How to distribute your Flash CS5 iPhone apps via Cydia

Ever since Apple announced that they won’t allow any Flash CS5 compiled iPhone apps into the App Store, creative Flash developers lost their one chance to deploy their existing knowledge to the iPhone.

However: since Adobe released Flash CS5 with the iPhone packager anyway, we can actually deploy iPhone apps created in Flash CS5. The only thing we can’t do is to submit these apps to the Apple App Store (in fact we can, but they will reject them anyway, so why bother?)

However: We can distribute our apps using Cydia! Okay, it’s not the same, but you’ve got to start somewhere!

Setting up a Cydia repository is actually pretty easy. There’s a great tutorial right here!

There’s a little problem though: Flash CS5 creates an .ipa file. In step 3 of that tutorial you’ll need to put your application in the Applications folder. That application is actually an .app file, not an .ipa file. (I’ve tried it using the .ipa file; it doesn’t work 😉 )
Getting the .app file is pretty easy:

  1. Rename your .ipa file to .zip
  2. Unzip the archive
  3. Your .app file is in the extracted Payload folder 😉

That’s it! You can now create your own Cydia repository and distribute your rejected iPhone apps to the (jailbroken) masses using Cydia.

Have fun!


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Ronny is a freelance frontend developer with a wild passion for creativity and a relentless hate against flat design. Ronny spent years as a Flash developer before moving to HTML5 and rediscovering fun and happiness.

7 Comments Join the Conversation →

  1. Damon Edwards

    What a terrible idea this is. Instead of letting the powers at be work it out, let’s illegally post our applications to Cydia for distribution. How is this in any way a good thing?

    Please I beg of all Flash devs out there reading this post, do not do this. This doesn’t not help our cause people, this can only make things worse.

  2. Ronny

    Why is this bad? We can create cool and engaging experiences using Flash at this very moment. We can bring this experience to the iPhone with no effort at all. Adobe did a great job enabling us to enable us to do this, but Apple is now holding off the boat for no logical reason whatsoever…
    Why is using Cydia to distribute our apps a bad idea?

  3. Damon Edwards

    Because it explicitly breaks their TOS. With the recent turmoil between the two companies, do you really think Flash devs distributing their apps illegally is going to help at all. Not only that, think about the rest of the community. It’s not going to be reported as ‘joe blow’ is doing this, it’ll be ‘Flash Developers’ are now putting their apps on Cydia. I, for one, don’t want to be grouped into such a crowd – yet we all will be regardless.

    You can bring those cool and engaging experiences to the iPhone using Apple’s tools for now, any other means is just asking for trouble.

    By the way, this is coming from a Flash developer who was one of the lucky first to get a Flash based application on the iPhone – so don’t think I’m rooting for the enemy. I just think we should all be conscious of our actions and let the big boys work it out.

    You can find a link to the app on the app store, and even see it running on Android from here: Not trying to self promote what-so-ever, just showing I’ve been there, and what’s to come.

  4. Ronny

    Jailbreaking breaks their TOS too. Yet we’re all doing it.
    And I’m not really expecting this to help at anything. This is a dogfight between Adobe and Apple. Not me. While the kids keep bullying each other, I’ll keep doing what I do best: Experimenting.

    And how is the community going to take a hit from this?
    We’re down already. Apple threw #3.3.1 in our face right before the release. How’s that for professional business? It’s downright childish. If anything the community will be held responsible for wanting innovation and moving forward. I’d take that responsibility any day.

    Using Apple’s tools to create engaging experiences? Why bother? I can create content right now. With tools I know. Tools that even take a lot of tasks off my hand. All of this in the blink of an eye. I can bring crossplatform experiences to the iPhone in a few hours, using 1 skill. In terms of businesses: I can save you a lot of money and time. I can’t Imagine any iPhone developer equalling the speed of Flash development using Obj-C.

    And even if you think Cydia is a bad idea: We can still start sharing .ipa files using normal downloads. Quick sync with iPhone and you’re done again. Same effect. Cydia just made it easier.

    If you/Apple/Steve Jobs doesn’t like that: Too bad.
    This is happening, one way or another.

    And btw: Waiting for the big boys to work it out? Sounds a lot like W3C and HTML5. All it took them is an insane amount of time to ALMOST GET THERE… That time span was enough to enable Flash to become what it is right now. How’s that for waiting?

  5. kris

    thanks for the little tutorial, gonna check it out as soon as i get cs5.
    but seriously.. f*ck adolf apple and their restrictive idevices (as soon as my phone contract runs out :/ )

  6. emanuelz

    You can put the flash-generated .ipa inside the Downloads folder of the Installous package, search Installous from repository (and OpenSSH from Cydia in order to use iFunBox to see raw filesystem) goto /var/mobile/Documents/Installous/Download/ (I think thats the correct path) and copy your .ipa then run Installous an see to downloads section, then select te ipa and tap onto install, ejoy 😉 . And for the record, jailbreak is going to be legal (or it is now) so, if you can make your own apps with flash and jailbreak it’s legal, great !!! you are able to distribute applications outside the purity kindom of app store, the only fact is that you at least need to generate a provisioning profile and a private key that means, you need to pay for the dev program, actually, creating that app will work with ANY, again, ANY valid key/prov profile. I already test it and its working well and I will be releasing a video tutorial doing it ASAP.

  7. kalmne

    I have made many apps using flash cs5 could you tell me how can i go to next step to pbulish my app to the store, do I have to use XCODE, AND MAC, if it is trought jailbreak could you send me an email to the link please, I am alone.



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