Air is a superset of Flash and is designed to allow developers to build standalone client applications that can be run on multiple platforms, including a variety of mobile and tablet operating systems.
The new Air 3 comes with support for ‘Air Native Extensions’, a way for developers to extend the product to work with special features that are only found on particular platforms or devices.
This capability, says the company, means that developers no longer need to wait for Adobe to add functionality and APIs to the core product and provides the freedom to support technologies such as NFC as soon as they can write or otherwise obtain an extension.
“Mobile devices offer an array of unique capabilities. Some are software, such as the sophisticated Android notification mechanism. Others are hardware, like the dual screens in the Sony S2 tablet,” the company explains. “While Adobe does not take a lowest common denominator approach when adding APIs to Air, we do focus on creating APIs that can be used across multiple devices.”
Adobe has already published five native extensions for iOS and Android devices, allowing access to gyroscope data, battery level information and other device features. Ultimately, the company sees the technology allowing developers to create plug-ins to “tap into unique software and hardware capabilities including access to device data, vibration control, magnetometers, light sensors, dual screens, near field communications and more.”