Adobe AIR breathes life into RIM PlayBook app development

Adobe AIR 2.5 allows for more advanced applications on smartphones, netbooks, tablets -- and TVs too

Adobe has released version 2.5 of its Air runtime environment, which will be used to develop applications for Research In Motion's (RIM) upcoming tablet PlayBook, Adobe and RIM said on Monday at the MAX conference in Los Angeles.

AIR allows developers to use HTML, JavaScript and Flash to create stand-alone applications, and version 2.5 allows developers to take advantage of accelerometers, cameras, video, microphones, multi-touch, gestures and geo-location.

PlayBook applications can be developed using BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK (Software Development Kit) for Adobe AIR, which was also announced on Monday. Developers will be able to take advantage of hardware-accelerated playback of video -- including 1080p, according to RIM -- and other graphics-intensive content, both in the tablet's browser and within AIR-based applications.

Beta versions of the BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR and the BlackBerry PlayBook simulator are both available from RIM's website. Developers can download Mac or Windows versions.

Developers can start using the SDK today, and will be able to submit their applications for the PlayBook and the BlackBerry App World later this year.

RIM's tablet is expected to be available in the U.S. early next year, and international markets will follow in the beginning of the second quarter, according RIM.

The release of AIR 2.5 will also allow for more advanced applications on other tablets, smartphones and PCs based Google's Android, Apple's iOS and desktop operating systems Windows, Macintosh and Linux.

Also, Samsung will be the first television manufacturer to integrate Adobe AIR 2.5, according Adobe.

Acer, HTC, Motorola, RIM, Samsung and others are expected to ship the runtime pre-installed on tablets and smartphones later this year and early 2011, it said.

In his Monday keynote address at the MAX conference, Adobe's CTO Kevin Lynch will talk about the company's quest to put AIR and Flash on as many "screens" as possible. The speech will begin today at 9:30 am Pacific time, and will be streamed live from Adobe's MAX 2010 website.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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