If you thought the showdown between Apple and Adobe
was over, think again. The company's are bound to get at each other once more shortly, as Adobe has just introduced something that definitely encroaches into territory that Apple
currently dominates: the app landscape. At Adobe MAX, Adobe’s worldwide developer conference, Adobe announced AIR 2.5.
If you aren't familiar, AIR is a software platform which applications are built upon. The desktop version of TweetDeck is a good example. But AIR 2.5 is going beyond the desktop, a place where it has resided for quite some time. It's going to far, far beyond. It's going to places like smart televisions, tablets and smartphones. AIR is considered to be an element of Flash, so obviously there will be some resistance here on the Apple side. In fact, none of this will make it easier to get your app into Apple's App Store, but other app stores (like Intel's AppUp, etc.) may be compatible.
Adobe AIR now supports smartphones and tablets based on BlackBerry
Tablet OS, Android, iOS, and desktops including Windows, Macintosh and Linux operating systems. In addition, Samsung will be the first television manufacturer to integrate support for Adobe AIR 2.5 in Samsung SmartTVs while Acer, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Samsung and others are expected to ship the runtime pre-installed on a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones later this year and early 2011.
With Adobe AIR, developers are able to use familiar tools including Adobe Flash Professional CS5, Adobe Flash Builder and Flex in order to build applications, and now that they'll work across various platforms, it's easy to see why developers would want to side with Adobe here. Build one app, sell it on various platforms.
AIR 2.5 enables rich application experiences through a series of new features, including support for accelerometer, camera, video, microphone, multi-touch and gestures. 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 Corporation, Intel, NVIDIA, ST Microelectronics, Trident, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm and others.
Adobe AIR 2.5 and the Adobe AIR 2.5 SDK for Android and desktop operating systems including Windows, Macintosh and Linux are available today. The BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR, which works with the Adobe AIR 2.5 SDK to create applications for the BlackBerry Tablet OS, is available today from RIM while the runtime is expected to ship preloaded on the BlackBerry PlayBook. So, let the building begin!