So last May, I wrote on the Popular Front blog that Adobe’s Flash Packager for iOS probably would have produced some pretty shoddy apps. So with today’s announcement from Apple restoring the legality of 3rd party development tools, the dust is being wiped off the Packager. Since no one questioned my then challenges to the quality of a seemingly dead product, I’m reposting them here in the hope of someone correcting me if I am mistaken.
Once again, these observations are based on Adobe’s Applications for iPhone: Developer FAQ.
- Packager only supported iOS 3.0.
- Who knows how long it would have taken to get it to support iOS 4.0? 6 months? Given that 3.0 & 4.0 are going to be extremely different beasts, could they even have supported both within the same project directory?
- Update: Now that we know what we know about iOS 4, how long is it going to take Abobe to support it?
- Packager apps would not have been able to utilize native iPhone OS controls.
- Thanks for eating up my device’s memory by reinventing the wheel.
- APIs for embedded HTML content were not available.
- Since a WebKit view is a native OS control this makes sense, but it also makes me wonder whether or not Packager apps could have supported iAds. Imagine building an app for a client and then having to explain how they couldn’t make some money off of it via ad revenue. Awkward.
- On the other hand, Adobe was planning to launch their own iPhone ad platform. Yeah, they weren’t asking to get banned with that one.
- Update: So the iAd argument doesn’t seem to be holding water, but the WebKit view is still a deal breaker for me.
- Flash Player 10 and Adobe Air 2.0 APIs also were not available for RTMPE, Dynamically loading SWFs that contain ActionScript, PixelBender Filters, Microphone Access, or Video Camera Access.
- That kind of sucks.
- Update: It really sucks.
- H.264 videos were supported, but not within the context of the Packager app. They would have to be launched in the iPhone’s native video player.
- I can live with it when webpages do this, but apps doing this would be annoying as hell.
- Update: I have less tolerance for this now that I did then.
- Packager apps couldn’t be launched / QAed in the iPhone simulator.
- Not a deal breaker, but annoying.
So again, I admit that I could very well be wrong with my interpretations and I invite anyone to correct me.