Adobe today delivered an update to its Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 software to enable developers to build applications for iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry PlayBook.
The company had previously released support for Android devices in April 2011. The new software updates are intended to allow developers to create apps once and then deploy them across multiple platforms using Adobe AIR software, Adobe’s runtime for standalone applications.
Developers can download or trial Flash Builder 4.5 online at Adobe’s website.
Adobe says a number of iOS applications developed using Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 are already listed in Apple’s App Store, including an app for the PolitiFact and Netflix Queue Manager, among others.
Sean Carey, president of HD Interactive, which has deployed two apps using Flash Builder 4.5, championed the platform for creating iOS apps.
“To create an app natively for one platform would have taken at least three times the amount of time – and then we would have had to start from scratch all over again for a native app on the next platform. It’s unbelievable the amount of time we save using Flash Builder 4.5 to build and deploy our apps,” Carey wrote in a statement.
Adobe’s Flash platform has been at the center of a contentious debate about how video is viewed on the mobile Web, a debate that has been largely driven by Apple’s refusal to support Flash video on its devices.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs went so far as to outline his displeasure with Adobe in a 2010 blog post entitled “Thoughts on Flash”.
In April 2010, Apple banned all apps from the App Store that were created using third-party developer tools, but the company later relaxed those rules, saying developers could use third-party development tools so long as the resulting apps “don’t download code.”
Google’s Android operating system fully supports Flash video on mobile devices, while Apple has remained true to its stance save for the App Store giving its blessing to the SkyFire mobile browser, which will play Flash videos on an iOS device.