Adobe AIR 2.5 for new platforms, a new Digital Publishing Suite, an application-distribution portal, and an enhanced enterprise framework for delivering applications across multiple platforms. These are some of the announcements at the Adobe MAX conference now taking place in Los Angeles.
A key emphasis of the new products is multi-platform deployment. "The multiscreen revolution is a bigger shift in how people will use computing than we even saw with the personal computer revolution," Adobe Systems CTO Kevin Lynch told news media.
InMarket, Digital Publishing Suite
InMarket is a centralized application-distribution portal that allows developers to distribute Flash-created apps to different app stores, including those offered by Acer and Intel. Adobe said InMarket operates in the background, developers get 70 percent of revenues, and Adobe and its app-store partners handle credit-card processing, hosting and marketing.
Developers use the InMarket software development kit and, once the app is approved by Adobe, it is distributed. Even when their apps are in the stores, developers can modify descriptions, pricing or the software itself.
The company's Digital Publishing Suite offers turnkey hosted services for preparing and selling digital content, through content providers or mobile marketplaces. It is built on Creative Suite and InDesign CS5. Layouts can be either fixed or adaptive for a particular device, and the suite enables publishers to natively build interactivity.
David Wadhwani, senior vice president and general manager for creative and interactive solutions, said publishers will be able to "design and commercialize a new class of innovative digital magazines to create a richer and more dynamic reading experience that will attract high-value subscribers and advertisers."
'Bringing Mobile Into Everything'
Adobe AIR 2.5 is designed to allow developers to deliver applications across devices and platforms, including televisions, tablets and smartphones, as well as desktops. Supported platforms include the new BlackBerry Tablet OS, Android and Apple's iOS. Samsung will be the first TV manufacturer to integrate support for 2.5 into its SmartTVs, and the runtime will be preinstalled on smartphones and tablets from Acer, HTC, Motorola and Research In Motion.
AIR 2.5, said Adobe Senior Vice President David Wadhwani, allows Flash developers to "build a single game or application and easily deploy it across multiple application stores and devices." It includes support for accelerometers, cameras, video, microphones and multi-touch and gestural interaction.
To address the problem that many enterprise systems were not intended to deliver smooth experiences online, LiveCycle Enterprise Suite 2.5 will support process management, data capture, and content services for mobile devices, and a standard tool set allows for the creation of rich Internet applications that include real-time social interaction, such as chat and voice.
Al Hilwa, program director at IDC, said his biggest takeaway from Adobe's announcements is that, "slowly but surely, they are bringing mobile into everything they do." Three years ago, he said, Adobe "wasn't really thinking that way."
He called InMarket "interesting" in that Adobe looked at the rapid proliferation of app stores and decided it's best move was to become "a market of markets." This now "creates another link in the distribution chain," he said. Hilwa also noted that the company is now putting a big emphasis on publishers, which "is the biggest chunk of their customers."