Native iPhone applications built with Flash – Fail Blog Player Demo

Write once, deploy anywhere. Sounds nice, no? Sadly it’s not really a reality today. The currently available technologies are very fragmented and today there is no technology out there that makes that dream a reality.
I have a strong feeling that is going to change dramatically in 2010. Some will disagree or say that I am [...]

Photoshop.com Mobile comes to the iPhone

Want to doctor that iPhone self-photo you just took before you attach it to a text message? In despair because your iPhone camera won’t let you control exposure settings or color saturation? You can now use world-class Adobe photo editing software to touch up your snapshots without ever leaving your touchscreen: Download Photoshop.com Mobile from the iPhone App Store.

Photoshop.com Mobile is a free iPhone app that lets you crop, rotate, and flip; adjust color sats, exposure, and tint; change a color photo to B&W; and use special effects such as sketch. You can even apply a soft-focus to remove those incipient worry lines from your cameo shot.

Photoshop.com Mobile also provides a fun set of macros that let you apply styles such as “vibrant”, Andy Warhol “pop” tiling, “rainbow”, and other interesting effects. If you don’t like the changes, just click the undo button. When you finish, you can either save your enhancements to the iPhone or upload them directly to photoshop.com (registration and internet connection required.)

Best of all–did I mention that it’s free?

http://mobile.photoshop.com/

Flash CS5 iPhone FAQ

I’m glad that so many people enjoyed my last tutorial on creating iPhone applications with Flash CS5. As expected I have received hundreds of questions from people about it. This post will aim to answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

DISCLAIMER: All of the information contained in this FAQ is subject to change.

Will I be able to create iPhone applications in Flash Builder?
Yes you will be able to compile applications from Flash Builder at some point. Think of it just like AIR. You could actually compile on the command line as well. You provide a SWF and an application XML file to the compiler and it creates your IPA file.

Why do the applications appear to be larger in file size than regular iPhone applications?
This is because there are Flash libraries included with your application to make all of this work. The goal will be to make this as small as possible though in the future. But you should expect some extra file weight when using Flash.

Are there certain applications that are not appropriate for this workflow?
Absolutely. While we do have hardware acceleration support in this workflow, you would not want to build full-blown 3D game worlds with Flash CS5. A good example is the Star Wars game created by Infared5. A game like that would not be a good candidate for development with Flash.

When will I be able to try this stuff out?
We are planning a public beta of Flash CS5 before the end of the year. I can’t be any more specific as it is not finalized yet. Again this is subject to change.

Will Adobe provide a way to test things like the accelerometer on the desktop?
Yes we are looking at various solutions for testing device features on the desktop. The next version of Device Central allows for testing accelerometer and GPS but it is unclear if that will work for the iPhone workflow.

Why does it take so long to compile?
I wouldn’t begin to speculate about this or about what is actually going on during the compilation process. We will of course aim to make it as fast as possible. But this compiler has a lot of work to do.

How do you use the hardware acceleration features on the iPhone?
We have a new API which is similar to cacheAsBitmap except that it keeps your display object cached on the GPU even when it is scaled, rotated, transformed in 3D, or has its alpha changed. The actual API details are currently being renamed and that is why I am not providing the low level details at this time.

Can I have more low-level details about how this all works?
Mike Chambers has a great slide deck that goes into much more detail than I have. Go and download it and it hopefully will answer your questions.

Does this mean you are no longer trying to get Flash onto the iPhone?
Absolutely not. We are continuing our effort to get the Flash Player on the iPhone. We need support from Apple to make this happen though.

Lee

Flash Applications running on the iPhone

Screen shot 2009-12-01 at 12.52.55 PM

Lee Brimelow has posted a great video tutorial on iPhone development using the upcoming Flash Professional CS5 over at gotoAndLearn.com.  In the video you can see just how easy it is to produce an application that uses the accelerometer.  On top of that he shows some incredible demos of GPU surface caching at the end after the compilation step.

If you’re in the midst of learning AS3 for the future then I suggest going through his video series.  Lee is a great presenter and you can get some inspiration for your first AS3 project to boot.

New tutorial on iPhone development with Flash CS5

I just finished uploading a new tutorial that gives you a sneak peek of the new iPhone development features that are coming in Flash CS5. In the tutorial I show how to create a simple accelerometer-based animation which I then compile and transfer to my iPhone. Look for more information here on this workflow coming [...]

iPhone versus Android (HTC Hero edition)

htc_heroAfter MAX I went backpacking and fell in a river with my iPhone in my pocket. The iPhone is not a fan of water so it was totally dead. I have to get a new one through the Adobe system but this week everyone at Adobe has been on vacation so I wasn’t going to be able to pick up a replacement. That left me with the HTC Hero that I’ve got for demoing Flash mobile content. I swapped the sim card and I’ve been using it all vacation. I hadn’t used any phone but the iPhone for a prolonged period of time in a while so I figured I’d write up my thoughts on the iPhone versus Android now that I’ve actually had to learn the Android quirks.

