level or base location of your project hierarchy. For example if the base location is the src folder, then all launch images should be placed as shown in the following screenshot.

Demo Project

Project hierarchy

 

However, if you wish to package your iOS application using the command line then launch images can be added as assets in packaging command. For example, to package a Demo app with all iPhone launch images then the same can be done using the following command.

adt -package -target <target> -provisioning-profile <Profile> -storetype pkcs12 -keystore <Certificates.p12> -storepass <password> Demo.ipa Demo-app.xml Demo.swf  Default~iphone.png Default@2x~iphone.png Default-568h@2x~iphone.png Default-375w-667h@2x~iphone.png Default-414w-736h@3x~iphone.png Default-Landscape-414w-736h@3x~iphone.png


Known Issues:

Currently the following known issues exist with launch images in Adobe AIR SDK version 17.0.0.123.

  1. 3945071 : [iPhone 6 +] An inverted launch image is displayed for a split second when the device is kept at rotated right Landscape orientation (Aspect Ratio is landscape and Auto Orients is false).
  2. 3945046 : [iPhone 6 +] An inverted launch image is displayed, if the device is kept in upside-down position and (Auto orient is true and Aspect ratio landscape).
  3. 3945056 : [iPhone 6 +] If a landscape image is not provided for iPhone 6 +, Stretched Portrait launch image is displayed when application is launched in landscape mode.

For more information on iOS Launch image you can refer to Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

Versioning of multiple APKs for Android

Recently, with AIR 14, we announced x86 support for AIR applications. In this article, we explain how should developers manage the binary upload on Google Play Store for ARM and x86 binaries. Android devices are available with three kind of architectures – ARM, x86 and devices which support both x86 and ARM architectures (Eg: Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1). AIR SDK (14.0.0.125 beta onwards) allows developers to create separate APK files for ARM and x86 architectures. And Google Play Developer console provides CPU architecture (ABI) as a filter criteria to support multiple APKs for the same application. The way Adobe AIR developers should make use of this filter criteria would depend on the packaging mode – captive or shared.

 

For Apps packaged with Captive mode

Please take a look at the following documentation. AIR developers should follow the same guidelines, as are mentioned for native applications.

http://developer.android.com/google/play/publishing/multiple-apks.html

Assigning a higher versionNumber  (in application descriptor) for the x86 version of apk would ensure that the Google Play serves x86 binary to devices with both x86 and ARM support,  thereby resulting in better performance.

 

For Apps packaged with Shared mode

After the recent release of x86 support in AIR, Play Store will have two different binaries for AIR Runtime app– one for ARM devices, and another for x86 devices. For devices which can run both, ARM binary version would be preferred because that used to get downloaded even before we introduced x86 support. And we plan to continue with the same preference to ensure that shared apps dependent on AIR runtime aren’t affected. To align with AIR Runtime app, applications packaged in shared mode should also keep their x86 based binary with lower versionNumber. With this approach, if you face any performance related issues on devices which support both the processors, then you can opt for captive mode of packaging.

The table below summarizes what version gets downloaded on device with different processors type.

  ARM Device x86 Device Device supporting both x86 and ARM
Runtime.apk ARM version x86 version ARM version
Captive App ARM version x86 version x86 version
Shared App ARM version x86 version ARM version

-Thanks

Multiple ANEs and conflicting resources

AIR 4.0 and later supports packaging of multiple JAR files in an ANE. That allows packaging of third party libraries and their corresponding resources an ANE.

The resources bundled in an ANE or any other library in the ANE can be accessed by R* method, and this document provides all the details.

This post talks about a scenario where multiple ANEs are used in an app and if two or more of the ANEs use same JAR file as a dependency (packagedDependency).  It is not possible to create such an app, and the packager fails with following error –

unexpected failure: duplicate entry: /R.class

This is expected because when the packager picks up resources of all the ANEs, and finds that two or more ANEs are using a same resource, the step to convert *.java to *.class file fails with a duplicate entry error. This is something which the packager cannot resolve by itself, and the developer has to step in.

