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Adobe AIR for Smartphones Wants to Be One Platform to Rule Them All

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Adobe's launching AIR, its cross-platform runtime, for smartphones. Why's that a big deal? It theoretically means developers can write an app once, and it'll work on tons of OSes—at least any that support AIR. Oh, and the iPhone.


Android's the first to get AIR, but WebOS, BlackBerrry and Windows Mobile are slated to get it too. And remember Adobe's initiative to push Flash apps onto the App Store for the iPhone? Apps developed for that will work just fine in AIR on other phones, letting Adobe have their iPhone cake and eat it too.


I saw an early build of it running on a Droid and Nexus One, where we messed with a couple of apps, like one streaming live video from a computer, and it's pretty impressive stuff, with multitouch and close-to-native performance in some instances. If AIR succeeds the way Adobe hopes, it'll be what Java once promised to be, a way to write once for tons of platforms. That's a not-insignificant-sized "if" though. [Adobe]