• Author arn
  • Posted On2009-10-05 19:59:22
  • News

appsfor_iphone_ph2_557x200It's been well known that Apple has resisted bringing Adobe's Flash plug-in to the iPhone. As a result, there is no way for iPhone users to play Flash content natively on their iPhone. Many games (such as Canabalt) have been written in Flash, and ports of these applications have been big sellers on the App Store.

Today Adobe announced that they begin allowing Flash developers to export applications directly in "ipa" format to run directly on the iPhone. According to Adobe, these applications are compiled into standard native iPhone executables and will be able to be submitted to the App Store for approval.

Flash Professional CS5 will enable developers to build applications for iPhone that are installed as native applications. Users will be able to access the apps after downloading them from Apple’s App Store and installing them on iPhone or iPod touch

The implications for iPhone gamers and developers is pretty significant, as the porting of Flash content to the iPhone will become much easier. Obviously, changes may still need to be made to suit the iPhone's interface.

Several apps have already been released for the iPhone using an early private version of Adobe's software, but a public beta of Flash Professional CS5 will begin later this year. These early Flash/App Store examples include Chroma Circuit [$0.99], Fickleblox [$0.99] and more.

  • Brian

    Why should I have to pay for something that's free on the internet?

    • arn

      You don't have to do anything, but Flash games on the internet (try to) make money on ads.

      It's like asking why would anyone pay for TV shows on DVD when you can get them free when watching them during the regular season. Sure, you can play Flash games on the internet for free... but not from your iPhone.

      arn

      • Scott

        The reason we can't play flash games on the iphone browser is because they make their money from advertising and apple can't get their cut that way. Watching a show on tv isn't free! We pay a monthly subscription fee and are forced to watch 20 minutes of comercials every hour.

    • Itaintrite

      Convenience for one. Most of the appstore APPS (not games) are just iphone ports of something already done (or can be easily done) on the internet. Doesn't mean people don't want the convenience of having the apps on their iPhone.

      Improvement is another reason. Better GUI a lot of the time. Extra content can be added.

      And last but not least, can you play Canabalt Flash on the iPhone? :)

      • Anonymous

        If flash is available on the iPhone and one can play Flash games such as Canabalt and :Shift:, what's the point in PURCHASING those specific iPhone games? The market for those ports would dry up.

      • arn

        um. Flash isn't available on the iPhone, nor will it be based on this announcement. Read slower.

  • Brian

    Why should I have to pay for something that's free on the internet?

    • arn

      You don't have to do anything, but Flash games on the internet (try to) make money on ads.

      It's like asking why would anyone pay for TV shows on DVD when you can get them free when watching them during the regular season. Sure, you can play Flash games on the internet for free... but not from your iPhone.

      arn

      • Scott

        The reason we can't play flash games on the iphone browser is because they make their money from advertising and apple can't get their cut that way. Watching a show on tv isn't free! We pay a monthly subscription fee and are forced to watch 20 minutes of comercials every hour.

    • Itaintrite

      Convenience for one. Most of the appstore APPS (not games) are just iphone ports of something already done (or can be easily done) on the internet. Doesn't mean people don't want the convenience of having the apps on their iPhone.

      Improvement is another reason. Better GUI a lot of the time. Extra content can be added.

      And last but not least, can you play Canabalt Flash on the iPhone? :)

      • Anonymous

        If flash is available on the iPhone and one can play Flash games such as Canabalt and :Shift:, what's the point in PURCHASING those specific iPhone games? The market for those ports would dry up.

      • arn

        um. Flash isn't available on the iPhone, nor will it be based on this announcement. Read slower.

  • Will

    Get ready for the percentage of crapps to dramatically increase...

    • Jaime

      agree

    • Comercial9

      Agree here too

    • pmando

      it will be more like an tsunami of crapp and wash out all the good apps with it. good luck anyone finding your app.

  • Will

    Get ready for the percentage of crapps to dramatically increase...

    • Jaime

      agree

    • Comercial9

      Agree here too

    • pmando

      it will be more like an tsunami of crapp and wash out all the good apps with it. good luck anyone finding your app.

  • FallenAngel

    So this means we can create iPhone apps on Windows OS?

    • WiseWeasel

      Yes, but only crashy ones, unfortunately...
      /half joking

    • Pheebau

      Yes and No. Yes, because Adobe SDK will very likely run on Windows so yes you should be able to develop on Windows _but_ you will still need a Mac to test with Apple's emulator (part of the SDK which is for Mac OS) and to submit your app to the appstore...

