The tablet Adobe showed spectators at an industry event May 5 was powered by Nvidia Tegra 2 chips and ran Google’s Android operating system and Adobe’s own Air 2 platform, the software maker confirmed.
Zedomax editor Max Lee visited Adobe’s booth at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, where officials for the software maker were showing off an Android tablet running Adobe’s Flash technology and Air platform.
Michael Hu, senior product marketing manager of Adobe AIR, told eWEEK in an e-mailed statement:
“At Web 2.0 we are demonstrating Adobe AIR 2 on various devices and operating systems, including an Nvidia Tegra 2 reference tablet that is running on Android OS.”
Hu declined to say on what version of Android the tablet ran, though Lee said he believed it was Android 2.1, which currently powers smartphones such as the Motorola Droid, Google Nexus One and the new HTC Incredible.
Perhaps it was a version customized for tablets no one has seen. Google is expected to launch Android 2.2-its so-called Froyo build-at Google I/O later this month.
In any case, the demo shows that Adobe is indeed getting more comfortable in bed with Android, particularly after its ugly flap with Apple.
The computer maker irked Adobe and its developers when it rewrote its developer licensing terms to swear off support for such cross-platform technologies as Adobe’s Flash.
Google and Adobe later confirmed that Android will support Flash, an announcement that could come at Google I/O.
Showing Android running with Flash and Air 2-a program that lets apps run outside of a Web browser-is the ultimate show of unity for Google and Adobe versus Apple’s iPad, which has shipped more than 1 million units in less than a month.
In fact, the iPad’s fast success means Android tablets can’t hit the market soon enough. IDC analyst Al Hilwa said that now that Apple has shown the world a new way to consume information, it will unleash a glut of tablets. Android is the most ready platform to mount an attack on the iPad.
“The alliance around Flash between Google and Adobe is clever for both of them,” Hilwa told eWEEK. “For Google it allows it to shape a message of openness and inclusivity that helps it position Android as something other than just a follower.
“For Adobe, the strategy is to be the cross-platform development environment for as many platforms as possible, including crossing between PCs and mobile devices. Developers and content purveyors have a real need to bring out their stuff on as many devices in the market as possible and cannot always address each one with a unique development effort.”
IMS Research believes iPad will command 51 percent of the tablet market in 2010, with Google grabbing a 24 percent plot. The Android-based Archos 5 Internet Tablet is a strong seller in Europe. Dell’s Android 2.0-based Mini 5 tablet is expected in the United States this year.
Adobe’s Hu told Zedomax’s Lee that he expects several Android models will hit the market this year, eager to grab some of the tablet pie the iPad is enjoying.