I’ve gone on about Playbook in a couple of other posts here, see the playbook category, and with that we had actually made a firm decision to get a few apps out on it hopefully before it’s actually released. One of the main reasons it just the sheer frustration with getting an app on to the iOS system. First up you either have to code in XCode or you get to use the API that Adobe has rounded up preliminarily into Flash. Adobe is doing exactly what Apple was afraid of and hasn’t been bothered with updating the API with anything new or make it nearly as feature rich as working in XCode. Granted.. I don’t blame Adobe for putting their energy elsewhere, but from a developer’s standpoint it’s very frustrating.
Anyways, they’re putting a lot of energy into other areas and one of them is the Playbook. So with that we moved forward with getting a few apps on to it.
It may seem a bit daunting because they are going on about having to make an app with nothing but actionscript in some locations, but that’s not true at all. It’s pretty much as easy as running a quick command to turn your files into a BAR file (executable for the playbook essentially) and it gets copied over and you can test on the simulator. I have to say quickly here that running stuff on the simulator sucks big time.. my mouse slows down to a super slow crawl and I’m finding input other than clicking is a total pain, really looking forward to getting one of these things in my hands. It’ll give more incentive and inspiration to have a working device and testing rather than this software based thing.. But, it works, allows you to test and see what’s going on and of course take screenshots with your OS.
So, the first thing I did myself was run a very basic actionscript only app built from scratch. That worked no problem. Follow the tutorials and you’re golden. Next up was getting something we have already build for the web up on to the playbook. A bit of effort and reading around and bang, it’s on and I’m testing. It works. What works you say? Well, we got our flagship live chat application product up and running on it:
Testing on the simulator obviously doesn’t let us see if the camera will work, but it received video just fine within the app and showed me in there dancing a jig 🙂
All in all, very impressive, so much so that we have a dedicated app coming out for it soon. We’re all signed up at RIM for our account and it’ll be very interesting to see how far this all goes.
Whether it’s political or not or whatever, but the combination of Adobe’s lack of effort towards the iOS devices and Apple’s sheer ignorance and stupidity in not supporting Flash development on their precious devices has definitely turned us to a different direction. There’s no way we can invest either time or money into learning a completely new language that can only work on one device. That’s just lame and is not how the world works anymore. Devs and dev companies are seeing the bright light of developing once and releasing to many platforms. Not the Apple concept of developing once for only one device.
To conclude things here, I’d have to say we are really excited about the Playbook and the new OS from Google, Honeycomb. Both are looking amazing and we’ll be there developing for them both. Whether we get back into the iOS world after putting out a few apps, getting denied for one that “isn’t interesting enough” and in general just having trouble doing what we want to do and not being able to create an app that can compete with the same built in XCode, is another story. Not now is my only answer I think.