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Home > Tips September 10th, 2010

How to Create Adobe Flash Pro CS5 Apps for Apple iPhone & iPad

How to Create an iPhone App from Flash in 5 Steps

With the surprise news out from Apple that removes all previous restrictions on the development tools that can be used to create iOS apps, the doors open for standalone Flash-built apps to finally be migrated to the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Adobe at first released a simple statement, “We are encouraged to see Apple lifting its restrictions on its licensing terms, giving developers the freedom to choose what tools they use to develop applications for Apple devices.”

Later, Adobe issued a more complete response that confirms these apps are already being accepted into the App Store:

Great News for Developers

Apple’s announcement today that it has lifted restrictions on its third-party developer guidelines has direct implications for Adobe’s Packager for iPhone … This feature was created to enable Flash developers to quickly and easily deliver applications for iOS devices, and is available for use today in the Flash Professional CS5 authoring tool …

This is great news for developers and we’re hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store. We do want to point out that Apple’s restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.

Adobe will continue to work to bring full web browsing with Flash Player 10.1 as well as standalone applications on AIR to a broad range of devices, working with key industry partners including Google, HTC, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Palm/HP, RIM, Samsung and others.

So given the good news, how do you get a Flash-based app to now run on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch? Adobe’s Packager for iPhone compiles Flash ActionScript 3.0 bytecode into native iPhone application code. These apps can now be distributed as iPhone application installer files (.ipa files) via the iTunes Store, and can be installed and run just like any other iPhone applications.

Interestingly, some of the relevant videos and tutorial content that used to be on Adobe TV are no longer available there, and may have been taken down due to the impasse between the two companies, and the heretofore reduced utility of the new Packager feature. But now that it’s “game on” once again, here’s a summary video and a short list of good resources to get started:

  1. NEW via Adobe: How to Create an iPhone App in 5 Steps
  2. Packager for iPhone (PFI) Developer Guide
  3. DevNet: Developing for the Apple iPhone using Flash
  4. Packager for iPhone Community Q&A Forum
  5. Free Book Chapter: Developing iPhone Apps with Flash Pro CS5

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  1. Flash CS5 Training

    Also I think this is great news for developers.
    Thanks for an important lesson.

  2. Per.S.On

    This is great!!! I have Flash and the iPhone developing tools and I cant wait to get stuff on the App Store!

  3. Hussain

    Great news for Flash developers.
    What I can’t find yet is, a design guide or a library of movie clips for toolbars, buttons, and such.

  4. Are we ever going to be able to watch flash videos on ipad!

    • Hi, that’s a good question! There are some who say it will never happen, and some who say it’s inevitable… Many people would like the option at least, and on the Android platform the Flash Player continues to be a top-downloaded app (#3 right now). Adobe has made a lot of strides for mobile devices with the most recent releases of Flash Player 10.2 and 10.1.

      In the meanwhile, it is possible to run Flash on the iPad via an app like iSwifter… It works by translating the Flash content on a cloud server and then delivering it in a format the iPad will accept (i.e., HTML5 and CSS3) – it’s not perfect but performs pretty well for what it does, for some games and video.

      Thanks for visiting and for your comments.

  5. Emmanuel Titan carreon

    Hey guys, if you want Flash, just download the
    It’s in the app store.
    I think it’s just $3 for the full version.
    But anyway there is a free version, if u just don’t believe me.
    And watch youtube for how to use iSwifter. Thanks guys, don’t forget to leave some feedback.

    • Yep Emmanuel, that’s right – in fact, in the comment just above yours we recommend iSwifter as a reasonable alternative solution for iOS not supporting Flash…

      It still would be great if Apple offered at least the option to install the Adobe Flash Player for the many of us who would like it and miss it, but that may not ever happen.

  6. It was great news, but the iPad is not performing well by building apps in Flash. Got a lot of trouble with it! 🙁

  7. YW

    Hi there !

    All the worries are gone, as ADOBE has come up with all the cross domain dependencies. Check out the link to get more information on the same.

    Flash Rocks!! 🙂

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