Today was a great triumph for Adobe, since Apple has relaxing restrictions on development tools to create iOS apps. What does this mean, well for starters it means that the new feature in Flash CS5, which allows you to export for an iOS, can now be used. Although the actual use of Flash, through the web on an iOS device is still not available, this does allow Flash developers to create applications specifically for these devices.
Although I love Flash, and do ActionScripting in my sleep, I have always kind of agreed with Apple, on the buggyness and pure output of Flash. Adobe’s Flash has always tried to be everything to everybody. It’s an animation tool, and web developer’s tool, an application developers tool. The problem is for web CSS 3 and HTML 5 and the addition of Jquery, allow for smoother animation for web development, and still allows for the flexibility of having a content driven site, while in flash there is more animation and bling, than content. As an application tool, it’s okay, but at that point you might as well use something like Flex, or if it’s anything robust you can use C++ or Java. Flash even has a presentation feature, but setting up a feature in Flash is a pain, when you can do it so easy in Power Point or Keynotes, and even After Effects is simpler when doing video presentations. That leaves me with animation, Flash is excellent at animation, it allows for crisp vector drawings and does a great job. ActionScript can make animating repeating actions or complex scenes easier; it also allows for some simple interactions, such in popular Flash games.
The down side while, Adobe tries to make Flash everything to everyone they fail at making it anything at all. If Adobe would focus on one of these features, primarily animations, they could have an piece of software that could change that portion of the industry. Right now in the animation area, Toon Boom is the biggest competitor with Flash, and I must say that it has some great features, like a 3D perspective and a stage camera, which makes animating so much less stressful. If Flash would incorporate these elements and refine them I think Flash would be an excellent animation software, even one that Apple would approve of.