Overall User Experience

I really, really want Android to succeed. But the iPhone is still the king when it comes to user experience. I find the HTC Hero with Android to be much, much less snappy than the iPhone. When I click something on the iPhone, I get an immediate reaction. On the HTC Hero, there’s a noticeable delay which becomes very annoying. However I like the UI for the Hero a lot better. Android has a nice, polished UI that is mostly intuitive and a bit more interesting than the iPhone’s boring button UI. The responsiveness is what got me though. On a faster phone, I could see Android being king here, but right now: Winner: iPhone

Battery Life

I found the battery life between the iPhone and the HTC Hero to be pretty equal, they both last me less than a day with heavy use. But one thing that I found extremely annoying is that the HTC Hero takes forever to charge via USB while the charging the iPhone over USB works really well. As a result: Winner: iPhone

Software

I love the Android software. I know Apple has the “There’s an App for That” crap, but out of the box, Android rules. Being able to install applications with a barcode scan is also really slick. I found the Android software to be more full featured, have many more hooks into the social networking services I’m a junkie for, and generally just more fun to use. If it wasn’t for the sluggishness, it would be perfect. The exception to this is the mapping. It’s abysmal. No gesture support for zooming, you can’t click on markers and interact with them in the same way you do on the iPhone. It’s just terrible to use. But In general, even with that and all of Apple’s apps, Winner: Android/HTC Hero

Typing

I type a lot on my mobile devices because I use them pretty heavily for email. I found it took a while to get used to the Hero’s keyboard. I like the fact that Android offers you a set of words based on what you’ve typed so you can auto-correct. That feature also makes it easy to add things to the dictionary because you can just click the word you typed and it will be added (no more ’shot’ and ‘duck’). But even with that enhancement the iPhone’s keyboard is just better at detecting which letter I want to type next. Maybe I just need to spend more time with the Hero, but Winner: iPhone

Annoying Things About Android/HTC Hero

No sensor that detects when the phone isn’t near your face any more. This is just a limitation of the phone but it is annoying as hell. I also think the phone is too “buttony”. While I like the rollerball, it seems like any time I want to do something I have to click a button. With the iPhone they did a great job of making it as gesture-based as possible. The browser is a good example. On the iPhone, to type a URL, just move to the top of the page, and type it. With Android, you have to push the “menu” button. Takes some getting used to and the iPhone feels more natural.

Annoying Things About the iPhone

No Flash Player for one :) . But I also loved the GPS indicators on the Android. The little stauts icon at the top tells you whether you actually have GPS signal, and the camera lets you know when you’re locked on so it can geotag your photos accordingly. I really wish the iPhone had that.

Summary

In the end, the iPhone is just too damn good. I have high hopes for the Droid, but I’m on AT&T so I won’t be seeing it any time soon. But if the new processor is as good as people say it is, then hopefully we’ll get a snappy Android phone on AT&T soon. When that happens, I’ll ditch the iPhone in a heartbeat.

Our new iPhone page at Adobe.com :-)

photo

We receive literally millions of requests at our Adobe.com pages from iPhone OS users looking for a Flash Player download.

Given our support from the top 19/20 OEMs across multiple device platforms we thought it prudent to provide “more info” to those poor iPhone users that got stuck with a limited browsing experience.

Hope you like it :-)

Why you should NOT care about building apps for the iPhone with Flash

The news from Adobe MAX 2009 that probably generated the most buzz and discussion online was the announcement that Flash CS5 will have support for outputting applications for the iPhone. While I am really excited about the news, and the work we are doing around the iPhone, I am here to tell you that you [...]

Flash – iPhone announcement.

So today at Adobe MAX a huge announcement came out. We now have special tooling that allows you to use the Flash Platform to build applications for the iPhone. Flash developers will be empowered to use their existing skills to construct applications for iPhone that can be distributed through Apple’s App Store. No promises but the betas of this (CS5) should be available by the end of this year.

This caps a long running stealth like program code named “notus” within Adobe. While we just announced this today, there are several apps available today via the Appstore. There are details published at adobe.com/go/iphone.

Does this mean iPhone supports Flash? No. Apple has not yet announced support for Flash on the iPhone. So what does this really mean? It means there are hundreds of thousands of dollars of developers can use their existing skills to build iPhone apps via CS5. From a consumer/user perspective, these applications appear and work just like any other iPhone application. Users cannot easily determine which applications were built with CS5, native objective C code or even using something advanced like Nitobi’s PhoneGap.

Will we use this exclusively? No. Many developers use whatever makes them productive. Another major announcement today was the addition of an iPhone mobile client for Adobe LiveCycle ES. This was built using objective C. Developers who have ActionScript skills though will be able to build applications using a language and IDE they are familiar with and not forced to learn another application programming language. This is huge IMO and will help both Apple and Adobe’s developer ecosystems.

Adobe has not yet made any breakthrough WRT to getting Apple to put the Flash player natively on the iPhone. I don’t work with the people who are having the talks but I get the feeling (mine – not necessarily the truth) that Apple and Adobe haven’t made much progress on this front. I do know there are tons of people who want this so I am not sure what is going to happen. I have heard that much of the issue is licensing. By the same token, Phonegap also ran into issues with licensing. I hope Apple listens to their developers.

I am going to build an applciation later this month to try it out. In the meantime, if you go out and builkd one, please leave a shout here to tell others.

It’s a great time to be a Flash Platform developer (about Flash and the iPhone)

With the day 1 keynote wrapping up, Adobe MAX 2009 has now officially started. While most of the announcements in today’s keynote were already sent out last night, the biggest announcement was probably a very big surprise to many. The first time I heard this news a few weeks ago, I nearly fell of my [...]