Adobe Announces AIR For Mobile Devices

AIR enables Flash and Web apps to take advantage of features within a device's operating system.

Adobe has introduced a mobile version of its AIR runtime, making it possible to run Flash and Web applications outside of a browser on a smartphone or other handheld device.

Adobe unveiled the latest version of the Adobe Integrated Runtime on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Adobe plans to release AIR this year for Google's Android operating system for smartphones.

The mobile version of AIR will make it possible for application running on the platform to take advantage of features within the device's OS, such as multi-touch, gesture inputs, accelerometer, geolocation and screen orientation.

Adobe this month launched AIR 2.0 in beta 2 for laptops and desktop running Mac, Windows and Linux. The mobile version will be based on AIR 2.0, which is expected to be generally available this summer.

The beta version of Flash Player 10.1 was also announced at MWC. The company expects to make Flash Player 10.1 generally available in the first half of this year. The multimedia player, which supports high-definition video, will be available for desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

Among the mobile platforms expected to support Flash 10.1 include Research in Motion's BlackBerry, the Symbian OS, which is used by Nokia and other smartphone makers; Palm's WebOS and Microsoft's Windows Mobile. Apple does not support Flash on the iPhone.

In Web application development, Adobe is spreading beyond desktops, laptops and mobile devices and into cloud computing. The company this month offered its LiveCycle Enterprise Suite 2.0 as a subscription-based service on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud.

LiveCycle is a framework for building front ends to back-office applications, such as ERP and financial systems. Such systems often have non-intuitive user interfaces geared toward specially trained users. The hosted version of LiveCycle provides tools for developers to build UIs that lets end users do more self service through existing applications.

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