The Mobile World Congress is underway in Spain, and new software/hardware is being unveiled by many companies today. One of the highest profile software firms at the show is Adobe – the company has officially unveiled AIR on mobile devices and is talking about Flash Player 10.1.
Adobe AIR on mobile devices is described as a consistent runtime for standalone applications that has come from the Open Screen Project. The platform will allow developers to design feature-rich applications outside of the mobile browser and across multiple operating systems and device types. Adobe reports that the Open Screen project — which it leads — now has over 70 ecosystem partners and support for Android is coming in 2010.
AIR takes advantage of Flash Player 10.1, which is optimized for performance on mobile screens and is designed to take advantage of the native capabilities of each device. The mention of Flash Player 10.1 will clue those following the Adobe/Apple saga into the fact that the iPhone will continue to be the only major platform that lacks support for Flash and therefore AIR. Adobe has long maintained that it wants to offer Flash to iPhone users, but Apple has not offered the cooperation that it needs to do so. Adobe reports that 7 million iPhone users have requested Flash so far.
Adobe has also announced at the show that a beta of Flash Player 10.1 has been made available to content providers and mobile developers around the world. The general availability of the new Flash player is set for the first half of 2010.
“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, Platform Business at Adobe. “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.”
AIR has support for specific functionality that is integrated into many smartphones today including support for multi-touch, gestures, accelerometers, geolocation, and screen orientation. AIR will allow developers to create contextual applications that can adapt presentation and performance to different application contexts and allows the reuse of code on each device and platform. The applications developed for AIR will also be able to tune themselves to available network access and bandwidth. Further customization to applications will be possible by considering the personalized history or social data of the user.
“Adobe AIR 2.0 is a great technology for developing engaging mobile applications,” said Christy Wyatt, vice president, Software Applications and Ecosystem at Motorola. “We look forward to seeing AIR come to the Android platform and developers creating applications that will delight our end-users.”
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