Feeds

Adobe lifts Flash and AIR development restrictions

Handsets go royalty free

Top three mobile application threats

Cell phones and handsets are virgin territory that Adobe could not hope to seed on its own, as Microsoft and Sun begin to roll out their rival RIA and media technologies.

Adobe claims Flash is present on 98 per cent of desktops with an estimated one billion PCs worldwide, but it took 12 years and flying under the radar to get there. That compares to more than five billion mobile devices with Flash on 500 million of them. Adobe estimates it would be able to plant Flash on another 500 million devices this year under the existing set up, which would still represent just a dent in the mobile device market.

Adobe explained the big-name mobile support in terms of companies backing the "largest unified [media] environment on mobile phones" compared favorably against new or fragmented technologies, like Silverlight or JavaFX.

It is not clear what role mobile companies will play in preventing fragmentation and providing updates.

The alliance and changes are likely more important to Adobe as developers can now build Flash players without seeking Adobe's permission, and also view Flash-based and AIR content on mobile devices more easily. Mobile backing should help demonstrate to those building applications and content that Adobe has a future as OEMs and services providers - too - have committed to Flash and AIR on mobile.

Adobe's licensing had acted as a bottleneck, as you were allowed to read the specifications and able to build using SWF but prohibited from building software for SWF file playback. Or, as McAllister put it, you: "Couldn't build anything that looked or smelled like a Flash player - only Adobe could do it."

As of May 1, though, you can build your own Flash player and embed Flash into an application, which is particularly handy because it means you no longer need to rely on Flash running in the browser, with resulting performance and network availability issues.

The change also means open-source projects building Flash-like players, such as the Free Software Foundation's Gnash, can now read the latest specifications meaning they can be built quicker. They still can't call it Flash, though, as that's a trademark.

Clearly, Adobe has seen the spin-off benefits of projects like Moonlight - the open-source implementation of Silverlight for Linux - are having in terms of raising awareness of the "official" product, and getting its player onto platforms it lacked the resources to support.®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.