So Much For Creating iPhone Apps with Flash

When Apple announced third-party development for iPhone apps, I read everything carefully and made a decision: it was too risky.
You see, Apple controlled the gateway to the iPhone. After putting in time and money, there was no way to guarantee your app would make it to the store. And there was nothing you could do with that development effort if you were turned away.
That’s too much of a risk for someone like me. I can’t afford to spend a month developing a game, only to have to toss it aside.
But when Adobe announced that you could use Flash CS5 to create iPhone apps, I was excited. A have a huge library of Flash games, many of which would work on the iPhone’s touch screen format. So I charged ahead with development. Beside, by now I could see that Apple seemed to be letting most things in to the App Store, so I felt there was little danger in risking time and effort.
I should have stuck with my initial gut feeling. After developing more than 10 games for the iPhone over 3 months, and getting them in the store, it looks like only a matter of time before they are all pulled. Apple’s new developer agreement seems to prohibit using Flash and tools like it to make apps. Steve Jobs has pretty much confirmed it since then.
So my last two submissions to the app store sit in limbo in the review process. I’m sure they will not be approved. All of my other Flash-developed apps will no doubt be removed in time.
On the bright side of things, I have learned the potential of iPhone app sales. It isn’t great. Oh, I think given 3 years in the App Store, my collection would have been worth its original investment. But it certainly won’t be worth re-making the games in native Xcode, using a language I’m not as skilled with.
But finding success in the app store is another topic altogether. The approach I took and the amount of effort I was willing to put into marketing clearly wasn’t enough. I’ve got more lucrative avenues of paying my bills anyway.
So, what now? Well, for one, I can try to port these games over to Android. Adobe has announced future support for that. Since I’ve already done the work to get these games working on a touch screen and a mobile-power processor, then why not?
I’m also going to investigate creating games using only standards: HTML, JavaScript, PHP, etc. I would be very limited using these, but any games I could make should be able to work on many many platforms, including the iPhone, iPad and Android, as well as computers, of course.
So, how do I feel about all of this? Numb. I just can’t even conjure up an emotion. Apple seems to have something against Adobe and wants to control development on its own platform. I’m just collateral damage, and hardly worth Apple paying attention to. So I’m trying to let it go and realize that it is all beyond my control.

Posted on April 19, 2010 at 10:09 am by Gary Rosenzweig · Permalink
In: General