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Adobe launches AIR for mobile; Eyes Android support in 2010

Adobe said its army of Flash developers on the desktop will now be able to launch mobile applications too. The company unveiled Adobe AIR for mobile devices and said it will support Google's Android platform this year.

This is a guest post from Larry Dignan of TechRepublic’s sister site ZDNet. You can follow Larry on his ZDNet blog Between the Lines, or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Adobe said its army of Flash developers on the desktop will now be able to launch mobile applications too. The company unveiled Adobe AIR for mobile devices and said it will support Google's Android platform this year.

Adobe, which is in a high profile spat with Apple over Flash support on the iPad and iPhone, announced the following from the Mobile World Congress 2010 (statement, Techmeme):

  • Flash Player 10.1 beta is available to content providers and mobile developers with general availability in the first half of 2010. This version is a consistent runtime across PCs, tablets, smartphone and consumer electronics.
  • AIR for mobile devices is designed to allow developers to cover multiple operating systems and browsers. The big selling point is that developers can create applications once and sell them across multiple platforms and app stores.
  • AIR will support Android in 2010.
  • Symbian will join Adobe's Open Screen Project, which is designed to take Flash across multiple screens.
  • Mobile operating systems that will support Flash Player 10.1 include Android, Research in Motion's BlackBerry, Symbian, Palm's WebOS and Windows Mobile. Adobe has posted a bunch of demo videos by platform.

That last item is Adobe's "we have you surrounded line" to Apple. Adobe's plan is to take AIR and combine it with its Creative Suite so developers and content publishers can test and create multiple apps to go everywhere.

Also see: CNet Reviews coverage from Barcelona

AIR is runtime engine for Windows, Mac and Linux from Adobe that supports rich Internet applications (RIAs). Adobe AIR enables Flash/Flex, JavaScript, HTML and AJAX code to resemble traditional desktop applications by running without the Web browser.

To see how Adobe's master plan all fits together consider that Omniture, which was acquired by the company, launched mobile video tracking capabilities. Ultimately, all of these items will be linked together.

If all goes according to Adobe's plan it the company's AIR platform will be the best friend of mobile developers, who have to write applications for multiple platforms. There's a need for more efficiency in developing mobile applications and Adobe is trying to fill it.

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