Mobile

Adobe’s AIR apps come to TVs

Despite the continuing feud between Apple and Adobe (which is sometimes passive-aggressive, sometimes aggressive-aggressive), Adobe continues efforts to bring its technology to every device it can.

At this week’s MAX conference in Los Angeles, the company is unveiling AIR 2.5, the latest version of its application platform. AIR started out as Adobe’s format for Internet-connected desktop apps, and has become a platform for apps that you install on your phone as well — AIR for Android was released earlier this month.

With 2.5, Adobe is adding televisions and tablets to the mix. Adobe said Samsung’s SmartTV devices, coming in early 2011, will be the first to ship with AIR pre-installed. AIR will also work on the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet — in fact, parts of the PlayBook interface were actually built with AIR. HTC, Motorola, Acer, and BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion all plan to ship smartphones with AIR 2.5, Adobe says.

Some of this may sound familiar, since Adobe has been talking about its mobile strategy for a while now. Flash Platform marketing director Anup Murarka said that in the past, Adobe was making promises about its future plans. With AIR 2.5, he said, “The opportunity is a reality.”

Besides coming to new devices, AIR 2.5 is adding features like support for the accelerometer, multi-touch, and geo-location.

Apple, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to believe there’s a place for Adobe technology on its devices. Not only has it blocked Adobe’s Flash technology from working on the iPhone and iPad browser, but it also left Flash off its new MacBook Air (MacBook Air owners can still install Flash themselves). It’s gotten to the point that The New York Times’ Nick Bilton is speculating about Adobe’s future as an independent company.

On the other hand, it looks like Apple is allowing AIR applications into its App Store, despite earlier saying that it would block them.

One of AIR’s main selling points is the fact that developers should be able to create a single application that runs on multiple devices with only a few tweaks, rather than having to start from scratch with each platform. To help developers get onto all those devices, Adobe just announced Adobe InMarket, a tool for launching your app in multiple stores. It sounds like Adobe is still negotiating with various app store partners, so the only one it’s announcing right now is Intel AppUp.


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