By Hannah Johnson
Adobe is planning two big launches: first, a more mobile-focused update of Adobe AIR (a web application platform); and second, InMarket, which is a multiplatform app store designed to support applications built using Adobe AIR.
Adobe AIR has typically been associated with desktop applications like TweetDeck. Companies like Yahoo!, FedEx, AOL (AOL Top 100 Videos) and the New York Times (Times Reader) all use AIR to build their desktop applications for consumers to download.
With the updated version of AIR that supports mobile features — like geolocation, accelerometer, multitouch, and screen orientation (rotation and shaking) — Adobe AIR is looking to become an application platform for all kinds of devices.
That makes the InMarket app store a larger development. The aim is to create a hub where users can find applications for a range of devices including televisions, smartphones, tablets, netbooks and PCs. InMarket will support mobile operating systems — Android, Blackberry Tablet OS, and Windows Phone 7 — as well as all major desktop operating systems, including Mac and Windows.
For developers, using a single platform to address multiple devices is advantageous and time saving. The obvious disadvantage is that Adobe AIR is not supported by Apple’s iOS (for iPad, iPhone and iPod).
The New York Times has an interesting article about mobile app developers and how much time they devote to Apple apps vs. Android apps. While Apple still dominates the mobile app market in the US, Android is quickly growing and the market is opening up for new players to emerge:
. . . [the] tide is starting to turn as Android’s popularity continues to swell and Google takes steps to smooth out some of the wrinkles. For example, the Android Market recently began showing app prices in a user’s local currency, rather than that of the developer.
“We’re still seeing the 1.0 version of the ecosystem,” said Andy Rubin, vice president for engineering at Google and a primary architect behind Android.
Mr. Rubin said there were 270,000 developers writing software for Android, and the number of programs available for download in the Android Market has swelled to more than 100,000, a threefold increase since March.