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Nov 17, 2008

Flash Is Now A Platform, AIR Gets An Upgrade, And Adobe Puts A Catalyst In Gumbo

Flash Is Now A Platform, AIR Gets An Upgrade, And Adobe Puts A Catalyst In Gumbo

Realizing that Flash is a better name than Flex for a platform, Adobe is now referring to everything it does related to Flash (including the Flash Player, Adobe AIR, Flex developer tools, and Flash media servers) as the Flash Platform. That’s what I’ve been calling it anyway, so I’m glad they finally caught up.

Beyond the marketing shift, Adobe will be making some more significant announcements at its MAX developer conference this week. Here’s a summary:

1. Release of Adobe AIR 1.5. The Adobe AIR client now has better performance and memory handling, but most importantly it supports Flash Player 10 and Webkit (which is what the mobile browsers in both the iPhone and Android are based on). Flash Player 10 means more 3-d graphics. This version of AIR will also include an encrypted database that should appeal to developers of enterprise apps.

2. Flash Catalyst and Gumbo. Adobe is reaching out beyond its core base of developers with a new set of tools. Catalyst (previously known as Thermo), streamlines the hand-off between graphic designers and developers. It creates a two-way bridge between files created in Adobe’s Creative Suite products such as Photoshop as Illustrator, and Web apps built in Flash or AIR.
Adobe will be making some announcements at its MAX developer conference this week. Catalyst basically converts everything back and forth. In a similar vein, Gumbo (aka, Flex Builder 4) will try to appeal beyond core Java developers to script kiddies of all stripes and sizes. It will be available as a preview release

3. Mobile Flash. Flash will be demoed on Windows Mobile.

4. A 64-bit Flash Player For Linux. A preview will become available at Adobe Labs.

5. Dynamic streaming comes to Flash media server. The server software can now deliver Flash video at different quality, depending one the bandwidth and device of the viewer.

Adobe To Demo Flash On Windows Mobile. Still “Working” On The iPhone.

 Adobe's Flash Player is on 98 percent of all desktop computers, but it is still struggling to make the jump to mobile phones. If you want Flash on a mobile device, right now you have to settle for a compromised version: Flash Lite. But Adobe is committed to bring the full Flash Player experience to mobile phones, as evidenced by its Open Screen Project. On Monday, at its Adobe MAX developer conference, it will demonstrate Flash Player 10 running on a Windows Mobile phone. (However, Flash won't actually ship on Windows Mobile until late next year). Product manager Michele Turner tells me:
We will be showing the first delivery of Flash on mobile phones, on other platforms. You will see it on Windows Mobile.

Adobe 'Working' On Flash For iPhone, But 'Really Up To Apple'


hulu-iphone.jpgWhat's up with Adobe's (ADBE) long-running campaign to get its Flash video/animation software on Apple's (AAPL) iPhone? It could still happen, someday... maybe.

"We are working on Flash on the iPhone, but it is really up to Apple," Adobe product manager Michele Turner told TechCrunch. Which sounds lot like the last two times we heard about Flash on the iPhone:

Sept. 30: "My team is working on Flash on the iPhone, but it's a closed platform," said Adobe senior director of engineering Paul Betlem.

June 17: "We have a version that’s working on the emulation. This is still on the computer and you know, we have to continue to move it from a test environment onto the device and continue to make it work," said Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

What's the problem? Presumably, Adobe should be able to figure out the technical challenges required to get Flash videos and animations playing smoothly on the iPhone. It won't be easy -- Flash video isn't even that great on a brand new Mac. But it shouldn't be impossible. After all, Apple's built-in Quicktime software does a fine job playing video on the phone...

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