Money, and making lots of it. Actually there's more to it than pure capitalism, but it's a noteworthy point; many companies and developers are making a fine profit from using Flash on the Pocket PC. Let's discuss why.
Flash enables developers to develop content once and deploy it pretty much everywhere, from desktops to Pocket PCs to TVs. With proper planning much of the heavy lifting of a project can be repurposed just by using Flash. If you've ever had to re-create a project from scratch (we all have) you'll appreciate the timesaving high ROI.
This book demonstrates that Flash content is viewable across multiple browsers, platforms, Internet appliances, and perhaps one of the best platforms, the Pocket PC. The nature of the Flash format allows developers to create content for multiple screen sizes, so as Pocket PCs and other devices get smaller or larger screens (and screen resolutions) your content can scale accordingly. With Flash your content can work on multiple Pocket PCs without recompiling the assets or code.
The speed and ease of developing with Flash holds true for developing content for the Pocket PC with Flash. Usually, a prototype of an application is needed before actually creating the application. Many development and design shops use Flash to prototype applications to get client approval, feedback from the users, and to work through many of the issues normally associated with device application development. There have been many projects that the only reason that a particular web shop or developer got the gig is because they showed up with something to show. Don't be afraid to wow your clients or prospects. There will be many times where the final project may not involve Flash at all, but its role may be integral to visualizing what an application may do.
Because storage space on devices will always be precious, the small footprint of the Flash Player makes it an ideal runtime-like engine for fueling your business, productivity, and learning applications. In other words, you can install Flash on your Pocket PC and still have plenty of room for all your applications. Or in other-other words, smaller is better at least in this case it is. Where else can you get sound, animation, scripting, images, and high-level interactivity all in one industry standard package? At some point Flash for the Pocket PC is likely to be pre-installed in the Pocket PC operating system, just like it has been in the desktop arena for years cross your fingers!
Connectivity. With wireless networks becoming more and more ubiquitous, Flash, which was designed to deliver high-bandwidth animations over smaller pipes like 9600bps modems (we call that "back in the old days"), is now well suited for viewing content over wireless networks, which are usually less than 19.2kbps. Viewing a full-length cartoon over a wireless modem that usually only gets text and news headlines is both very useful and amazing for demonstrating what's possible with current technologies. Because more and more companies are creating web-based systems, Flash will be an integral part of the desktop and device browsing experience. Also, in the next few years most Pocket PCs will be wireless-enabled out of the box or have wireless connectivity options readily available. Because Flash was designed for the web, most of the plumbing needed to move data around, load screens, and manage memory is already baked in.
Branding. Just like the Internet having so many crummy looking web sites, we're suffering through quite a bit of crappy device applications, gray backgrounds, square buttons programmer art as they say. As the web evolved, companies figured out that you could have a usable interface and still live up to a brand. Branding is more than logos and fonts; it's part user interface and part "soul" (as cheesy as that sounds). The only thing more memorable than a good user interface is a bad one, and that's a newly emerging part of a brand. Most of the popular destinations on the web use Flash in some manner, and it'll only be a short time until the popular places on the web need to migrate their content to the smaller screen. Because much of the work has been created using Flash and other vector-based tools, it's going to be easier for designers to use the same tools to create content for the Pocket PC. This is opposed to using a more complex (though not necessarily more powerful) programming environment, such as Visual Basic and C++. Many design and development shops are surprised how their existing staff, many of whom are Mac users, can start creating applications now with Flash and the Pocket PC. Flash is one of the only tools that makes it possible to create applications on multiple platforms, including for the Pocket PC.
Content is king , always has been, always will be. There are hundreds of thousands of Flash applications, games, animations, and more on the web. Many of the games, entertainment, and e-learning applications that are available now run on Pocket PCs, sometimes with minor changes, often with none at all. One of the more interesting and recent coincidences with Flash and Pocket PC is the pixel size of some new online ads. The size of the "Cnet" sized ads in the middle of your news stories happens to be almost the same exact size as a Pocket PC screen. There already have been many online ads that have been ported to the Pocket PC by simply making a new HTML file.
Resources and community are just two of the reasons Flash has flourished on the web, and that holds true for the Pocket PC platform now as well. There are over a million Flash developers worldwide. Because of this large developer base and community there is lots of help, inspiration, conferences, classes, and more to help with creating content. Go down any computer aisle of a bookstore and look at all the titles available for Flash. Some titles are design-centric, some are programmer- and developer-centric, and some are both. With that many resources and community sites out there with thousands of example files, you can build applications faster and get the help you need in a jiffy.
Server side and middleware are usually components of a front-end application that are the most difficult to do in the device world. Visualizing data and the return of queries is a daunting task, to say the least. Luckily, many of the issues and challenges have been solved and there are multiple solutions for getting your data into the device using Flash. So whether you're using ASP, JSP, CML, PHP, XML, CSV, or ODBC and JDBC there are many rebuilt solutions that may simply need to be redesigned for a smaller screen. Being able to choose which middleware, standards-based solution and backend database is often not the case with device applications. Flash on the Pocket PC allows the developer to choose the most appropriate solution for the project. One last word on Flash on the Pocket PC and server side. If you are an experienced Flash developer, you've used loadVariables to load data into Flash, basically the loaded data in it's name / value pair format is much smaller than loading in HTML tags where in many cases much of that data is never displayed, it's simply for formatting. With Flash on the Pocket PC, you're only loading in the data you need; in wireless environments every byte you can save counts.
There are of course many more reasons to consider Flash for the Pocket PC. This is a just tour of some of the reasons we're going to cover. But what list of benefits would be complete without a top ten list?
Top Ten Reasons to Use Flash for Pocket PC