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October 25, 2010

Adobe announces Air 2.5 for TVs, tablets and phones, launches Adobe InMarket to package apps

by John_A

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. Air 2.5 supports accelerometers, multi-touch gestures, cameras and microphones, GPS data and hardware acceleration in a variety of silicon. What’s more, the company wants a piece of the action, so it’s going to help developers bring their Air 2.5 apps to market by partnering with the stores themselves, and charging a mere 30 percent to take care of your hosting, billing and app store approval — though we’re informed the service will be free for the first year if you sign up today. The newly-christened Adobe InMarket won’t help you get into the iTunes App Store, as you might expect, but it should assist with the Intel AppUp store… and perhaps a pair of brand-new marketplaces from RIM and Samsung as well.

Remember when Samsung said it had a single platform for TV and phones late last week? We think this was what the company was talking about, because we have Adobe’s word that the Samsung SmartTV will run Air 2.5 apps when it launches in early 2011. Air will also come standard in RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook, but it’s not just for fun, productivity and games there — Adobe told us that the PlayBook’s entire UI is built on Air. We’re not sure quite what we think of Adobe’s role as encapsulated software middleman in the TV and tablet spaces, but we suppose that’s what the firm’s been doing on desktop PCs for years — after all, what’s Adobe Reader but a free way to open licensed PDFs? You should find the Adobe Air 2.5 SDK available on the company’s website today, and a full press release after the break.

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