Adobe has just announced the release of AIR 2.5, the latest update to the cross-platform app environment. With this release the big focus was on bringing the platform to new devices, mobiles and even TVs. Adobe AIR 2.5 for TV is the first full-fledged attempt at bringing Adobe-powered content to TV sets."In the last few years, many of the major manufacturers in the TV space have started to bring applications to the TV screen, including video and audio streaming applications such as Netflix, Pandora, Vudu, Blockbuster, Rhaposdy, and Napster, but also news and infotainment applications," Adobe writes.
Adobe did have a version of Flash Lite for TV devices, but AIR 2.5 brings full Flash support along with support for all of the capabilities of the AIR platform. A few new APIs have been added and others have been optimized for the specifics of these devices.
"We've built a tuned and optimized version of AIR that is designed to work on TV hardware," Adobe said.
For now, the announcement of AIR 2.5 for TV concerns mostly developers since no devices are shipping with support for the platform.
While AIR for TV aims to provide an experience on par with what it brings to the desktop and devices such as tablets, there are some specifics to consider.
Adobe says that TV manufacturers focus on a couple of things with their hardware, a video decoder and a graphics chip for 2D acceleration. This makes sense since TV need to be able to run full HD 1080p content flawlessly as well as be able to run a nice UI for the menus.
CPUs, however, are on the lower end, usually less powerful than even the ones in smartphones. This is why Adobe encourages developers to create applications that rely less on the CPU and more on the dedicated chips included in TV sets or Blu-ray players.
The first devices with support for Adobe AIR will come from Samsung next year.
"With the introduction of AIR 2.5 for TV, Adobe is super excited to have Samsung as a launch partner, bringing the best platform for building rich content together with the largest TV and Blu-ray maker," Adobe wrote.