Acting on its pledge to support both its proprietary Flash and AIR technologies as well as Web standards such as HTML5, Adobe announced its intent to acquire Nitobi, maker of PhoneGap.
LOS ANGELES -
Adobe made a bold, decisive move on the HTML5 and mobile front in announcing
its intent to acquire Nitobi Software
, the creator of
the popular PhoneGap
cross-platform mobile application development environment.
analyst James Governor, co-founder of RedMonk
he believes the Nitobi
acquisition was perhaps the biggest news of Day One of the Adobe
technology conference here.
at the numbers, and if you look at real activity where developers are, PhoneGap
mobile application developers, he said.
PhoneGap is an open-source platform for easily building fast,
looking at the PhoneGap HTML5 application platform to accelerate the creative
tools giant's HTML5 and Web standards strategy-which, the company says, will
run in parallel with its strategy to continue to evolve and innovate around the
Flash platform and Adobe AIR.
The move to
acquire Nitobi reinforces Adobe's commitment to helping customers be even more
expressive, regardless of the technology, David Wadhwani, senior vice president
and general manager of Adobe's Digital Media Business Unit, said at a Q&A session
with press and analysts. The deal is also in line with recent product releases
such as Adobe Edge and Adobe Muse, as well as the innovation with community-driven
projects, including contributions to the jQuery mobile UI framework and Webkit
for layout and typography functionality, he said.
Adobe will offer developers the choice of two powerful solutions for
cross-platform development of native mobile applications, one using HTML5 and
PhoneGap's open-source framework has been downloaded more than 600,000 times to
date and thousands of applications built using PhoneGap are available in mobile
application stores that span devices based on Android, iOS, BlackBerry and
other operating systems.
proven to be an industry-defining app solution for HTML5 developers," Danny
Winokur, vice president and general manager of platform at Adobe, said in a
statement. "PhoneGap is a fantastic solution for developing a broad range of
mobile apps using the latest Web standards, and is already integrated with
Dreamweaver CS5.5. It's a perfect complement to Adobe's broad family of
developer solutions, including Adobe AIR, and will allow us to continue to
provide content publishers and developers with the best, cutting-edge solutions
for creating innovative applications across platforms and devices."
always been a big supporter of the open-source community and at the forefront
of enabling rich, Web based applications across screens," Andre Charland, CEO
of Nitobi, said in a statement. "We share the same philosophy about enabling
extraordinary mobile and Web applications. Becoming part of the Adobe family
with its industry-leading tools and technologies opens up amazing new
opportunities for PhoneGap and our customers."
move to acquire Nitobi "lowers the age of the people who touch Adobe by 10
years," Governor said. "It's the age gap as well as the phone gap they're
Governor said he believes the PhoneGap acquisition sets up Adobe to be better
equipped to support Windows Phone development as well as Windows 8. "They're
really well positioned for Windows 8; they'll be tooled up for Windows 8."
In September, Nitobi launched PhoneGap
for the Windows Phone Mango
is acquiring Nitobi, the PhoneGap framework continues to be open source and is
being contributed to the Apache Software Foundation. Yet PhoneGap Build
incorporates additional proprietary code allowing developers to build their applications
from anywhere without installing mobile platform SDKs, according to an FAQ on
the Nitobi site.
pursuing a contribution of the PhoneGap code to the Apache Software Foundation
(ASF) to ensure open stewardship of the project over the long term. As part of
that process, it will be renamed to a new Apache-branded
. Adobe fully supports this contribution and will continue to
host the PhoneGap community site with full participation from its contributors,
as well as the PhoneGap Build service.
"We are also
excited to announce our contribution of the PhoneGap code to the Apache
Software Foundation," Dave Johnson, chief technology officer at Nitobi, said in
a statement. "Adobe has been fully supportive of our decision, further
demonstrating Adobe's continued commitment to the developer and open-source
communities. The Apache Software Foundation's model makes it possible for contributors
to collaborate on open-source product development, and Adobe and Nitobi look
forward to engaging with other community members to advance the PhoneGap
an Oct. 3 blog post, Scott Schwarzhoff, vice president of marketing at Nitobi
competitor Appcelerator, said: "A long-time
proprietary software provider, Adobe's acquisition of open-source-based Nitobi
signals a larger market-wide validation of the fact that open Web technologies
are here to stay and are critical to cross-platform application development in
the Post-PC era."
Appcelerator's approach to mobile development differs
significantly from that of PhoneGap, Schwarzhoff said. "PhoneGap, like other similar projects,
wraps a Website and exposes only a few dozen features
methods) to create a hybrid application," he said. "Appcelerator Titanium
creates a fully native application by exposing nearly a thousand
(methods) to developers."
Schwarzhoff added: "In the end, all of this is good news for Web developers,
who now have solid alternatives to proprietary operating systems that lock
developers into specific OSes. We congratulate Nitobi for demonstrating the
power that's possible from the open Web model."
Meanwhile, RedMonk's Governor
said, "If Adobe is going to do this hosted thing, they need to do it
aggressively. We need to see a hosted PhoneGap."
based in Vancouver, Canada, and its employees are expected to join Adobe. The
acquisition is subject to certain closing conditions and is expected to be
completed by the end of this month. Financial terms of the deal were not