Mobile Tech

Qualcomm Tosses Adobe Flash Into the BREW

Qualcomm and Adobe Systems are bringing Flash-based applications to Qualcomm’s BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless) mobile platform. The two companies jointly announced their plans at Qualcomm’s BREW conference in San Diego on Thursday.

Flash support will make it much easier for Flash developers to deliver rich Internet applications and content to mass market handset devices.

“BREW Mobile Platform with Flash technology represents a major step toward the goals of the Open Screen Project, and we look forward to bringing two developer communities together to deliver rich Web and video experiences across mobile devices,” noted Gary Kovacs, general manager of Mobile and Device Solutions at Adobe.

Adobe’s Open Screen Project is aimed at delivering rich Internet experiences across any device that has a screen — including mobile phones, of course.

Any additional support for Flash in the mobile world is important for Adobe, which was snubbed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs earlier this year when he noted that Flash wasn’t yet suitable for the popular iPhone. In contrast, Flash is installed an the vast majority of PCs and Macs.

Mass-Market Appeal

“Qualcomm strives to stay ahead of the growth and evolution in the wireless industry by providing an increasingly robust development platform. Our BREW Client technologies are present on millions of mass-market handsets worldwide, and BREW Mobile Platform will expand these capabilities while fully embracing support for Adobe’s Flash technology and future roadmap,” explained Bobb Briggs, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Internet Services.

He added that the combination of technologies will let the industry “create advanced devices, applications and services for the mass market with features typically only available on high-end devices.”

What’s Brewing

The BREW Mobile Platform extends the widely deployed BREW client’s rich set of services and application programming interfaces (APIs), Adobe said, with new enhancements in platform capabilities, multimedia and content support, access to device databases, connectivity support, touchscreen user interface development and more. The integrated support for Flash technology will also work with Adobe ActionScript, which will help Flash developers to create standalone applications that integrate mobile device functionality with Web content and services.

Both Adobe and Qualcomm said they would support the effort with tools from each company’s development angle, meaning that existing BREW-focused developers can use an expanded and integrated toolset available from Qualcomm — including integrated support for the popular Eclipse and Visual Studio Integrated Development Environments. Flash designers and developers can use Adobe’s existing Flash development tools, including Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, Adobe Device Central CS3 and other tools in Adobe Creative Suite 3.

Easy Flash Publishing

“Given developers can use the same tools and workflow, it’s relatively easy to publish for BREW from an existing Flash application,” Stefan Offermann, a spokesperson for Adobe, told TechNewsWorld.

BREW Mobile Platform is fully backward-compatible with applications developed for previous versions of the BREW client, Qualcomm said. The BREW Mobile Platform will be open to developers, operators and handset manufacturers worldwide, and both companies expect the first release of BREW Mobile Platform with Adobe Flash technology to be available on Qualcomm chipsets in the fall of 2008.

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