October 08th 2010 | Jens C Brynildsen
In about two weeks time, it's time for the biggest Adobe event of the year - the Adobe MAX conference and in the days up to the conference, we can expect to see a lot of sneaks teasing what is to come. One major of these is that from today, users can download and install the AIR runtime from the Android Market.
Many Flash Developers took the plunge and learned Objective C so they could make applications for the iPhone. With the recent news of Apple loosening their rigid restrictions on what platforms to use for iPhone authoring, the iPhone and iPad are suddenly valid targets for the Flash developers that don't want to learn another language just to target mobile devices. The Flash-made apps are quite large in size though so in cases where performance and download size really matters, we'd much rather learn the LUA language and the Corona SDK than learning a whole language (with all it's quirks) that can only target iDevices.
Loosening these terms was probably a sour bite in the Apple for Steve Jobs and reading David Pouge's article in the New York Times yesterday probably didn't make it better. According to Pogue, "Over all, it's much better to have Flash. Apple's real problem with Flash, clearly, isn't technological". Even his fanboys now disagree with him making choices for them and Flash Player for Android is by far the most popular application on Android Market. It's not working entirely smooth for all kinds of Flash content, but we love to have the option to play Flash where we want it - also on mobile.
Todays launch of AIR for Android is yet another punch in Jobs face. Seeing the Box2D app PhysTest play physics demos at 25-30 fps really gives you an idea of what to expect from this runtime and Adobe's Serge Jespers just posted a list of games for you to try out. Now anyone with the Flash IDE can make proper applications that target the mobile market without learning Objective C. There's also talk on town that Microsoft and Adobe are in close talks regarding the launch of Windows Phone 7 this Monday. Twitter exploded with rumors yesterday but we do not think there's any hold in the rumors that claim Microsoft is to acquire Adobe or that Adobe sees Apple as an enemy of any kind. Analysts that claim such things obviously don't understand how tightly Adobes market is bound to the Mac.
For now, you can't develop AIR for Android unless you take part in the prerelease program but we expect Adobe to open up a public beta during the MAX conference. The AIR for Android install experience / developer experience looks smooth and it looks like Adobe have done a good job on this. They really want to succeed in the mobile market and they're doing a pretty good job this far? Some sneaks were already shown at the Flash On The Beach conference last month and others have been sneaked on Adobe blogs recently. Speaking of Adobe MAX, Flashmagazine will be there to cover the conference and we expect to deliver you the news as they happen.