I interviewed the people behind Adobe Flash Lite for mobile devices who all left Adobe to start a new company they felt could keep up with the fast paced developments in mobile by forming Ansca Mobile.
The Ansca Mobile team includes Carlos Icaza who was responsible for creating and developing Adobe’s entire mobile authoring strategy & Walter Luh who led the Adobe Flash Lite engineering team that included Eric Herrmann & Evan Kirchhoff.
Their solution to mobile development is Corona (aka Overdrive) which provides native iPhone, iPad, & Android application development plus cross migration.
Not only can you take the application you created for the iPhone and with one click of the button have it ported to Android, but you don’t need to be a professional programmer to do so.
It is ideal if you have a Flash / ActionScript 2.0 development background to use Corona but any basic developer can pick it up as it’s much easier to learn than Objective-C/C++.
This then begs the question with iPhone 4.0 if Corona created applications will be allowed in the App Store?
The Ansca Mobile team dismissed this as being impossible due to the fact Corona apps are built just like most top iPhone apps — an Objective-C/C++ engine underneath a Lua-based logic layer — such as Tap Tap Revenge.
Also, one day after the April 22nd deadline, a Corona-powered app (Astral Arcade) was successfully submitted to the iPad store.
Then another question asked is why bother with Flash or Corona versus coding in HTML5?
The reply being that there are many more options with Corona including resident applications than what HTML5 currently supports as the Ansca Mobile team continues to monitor the HTML5 standardization process.
So why then bother with Corona now that Adobe is strengthening its ties with Google & Android as Adobe Air & Flash apps are already porting over to Android?
They claim Flash is not as sufficient a solution as Corona – with Flash you can get an app running but you’ll spend a lot more time trying to get good frame rates and constantly worry about consuming too much memory.
With Corona, you get breakthrough animation speeds – for example, at 360iDev, Corona was demonstrated using the Box2D physics engine at 30fps.
In contrast, the demo of a Flash-based iPhone app was two orders of magnitude slower. (about 0.3 fps — 3 seconds per frame!)
In summation Corona is a quality choice as a one stop shop in mobile development as its fully hardware-accelerated based on OpenGL-ES & the only cross-platform 2.5D graphic engine available today.
Ansca Mobile has got support for Android 1.5 / 1.6 in the works including prototypes for Symbian with possible expansion into Windows Mobile 7 & Blackberry while any Palm plans are currently doubtful.
At GoogleAndBlog I went over their knowledge of Adobe Flash Lite & why there is so many delays in its full deployment on Android.