Adobe shuns Apple with latest release of AIR

Oct 25, 2010
Finance

Apple (APPL) CEO Steve Jobs clearly isn’t fond of Adobe’s Flash. He charged last April that Flash has “major technical drawbacks.”  New MacBook Airs ship without Flash and Apple has made it hard to port Flash apps to the iPhone. Now it’s payback time for Abobe (ADBE). The company announced its new moves Monday with […]

Apple (APPL) CEO Steve Jobs clearly isn’t fond of Adobe’s Flash. He charged last April that Flash has “major technical drawbacks.”  New MacBook Airs ship without Flash and Apple has made it hard to port Flash apps to the iPhone.

Now it’s payback time for Abobe (ADBE). The company announced its new moves Monday with its latest version of AIR, which, among other things, embraces Apple’s rival Android from Google (GOOG).

On Monday, Adobe unveiled its new AIR 2.5 at its worldwide developer conference, Adobe MAX in Los Angeles. AIR 2.5 covers not only desktop OSs, but TVs, tablets and smartphones.

Erick Schonfeld reports in TechCrunch: “When Apple shunned Adobe last April, it literally turned to Android. Its development efforts with Android took priority and are now bearing fruit. It will still work with Apple when Apple allows it, obviously, but it is making a much bigger bet on Android.”

Sean Hollister reports in engadget: “Adobe’s making a serious play for the app space today, and it’s not limiting itself to phones — its new Air cross-platform runtime environment is designed to toss apps on your smart televisions and tablets as well.”

Schonfeld says the major impact of the announcement Monday is that Android phones, Android tablets, and Android-powered Google TVs will run AIR.

“Just last week, Adobe Connect Mobile became available for Android, and Adobe Reader X extended the ability to read PDFs to Android mobile phones, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry tablets. Since becoming available earlier this year, Flash 10.1 for Android has been downloaded two million times, and will be pre-installed in future Android phones,” he notes.

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Adobe says Samsung (005930.KS) will be the first TV manufacturer to ship Adobe AIR in its line of Samsung SmartTV. Also, Acer (2353.TW), HTC (2498.TW), Motorola (MOT), RIM (RIMM), 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. Adobe plans to help developers bring their Air 2.5 apps to market. In addition to AIR 2.5, Adobe announced Adobe InMarket, a service enabling developers to easily distribute and sell their applications on app stores across different device types from Acer, Intel (INTC) and others.

“With the release of AIR 2.5 more than three million Flash developers can now build a single game or application and easily deploy it across multiple application stores and devices,” said David Wadhwani, senior vice president, Creative and Interactive Solutions Business at Adobe.

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Howard Wolinsky

Howard Wolinsky is a Chicago freelance writer specializing in health and tech topics. He covered those beats for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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