I’m John C Bland II

Husband, Father, Tech Author, Deacon.
Founder of Katapult Media, and full-stack polyglot developer.
Political Free Agents Podcast Host.

I create. I launch.

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I post regular fun on YouTube like me playing the bass and anything else I find fun. 

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Aight…Apple’s turned in 3.3.1 and I’ve accepted it. What next?

Adobe has publicly stated they are not removing the iPhone Packager from Flash CS5. This means people will still see the feature. It means they will use the feature. It means apps might still get pushed to the App Store.

The big question for those who are 3.3.1 aware: Should we still build iPhone apps with Flash CS5?

Let’s talk rally for a sec. Oh wait…maybe I should say: Good people of Flash Land…lend me your ears! 😉


Consider this a rally cry. All of you crappy Flash developers, designers, deselopers, and devigners…go home and forget all about the iPhone Packager. Your services are not needed for this event. As some points of clarity, in case you’re not sure if you should stay or leave:

  • if you are a true developer (ie – no design bone in your body) designing your own app…leave, find a designer, and come back.
  • if you are a true designer (ie – no developer bone in your body) developing your own app…leave, find a developer, and come back.
  • if you still, to this day, build landing pages w/ a “skip intro” on it…LEAVE! (forever)

Now, those of you still around…keep reading.

What if we, the Flash community, build visually amazing and well performant applications for the iPhone and submitted them anyway?

This is exactly what we need to do. If we’re building amazing apps, having them run across N other platforms (Android, Blackberry, etc), and perform amazingly well on all of them…it will carry some weight. Until we can prove with action, not words/speculation, how well Flash CS5 iPhone apps can perform we’re just spitting in the wind while standing down wind from Apple. Flash already has the essence of beauty, for those capable of tapping into it, so that’s a non-issue. Performance is key here. Make apps perform well and feel native.

The only problem is with Apple. Most likely you’re going to waste your time. They can block your app through an automated system easily and never even look at it. Will they? I have no clue how they will process apps but this leads to another point.

“My apps keep getting blocked so no one ever seems them!”

This sucks. Truly. It isn’t the end though. Here are some suggested follow-up steps:

  1. Do a screencast showing your app running on your iDevice (iphone/pod/pad). Do NOT show it running in Flash. The whole key here is to prove the performance is worthy  “on device” (not in an IDE on an OS w/ N gigs of RAM).
  2. Blog/socialize about it. Be sure and hash tag your posts/tweets/whatever with #331rally (suggestion) or some other common hash tag folks come up with.
  3. Make your app publicly available online to where people, most likely developers, could install it on their own if they wanted. After doing so, the app could grow legs and gain in popularity a bit.
  4. Rinse repeat.

The idea is to get the word out but most importantly the app. Apple can keep the app from the App Store but they can’t keep us from installing our own apps on our own devices. Of course #3 may not be a great solution if you have some new Jedi trick in your app but maybe you package your source in swcs or something. 😉

How will this change anything?

Developers will never change Apple’s mind, in my opinion. Has a developer ever changed the mind of a designer? I haven’t. 😉 Ok…maybe once or twice but it was a small win, nothing major. I still can’t get one to agree to using marquee or blink. lol

The only way to change the mind of Apple is through the consumer and how can we reach the consumer? Socially. 🙂 If we could build up hundreds of well performing apps running wild, it could eventually make its way into the minds of the consumers and once their minds are turned away from supporting Apple’s 3.3.1 (or Apple in general) they will talk with their feet.

If anyone has the ability (@Adobe and @Google), commercials showing amazing apps running on other devices but not on the iPhone would be killer. The iPhone is seen as “you can do anything over here” but that isn’t really the full story. The iPhone can do “anything” Apple allows it to do. Get this into the general publics crosshair and it *might* change mindshare.


I’m completely spit balling here. What do you think? Would it work? Is it worth it?