      • http://www.bigbangtechnology.com Cameron Westland

        You can't use the applications in the emulator because they only work on the ARM processor, the emulator requires an intel processor.

      • Kam

        "begin allowing Flash developers to export applications directly in "ipa" format to run directly on the iPhone"

        so could you not just test the ipa's on your iphone??

    • dynamo

      On the plus side, we would be able to use good developer tools, and not the failure known as XCode.

      • Dakota Trotter

        Failure? XCode has to be the greatest workstation I've ever used.

      • heh

        lol, I wouldn't go as far as calling it greatest, infact nearly the worst, but I wouldn't put the other anywhere near a dev-tool category

    • Yog Shoggoth

      You'll most likely need to export from Flash running on a Mac with the SDK installed, as it will need to compile with the appropriate libraries - apps have to be code signed too, for distribution, so I'm sure there's a lot they aren't telling us in the video.

      Also, the fact that it's exporting a compiled app is very limiting, as it cuts off the possibility of customising the end product with strong API features.

  • FallenAngel

    So this means we can create iPhone apps on Windows OS?

    • WiseWeasel

      Yes, but only crashy ones, unfortunately...
      /half joking

    • Pheebau

      Yes and No. Yes, because Adobe SDK will very likely run on Windows so yes you should be able to develop on Windows _but_ you will still need a Mac to test with Apple's emulator (part of the SDK which is for Mac OS) and to submit your app to the appstore...

      • http://www.bigbangtechnology.com Cameron Westland

        You can't use the applications in the emulator because they only work on the ARM processor, the emulator requires an intel processor.

      • Kam

        "begin allowing Flash developers to export applications directly in "ipa" format to run directly on the iPhone"

        so could you not just test the ipa's on your iphone??

    • dynamo

      On the plus side, we would be able to use good developer tools, and not the failure known as XCode.

      • Dakota Trotter

        Failure? XCode has to be the greatest workstation I've ever used.

    • Yog Shoggoth

      You'll most likely need to export from Flash running on a Mac with the SDK installed, as it will need to compile with the appropriate libraries - apps have to be code signed too, for distribution, so I'm sure there's a lot they aren't telling us in the video.

      Also, the fact that it's exporting a compiled app is very limiting, as it cuts off the possibility of customising the end product with strong API features.

  • http://www.myspace.com/ronte93 exile

    I really want to see "Fancy Pants Adventures" on the iDevice!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/ronte93 exile

    I really want to see "Fancy Pants Adventures" on the iDevice!!

  • Nate

    Did anyone notice his battery was dead on first shot. haha maybe because of flash apps.

  • http://www.sleekgames.net psionic81

    @dynamo

    with 3.12 on snow leopard, xcode is actually now the best compiler on the planet. they totally integrated CLANG/LLVM so you can actually get a static analysis of your code on the fly w/out messing with other external tools.

    also.. multimonitor is your friend in xcode. and never use the simulator's debugger, it's just not worth it.

    • Yog Shoggoth

      What he said ^^

  • Nate

    Did anyone notice his battery was dead on first shot. haha maybe because of flash apps.

  • http://www.sleekgames.net psionic81

    @dynamo

    with 3.12 on snow leopard, xcode is actually now the best compiler on the planet. they totally integrated CLANG/LLVM so you can actually get a static analysis of your code on the fly w/out messing with other external tools.

    also.. multimonitor is your friend in xcode. and never use the simulator's debugger, it's just not worth it.

    • Yog Shoggoth

      What he said ^^

  • tsharpfilm

    This is exciting news! It's good to hear that Adobe and Apple are trying to play nice with each other.

  • tsharpfilm

    This is exciting news! It's good to hear that Adobe and Apple are trying to play nice with each other.

  • http://www.callboxlive.com Stan Winstone

    Yuck- here come a glut of half assed web games barely compiled for iPhone...

    • Yog Shoggoth

      Maybe Apple could restrict them to a "Flash Games" category ;)

  • http://www.callboxlive.com Stan Winstone

    Yuck- here come a glut of half assed web games barely compiled for iPhone...

    • Yog Shoggoth

      Maybe Apple could restrict them to a "Flash Games" category ;)

  • Michael

    These apps are going to be 1% good apps, 5% decent apps, and 94% crappy apps.

