Spurned, Adobe touts iPad apps using AIR, Flash

Doing its best to counter Apple's Flash-bashing rhetoric, Adobe shows off iPhone and iPad apps using the technology.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland

Just as a host of Apple iPad applications emerged Friday, Adobe Systems took the opportunity to tout its own programming technology that in some ways is in opposition.

Adobe's Flash technology is ubiquitously plugged in to PC browsers, and the company is trying to spread a related technology called AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) for standalone applications. But Apple has barred the doors against it on the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and now the iPad.

Adobe wishes it were otherwise, but meanwhile, it offers other options for programmers: Flash Pro CS5, which lets programmers repackage AIR apps so they run on the iPhone and now iPad. There are 100 applications written this way in the Apple App store that run on the iPhone and iPad. The repackaged AIR approach will work on Android, BlackBerry, and other devices in the future, Adobe said.

And Adobe also touted Dell's 12-inch Latitude XT2, a tablet PC with a 12-inch screen, and an upcoming tablet with a 5-inch screen. Both run "a broad variety of Flash content," Adobe said.

Google, though it is allied with Apple in the effort to augment HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to provide a no-plug-in alternative to Flash Player, takes a more pragmatic stance. Google is building Flash into its Chrome browser and updating it automatically to patch security holes faster.