Adobe has released a public preview of its Edge tools, which allow developers to use open web standards rather than Flash to create animations.
Adobe has released a public preview of its Edge tool for using HTML 5 to create animantions and interactive content. Image credit: Adobe
Adobe said the use of web standards in Edge should make it easier for developers to reach more users across diverse platforms, including Apple iOS.
What we look at HTML 5 being used for is typically rich ads, if you're creating a branded experience, or interactive web pages.– John Cole, Adobe
"What we look at HTML 5 being used for is typically rich ads, if you're creating a branded experience, or interactive web pages, whether that's digital publishing, multi-screen websites or even very lightweight content-driven HTML applications," John Cole, creative solutions architect at Adobe, said.
Unusually for Adobe, the software is still in development but the company has opened up a preview in order to get feedback and allow developers to help shape the final product. The company generally only releases software when it has reached a more final state.
Despite the launch of the new tools, Adobe is not about to abandon the Flash platform. Instead the company sees the two co-existing, at least for now, but could not give any guarantees on how long it would continue to develop the Edge tools.
"There is a clear differentiation between what you can do with Flash and what you can currently do with Edge," Cole said. "We have dedicated engineering teams on both sides of the fence — on HTML 5 and on Flash," Cole said.
"We're committed to a 1.0 product of this in 2012. The way in which it develops is really a combination of how our development teams see the landscape developing, the feedback we get from the community and also the way in which the HTML 5 standard evolves," he added. Adobe plans to update the preview regularly in response to feedback.
During the preview phase, Edge is free to download. Adobe could not give details of a final cost once the product is released.
Although restricted to animation, Adobe Edge could be a way for app creators and designers to get more content on Apple's iOS platform. In the past, the two companies have exchanged blows over Apple blocking Flash content from working on its mobile devices, despite the widespread use of Flash on the internet as a whole.
More recently, some users who upgraded their Mac operating system to Mac OS X Lion found that certain Adobe products refused to function correctly, and in some cases, not at all, following the update.
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