Adobe is unveiling an application for viewing digital magazines on June 1. The technology has been used to build Wired magazine's iPad edition, which is ironic considering the ongoing battle between Adobe and Apple over Flash, which enables many Websites' rich content but remains unsupported on Apple mobile devices such as the iPad and the iPhone. Adobe's digital magazine viewer seeks to marry digital magazines with rich content such as video and 360-degree images.
Adobe on June 1 revealed an application for viewing digital magazines,
seemingly the next stage in a multicompany battle over the ebooks and digital
media market. In a bit of competitive irony, the technology was used to build
Wired magazine's June iPad edition-despite Apple's refusal to support Adobe's
Flash, which is used to display many popular Websites' rich content but which
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has condemned as slow
The application aims to imbue digital magazines with rich content, including
video and 360-degree images, as well as a heightened degree of interactivity;
with Wired's iPad edition, users can navigate through content via tough
gestures, rotate the page into horizontal or vertical modes, and zoom out to
see the entire issue at a glance.
According to Adobe, the initiative is only in its beginning stages.
"We aim to make our digital viewer software available to all publishers soon
and plan to deliver versions that work across multiple hardware platforms,"
David Burkett, vice president and general manager of Creative Solutions at
Adobe, wrote in a June 1 statement. "It's safe to say that if you are already
working in InDesign CS5, you'll be well on your way to producing a beautiful
digital version of your publication."
Despite Flash driving rich content for much of the Web, Adobe has
nonetheless found itself in something of a tooth-and-nail battle against Apple
over the past few months. Apple prohibits Flash from its popular mobile
devices, including the iPhone and iPad.
"Flash has not performed well on mobile devices," Jobs wrote in an April
letter titled "Thoughts on Flash" and posted to Apple's corporate Website. "We
have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device,
any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it."
In response, Adobe launched a substantial public relations effort, sending
executives to talk over the matter with tech publications and even responding
with some online missives of its own. In February, those executives told eWEEK
that Flash would remain ubiquitous to the Web, and that the porting of Adobe
Flash Player 10.1 onto Android and other smartphone operating systems would
ensure the brand's relevancy as the tech world focuses increasingly on mobile.
also offered eWEEK a beta version of Flash Player 10.1
, loaded onto a Nexus
One smartphone running the prerelease version of Android 2.2, dubbed "Froyo."
In testing, Flash Player 10.1 beta seemed to offer robust battery life and
smooth streaming video and animations, but at the cost of long load times for
The Apple iPad has sold some 2 million units in its first two months of
release, officially making it a short-term success. However, some content
providers have begun pushing back against Apple, with larger conglomerates such
as Time Warner and NBC Universal refusing to reformat their media libraries
into an Adobe Flash-free format.
to a May 27 article in the New York Post
, one media executive indicated
that the upcoming Google TV, which ports Internet video content onto a user's
television, could weaken Apple's position as a high-tech media portal.
Other media companies, including Disney (where Jobs sits on
the board) and CNN, have been more willing to build content in an HTML format
supported by the iPad.