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Old 08-14-2011
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Active Captain & iPad Aarghhhhhh

Don't know who to be more ticked at Active Captain for needing Adobe Flash or Apple for not supporting it on the iPad.. I guess the iPad is a lot bigger and more popular so I guess I feel as if Active Captain should at least try and come up with a fix. I mean c'mon I can't be the only one wanting to surf AC on our iPad?

Seems pretty stupid in this day and age that a device as popular as an iPad can't work on the many sites that use Adobe Flash and viceversa.
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Old 08-14-2011
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Try an app like Charts & Tides that has full offline ActiveCaptain support and includes charts.
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Old 08-14-2011
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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
Try an app like Charts & Tides that has full offline ActiveCaptain support and includes charts.
Agreed. This is the best cruising app on my iPad.
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Old 08-14-2011
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Originally Posted by alaska67 View Post
Seems pretty stupid in this day and age that a device as popular as an iPad can't work on the many sites that use Adobe Flash and viceversa.
Flash power and CPU requirements are very excessive. But Flash is made by Adobe, so perhaps it is Adobe that doesn't support the iPad. In all likelihood a Flash app would drain the iPad's battery in about three hours. Were it available for the iPad or iPhone I wouldn't install it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaska67 View Post
Don't know who to be more ticked at Active Captain for needing Adobe Flash or Apple for not supporting it on the iPad.
There are other ways to look at that.

Flash is the most installed software on this planet. 99% of all desktop computers have it right now. If you think Windows dominates the computer world, it isn't even close when compared against Flash.

In addition to that, there are 3 million developers who are qualified and use Flash. Many of the developments are simple but some realized the advantage of creating larger applications like ActiveCaptain with it. The development of ActiveCaptain happened before there was anything called an iPhone and certainly long before there was anything called an iPad.

Today there is only one tablet type of device that doesn't run Flash - the Apple iPad. I have an iPad and I love it. But how come I can use the ActiveCaptain website on my Motorola Xoom Android pad directly in the browser? How is it that no one else is leaving out Flash except Apple?

There is no technical or performance reason. Sure, Flash code ends up running slower in payment for the device independence. I doubt I'll ever create a heart-lung machine with it. But when you want an app to be used across all platforms*, nothing really beats Flash today. (* all platforms except one)

There are multiple shipping iPhone/iPad apps that use ActiveCaptain offline. I'm working on my own too. My development is happening not because I want to see support on the iPad - that exists. It's because there's a whole new range of capabilities possible and the iPad is an important platform.

The new developments are written with ActionScript/Flash/AIR as well. Apple gave in with one concession in allowing Flash use through Adobe AIR. It's a bit esoteric and hard to totally understand unless you're in the middle of it. There are many shipping games in the Apple App Store that are really Flash-based right now. Many more are coming as a new 3D capability is being released in Flash.

For what it's worth, I'm not a gung-ho-crazy Flash developer. I like picking the right tool for the job. Sometimes that's C++, sometimes PHP, and sometimes Flash.

Bottom line - it's not worth getting ticked off at anyone. The solution is available in other ways for ActiveCaptain/iPad. Apple just isn't going to give in about Flash under the browser. You've got to wonder...why would that be? Do you think it's really better for us iPad owners? Or do you think Apple has some other, special motives?
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Originally Posted by joelsanda View Post
But Flash is made by Adobe, so perhaps it is Adobe that doesn't support the iPad.
Umm...nope. Flash for the iPad would be available tomorrow. Like I implied, I create Flash apps on my iPad all the time. There's a funny developer work-around that allows it. If you have an iPad, you've likely run Flash apps without knowing it.

Here's a good example - it was just released. There's a pretty well done app called "Conqu". It's free. It's a to-do list type of thing that uses the cloud. The day it was released for the iPad, it was released for Android. Double the user base with pretty much no change in the code (plus Windows, Mac, Linux, and Blackberry support too). What's the value of that? Would it be better to have fewer users but really great support for just one platform? For some apps, yeah. But for anything vertical like boating - gosh, no. The more users who access and contribute the better. ESPECIALLY if it's a crowdsourced app like ActiveCaptain. More users are better for all of us.