    Isn't it worth that 1% of awesome flash games that are converted to iPhone? Imagine the possibilities for a responsible developer who takes their awesome newgrounds flash game and optimizes it for iPhone.

    • Ape lover

      right now, they % is not ANY diffeernt from the current flood of apps.

  • Michael

    These apps are going to be 1% good apps, 5% decent apps, and 94% crappy apps.

    Isn't it worth that 1% of awesome flash games that are converted to iPhone? Imagine the possibilities for a responsible developer who takes their awesome newgrounds flash game and optimizes it for iPhone.

    • Ape lover

      right now, they % is not ANY diffeernt from the current flood of apps.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    So, I'm mixed about this. The proof will be in the tasting of the pudding, of course.

    @dynamo
    I used to fight Xcode and use Visual Studio as an example of a better tool, now I enjoy both quite a bit for different reasons. (Ctrl-/ is your friend!) Calling Xcode a failure is a bit confusing. What did it fail at? There's a huge pile of successes to point to.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    So, I'm mixed about this. The proof will be in the tasting of the pudding, of course.

    @dynamo
    I used to fight Xcode and use Visual Studio as an example of a better tool, now I enjoy both quite a bit for different reasons. (Ctrl-/ is your friend!) Calling Xcode a failure is a bit confusing. What did it fail at? There's a huge pile of successes to point to.

  • Rich

    Wow, this sounds awesome!
    I hope someone ports Free Rider 2; I know we have Line Rider, but i want to control the guy, and also it would be cool to turn the gravity on, and you can turn the idevice around to change how the guy moves (kind of like Rolando!)

    Rich

  • http://N/A Rich

    Wow, this sounds awesome!
    I hope someone ports Free Rider 2; I know we have Line Rider, but i want to control the guy, and also it would be cool to turn the gravity on, and you can turn the idevice around to change how the guy moves (kind of like Rolando!)

    Rich

  • drunknbass

    people saying that this is bad need to stop and think.. there already is a lot of crap on appstore, most you prob never see because its already at the bottom of the ocean. sure the appstore will get more crap, but also more quality apps.

    Also making 2d games in cocoa is a serious pain in the ass and using tools like unity are overkill. TGB would be nice if the iphone version wasnt such a pile of crap.

    what this does is open up a nice environment for simple 2d games and lots of keyframe type animated stuff.
    There is still going to be a hump to get over to get your code to run smooth, and dont forget the $(99-299) and approval process to go through which should weed out some of the people not so serious about making quality stuff.

    This also opens a flood gate of work for flash devs since there are a lot of companies who would love to hire people with skills that can work for various platforms.

    I actually think this is a great idea and would love to see something similar for android and webos and not the web based solution.
    I think its better for the end user since it should run much better, and better for developers since its easier to market a product, and also stick with 1 dev environment for multiple platforms.

  • drunknbass

    people saying that this is bad need to stop and think.. there already is a lot of crap on appstore, most you prob never see because its already at the bottom of the ocean. sure the appstore will get more crap, but also more quality apps.

    Also making 2d games in cocoa is a serious pain in the ass and using tools like unity are overkill. TGB would be nice if the iphone version wasnt such a pile of crap.

    what this does is open up a nice environment for simple 2d games and lots of keyframe type animated stuff.
    There is still going to be a hump to get over to get your code to run smooth, and dont forget the $(99-299) and approval process to go through which should weed out some of the people not so serious about making quality stuff.

    This also opens a flood gate of work for flash devs since there are a lot of companies who would love to hire people with skills that can work for various platforms.

    I actually think this is a great idea and would love to see something similar for android and webos and not the web based solution.
    I think its better for the end user since it should run much better, and better for developers since its easier to market a product, and also stick with 1 dev environment for multiple platforms.

  • arta

    The vast majority of flash games are terrible, even more so than any other entertainment medium.

    • Anonymous

      Check out Armorgames.com. Lots of decent Flash-based games there. And don't forget Popcap.com whom have ported over 4 very good games to the iPhone OS (Bejeweled 1 & 2, Bookworm, and Peggle).

  • arta

    The vast majority of flash games are terrible, even more so than any other entertainment medium.

    • Anonymous

      Check out Armorgames.com. Lots of decent Flash-based games there. And don't forget Popcap.com whom have ported over 4 very good games to the iPhone OS (Bejeweled 1 & 2, Bookworm, and Peggle).

