In what could be construed as a win for consumers, or could also be interpreted as a direct slap at Apple's iPhone, Adobe has announced that both Adobe Air and Adobe Flash will be coming to Google Android handsets soon.
At the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain this week, Adobe and Google announced that the two companies were partnering up to bring the popular Adobe products of Air and Flash to the Android-powered handsets. There is no word on when exactly the two programs will appear on the handsets, but the general tenor of the announcement is that it should be sometime in the not too distant future.
For those unfamiliar with the two technologies:Flash is an animation environment that allows for all sorts of content delivery and Air is a cross-platform program environment that allows for programs to run with some abilities of Flash from your desktop. Air will be used on mobile phones to let you run richer applications, and could even be delivered via applications to other phone systems.
The most interesting part of this is the inclusion of Flash. The animation program powers a lot of features on the Web such as embedded videos, advertising and more. Flash has gotten a lot of attention due to Apple's insistence that it responsible for the majority of crash reports on Macintosh desktop computers, and hence the company's desire to keep the program off of its mobile devices, such as the upcoming iPad tablet computer.
While it is doubtful that this partnership between Google and Adobe is strictly a slap in the face of Apple, it is interesting that the two companies, both of which seem to be on the outs with the Cupertino, CA.-based company at this time, choose a time so close to a major Apple release to announce this. Since the announcement of the iPad back in Jan., pundits have been citing the lack of Flash support as a major downfall of the device. The lead time on deals such as this makes it highly unlikely that this was thrown together over night, but, again, the pre-iPad timing just kind of makes you wonder if two companies aren't thumbing their noses very publicly at Steve Jobs right now.
Whatever the case may be, the inclusion of these two technologies in Android should make for a much richer Web browsing experience and lead to some very interesting new applications. So, like so many other fights between companies, this seems to be leading to a good thing for consumers.
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