Amid a few more jabs from Apple, Adobe rolled out its AIR 2.5 platform, which allows developers to create apps across multiple devices such as TVs, tablets, smartphones and PCs.
The news (blog, release notes, statement) comes as Apple said that its MacBook Air, and other Macs, won't come with Flash preinstalled. The Mac will support Flash, but you have to download it yourself. It's one more knock from Apple, which won't support Flash on its iOS devices. Adobe's big plan is to line up with every company not named Apple and win the war. IDC puts Macs at 10.6 percent of the PC market in the U.S. In smartphones, Apple has 24.2 percent of the U.S. market, according to comScore. If Adobe can get cozy with Android an RIM, it can counter Apple's offensive.
However, Adobe's message---that it is everywhere---has a significant asterisk since it may or may not be on the Mac. And it certainly isn't on the iPhone or iPad and if developers rally to the Mac perhaps users won't install Flash on the desktop either. Meanwhile, Adobe's core business---selling Creative Suite to enterprises---isn't growing as quickly as expected. Now comes Adobe's Max conference and execs have to rally developers.
AIR 2.5 is designed to give them mobile entry to multiple platforms and gets more cozy with Android. The message has appeal, but developers are also pondering HTML5 and other tools that Apple has been plugging. Simply put, Adobe needs to keep its 3 million Flash developers in the fold.
The key points about AIR 2.5:
- The software promises support for BlackBerry, android, iOS and all desktops. AIR will also be integrated with Samsung SmartTVs. Acer, HTC, Motorola, Samsung and RIM will preinstall the AIR runtime later in 2010 and into 2011.
- Adobe will launch an app marketplace called InMarket. This service allows developers to distribute AIR apps to other stores from Acer, Intel and others. No word on how this will work on Apple's store. Developers get 70 percent of the revenue. Intel AppUp is the first partner store for InMarket, which will add other stores.
- The platform will support various browsers and support accelerometer, camera, video, microphone, multi-touch and geolocation and gestures.
- Adobe's Max powwow is designed to show momentum. Flash Player 10.1 has been downloaded 2 million times on the Android Market.
- Separately, Adobe launched its Digital Publishing Suite, which is built on the Creative Suite and InDesign CS5 software.
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- Adobe tops 1 million Flash downloads on Android
- Microsoft buying Adobe? Call me highly skeptical
- Apple unbundles Flash Player from Mac OS X; Java next
- Apple's halo effect 2.0: iOS developers likely to rally to Mac