Adobe is releasing new beta test versions of its Flash and AIR technologies today. Those new versions don’t just include much-requested features, Adobe says — they also represent a big push onto devices beyond the PC, starting with smartphones.
One big caveat, however. Although Flash 10.1, in particular, is probably most noteworthy for being in development to work on most major smartphone platforms except the iPhone. Today’s release only works on personal computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux), with the smartphone versions to follow shortly — starting with Palm’s webOS by the end of this year.
As for what’s available today, Adobe says Flash 10.1 (technology that powers major applications and media on the web, especially video and games) includes HTTP streaming (for improved video delivery) and hardware decoding of H.264 video. Adobe AIR 2.0, which is used for applications that run on your desktop while accessing the web, now includes better support for mass storage devices, native processes, and peer-to-peer sharing. Both Flash and AIR include support for multi-touch interaction.
Adobe’s big vision isn’t just limited to computers and mobile phones, either, but to eventually applications that run on every device you use. Flash senior product marketing manager Tom Barclay said Adobe wants Flash and AIR to provide “uniform experiences that can follow you around and adapt and provide continuity.”
You the beta versions of the new Flash and AIR at the Adobe Labs website.