Adobe has restarted working on their iPhone packager for Flash…again for CS5. This pretty much confirms that Flash->iPhone conversions are allowed. One wonders, why Apple made the change. Was it because they could not single out Flash and allow other tech like Unity? Was it because Flash apps performed OK on the platform? Or, was it because developer mindshare had moved to Android in the past 6 months?
Only Apple knows, and we will probably never get the full-story. However, what does this mean for Flash developers?
1. Libraries of professional games that have workable touch interfaces and the proper optimizations can now be converted for the iPhone with a modicum of effort.
2. Apple says that they are going to institute strict quality controls on games, so extra effort to make games look and sound professional should help seasoned developers, while restricting hoards of skript kitties.
3. Flash now has momentum again, so convincing producers and product managers that Flash is a viable technology will be much easier. The last 6 months has been a pretty dark tunnel for professional Flash developers on this front.
4. With the “rush” to the iPhone, web portals might see a lack of good titles to choose from. This could open-up opportunities for newer developers to cut their teeth before moving onto other platforms.
5. Flash still will not run on mobile Safari. This means that HTML5 apps and games are still very viable for web-based platforms that want to target mobile devices. This makes HTML5 the lowest common denominator, and opens-up Flash for higher-end content.
6. Related to the above, as HTML5 becomes the norm for web sites, Adobe has the opportunity to support the HTML5 Canvas AND Actionscript/SWF/Air in the Flash IDE. This will only make the IDE more powerful and worth the cost.
7. As “web” tech becomes more commoditized with HTML5, Adobe can focus on making the ctionscript/SWF/Air format much more powerful and full featured for games and high-end apps by giving us true 3D support, enhanced audio support, better networking support, and more target platforms
8. Creating games that target multiple mobile platforms is now much easier. Expect to see great Flash-made games launched for both iPhone and Android (Google Web App Store) very soon.
9. With so many great Flash developers working on iPhone games, the craft of mobile games will only get better….and more competitive.
10. Maybe people will start buying books on optimized Flash game development again (OK, that’s an advantage for US!)