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Some basic iOS Deploy tips for FDT5 (AIR 3.2)

Hey,
I thought of sharing some of the latest stuff I stumbled upon while making a kinda “Papertoss” or “Flick Soccer” clone with FDT5 and iOS, based on Away3D and Adobe AIR 3.2. This is what I’ve got after two evenings now (I’ve got no idea why TwitVid rotated the video source by 90°). Don’t consider it as being finished or something. This is just a very rough proof of concept!


Setting up your ADL
I think it makes a lot sense to set your ADL resolution the same as your device. That means you have to set up a specific SWF size (via meta tags, e.g.) and set up the width&height in your app descriptor. Make sure you’re targeting the app-descriptor in your launch config (=> “Start” tab). Besides I’m used to set the -default-size compiler argument to fit my device size as well. Feels a bit safer to me. I really need to figure out these three params in connection with scaleMode and stuff one day.. However, setting all this makes your ADL pretty much look like the app on your device, so positioning and scaling your objects really become way more realistic while working.

Read the release notes!
They contain crucial stuff you need to know!
Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2 Release Notes (PDF)

Use ipa-test-interpreter with ADL Wifi Debug
What that means is that your application gets packaged way faster than with the standard mode. In comparison: Standard debug packaging: 4min 49sec | Interpreted debug packaging: 13sec.
This allows you to quickly install the app on your device, connect the ADL via WiFi and debug it. However, the performance is awful. From 60fps to 10fps. But as I want to debug stuff it’s not that important. Are you interested more in this topic? Leave me a reply so I may upload a video tutorial on this.

-swf-version=15
You have to set the -swf-version to 15 in order to make use of AIR 3.2′s stage3D.

renderMode: direct
As with desktop or browser SWFs you now need to set the renderMode to direct for mobiles as well.

depthAndStencil
Though Away3D has currently a bug considering this, it is highly recommended to set the “depthAndStencil” param to true in your App-Descriptor when working with 3D objects. Besides:

For an AIR 3.2 or later application compiled with SWF version 15 or higher, if the renderMode element in the application descriptor file is direct, then the depthAndStencil element in the application descriptor file must have the same value as this argument.

Be friends and ask
One important thing I’ve realized is that without any help of others, it’s really hard to catch up with all this new stuff. There are just things you cannot know by heart as they’re nowhere documented. So, don’t shy to ask for help on Twitter! Most of us Flash developers are kind persons who are willing to reply :)

Report bugs!
As with every “new” stuff that’s happening.. the developers need your feedback. If you’re experiencing a bug with stage3D in general, go and tell Adobe! They’ve got a bugbase to track things and they need your input in order to fix it. The same for any engine you’re using. I’m familiar with Away3D and as it’s all shiny and new, many things don’t work as expected. Tell them so they can check&fix it: Away3D Issues on GitHub.

Hang on!
It’s all getting better. I’ve started more than a year ago with mobile development and Adobe AIR. More than 20 Sprites on stage was unthinkable these days ago. And see where we are today :)

18 Responses to “Some basic iOS Deploy tips for FDT5 (AIR 3.2)”

  1. Nice one, please keep this coming.
    I’ve been porting an App from AIR 2.6 to 3.2 and the performance is stunning, but debugging release (specially over Wifi) is really slow. (and I’ve spent some hours to find out about that)

  2. tomph says:

    Hey Marvin,

    Thanks for the info. I’m constantly bouncing between the air pre-release, starling and regular air forums looking for answers. I generally find it easier just to tweet instead!

    One thing to mention is that ‘depthAndStencil’ should only be enabled with 3D content (such as Away3D). 2D GPU accelerated engines (such as Starling) do not need it.

    I’m hoping that the IPA packager gets a bit quicker as it sometimes takes ages! Weirdly, if I use Nape with Starling, it takes about 10 minutes! :–[

  3. Marvin Blase says:

    True words from both of you. :) I’m gonna update the article above @depthAndStencil.

    @tomph: what air-prelease are you referring to?

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  5. tomph says:

    Hey,

    I was talking about the Pre-Release forums. If you’re not on there already, I would recommend you ask Thibault for an invite. You get to try out all the new stuff before anyone else :)

  6. Marvin Blase says:

    I’m in the prereleases and used the 3.2 beta for some months already.But as it’s now published as RC everyone can go for these awesome features :)

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  9. Timbo says:

    Hi Marvin,

    Can you explain a bit more how to debug using wifi? Connect ADL via wifi?

    Thanks man!

  10. Marvin Blase says:

    Hey,
    as said (in a different article) I’m going to start a multipart-video-series soon which covers every step in detail. From setting up assets to debugging and pushing to stores. So stay tuned :)

  11. Timbo says:

    Great news! Just found out about monster debugger, works easy.

  12. james says:

    Thanks for this and your other post, they were a big help.

    I have a question regarding the ‘Setting up ADL’ comment. I’ve created a couple of apps in FB 4.6 and when you set up a run configuration the wizard looks similar to FDT. You have the ‘Main’ tab and you can select ‘On desktop’ to run ADL or ‘On device’ to create the ipa.

    In FB 4.6 if i select ‘On desktop’ then it just runs the ADL. But for me in FDT 5, if i select ‘On desktop’ i i get this error,

    DVFreeThread – CFMachPortCreateWithPort hack = 0x45ddc0, fPowerNotifyPort= 0x45d280
    DVFreeThread – CFMachPortCreateWithPort hack = 0x26793c0, fPowerNotifyPort= 0×2694500
    DVFreeThread – CFMachPortCreateWithPort hack = 0×184340, fPowerNotifyPort= 0x1810b0
    application descriptor not found

    The things is, there’s also no ‘Start’ tab in the wizard for an ‘FDT Mobile Application’? So i can’t actually select it? Do i need to set up a seperate ‘FDT SWF Application’ in order to test the app in the ADL?

    Cheers.

  13. james says:

    ok, it appears to be caused by this issue,

    http://bugs.powerflasher.com/jira/browse/FDT-2407

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