Yes, Adobe AIR is still a thing, and now Adobe has released v14 of the AIR runtime with updated support for the x86 architecture and gamepad support for web games. AIR didn't make the splash in developer circles Adobe was hoping for, but it's still inching along.
Adobe AIR for Android can now run natively on Intel x86-based mobile devices, enabling people who own such a device to better run games and web apps that require the AIR runtime. This support will allow AIR developers to target the x86 hardware directly, getting improved performance out of the apps they create. AIR may not be quite the household name that Adobe Flash was, but it's still prevalent enough where people without the software installed are at least missing out on something.
Flash may have died a slow and agonizing death on Android, but it did not depart without leaving its heir apparent. Adobe's lighter-weight successor was built to better handle touchscreen interfaces, lower power processors, and to support applications living independently from a web browser. While the platform hasn't been a high-flying success on Android or iOS, it does play host to a few popular games like Machinarium. Exactly three years and one day after first appearing on the Android Market, Air has been updated to v3.9 and now includes support for multi-threading, background tasks, and xxhdpi icons.
I'm not much of a case person. I was never very clumsy with my gadgets and didn't think the added bulk was a worthy trade-off for the added protection, especially in the day and age of ultra-durable plastics and Gorilla Glass screens. But on both fronts, that's changing; it's a lot harder to guarantee the safety of my gadgets when I've got kids (we're both likely to drop things) and there are some very sleek cases on the market.
As promised late last month, Adobe has released updated versions of their Flash Player and AIR products to the Android Market. In our earlier article we outlined some of the new features that the updates would bring including, Stage 3D, an architecture that enables hardware-accelerated rendering at 1000x the speed of Flash Player 10, theatre-quality HD video, native 64-bit optimizations, and HD video conferencing. Unfortunately, the latest blog post from Adobe indicates that 2D and 3D graphics rendering through Stage 3D will only be available on Windows, Mac OS X and connected TVs.
Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Air are part of a platform that has proven revolutionary for web content and user experiences since its creation. That platform is about to get a major update, coming in "early October," which introduces Stage 3D, an architecture that promises hardware-accelerated rendering at 1000x the speed of Flash Player 10.
Adobe also boasts support for theater-quality HD video, native 64-bit optimizations, and HD video conferencing in the upcoming release.
As a sign that the United and Continental Airlines merger is progressing well, United (which got to retain its name in the process) has launched an Android app that supports both United and Continental.
In fact, the app is so close to the existing Continental app that I'm pretty sure they simply ripped it apart and put back together after adding support for United into the mix, even leaving the logo the same.
To help aspiring Android developers get off the ground and develop our next dream app, Android Police has partnered with O'Reilly Media, one of the largest technical book publishers, to give away a multitude of Android books to our readers. Each week or so for the next few months, we'll be giving away a different O'Reilly Android book, asking for nothing but a minute of your time in return.
Developing Android Applications with Adobe AIR
For the fifth contest in the series, we chose to give away Véronique Brossier's Developing Android Applications with Adobe AIR, which was published by O'Reilly just a few months back (in April 2011, to be exact).
The time for Froyo has finally come for Dell's first Android device - and I'm sure all 12 US and Canadian Streak owners jumping for joy. Dell announced today that it has begun a rollout of the long-awaited bump to Android 2.2 for its tablet-phone in North America, dragging only a few months behind its UK counterpart. The update, to be clear, is an OTA. The Dell release suggests rebooting your phone will detect the update if the rollout has reached you.