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Summary:

Adobe believes it’s got some increasingly popular weapons in Air and Flash to win the hearts of mobile developers. On the eve of the Mobile World Congress, the company shared some new statistics, hoping to get developers to see the value in its tools.

Screen shot 2011-02-13 at 6.27.34 PM

Adobe has acknowledged that there’s a war going on for developers, and it believes it has some increasingly popular weapons to win the hearts of mobile developers in Adobe Air and Flash. On the eve of the Mobile World Congress, the company shared some statistics about Air and Flash, hoping to get developers to see the value in its cross-platform tools.

Adobe said Adobe Air applications are now able to run on more than 84 million smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS, and by the end of 2011, it expects more than 200 million smartphones and tablets will support Adobe Air applications. Developers have built thousands of Air apps, including 1,500 apps for Android Market in the first two months since Air apps became available there in October. It’s unclear how many times the apps have been downloaded, but Adobe said Air has been downloaded 1 million times on Android. (Consumers need to download Air in order to run Air apps).

Adobe said more than 20 million of the smartphones shipped in 2010 had Flash Player 10.1 installed, with more than 6 million downloads of browser plug-in in the Android Market. This year, the company expects more than 132 million smartphones to have Flash Player installed, including 40 percent of all smartphones shipped in the first half of the year, while more than 50 tablets will ship or be able to download Flash Player. RIM’s Tablet OS and HP’s webOS platform will join Android in supporting Flash when they launch. Adobe is showcasing its newly released Flash 10.2 at the Mobile World Congress and will be highlighting Stage Video, its technology for improving video performance through hardware acceleration. Stage Video, which is supported on Android 3.0 and BlackBerry Tablet OS, offers more efficient use of the processor and memory and should improve battery life, one of the big knocks on Flash.

Anup Murarka, director of product marketing, said the demands of developers to support more platforms is growing, highlighting the need for tools that can help developers leverage their work. With an army of tablets running Android and potential iPad challengers in the BlackBerry Playbook and HP TouchPad, which will largely support Adobe runtimes, Adobe thinks it’s in a good place to benefit from the tablet boom. The company has been harping on its cross-platform tools, but it now believes it’s getting enough reach and performance to really be compelling for mobile developers.

Adobe still faces a challenge in trying to evangelize its tools. While the company feels it can help developers make apps that stand toe-to-toe with native apps, it has to overcome the perception that Air and Flash apps don’t perform as well as native apps and make as good of use of the hardware. Adobe will probably never match the performance of native apps, but with new platforms emerging and the market for apps expected to hit $15 billion this year, it makes sense for Adobe to continue to play up its cross-platform potential and hope eager developers short on time and cash respond.

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  1. as a designer (still in learning phase) have to say that abobe works great when it comes to design and flash makes things more better

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  2. Adobe AIR is so much Fun to develop in! I’ve converted the same app into an iOS, Android, and just released it to the Playbook!

    Took a few hours to modify the UI for each screen :)
    I’m happy Adobe is improving the Player and utilizing Hardware Acceleration. Adobe is proving to be an indispensable part of the internet, and it’s tools.

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    1. And so the marketing ‘blitz’ continues.

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      1. You mimic and echo Steve Jobs… he Hops & you Jump. I have 9 Apple products around me. The iPad without Flash is a Huge lack!

        …the number of times, the broken icon for No Flash has appeared in the past 30 days… pffff

        Look under the hood, and do your own research… Flash is awesome! and getting better.

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    2. As a true Mac user you should know how much the Flash implementation sucks, whether it’s because of Safari’s *constant crashes* or battery life on your laptop.

      I came to that realization on my own thank you very much.

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  3. As somebody who does work in both web developement as print production, I have to say that I find Adobe products less and less appealing every day. Both the Flash Player and Flash Professional are buggy and constantly crash. Adobe programs do NOT work well together, despite what they say. I’ve been screwed over before when glitches in Flash Professional prevented me from getting my work done or wasted a bunch of my time. With the exception of Photoshop and a little Illustrator, I try to avoid using any Adobe products. I also use Flashblock in Firefox, and I’m glad my iPad doesn’t display Flash.

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  4. I work heavily with Actionscript 3 and AIR (within Flash Builder 4) And i would say that AIR still has MANY issues and is still not mature enough. Native apps will always out-perform AIR based apps (Especially on OSX). That being said it is VERY handy to roll out a single binary file. Cant say much about the mobile platforms. I think Android 3 will be AIR’s main focus with enhanced performance.

    @Mike Adobe haven’t made any significant enhancements to Photoshop or Illustrator for many updates. All they seem to do is break stuff now.

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  5. @vivekParmar; @Joseph
    Roger from the RIM Social Media team here. It’s good to know you’ve both had great experiences developing using Adobe, and thanks for submitting a BlackBerry PlayBook app, Joseph. I encourage you and others to keep at it – there’s one month left for an opportunity to get a free PlayBook if your app is accepted. For the latest info on developing for the PlayBook, please see our Inside BlackBerry Developer’s Blog (http://devblog.blackberry.com/). It sounds like Adobe’s announcement around Flash 10.2 and Stage Video’s processor and memory efficiency is welcome news for developers, in addition to how efficient the platform is to develop apps quickly!

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  6. @VivekParmar; @Joseph
    Roger from RIM Social Media here. It’s good to know you’ve both had great experiences developing using Adobe, and thanks for submitting a BlackBerry PlayBook app, Joseph. I encourage you and others to keep at it – there’s one month left for an opportunity to get a free PlayBook if your app is accepted. For the latest info on developing for the PlayBook, please see our Inside BlackBerry Developer’s Blog (http://devblog.blackberry.com/). It sounds like Adobe’s announcement around Flash 10.2 and Stage Video’s processor and memory efficiency is welcome news for developers, in addition to how efficient the platform is to develop apps quickly!

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  7. Just to let those know bagging flash and photoshop on Apple – I have never, ever had a problem – since I stopped using apple and moved to windows 7.
    Slave like dedication to an operating system is the saddest thing I have ever seen in almost two decades of programming – apple fanbois-ism is without doubt the lamest thing I have ever, ever witnessed in tech.
    I will use what ever is best – Flash is by far – miles – the best method of delivering rich applications to multiple platforms and multiple devices with the least amount of fuss.
    If your system is crashing – its because you can’t set it up right – simple – you have something wrong with you. If I can install it on PC’s and Macs with absolutely no issues – ever – then you are at fault.

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  8. [...] certainly given it plenty of attention as Adobe has tried, and largely failed, to get Flash onto the iPhone, iPad and [...]

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