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Adobe updates AIR dev tools, supporting Android

Oct 25, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Adobe launched version 2.5 of its Adobe AIR rich-media development platform, extending support to TVs, smartphones, and tablets, and also launched a cross-platform app distribution service called Adobe InMarket. Adobe AIR 2.5 adds support for accelerometer, camera, video, microphone, multitouch, and geolocation functions, supporting Android, iOS, and BlackBerry Tablet OS, as well as desktops including Windows, Macintosh, and Linux.

At its annual Adobe MAX developer conference, Adobe MAX 2010, in Los Angeles, Adobe Systems announced Adobe AIR 2.5 software for televisions, tablets, smartphones and desktop operating systems. A key extension of the Adobe Flash Platform, AIR enables developers to leverage existing code to create and deliver stand-alone applications across devices and platforms, the company says.

In an interview with our sister publication eWEEK, David Gruber, group product marketing manager for Flex and Flash Builder, said Adobe AIR now supports smartphones and tablets based on Android, iOS, BlackBerry Tablet OS, and desktops including Windows, Macintosh and Linux operating systems.

In addition, Adobe says, Samsung will be the first television manufacturer to ship Adobe AIR in its line of Samsung SmartTV devices. Acer, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Samsung and others are expected to ship the runtime preinstalled on a variety of devices, including tablets and smartphones, later this year and in early 2011.

With Adobe AIR, developers are able to use familiar tools including Adobe Flash Professional CS5, Adobe Flash Builder, and Flex to build rich stand-alone applications, according to Adobe. Hundreds of them are already available on Android Market, the Intel AppUp center, and Apple's App Store today, the company adds.

"Prior to this release, AIR has been used to run apps on the desktop, but AIR 2.5 is able to support mobile apps and TVs with common frameworks and common tools," Gruber said.

In addition to AIR 2.5, Adobe unveiled Adobe InMarket, a new service that allows developers to easily distribute and sell their applications on app stores across different device types from Acer, Intel and others. Adobe InMarket operates seamlessly in the background and allows end users to download applications directly from the storefront.

"Adobe InMarket solves the problem of developers getting into as many markets as they can," Gruber said. "Everybody wants to get into the app game. Adobe InMarket connects the dots and distributes apps to all the app stores and also takes care of the financials and the analytics. And it goes back and tells the developer where their stuff sold, etc. We expect to have 10 app stores connected by 2011."

David Wadhwani, senior vice president of Adobe's creative and interactive solutions business, stated, "With the release of AIR 2.5, more than three million Flash developers can now build a single game or application and easily deploy it across multiple application stores and devices. This is a huge step forward for developers looking to build rich, engaging applications but have historically had to incur the cost of building and deploying this content across multiple devices and platforms."

Gruber added that AIR 2.5 enables rich application experiences through a series of new features, including support for accelerometer, camera, video, microphone, multi-touch and gestures. In addition, support for geolocation allows developers to create location-based applications and services.

AIR 2.5 is also able to display native browser controls within the application, allowing for the integration of HTML and .SWF content. With SQLite support, developers can easily store and cache databases inside an AIR application, according to Adobe.

It's said hardware acceleration for Adobe AIR is enabled across major silicon partners, including Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, ST Micro, Trident, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm.

Flash Player 10.1 colonizes more devices

Already one of the top free apps on Android Market, with more than 50,000 users giving it a 4.5-out-of-5-star rating, Flash Player 10.1 brings rich Flash-based content to mobile devices inside the browser, Adobe officials said in a press release. The runtime is now certified on nearly a dozen Android devices and will become available on dozens more over the coming weeks and months, according to the company.

Adobe also announced that Flash Player 10.1 was downloaded more than two million times from Android Market. In addition to Android Market, the runtime is distributed directly by device manufacturers and operators via preinstalls and operating system upgrades. While Flash Player 10.1 is available on Android and Google TV today, also expected to support it are the BlackBerry platform, WebOS, "future versions of Windows Phone," LiMo, MeeGo, and the Symbian OS.

Meanwhile, Adobe also announced previews of developer tools that make the process of multiscreen development more streamlined, Gruber said. With new releases of Flash Platform tools including an AIR 2.5 software development kit (SDK), developers can build mobile and multiscreen applications for smartphones and tablets, while maximizing design and development productivity.

According to Adobe, the update to the open-source Flex framework provides developers with a common framework for building Web, desktop and now mobile applications. Developers can build stand-alone mobile Flex applications with the same ease and quality as on Web and desktop platforms.

A preview release of Adobe Flash Builder adds capabilities for developers to build applications using familiar languages, components and tools, which help lower the cost of developing multiscreen applications. New features include creating and extending Flex applications for mobile devices, on-device debugging, coding tools to accelerate development and support for new Spark components in Flex.

Gruber told eWEEK new features added to the Flex and Flash tools include a new debugging preview and profile capability. There also is an emulator so developers can deploy and test apps in an identical environment or connect via a USB cable to test on the actual device.

In addition, the new tooling features bidirectional workflow for Flash Catalyst so designers can work on an application's design and developers can code the application itself, and the two sides can pass the work in progress back and forth. Up until now that was a unilateral process, Gruber said. However, "AIR 2.5 is the center of attraction here for this announcement," Gruber said. "Our agenda is clearly focused on mobile and multiscreen. The big story is AIR 2.5 on mobile."


The Adobe AIR 2.5 SDK for Android and desktop operating systems including Windows, Macintosh and Linux is now available from the Adobe website, here. Users of Android 2.2 "Froyo" devices can download Adobe AIR directly from Android Market. Adobe AIR 2.5 for BlackBerry Tablet OS and the Samsung Smart TV platform is expected to be available early 2011.

More information on Adobe's Flash Builder, Flex framework, and InMarket may be found here, here, and here, respectively.

Darryl K. Taft is a writer for our sister publication

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