For those of you who have been following my blog, you may remember that I recently purchased the Adobe CS5.5 software to take advantage of its new mobile production features, up until recently developing apps for iOS (Apple’s mobile operating system) had to be done using their own software X-code, which is only available on a Mac (apple computer) and I do not own a Mac nor can I currently afford one, so this was going to be a problem. The recent release of Adobe CS5.5 software provided me with an alternative and not only an alternative but a platform that would make it easier to create apps using coding language that I already know and have experience with, also the apps could be easily repackaged for multiple mobile platforms. The two pieces of software that can be used for this are Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5, usually associated with website design and Adobe Flash CS5.5 which is associated with creating rich interactive experiences. I have just completed a Lynda.com tutorial course entitled Building Android and iOS Apps with Dreamweaver CS5.5, see my certificate below:
Early on within this course I was dismayed to find out that Adobe’s claims of what the software can do may not be all they are cracked up to be; in chapter 4 Establishing an iOS Workspace, the videos’ narrator Joseph Lowery says the words:
“To develop for iOS devices, the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you’ll need a Mac”
At this point I was very confused, I have just spent a large amount of money on this new amazing software that can do all of this stuff without the need of a Mac, haven’t I? Lowery goes on in his instructions for setting up Dreamweaver to develop for iOS to explain that you need to install the iOS SDK (software development kit) and the iOS development framework called Xcode and this is where the problem lies; the iOS SDK and Xcode are only available for Macs, so if you are working on a PC like me you cannot do any of this.
How could I have missed this when I was looking at the CS5.5 software before I bought it? I returned to the adobe website and looked at what it said about the software, see the quotes from adobes website below:
“Extend your reach and create rich applications for multiple platforms, including Android, Blackberry, iOS, and Adobe AIR®.”
“Build and package native apps for Android™ and iOS with new PhoneGap functionality. Convert your existing HTML to a mobile phone application within Dreamweaver using the open source PhoneGapframework.“
“Benefit from new support for mobile application development and testing, enabling the use of a common codebase to build apps for Android™, BlackBerry® Tablet OS, and iOS while sharing code from web applications.”
At no point in this propaganda does Adobe acknowledge that you cannot actually build and package your application in Dreamweaver CS5.5 for iOS unless you are working with the Mac edition of the software on a Mac, although I must acknowledge that what they say is accurate, the problem comes in what they don’t say, their website is advertising one software package available on two different platforms PC and Mac, and if you are using the Mac version of the software on a Mac the software can do all the things it claims. I am very annoyed that I have been misled by this and until I learn about the Flash CS5.5 software’s capabilities I am not definitely left without a Mac build and packaging option, but I do fear that when I look further into Flash CS5.5 capabilities the same problem will arise.
You can basically develop one application and package it for different devices from the same files, which makes it easier to create applications for multiple platforms.
I am impressed with what Dreamweaver can do in terms of creating mobile applications and in the future I believe I will be using this method of development for future mobile apps but for this project Dreamweaver will not be appropriate for allowing me to create the types of interaction I hope to feature in my application.
Where does this leave me? I know I won’t be using Dreamweaver to create my app so I am a step further forward than I was before, I will now be looking at Adobe Flash CS5.5 to create my application and this is the route that I expected to take. I am worried about the journey ahead as I am fairly certain that I will encounter the same issue with iOS development that I found with Dreamweaver, this will not stop my project but it may cause me some fairly significant problems; even without a Mac I will be able to develop my application but I am not sure how I could package the application from an Adobe CS5.5 file without access to Adobe Flash CS5.5 on a Mac? As a developer I also believe that it is good practice to test regularly through development and although Adobe has some great testing features, accurate testing may become an issue at a later date.
Ultimately I have realised that at some point I will need to purchase a Mac and the CS5.5 software for the Mac, this is going to be a huge outlay.