If you face this packaging error, you need to remove the common JAR from all of the ANEs but one, to ensure that the packager finds a single copy of every JAR file as input.

Here is an example –

Suppose there are two ANEs used in an app i.e. example1.ane and example2.ane. Both of them use a common library, say commonlibrary.jar, and its resources, say, common-lib-res. If you try to package the app with these ANEs, ADT throws an error –

unexpected failure: duplicate entry: com.common.example.lib/R.class

To resolve the issue, you need to follow these steps (eg. is for a Mac) –

1. Copy example1.ane in a temp folder.

2. Unzip example.ane (run command ‘unzip example1.ane‘)

3. Remove the commonlibrary.jar from the package (i.e. from unzipped content of the ANE).

4. Remove the corresponding resources of commonlibrary.jar (i.e. “common-lib-res“) from the package.

5. In platform.xml, delete the entry for commonlibrary.jar from the tag and delete the entry of the common-lib-res from the tag.

6. Zip back contents of package to ANE –

  • zip –r –D example1.zip META-INF catalog.xml library.swf mimetype
  • rm –rf example1.ane META-INF catalog.xml library.swf mimetype
  • mv example1.zip example1.ane

Use this new temp/example1.ane and existing example2.ane to package the APK file. You should not see any packaging or runtime error now.

Hope that helps! :)

Playpanel 1.4 is here!!

After introducing a revamped home screen and an alert capability in the previous version, Playpanel 1.4 was released few days back. So what exactly does the new Playpanel version hold in its kitty? Lets take a closer look.

Play Better

First and foremost, Playpanel is now available in 15 international languages which makes it accessible, globally. A major effort has also been put in to improve the performance of the application and the results have been amazing. Navigation through different parts of the application is super fast. Now you can also open Playpanel in windowed mode just like any other normal windows application. This makes it very useful for the users who want to drag it across multiple screens, minimize it to taskbar as per their wish.

Playpanel 1.4

Playpanel 1.4

Starting with 1.4 release, users can also view the games pinned by their Facebook friends within the Friends tab. This keeps them updated about what their friends like and a chance to try them out. Likewise, you can share your favourite games and also view them in the newly introduced Pinned games tab on the top. Additionally, you can invite any of your Facebook friend who is not on Playpanel, right at the click of a button.

All in all, Playpanel 1.4 offers an array of exciting features to take the users’ game playing experience to a whole new level.

If you are a game publisher, and are interested in making your game reach out to more users, please let us know by dropping a mail to PlaypanelMarketing@adobe.com.

Play more, Play better!

Adobe Playpanel : Play Better, Play More

Today, it’s all about games! The online gaming industry is growing by leaps & bounds. And with this growth comes the challenge for game developers and publishers like you to market their games.

Making your game discoverable amongst the million others is the biggest hurdle. Not just that, after users visit your game for the first time, the next challenge is to get them back to your game.

Playpanel's Home Screen

Playpanel’s Home Screen

Adobe Playpanel aims to help you in this regard by providing a platform to showcase your games to a large number of users, retain them more, thereby eventually increasing your revenues. Playpanel is a desktop application, which shows high quality games, which are either hand picked by our editors or are the ones which get played most by the users around the world. Users need to login into Playpanel using their Facebook account, and that helps Playpanel in suggesting games to them which are played by their friends.

Game Details Panel

Game Details Panel

Playpanel is capable of showing games built using any technology (Flash, HTML5, Unity, etc.), but works slightly better for Flash based games. That’s because it is integrated with Flash Player, thereby providing the users with the added convenience of managing all their games automatically, without any manual intervention.

If you are a game publisher, and are interested in making your game reach out to more users, please let us know by dropping a mail to PlaypanelMarketing@adobe.com.

Play better, Play more!