  • DevL

    Possibly the worst thing that could happen to the appstore as now even more chumps will be releasing sub-standard playing & looking apps. More work for reviewers, increased approval times and more cheap ports.

    Nice little earner for Adobe though. Apple don't have to approve if they don't want to and could easily put a spanner in the works if they choose.

  • DevL

    Possibly the worst thing that could happen to the appstore as now even more chumps will be releasing sub-standard playing & looking apps. More work for reviewers, increased approval times and more cheap ports.

    Nice little earner for Adobe though. Apple don't have to approve if they don't want to and could easily put a spanner in the works if they choose.

  • -=XX=-Nephilim

    Simply AWESOME news!

    Can't wait for CS5 :)

  • -=XX=-Nephilim

    Simply AWESOME news!

    Can't wait for CS5 :)

  • Chad

    This is a horrible excuse not to have flash support on the iPhone period.

  • Chad

    This is a horrible excuse not to have flash support on the iPhone period.

  • JD

    Wait, does this mean one can make a flash game, export it to .ipa, sync, and play it on his own iDevice?

  • JD

    Wait, does this mean one can make a flash game, export it to .ipa, sync, and play it on his own iDevice?

  • lefty

    aww crap. I like having the barrier of xcode and objective-c in the way of most developers...this is going to allow even more riff raff into the app store :(

  • lefty

    aww crap. I like having the barrier of xcode and objective-c in the way of most developers...this is going to allow even more riff raff into the app store :(

  • http://www.Bigwobblers.com Big perve

    You can forget selling apps now, the apps store will be full of flash apps for free supported by adds, its over now, thats the end of selling apps once this hits.

  • http://www.Bigwobblers.com Big perve

    You can forget selling apps now, the apps store will be full of flash apps for free supported by adds, its over now, thats the end of selling apps once this hits.

  • Ape lover

    why most of the posters are blindly stupid idiots? why they think if apple approves ads on those games? why they think if they sell the app, it will still have ads?
    try yo differentiate the web based flash games from these soon to be apps for a short time WITH an objective mind. oh well, apple fanboys regarding adobe cannot think like that. fart apps ftw, eh?

  • Ape lover

    why most of the posters are blindly stupid idiots? why they think if apple approves ads on those games? why they think if they sell the app, it will still have ads?
    try yo differentiate the web based flash games from these soon to be apps for a short time WITH an objective mind. oh well, apple fanboys regarding adobe cannot think like that. fart apps ftw, eh?

  • spiffyone

    This announcement actually now kicks me into overdrive concerning two things:

    1. Wanting to develop a game for iPhone/touch. The tools available thus far have been daunting to say the least for someone with relatively little programming experience. But Flash? I know how to use Flash. Not very well, mind you, but enough that I already have my feet wet and can be at ease as I begin to go deeper and take a swim.

    2. Upgrading from my CS3 Master Suite. CS4 for Mac was 32-bit only, and I didn't see a major reason to upgrade (although the additions to Premiere were nice). But iPhone/touch .ipa export for Flash, along with all the other major upgrades (including 64-bit support for Mac, as well as GPU acceleration) make me want to upgrade now when CS5 is released. Especially since Flash .ipa exports won't be game app only, so I can theoretically make nice little flash animated cartoons or digital comics and sell them in the app store rather than recompile them to work on iDevices.

  • spiffyone

    This announcement actually now kicks me into overdrive concerning two things:

    1. Wanting to develop a game for iPhone/touch. The tools available thus far have been daunting to say the least for someone with relatively little programming experience. But Flash? I know how to use Flash. Not very well, mind you, but enough that I already have my feet wet and can be at ease as I begin to go deeper and take a swim.

    2. Upgrading from my CS3 Master Suite. CS4 for Mac was 32-bit only, and I didn't see a major reason to upgrade (although the additions to Premiere were nice). But iPhone/touch .ipa export for Flash, along with all the other major upgrades (including 64-bit support for Mac, as well as GPU acceleration) make me want to upgrade now when CS5 is released. Especially since Flash .ipa exports won't be game app only, so I can theoretically make nice little flash animated cartoons or digital comics and sell them in the app store rather than recompile them to work on iDevices.

  • http://www.impmusicgame.com Jeremy

    Given the shoddy app approval process and generally poor design of the App Store, Flash is going to make the store more brutal than ever... and Apple better double or triple their number of app reviewers or that 14 day avg approval time is going to slip away real fast.

