Rich Application Experiences

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-10-25 Print this article Print


Moreover, Gruber said AIR 2.5 enables rich application experiences through a series of new features, including support for accelerometer, camera, video, microphone, multitouch and gestures. In addition, support for geo-location 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. In addition, hardware acceleration for Adobe AIR is enabled across all major silicon partners, including Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, ST Micro, Trident, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm.

"The HTC Experience is centered on delighting our customers, and the addition of Flash Player 10.1 to many of our phones such as the Droid Incredible by HTC, HTC Evo4G and HTC Desire demonstrates this," said John Wang, chief marketing officer at HTC, in a statement.  "We are excited to be bringing a great phone experience and the collaborative results of the millions of AIR developers around the world into the hands of HTC's customers."

"As a longtime partner of Adobe, we are excited that users will have the opportunity to enjoy AIR applications and content on our devices," added Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services product management at Motorola, also in a statement. "Since July, we've announced eight Android-based smartphones with Flash Player 10.1 support, including the first phone with Flash out of the box. AIR 2.5 is the perfect complement to Flash Player, giving customers the freedom to choose between rich content experiences inside and outside the browser."  

Moreover, "The BlackBerry Tablet OS offers developers a highly optimized and flexible platform that integrates Adobe AIR with high-performance audio, video and graphics optimizations, as well as support for a WebView class and native C++ extensions," said Tyler Lessard, vice president of Global Alliances & Developer Relations at Research In Motion. "By building tight integration with Adobe tools into our BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR, developers are now able to optimize their applications for the tablet form factor and deliver an enhanced end-user experience. We are excited by the breadth of content that the development community will be able to deliver for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet using our new development tools and AIR."

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 on the news. The runtime is now certified on nearly a dozen Android devices and will become available on dozens more over the coming weeks and months, the company said.

Adobe also announced that Flash Player 10.1 was downloaded more than 2 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 Symbian OS. For a list of devices supported, visit

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. An 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. For details visit

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.

Adobe AIR 2.5 and the Adobe AIR 2.5 SDK for Android and desktop operating systems including Windows, Macintosh and Linux are now available. 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. A preview release of Flash Builder is available for download at

Gruber said 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."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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