Setting iPhone application properties in the application descriptor file

The application descriptor file is an XML file containing properties for the entire application, such as its name, version, copyright, and other settings.

Flash Professional CS5 generates an application descriptor file based on the settings in the iPhone Settings dialog box. However, you can also edit the application descriptor file in a text editor. Flash Professional names the application descriptor file by adding “-app.xml” to your project name. For example, the application descriptor file for a HelloWorld project is named HelloWorld-app.xml. Edit the application descriptor file if you want to define settings not supported in the Flash Professional CS5 iPhone Settings dialog box. For example, you can define the InfoAdditions element to define info.Plist settings for the application.

Important: Do not edit the application descriptor file while the Flash Professional CS5 dialog box is open. Save changes to the application descriptor file before you open the iPhone Settings dialog box.

Here's an example application descriptor file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> 
<application xmlns=""> 
    <name>Hello World</name> 
    <supportedProfiles>mobileDevice desktop</supportedProfiles> 

Here are details on the settings in this application descriptor file:

  • In the <application> element, the AIR 2.0 namespace is required for building iPhone applications:

    <application xmlns="">

  • The <id> element:

    <id>com.example.as3.HelloWorld</id> The application ID uniquely identifies your application. The recommended form is a dot-delimited, reverse-DNS-style string, such as "" . The compiler uses this value as the bundle ID for the iPhone application.

    If the provisioning file is tied to a specific app ID, use that app ID in this element. Disregard the characters Apple assigns at the start of the Apple app ID (known as the bundle seed ID). For example, if the app ID for the provisioning profile is, use com.example.bob.myApp as the app ID in the application descriptor file.

    If the provisioning profile allows multiple (wildcard) app IDs, its app ID ends in an asterisk (such as 5RM86Z4DJM.*). Provide an application ID that matches the app ID wildcard pattern you provided to Apple:

    • If your Apple app ID is com.myDomain.*, the app ID in the application descriptor file must start with com.myDomain. You can specify an app ID such as com.myDomain.myApp or com.myDomain.app22.

    • If your Apple app ID is *, the App ID in the app descriptor file can be any string of valid characters.

    You can find the Apple app ID (or wildcard app ID pattern) associated with your provisioning profile at the iPhone Dev Center ( ). Go to the iPhone Developer Program Portal and then go to the Provisioning section.

    Important: Disregard the characters at the front of the Apple app ID. Apple calls this string the Bundle Seed ID. For example, if Apple lists your app ID as 5RM86Z4DJM.*, disregard 5RM86Z4DJM—this is a wildcard app ID. If Apple lists your app ID as, disregard 96LPVWEASL—use com.example.bob.myApp as the app ID.

  • The <filename> element:

    <filename>HelloWorld</filename> The name used for the iPhone installer file. Do not include a plus sign (+) character in the filename.

  • The <name> element:

    <name>Hello World</name> The name of the application displayed in the iTunes application and in the iPhone. Do not include a plus sign (+) character in the name.

  • The <version> element:

    <version>1.0</version> Helps users to determine which version of your application they are installing. The version is used as the CFBundleVersion of the iPhone application. It must be in a format similar to nnnnn[.nn[.nn]] where n is a digit 0-9 and brackets indicate optional components, such as 1, 1.0, or 1.0.1. iPhone versions must contain only digits and decimal points. iPhone versions can contain up to two decimal points.

  • The <initialWindow> element contains the following child elements to specify the properties for of the initial appearance of the application:

    <content>HelloWorld.swf</content> Identifies the root SWF file to compile into the iPhone application.

    <visible>true</visible> This is a required setting.

    <fullScreen>true</fullScreen> Specifies that the application uses the entire screen of the iPhone.

    <aspectRatio>portrait</aspectRatio> Specifies that the initial aspect ratio of the application is in portrait mode (rather than landscape). Note the Default.png file used to define the initial window of the application should be 320 pixels wide and 480 pixels high, regardless of this setting. (See iPhone icon and initial screen images .)

    <autoOrients>true</autoOrients> (Optional) Specifies whether the orientation of content in the application automatically reorients as the device itself changes physical orientation. The default value is true . You can cancel automatic orientation by calling the preventDefault() method of an orientationChanging event. dispatched by the Stage object. For more information, see Setting and detecting screen orientation .

    When using auto-orientation, for best results set the align property of the Stage to the following:

    stage.align = StageAlign.TOP_LEFT; 
    stage.scaleMode = StageScaleMode.NO_SCALE;

    <renderMode>gpu</renderMode> (Optional) The rendering mode used by the application. There are three possible settings:

    • cpu —The application uses the CPU to render all display objects. No hardware acceleration is used.

    • gpu —The application uses the iPhone GPU to composite bitmaps.

    • auto —This feature has not been implemented.

    For more information, see Hardware acceleration .

  • The <profiles> element:

    <profiles>mobileDevice</profiles> Limits the application to be compiled into the mobile device profile. This profile currently only supports iPhone applications. There are three supported profiles:

    • desktop —A desktop AIR application.

    • extendedDesktop —A desktop AIR application with support for the native process API.

    • mobileDevice —An AIR application for a mobile device. Currently, iPhone is the only supported mobile device.

    Limiting the application to a specific profile prevents it from being compiled into other profiles. If you specify no profile, then you can compile an application for any of these profiles. You can specify multiple profiles by listing them each, separated by spaces, in the <profiles> element.

    Be sure to include mobileDevice as a supported profile (or leave the <profiles> element empty).

  • The <icon> element contains the following child elements to specify the icons used by the application:

    <image29x29>icons/icon29.png</image29x29> This is the image used in Spotlight search results.

    <image48x48>icons/icon48.png</image48x48> This is the image used in Spotlight search results on the iPad.

    <image57x57>icons/icon57.png</image57x57> This is the image used on the iPhone and iPod Touch home screen.

    <image72x72>icons/icon72.png</image72x72> This is the image used on the iPad home screen.

    <image512x512>icons/icon512.png</image512x512> This is the image used in the iTunes application.

    The Packager for iPhone tool uses the 29, 57, and 512 icons referenced in the application descriptor file. The tool copies them to files called Icon-Small.png, Icon.png, and iTunesArtwork respectively. To avoid having this copy made, you can package those files directly. Package them directly by placing them in the directory that contains the application descriptor file and list the correct names and paths.

    The 512 image is for internal testing only. When submitting an application to Apple you submit the 512 image separately. It is not included in the IPA. Specify it so you can make sure that your 512 image looks good in iTunes before submitting it.

  • The <iPhone> element contains the following child elements to specify iPhone-specific settings:

    <InfoAdditions></InfoAdditions> contains the child elements specifying key-value pairs to use as Info.plist settings for the application:

    In this example, the values set the status bar style of the application and state that the application does not require persistent Wi-Fi access.

    The InfoAdditions settings are enclosed in a CDATA tag.

    For iPad support, include key-value settings for UIDeviceFamily . The UIDeviceFamily setting is an array of strings. Each string defines supported devices. The <string>1</string> setting defines support for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The <string>2</string> setting defines support for the iPad. The <string>3</string> setting defines support for the tvOS. If you specify only one of these strings, only that device family is supported. For example, the following setting limits support to the iPad:


    The following sets support for both device families (iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad):


    For information on other Info.plist settings, see the Apple developer documentation.

// Ethnio survey code removed