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New York Times launching AIR-based news reader

Application will take advantage of some of the new features built in to the new AIR runtime, including video capabilities of Flash 10 and a fast text-rendering engine.

The New York Times' new reader uses AIR capabilities to flow text and show video. Rafe Needleman / CNET

Correction, 11:25 a.m. PST: This story misspelled the last name of The New York Times vice president of research and development. He is Michael Zimbalist.

SAN FRANCISCO--During the keynote speech of the Adobe Max conference, New York Times Vice President of R&D Michael Zimbalist demonstrated a new news reader app from the company. Based on AIR 1.5, which is being released Monday, the news reader was shown displaying International Herald Tribune content, but it's pretty clear that the company will release a reader for The New York Times as well. Zimbalist said the the IHT reader will come out "this fall," but a NYT spokesperson later said it will arrive in the first half of 2009.

There is already a desktop reader for the Times, of course, but it's a fairly heavy app. The new AIR version will take advantage of some of the new features built in to the new AIR runtime, including a fast text-rendering engine that re-flows text as you resize the screen.

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch shows the New York Times app on the Linux-based Aigo handheld. Rafe Needleman / CNET

The new app also uses the video capabilities of Flash 10, which Air 1.5 uses. The demo showed videos in ads, but it could also be used for editorial content.

Of course, there's also a nice crossword app built into it. It's not social, though. Maybe the next version?

After Zimbalist left the stage, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch demonstrated the app running on a "MID"-size Linux computer, the Aigo. Adobe's AIR 1.5 is being released for Linux and will have the same video and text-rendering capabilities of the Windows and OS X versions.

Click here for more news on Adobe's Max conference.