Adobe on Monday introduced the Flash Player 10.1 and AIR platform for the Google Android mobile operating system. With this announcement, Adobe plans to present the AIR platform as a tool for building mobile apps that run on multiple phone platforms.
Adobe AIR, which made possible cross-platform apps like TweetDeck or the New York Times Reader, is now going mobile, starting with Android. Using this platform, developers will be able to design an application once and deliver it across multiple phone operating systems.
Google’s Android mobile OS is the first on the list to support apps developed using Adobe AIR, and also to run the Flash 10.1 player. Both should be available on Android phones sometime in the first half of 2010, Adobe said.
To get an idea of how Adobe AIR apps will work on Android devices, Adobe made a quick video demonstrating the capabilities on a Motorola Droid. Also below, Adobe shows how the Flash Player 10.1 works on a Google Nexus One and on a HTC HD2.
Same App, Many Platforms
Adobe is trying to catch up with the evolving landscape of computing, which now includes a variety of devices (smartphones, notebooks, tablets) and operating systems through its Open Screen Project.
The company has already presented tools that allow developers to port Flash application into iPhone apps, and Adobe AIR for mobile devices should make application porting to other platforms much easier for developers, without starting from scratch every time.
On the mobile front, many app stores sprung up, following Apple’s lead. Nokia, Google, Palm, and BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion are in, only to name a few. They all work on different standards, and that is where Adobe hopes to jump in and bridge the divide.
Adobe AIR for mobile devices could be a real benefit for consumers, not only for developers. They would be able to use the same applications across many platforms, regardless of which mobile phone they use. First, there’s Google Android, and next to be on the list for the Adobe AIR platform is Research In Motion. Other players are yet to be announced.
But the only one still not playing well with Adobe is Apple, which is still not backing Adobe’s foray into the mobile arena. Besides talks of bugs and battery drain, Apple’s main reason to keep Adobe off its patch is the domination of the App Store, the only gateway to the iPhone and soon, the iPad, which could be threatened by freely available apps using the AIR platform.