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In all likelihood a Flash app would drain the iPad's battery in about three hours. Were it available for the iPad or iPhone I wouldn't install it.
Poorly written apps in Objective C drain the battery too. It's not Flash. It's how it's written and what hardware capabilities are needed. You can't believe everything you read.

I admit, I've met Steve Jobs. It was an outstanding experience and he's an amazing person. He's done incredible things for technology and I love Apple's products. My wife used to work for Apple and I'm the one in 1988 who got her interested in the company. But you can't just believe everything he says because there's a fair amount of hype and market position that he's trying to achieve. Flash/Adobe has gone head-to-head with what many believe Apple is trying to accomplish. That's why Apple comes out so strongly against it. The battery, CPU, and memory requirements have a glimmer of truth with a lot of hype. Every native Objective C chartplotter app for iOS I've seen is a much bigger resource hog than any Flash code I've ever run on iOS myself.

There are a lot of half-truths surrounding Apple and Flash.
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Originally Posted by JeffreySiegel View Post
Poorly written apps in Objective C drain the battery too. It's not Flash. It's how it's written and what hardware capabilities are needed. You can't believe everything you

Every native Objective C chartplotter app for iOS I've seen is a much bigger resource hog than any Flash code I've ever run on iOS myself.

There are a lot of half-truths surrounding Apple and Flash.
Well, poorly written code isn't restricted to Flash, to be sure. But the relative low technical cost of entry means Flash-based apps can be written as poorly as some javascript, PHP and Silverlight software. I've tested that, as well as C and prefer the grumpy C programmer to the kid with more piercings than years experience creating Flash/Silverlight applications :-)

But I'm surprised you opted for Flash - though perhaps its portability factored into that? I doubt we'll see Java on iOS, and without Flash that can make for a limited number of choices for developers who want their software on more than more platform :-(
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But I'm surprised you opted for Flash - though perhaps its portability factored into that?
Portability and browser integration. I wanted something that felt like an application on a website. Java and the new Ajax techniques didn't give a good enough feel. This was pre-jQuery days. ActiveCaptain was the first thing larger than 20 lines I wrote in ActionScript/Flash. I loved the idea of being able to add GPS, database, and other capabilities and turn the website into a native, offline application. That's what I'm working on now.

Even today, I haven't see an Ajax implementation that feels as good as a well-written ActionScript/Flash app.

Performance is definitely better if you hand code a native app in it's own development environment. I've done a lot of that too on multiple platforms but that is a way-ridiculous amount of work - too much for ActiveCaptain to handle. I like the idea of providing a baseline of support and capability across all platforms and allowing all our partners/3rd party developers to create their own better platform support. It also gives me the ability to push some capabilities that no one's going to implement until/unless I do it first like bridge, hazard, and fuel analysis.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreySiegel View Post
Portability and browser integration. I wanted something that felt like an application on a website. Java and the new Ajax techniques didn't give a good enough feel. This was pre-jQuery days. ActiveCaptain was the first thing larger than 20 lines I wrote in ActionScript/Flash. I loved the idea of being able to add GPS, database, and other capabilities and turn the website into a native, offline application. That's what I'm working on now.

Even today, I haven't see an Ajax implementation that feels as good as a well-written ActionScript/Flash app.
Yeah, that makes sense. I've also tested software (13years in QA) using jquery and while that's a nice library there's considerable bugs to be found in any cross platform/browser environment - more than in something more atomic like Flas or Java; at least in my experience.

It's a good time to be in Dev/test now, reminds me a bit of the dot com days when every quarter brought something new. Portable computing has finally taken off and I imagine that creates some interesting opportunities for your company. I've been using my iPad on this thread and while it's less capable when sitting on my couch it probably is more so in a cockpit!
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Old 10-02-2011
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It's my understanding that IOS 5, which will be released in Oct will include Flash support.

Announcing Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 (Adobe Flash Platform Blog)

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Last edited by geoffschultz; 10-02-2011 at 11:02 AM.
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