Apple keeps giving Adobe the brush-off—what with the new MacBook Airs shipping without Flash and Apple’s prohibition (recently rescinded) on porting Flash apps to the iPhone. Without Apple, industry observers are asking “Where does Adobe go from here?” Apparently, right into the arms of Android.
On Monday, Adobe will be releasing AIR 2.5 at its Adobe MAX developer conference. The latest version of AIR, which up until now has been a platform for creating desktop apps, will extend the runtime to smartphones, tablets, and TVs running the Android operating system (as well as the Blackberry Tablet OS). For the most part, that means Android phones, Android tablets, and Android-powered Google TVs. Just last week, Adobe Connect Mobile became available for Android, and Adobe Reader X extended the ability to read PDFs to Android mobile phones, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry tablets. SInce becoming available earlier this year, Flash 10.1 for Android has been downloaded 2 million times, and will be pre-installed in future Android phones.
When Apple shunned Adobe last April, it literally turned to Android. Its development efforts with Android took priority and are now bearing fruit. It will still work with Apple when Apple allows it, obviously, but it is making a much bigger bet on Android.
The plan all along was to make Adobe, and AIR in particular, a one-stop development shop. Write once, and your apps can appear on any device—desktops, mobile phones, tablets, TVs. That is still the plan, but the emphasis now seems to be on non-Apple devices.
Photo credit: Flickr/ Mark Sebastian