At Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Adobe Systems Inc. announced advancements to the Adobe Flash platform including the unveiling of Adobe AIR on mobile devices, a consistent runtime for standalone applications to come out of the Open Screen Project, an industry-wide initiative led by Adobe. With support for Google's open source Android platform expected in 2010, Adobe said AIR provides developers with an environment for delivering rich applications outside the mobile browser and across multiple operating systems via mobile marketplaces and app stores. AIR leverages mobile specific features from Flash Player 10.1, the company noted.
Adobe also announced that a beta of Flash Player 10.1 was made available to content providers and mobile developers worldwide. With the general availability expected in the first half of 2010, Adobe claimed Flash Player 10.1 is the first consistent runtime release of the Open Screen Project enabling a full Web browsing experience with expressive applications, content and high definition (HD) videos across screens including tablet devices, smartphones, netbooks, smartbooks, desktops and other consumer electronics.
Adobe said with Flash Platform tooling and the Adobe Creative Suite, developers and content publishers are able to create, test and deliver applications to multiple devices and operating systems using a single tool chain and API set across platforms. The company pointed out developers using Adobe Flash Professional CS5 with the Adobe Packager for iPhone can reuse their iPhone application code to create the same application for Android.
"We are excited about the progress with Flash Player 10.1 and the work that developers, content publishers and close to 70 partners in the Open Screen Project have done so far as part of the beta program," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of Adobe's platform business. "With the Flash Platform further advancing on mobile devices, we enable developers and content publishers to deliver to any screen, so that consumers have open access to their favorite interactive media, content, and applications across platforms."
In accordance with the announcement, Adobe posted videos highlighting various aspects of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2 prerelease software, including websites and applications, on devices from Open Screen Project partners and other providers, as well as resources for Flash developers optimizing mobile content to deliver Web browsing of expressive applications, content, and video across devices with the upcoming release of Adobe Flash Player 10.1.
"Adobe AIR 2.0 is a great technology for developing engaging mobile applications," said Christy Wyatt, vice president of software applications and ecosystem at telecommunications firm Motorola. "We look forward to seeing AIR come to the Android platform and developers creating applications that will delight our end-users."
At Microsoft's unveiling of Windows Phone 7 Series on Monday at MWC, company CEO Steve Ballmer said "we have no objection to Adobe Flash support," on the latest version of the Windows mobile operating system, which could perhaps a dig at Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his reported refusal to allow Flash onto the iPad tablet PC. A spokesperson from Adobe wrote in a Feb. 15 e-mail to eWEEK that Microsoft and Adobe were working "closely together" to include a browser plug-in for the full Flash player in future versions of Windows Phone.