Flash now allowed for iPhone/iPad apps

Great news for anyone who wants to create an App for the Apple App Store using Flash:
In case you are not familiar with the raging battle, Apple has imposed serious restrictions on their iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, effectively blocking Flash in two major ways…

The first is that they won’t allow flash player to be installed in the web browser, which means that if you go to a website that uses Flash, all you see is a blue lego telling you that it is unavailable.  Unfortunately that blocks a huge chunk of the current web and that policy has not changed (though it is now legal to “jailbreak” your iPhone/iPad and you can indeed make Flash work if you really want to).

Apple has told the world that HTML5/CSS3 should replace Flash content entirely, but unfortunately they are nowhere near the sophistication of Flash, and also require that you be a programmer to create even the most basic of projects.

See a humorous demo of the current state of HTML5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfmbZkqORX4

The second issue is that Apple decided to restrict how Apps could be created, blocking Flash as an App creation tool that would allow developers to create Flash software for the Apple App Store.  This was especially disappointing given that Adobe had specifically created the “iPhone Packager” in Flash CS5 and numerous Apps and games had already been successfully created.

So the good news is that Apple has reversed their decision to restrict Flash from App creation, so you can now use Flash and ActionScript 3.0 to create apps that can be sold in the App Store.  Of course you still have to create something that passes their strict guidelines, but at least now you have a chance.

Here’s the official statement from Apple: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/09/09statement.html

And here is the Adobe iPhone Packager forum for more tips on how to make something: http://forums.adobe.com/community/labs/packagerforiphone/

– Kent

PS – A big thank you to ICM grad student Laurie Toth for sharing the news!

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