10 Replies Latest reply on Aug 17, 2012 6:04 AM by sinious

    iPad apps using Flash


      Hi - Hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction. My question is - Can iPad and iPhone apps be created solely with Flash alone (inclusive of tilting and touchscreen features) and submitted to the iTunes store? I have used Flash quite sparsely since Flash 8 so haven't really followed the debate around Flash and Apple devices.

      I'm working on an App for iPad along the lines of a children's interactive book. I'm a trained Illustrator and don't think it would take me long to get up to speed again with Flash, however if Apps absloutely require coding in Apple's SDK then I have the problem of finding or paying someone to make an App from my work (otherwise, I can manage the whole project myself).


      ...and if it is possible to create Apps entirely within Flash - does anyone know of a good starting place for tutorials specifically for this?


      Thanks a lot.

        • 1. Re: iPad apps using Flash
          esdebon Level 4

          Yes, you can create apps to iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad).


          Use the template to create iOS apps included in Flash CS5.5 o r Flash CS6, then compile to iOS to generata a ipa file.


          You need pay to Apple to get a developer membership to compile apps and upload to the iTunes Store.


          Remember you need create your app with optimized code,

          • 2. Re: iPad apps using Flash
            sinious Most Valuable Participant

            If you want a true e-book then Flash won't create this for you. It can create an app that acts like a book but you can't put the book into something like iBooks.


            You may want to consider this alternative to make a real interactive e-book that lets you focus more on content then coding:



            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: iPad apps using Flash
              boudewijndanser Level 1

              They can, but it's not half as easy or user friendly as you see in the adobe demontration video's.

              And neither is the process with apple...

              • 4. Re: iPad apps using Flash
                velvetelvis70 Level 1

                Thanks Guys - That's all really helpful. It's definitely the 'app which looks like a book' rather than a book for ibooks I'm trying to make. As I have a decent working knowledge of Flash already, does anyone know of any learning resources specifically for creating Apps using Flash?

                • 5. Re: iPad apps using Flash
                  sinious Most Valuable Participant

                  To just be complete, yes you can complete an app using Flash Pro or Flash Builder plus the proper credentials.


                  I prefer Flash Builder as it offers profiling tools that really help keep memory managed. I do not have CS6 but I know CS5.5 does not have a memory profiler. Although with a PITA amount of hacky work you can use instruments in XCode to profile. A great majority of your time developing apps will be finding ways to keep both memory, processor, network traffic and CPU to an absolute optimized minimum.


                  You mentioned iOS so the first thing you should do is go pay $99/yr and become an Apple Developer. Otherwise you cannot submit your app or even test on a device without a lot of complicated mayhem. It takes a little time to get set up as a developer so I'd get that process under way. If you're an individual it's easier but if you're a company it involves proving you're a company, faxing, etc.


                  After you wade through the iOS provisioning portal (reading all the how-to tabs) you get your app set up in the back end. Any app needs 3 files generated and obtained from files the portal gives you. You add devices, app ids and use those to generate a .mobileprovision file. Typically a person would start at the certificate portion but let me save you a headache. Every new app ID you make is saved in your certificate so you need to make the app ID first. Then you create your own development or distribution certificate for your developer account and download a .cer certificate file. You install that in your computer along with the Apple WWDC developer certificate that's linked on the same page. That lets you create yourself a .p12 file needed to sign an app and since you did this last it will already have the new app ID in it.


                  Now you have your .mobileprovision with your device listed in it and .p12 file with password and you're ready to go.


                  Just open Flash CS5.5 or CS6, whichever you have, start a new AIR for iOS project. Work in Flash as you normally would but just remember iPhones, iPods and iPads are really just "glorified phones". You can't just animate the way you used to, you have to get used to the idea that running your slick animation on your computer runs great but these devices are EXTREMELY memory and processor deficient. What runs buttery smooth on your computer will bog and run like a train wreck on what will end up feeling like a solar powered calculator.


                  Now you're off and running. As long as you're very careful with how much RAM, CPU and GPU you try to use you'll be fine. A book is a good app to start with. Limited animation and you could possibly even use the timeline to do it. Timeline animation ala traditional flash performs considerably worse as compared to code animation. If you haven't used flash since version 8 you've got a whole new language (AS3) and framework (AIR) to learn.


