Saturday, November 21, 2009

Build iPhone application by Flash CS5

This week, we need to decide whether we should choose putting Flash Professional CS5 into research/training targets of next month. Actually, we already had an iPhone team - with senior developers - has much experience on many projects. However, some Flash developers in our company  want to join to iPhone development. So, we need to consider learning roads to help them to join this interesting domain in shortest time.


How Flash CS5 supports developers to create iPhone application

Adobe creates a very clever solution to enable your Flash content to run on the iPhone. They don't create a Flash Player and run your Flash content inside. The Flash Professional CS5 support a iPhone packaging tool converts your Flash content into a real iPhone application. If you have experience on Unity 3D iPhone, you can imagine this as the same packaging tool.

Advantages of Flash CS5

+ Flash Professional CS5 is the only Windows development environment for iPhone Applications. We don't need to prepare expensive Mac computers for iPhone development.
+ There are more than 2 million Flash designers/developers compared to the 65,000 iPhone developers. The Flash community is so big, so it's easier to find solutions for technical issues in development.
+ There are millions of Flash games begging to be converted to run on the iPhone. => this forces Adobe must find a way to support this. It's not temporary, it's a real trend => Adobe solution must be persistent in a long time.
+ Familiar environment/languages with Flash developers => easy to learn.

Disadvantages

+ Adobe can not catch up with new advanced features in latest iPhone SDK. Flash developers can not use latest technologies from Apple immediately.
+ Currently, some video formats are not supported in the Adobe conversion solution (H264 is an example).
+ You cannot use the cool Flash PixelBender technology released last year in your iPhone Apps at this time.
+ The iPhone itself uses a fraction of the power compared to a PC. Be careful what you program. It may look good on your laptop but barely run on your iPhone.

Final conclusion

Flash CS5 for iPhone development is a great news. However, we can not choose something not stable for production. We need to try more before making decision. This will be a research target in R&D team later. Any new technology always needs time for growing and being proved its strength in the real life.

We're very happy to receive your feedback or any good news from this tech.