Adobe is at the Mobile World Congress to share the latest news about Flash 10.1 and to make some announcements about other happenings at the company. I had the pleasure to sit down with Adobe representatives last week to discuss what the company will be covering at the MWC; the discussion covered a wide range of Adobe activities that cover the smartphone space. Hot on the topic list was the current state of the Flash 10.1 release, which is still expected the first half of 2010. Adobe is also announcing a brand new version of AIR for smartphones, designed to make Flash-based apps easy to distribute cross-platform.
The new Flash Player 10.1 will appear soon, although the company is officially quoting availability in the first half of 2010. While it had been previously stated that Flash 10.1 would first appear on the webOS platform, the company has developer betas on both webOS and Android; I was told that Adobe expects the new Flash to be released on both platforms at the same time. The runtimes will be distributed over-the-air through the Android Marketplace, the Palm App Catalog and on adobe.com.
Adobe is not neglecting Windows Mobile, Microsoft and Adobe are sending this message regarding Flash and WinMo:
Microsoft and Adobe are working closely together. While the newest version of Windows Phone won’t support Flash at initial availability, both companies are working to include a browser plug-in for the full Flash player in future versions of Windows Phone. More details will be shared at Microsoft MIX next month.
Adobe is also announcing a new version of the AIR for smartphones. This will be shown at the MWC running on the Android platform. It will initially also support RIM and the Motorola Droid. The new AIR implementation will make it possible for developers to distribute Flash-based apps on any smartphone running on a supported platform. While this is Android currently, the goal is to have both AIR and Flash running on all smartphones and desktops.
The new AIR developer tools being released allow developers of Flash-based apps to compile them as native iPhone apps, thus allowing Flash into the iTunes App Store as native apps. There are now 40 Flash-based apps in the App Store, due to these tools making it possible to get Flash on the iPhone without help from Apple. These iPhone apps can be distributed on the Android platform currently using the new AIR for smartphones.
Adobe is placing great importance to reach all smartphones, and have joined the LiMo Foundation. The partnership with LiMo is being done to simplify getting Flash on LiMo-based phones.
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