                  If you have any specific questions, fire away, but yes you can create the entire iOS app that works like a book using just Flash Pro and having an Apple Developer account.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: iPad apps using Flash
                    xTLS Level 1

                    I didn't want to purchase the Apple account right away, so I waited until the iPad app I'm making was in a solid beta stage before even starting to test it on the iPad. The world won't end if you don't buy the Apple license and start testing on the device immediately, but it should be a priority if performance might be an issue. For the most part development is the same as for web, so the learning curve for jumping to mobile is pretty small. Here are some tips I picked up from my experience:


                    Get the AIR 3.3 SDK and use it. It compiles iOS apps ten times faster than 3.2, and gives access to Retina resolution. AIR 3.3 apps won't open on a Retina device unless "Export SWC" is checked.


                    If your app will have large moving graphics, develop your app for use with GPU mode. This will massively increase performance moving large graphics, but in GPU mode filters and effects will not work. If you will need to use GPU mode, plan alternative methods to accomplish anything you would normally do with filters (there is a method to render filters offscreen and draw them to a bitmap and then add them but it's rather clunky) . You will also want to use cacheAsBitmap on vector graphics.


                    If you will not have large moving graphics, you can probably use CPU mode and develop largely the same as for desktop. On the iPad 3 I am able to have a screen full of controls, some drop shadow and color filters, and 30 small scrolling MCs all on screen at once running 60fps. But in another screen which only had a dozen large graphics and no filters, the scrolling was so choppy I had to switch the whole thing to GPU mode and fake all the filters.


                    This is a good article for some info on the CPU/GPU and code optimizations: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/optimize_content_ios.html


                    I, as many people, have found that having multiple ENTER_FRAME events running at once causes the device to choke horrendously. I have had to carefully plan and manage my events to never have more than a couple of MCs running ENTER_FRAME events at once. Events in general are rather expensive; in one case I wrote a custom slider class that called a CHANGED event when the value changed, and used an event listener to monitor changes to the slider and pass the value to another object. That ended up running pretty poorly so I had to scrap the event and make a reference to the object in the slider class so the slider could change the value directly.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: iPad apps using Flash
                      sinious Most Valuable Participant

                      Plenty of good nuggets of wisdom in there but I should mention that my apps must run on iPad 1, 2 and 3. I have all 3. iPad1 to 2 is an enormous leap in speed (single A4 to dual core A5s and a nice GPU bump, but same resolution). iPad 2 to 3, no real speed increase simply due to the massive resolution increase sucking up all the extra hardware.


                      I find myself using Stage3D, StageVideo, StageWebView, etc to be as native as possible with many things. There's even controls being developed in Starling so what users are very used to, smooth scrolling, can be achieved. An example:



                      Fortunately the GPU works rather well on iPad 1 and where just about any timeline animation kills iPad1, Stage3D has worked almost equally well on both iPad1 and 2. I don't even consider iPad3 beyond optimizing graphics for the larger resolution. It ultimately almost always works the same as iPad2. But I develop on iPad1 with it's extreme limits in mind because if it works well on 1 it will work perfectly on 2 or 3. Perhaps you don't really care about the iPad1 audience, but if you do, you really need to take optimization serious.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: iPad apps using Flash
                        velvetelvis70 Level 1

                        Thanks so much, guys. A lot of great starting points there.

                        • 9. Re: iPad apps using Flash

                          Hello I am trying to make an epub and/or an online catalog for my business  so people can open them up on an Ipad. If someone could possibly tell me the steps to how to do this, that would be really awesome. I have already made the pages in photoshop and Illustrator CS5 and arranged them in InDesign CS5 then exported them to Flash to create the buttons to switch pages, then converted to an html file using wallaby technologies, but when I try opening it up in the html file the buttons will not work or even show up. I even tried switching the buttons to ones I have made in Illustrator and it still didn't work. It works fine when I am opening it up the FLA file on my computer but I cant send the fla file for some reason. And my objective is to send this online catalog out by mail and emails. If someone could please help me accomplish this, I would much appreciate this.

                          • 10. Re: iPad apps using Flash
                            sinious Most Valuable Participant

                            If you don't really want to get into Flash overall and would like to stay publication-esque (inDesign rather than Flash) then check the link I posted which I'll re-post here. The digital publishing tools from Adobe are for people who want to focus more on the publication process rather than the technology. A catalog could be easily managed as an ebook and accessed on a multitude of devices.