Adobe Makes Flash & AIR Free for Mobile Widgets
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A bunch of the boys have joined Adobe in forming the Open Screen Project to drive a consistent rich Internet experience across TVs, PCs, mobile devices and consumer electronics regardless of operating system.
They’ve been persuaded that the
way to squeeze the World Wide Web into those little bitty phones and newfangled
MID things – and make it look like a PC – is to enable, maintain and optimize a
consistent runtime environment using Adobe’s Flash Player and later on Adobe
The Open Screen Project is
supposed to address what’s called “potential technology fragmentation” by enabling
the runtime environment to be updated seamlessly over the air on mobile devices.
To advance the cause, Adobe is
gonna drop the licensing fees on the next major release of both its Flash
Player and AIR, making them free for devices; immediately remove restrictions
on the use of SWF and FLV/F4V specifications; publish the device porting layer
APIs for the Flash Player; and publish the Flash Cast protocol and AMF protocol
for robust data services.
The project includes ARM, Intel,
Motorola, Cisco, Marvell, Nokia, Verizon Wireless, NTT DoCoMo, Sony Ericsson,
Toshiba, Samsung, Qualcomm, LG Electronics and Chunghwa Telecom as well as
content providers like the BBC, MTV Networks and NBC Universal.
No, the Flash-thrashing Apple is
not among them.
Adobe says the effort will make
it easier for developers and designers to distribute content. And it won’t hurt
its own, already large, ecosystem either. It argues that with compatibility
across all devices the time-to-market for RIAs, rich media content and video
will be dramatically reduced.
Flash Player content already
reaches over 98% of the Internet-enabled desktops and more than a half-billion
handsets and mobile devices and Adobe expects at least another billion handsets
and mobile devices will ship with Flash technology by next year. More than 75%
of broadcasters who stream video on the web use Flash technology.
For those who don’t know, the
SWF binary file format specification is used to deliver vector graphics, text,
video, sound and interactivity via the Flash Player and AIR.
The FLV/F4V media container
formats, the de facto standards for web video, document the file formats for
storing media content used to deliver audio and video playback in Flash Player
The APIs Adobe is going to
release enable the Flash Player to work on different operating systems and
By removing the licensing
restrictions from SWF developer will now be able to write software that will
“play” SWF files as well as software that outputs SWF.
Flash Cast is a client/server
protocol that synchronizes data between a mobile phone and network-based
server. Adobe says it should be available in the next few months.
AMF is the binary format for exchanging data usually between Flash or Flex software and a database. The specification has been open sourced at http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/blazeds/Developer+Documentation.
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