  • http://www.impmusicgame.com Jeremy

    Given the shoddy app approval process and generally poor design of the App Store, Flash is going to make the store more brutal than ever... and Apple better double or triple their number of app reviewers or that 14 day avg approval time is going to slip away real fast.

  • Random

    I'm actually surprised that no-one's bringing up the question of performance. Flash is notoriously resource heavy, taxing less-powerful CPU's quite heavily, and if you combine this with the iPhone's rather poor 2D performance, I think you'll find that directly porting a Flash game to iPhone will result in a barely-playable mess.

    You can even see in the video that, while the game is certainly responsive, the frame-rate is quite poor, and there's only a handful of sprites on the screen - something even a poorly written native app could easily run at 60fps. If games this simple run so jerkily, imagine what any of the 'good' Flash games will come out like...

    • drunknbass

      this is not flash on the iphone, this is adobe making an iphone compiler for .fla->.ipa
      it is the same as how unity works. Im not sure what the end result is but ill guess it converts it down to assembly(hopefully) the same way as unity.

      Flash is resource heavy for a few reasons, 1 not being gpu accelerated, 2. having an action script interpreter, etc.
      nonne of this is relevant to the iphone flash exporter.

      And this isnt going to be a magic button for people to make apps. its just another tool to help create an app/game. You'll still need skill, knowledge and understanding of what is actually happening along the process to get anything decent out of it.
      Im going to bet optimizing your .fla is going to be a decent amount of work till people create 3rd party addon components for the trivial things.

  • Random

    I'm actually surprised that no-one's bringing up the question of performance. Flash is notoriously resource heavy, taxing less-powerful CPU's quite heavily, and if you combine this with the iPhone's rather poor 2D performance, I think you'll find that directly porting a Flash game to iPhone will result in a barely-playable mess.

    You can even see in the video that, while the game is certainly responsive, the frame-rate is quite poor, and there's only a handful of sprites on the screen - something even a poorly written native app could easily run at 60fps. If games this simple run so jerkily, imagine what any of the 'good' Flash games will come out like...

    • drunknbass

      this is not flash on the iphone, this is adobe making an iphone compiler for .fla->.ipa
      it is the same as how unity works. Im not sure what the end result is but ill guess it converts it down to assembly(hopefully) the same way as unity.

      Flash is resource heavy for a few reasons, 1 not being gpu accelerated, 2. having an action script interpreter, etc.
      nonne of this is relevant to the iphone flash exporter.

      And this isnt going to be a magic button for people to make apps. its just another tool to help create an app/game. You'll still need skill, knowledge and understanding of what is actually happening along the process to get anything decent out of it.
      Im going to bet optimizing your .fla is going to be a decent amount of work till people create 3rd party addon components for the trivial things.

  • TKO

    At first I'd been thinking this lowers the barrier to entry into the store and we'd, naturally, as a result get a whole new wave of crap apps. But maybe this isn't so.. For outfits who want to simultaneously develop for more than one platform, or who want to hire (or already have) flash developers, they only need to have one developers license, Mac, and the tools to submit to the store.

    But for your independent developer, they still need the same outlay on the Mac and dev membership (and all the paperwork and hassle that goes along with that) *and* they need to purchase the Adobe Flash suite too. (Well, purchase/obtain/whatever.) ;)

    Maybe things will stay much the same. Maybe it will convert more people to Objective C, once they discover how much less they can throw at the screen in flash, how they have none of the UI widgets, and how the battery is quickly sucked dry. ;)

  • TKO

    At first I'd been thinking this lowers the barrier to entry into the store and we'd, naturally, as a result get a whole new wave of crap apps. But maybe this isn't so.. For outfits who want to simultaneously develop for more than one platform, or who want to hire (or already have) flash developers, they only need to have one developers license, Mac, and the tools to submit to the store.

    But for your independent developer, they still need the same outlay on the Mac and dev membership (and all the paperwork and hassle that goes along with that) *and* they need to purchase the Adobe Flash suite too. (Well, purchase/obtain/whatever.) ;)

    Maybe things will stay much the same. Maybe it will convert more people to Objective C, once they discover how much less they can throw at the screen in flash, how they have none of the UI widgets, and how the battery is quickly sucked dry. ;)

  • http://www.flash-games-master.com malc@flash games master

    why should anyone pay for something that free online, it cant work can it

  • http://www.flash-games-master.com malc@flash games master

    why should anyone pay for something that free online, it cant work can it