How to Build an AIR Application for Both the iPhone and iPad

If you want to build an AIR application that targets both the iPhone and the iPad, it’s easy. Just follow these steps:

1. Make Sure Your Application Scales

First and foremost, make sure your application will scale properly. Tips and tricks for making your content scale across screens is a topic for another post, but avoid obvious pitfalls like using a background bitmap scaled only for the iPhone’s smaller screen. Assuming your application is designed to scale properly, read on.

2. Specify the UIDeviceFamily

In your application descriptor, add the following as a child of the application tag:

<iPhone>
    <InfoAdditions>
        <![CDATA[
            <key>UIDeviceFamily</key>
            <array>
                <string>1</string>
                <string>2</string>
            </array>
        ]]>
  </InfoAdditions>
</iPhone>

The “1” represents the iPhone and iPod touch, and the “2” represents the iPad. Including both means your IPA targets both classes of devices.

3. Include All Necessary Icons

Make sure you include all the necessary icon sizes:

  • 29×29
  • 48×48 (in place of the 50×50 that Apple requests)
  • 57×57
  • 72×72
  • 512×512 (for iTunes)

4. Include Multiple Default.png Files

In the root of your project, you will need multiple Default.png files to accommodate the two screen sizes, and to account for the fact that iPad applications can start up in landscape mode:

  • Default.png (for the iPhone and iPod touch)
  • Default-Portrait.png (for the iPad)
  • Default-Landscape.png (for the iPad)


That’s all you have to do. Your IPA is now ready for all iOS devices. All we need now is support for the retina display (coming soonish).

(For an example of a project that works on both the iPhone and the iPad, see ReversiIphone.)