Coding iPhone and Flash Mobile, back to back

pool slide

After spending the bulk of my ‘personal coding time’ over the last 6 weeks on building my first iPhone game/application, I’ve moved on to another mobile coding platform. After 6 weeks of learning Objective C and Xcode (also my first time coding on a Mac), I’ve jumped back in time to a mobile platform called Flash Lite. Pretty insane. It’s a mobile coding mind bender. The developer’s equivalent to a gender transformation.

These are completely different platforms, and the approach, ‘vibe’ around them, and outcome couldn’t be anymore different.

With the iPhone, with each compile & build, seeing and feeling the app load on a my sleek iPod Touch, I felt like I was an Olympic swimmer, making a sleek dive off a precision diving board into a crystal clear pool surrounded by people sunning themselves and drinking vibrant cocktails.

On the other side, cracking open Flash Professional, coding archaic ActionScript 2 and compiling into the Flash Lite simulator they call Device Central, the experience was much different. It feels like you’re climbing up those wet and slimy stairs of a pool slide, making your way down the insufficiently watered and windy curves, somewhat burning your skin on the sides of the dry plastic, before getting dumped into a pool of a few senior citizens floating on foam noodles and sort of applauding at me.

Strangely… I still really love the latter experience. Why? Because it feels unique and un-crowded. The stuff I’m doing seems far more untouched, less shiny, yet way more revolutionary. And the stuff I build with the latter process can be published to a comparatively infinite number of brands and devices. The same Flash Lite (FP6 level) .swf I coded co-exists on both a Chumby, as well as my Sony PSP. (Pause for a second and imagine that. Two companies, produce two devices, meant for a much different purpose and market. Yet, they are bound by a common mobile platform that tells me, the developer, that I can WRITE ONCE!] I haven’t even tried my Flash Lite app on actual mobile phones yet. The thing is… I don’t need to. I know what I’ve done and accomplished. Feels good.

The app I built will be demo’d at http://developer.ribbit.com/blog in the near future.

While the process still needs a lot of help, I can see how Flash Lite (soon to be much grandeur Flash Mobile development) still has a huge place in this mobile application movement. And now that I’ve had my moment with Flash mobile coding, it’s back to iPhone to build another app that I hope thousands will enjoy — at Apple’s discretion, of course!