Adobe’s MAX worldwide developer conference has today seen the launch of the Adobe AIR 2.5 cross-platform runtime environment for televisions, tablets, smartphones and desktop operating systems. Described as a central element of the Adobe Flash platform, AIR's core USP is its ability to use existing development code to create standalone apps across devices and across platforms.
Putting AIR into the multiple screen delivery space, Adobe has extended its software to now support smartphones and tablets based on BlackBerry Tablet OS, Android, iOS as well as desktops including Windows, Macintosh and Linux.
In addition, Samsung will be the first television manufacturer to integrate support for Adobe AIR 2.5 in Samsung SmartTVs while Acer, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Samsung and others are expected to ship the runtime pre-installed on a variety of devices including tablets and smartphones later this year.
With AIR, Adobe is keen to reinforce the option for developers to be able to use what it calls "familiar tools" including Adobe Flash Professional CS5, Adobe Flash Builder and Flex to build their rich standalone applications. The company says that hundreds of these tools are already available on Android Market, Intel AppUp center and Apple's App Store.
In addition to AIR 2.5, Adobe has also unveiled Adobe InMarket, a new service that allows developers to distribute and sell their applications across different device types on app stores from Acer, Intel, and others.
"With the release of AIR 2.5, more than three million Flash developers can now build a single game or application and easily deploy it across multiple application stores and devices," said Adobe's David Wadhwani."This is a step forward for developers looking to build engaging applications but who have historically had to incur the cost of building them separately for each device and platform."
AIR 2.5 enables "rich" applications through a series of new features, including support for accelerometer, camera, video, microphone, multi-touch and gestures. Support for geo location allows developers to create location-based applications and services -- and AIR 2.5 is also able to display native-browser controls within the application allowing for the integration of HTML and .SWF content. With SQLite support, developers can also store and cache databases inside an AIR application.
Adobe has also announced previews of developer tools that make the process of multi-screen development more streamlined. With new releases of Flash Platform tools, including an AIR 2.5 SDK, the company says that developers can build mobile and multi-screen applications while maximizing design and development productivity. An update to the open source Flex framework provides developers with a common framework for building web, desktop and now mobile applications.