Adobe Systems’ Adobe Integrated Runtime, more commonly known as Adobe AIR, has become a popular target for enterprises looking to create rich Internet applications that run outside the browser on multiple operating systems.
The New York Times Co. and Adobe recently launched a new version of the Times Reader-the electronic version of the newspaper with online/offline capabilities, powered by Adobe AIR. The enhanced version of Times Reader 2.0 resembles the printed paper even more closely, and content is updated every 5 minutes, or even more often if users choose, with the latest news from the New York Times, NYTimes.com officials said.
In a blog post, Rob Larson, vice president of Digital Production at NYTimes.com, said, “We’ve built TimesReader 2.0 in response to the feedback we’ve received from you, our community of subscribers. A constant theme in that feedback has been to design the reading experience to capture the best aspects of print. We listened and now it is.”
Some of the latest improvements to Times Reader 2.0 include:
- Availability for all Windows, Mac OS and Linux users, since it’s powered by Adobe AIR;
- Blends the best of the print and Web worlds-just like printed news with columns of high-quality text together with the dynamic flexibility of the Web, including search, links and up-to-the minute headlines;
- “News in Video” section provides the latest videos from NYTimes.com;
- Browse mode allows readers to zoom out and take a look at the visual overview of New York Times articles similar to browsing the print edition;
- New full-text search; and
- Integrated interactive version of The New York Times daily crossword puzzle.
Meanwhile, in another prominent use of Adobe AIR, TIME and Hewlett-Packard launched the TIME 100 application powered by Adobe AIR on May 1. The TIME 100 application on AIR is available for users across operating systems, and was optimized for the HP TouchSmart PC user, providing TIME readers with touch-enabled, interactive access to TIME’s annual list of the world’s most influential people.
TIME’s new application allows users to navigate pin points on a globe or a series of floating images for more information on all past and present TIME 100 designees. Touching an image on screen will bring up a profile, along with any related TIME content, including photos, videos, articles and cover images. With the HP TouchSmart touch-screen interface, information about the world’s most influential people is at the user’s fingertips, TIME officials said.
App Has Something for Every Interest
“Whether you’re curious about entertainment, politics, science or sports, this application has something for every interest and allows users to interact with one of the year’s most anticipated magazine issues as well as the rich archive of TIME content,” said Josh Tyrangiel, managing editor of TIME.com.
“The TIME 100 application extends the magazine’s connection to readers by providing the list of the world’s most influential people in a new, compelling Web experience outside the browser,” Michele Turner, vice president of product marketing for the Flash Platform at Adobe, said in a statement. “Because the application is built using the Adobe Flash Platform and powered by Adobe AIR, anyone using Windows, Mac or Linux computers can access the rich, interactive AIR application, while HP TouchSmart PC users can navigate the TIME 100 list on AIR with the touch of the finger.”
Satjiv Chahil, senior vice president of worldwide marketing in HP’s Personal Systems Group, said, “The HP TouchSmart brings the world’s most influential people literally within reach with the touch-enabled TIME 100 application on Adobe AIR. The HP TouchSmart screen welcomes the tech savvy and tech shy alike as just a touch, tap or swipe motion is all that’s necessary to explore the richness of the Time 100 designees in high definition.”
Yet another AIR-based application, AccuWeather.com, empowers its AccuWeather.com Stratus weather widget with Adobe AIR software.
“We’re very happy to work with a revolutionary technology like Adobe AIR,” said Jim Candor, senior vice president of New Media for AccuWeather.com. “Adobe AIR is particularly exciting because it gives us another way to engage all kinds of users, regardless of the operating system they use.”
“As part of the Adobe Flash Platform, Adobe AIR allows developers to use proven Web technologies to design and build compelling applications and widgets that extend outside the browser to provide a persistent connection with users,” said Adrian Ludwig, group product marketing manager for Adobe AIR in the Platform Business Unit at Adobe. “It’s great to see innovative companies like AccuWeather.com use Adobe AIR to create a branded application that works the same on Windows, Mac and Linux machines, and that provides users the convenience and features only a desktop application can provide.”
The AccuWeather.com Status application appears as a small transparent button that can be set to white or dark text for best legibility depending on screen background. The application gives day and night same-day forecasts, and has a fly-out panel that provides five-day forecasts, AccuWeather officials said. All forecasts include sky-condition icons and high and low temperatures in Celsius and Fahrenheit and can link to AccuWeather.com for more details. Moreover, users can store up to 65,000 locations and toggle between selected locations by clicking on the place name.