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Scratch-Projekt auf einem Android-Tablet mit Sulfurous-Player

Running Scratch Projects on smartphones or other mobile devices is a highly sought-after feature. However, implementing this is not easy because Scratch 2.0 as well as the Flash Player run in Flash. Neither iOS nor Android officially support Flash.

Other Scratch modifications also do not work; Pyonkee is based on Scratch 1.4 and only runs on iPad (iPhone is not supported). Pocket Code has no support for normal Scratch projects.

Players that use html5 technology, such as the Sulfurous Player, Phosphorus Player, or the upcoming player in Scratch 3.0, make it possible to run scratch projcts on almost all mobile plattforms such as Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile.

Why Scratch on Mobile?

The majority of the young Scratch userbase use mobile devices quite frequently. Many are interested in writing Apps for their device.

Typical Scratch projects use a small screen resolution and are not particularly long, which fits the criteria of a smartphone app very well.

Limitations

No sensor access

Scratch, unlike Pocket Code for example, currently does not have any blocks for reading data from the sensors in mobile devices. As an example, built-in tilt-sensors (gyro and accelerometer) are often used to let the user control the game by moving or tilting their device. For example, users can steer an in-game character like this. Scratch programmers would have to go without using these types of interaction. Another big caveat is the lack of a physical keyboard on most mobile devices. Unless the user can connect an external keyboard, there is no way to press specific keys while running a project.

Usability of Scratch editor

The Scratch editor was designed for use on reasonably high-resolution pc displays, which makes it more or less impossible to use on any mobile device.

Networking capabilities

Due to safety concerns, Scratch does not offer any networking except for cloud variables. While this is a positive aspect regarding security, it makes it completely impossible to connect with any other networking-capable programs/apps.

Running Scratch 2.0 on mobile devices with flash

Scratch 2.0 is based Flash, which is no longer supported on Android and iOS devices. However it is possible to install older versions of Flash on Android and then run websites with Flash content with a third party browser such as the Dolphin-Browser.

Advantages:

  • This method allows users to interact with the original Scratch, if the screen size of their device is large enough, they can even code directly in the editor.

There are several disadvantages to this approach:

  • This only works on Android devices.
  • Anyone who wants to run a Scratch project with this method has to install Flash and the Dolphin-Browser first.
  • The Performance is worse than on pc's, so demanding projects can be laggy.
  • Older versions of the Flash Player are known to have security issues, which makes it dangerous to run other content than the Scratch Player.

Instructions for installing Flash and Dolphin can be found here.

Running Scratch Projects in the Sulfurous-Player

Sulfurous Mobile Game Library auf Android-Mobiltelefon

The Sulfurous Player employs JavaScript and html5 to run Scratch projects. This is also true for the Phosphorus Player, which is more or less a predecessor of the Sulfurous Player. The Sulfurous Player has a slightly better support for Scratch-Features.

Advantages:

  • the Scratch Project will run on any device that has a web browser that supports html5. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)
  • the Sulfurous and Phosphorus players offer a better performance than Scratch, so projects run fast enough even on less powerful platforms.
  • updates to the Sulfurous Player might include support for using device sensors.

Disadvantages:

  • Sulfurous can only play projects, there is no possibility to edit them.
  • Sulfurous is still incompatible with some Scratch features. (These are tracked in the Sulfurous Issues studio and Sulfurous is regularly updated to make these features work)


Sulfurous Mobile Game Library

The Studio Sulfurous Mobile Game Library offers a collection of Scratch games that work well with the Sulfurous player on mobile devices. This means that these games do not require any keyboard input and run correctly in Sulfurous.

The website at http://bit.do/smgl (or http://sulfurous.aau.at/smgl/) has direct links to the Sulfurous-Player versions of Scratch projects found in the studio.


Pictures