In a previous blog I wrote about my experience of learning how to make mobile applications using the new features in Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5. (See previous blog here)
In this blog I will be reviewing the process that I have just undertaken in learning about the new mobile development capabilities of Adobe Flash CS5.5. In order to learn what I needed to know, once again I turned to Lynda.com and followed a tutorial course entitled “Building Mobile Apps for Multiple Devices with Flash Professional” I have just completed this course (see certificate below) and now I will tell you about the experience.
I will start with a description featured on the Adobe website of what Flash is, for any readers who may not know, Adobe describes Flash as:
“Adobe® Flash® Professional CS5.5 software is the industry-leading authoring environment for producing expressive interactive content. Create immersive experiences that present consistently to audiences across desktops, smart phones, tablets, and televisions.” http://www.adobe.com/products/flash.html
Flash is a powerful tool that I have used in the past to create interactive games, websites and applications for both mobile and kiosk.
The Lynda.com course showed me how easy it is to develop, test and publish applications for multiple devices using Adobe Flash CS5.5 and if you have read my previous blog about my Dreamweaver experience you will know that I was apprehensive about encountering the same problems with Flash, so was I right to be concerned? No, Flash CS5.5 lives up to the hype, it is ideal for creating cross platform applications, and by that I don’t mean one application that works on all devices because that is not possible, I mean you can create one source file that can then be converted into the relevant files for the differing devices. At one point in the tutorials I did have a moment of panic though, as the author said:
“It helps to have a Mac 4 development so Mac Book Pro whatever the case may be now you can use a Windows machine, but it’s just much easier on a Mac computer.” http://www.lynda.com/Flash-Professional-CS5-5-tutorials/Building-Mobile-Apps-for-Multiple-Devices-with-Flash-Professional/89049-2.html
So why is this the case, what can you do on a Mac that is so hard to do on a PC? The answer is Apple inc, in their infinite wisdom they have designed the process of iOS development to be made on their machines, using their software and although Flash CS5.5 can now create the iOS applications, you still need to submit the application to the app store using an apple process, this does not stop window users though. Apples process involves designers and developers joining the “IOS DEVELOPER PROGRAM”, which is a paid service which costs $99/year in GB currency that is currently about £62/year (excessive to say the least), this can be done on both PC and Mac, although whilst trying to enrol you will get this warning “You must have an Intel-based Mac running Mac OS X Snow Leopard or later to develop Mac OS X and iOS apps for the App Store”, (ignore the warning).
During the publishing process within Flash, you will be asked for a Development Certificate and Provisioning Profile, these are obtained from the iOS Dev Center, this is where it become more complicated for the windows user. On windows a change in the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is needed, we are getting into computer programming territory here which is a place that I am not entirely comfortable but there is a good blog with a step by step guide here: http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2011/09/22/creation-of-an-iphone-app-with-flash-and-without-a-mac-for-all-windows-lovers/
The Provisioning profile process will also require some computer programming and the information about that is also available at the link above.
This is a complicated process that I am not sure I want to go through but needs must and at the moment I may not have another option, the process on a Mac is a lot easier but it is still far more complicated than it needs to be and in my opinion Apple could learn a lot from the Android publishing process. So in summary ,Yes I have found the software that meets my development needs for my application, a software that will require very little in the way of learning as I already have previous experience with its use, I can develop and publish my application from my windows based laptop, although publication would be easier if done on a Mac. So I can now start work on my application , watch this space as I expect some development in the near future.