Adobe AIR 2.6 boosts speed, enhances iOS, Android support

March 22, 2011 – 10:03 by in News Print Share No Comment

Adobe AIR applications haven’t exactly been renowned for their great performance to date, but that could begin to change with AIR 2.6, released today, which comes packed with major new features.

The new SquirrelFish Extreme JavaScript engine should run code 50% faster than before, for instance. Adobe claims that a smaller and more efficient runtime will cut CPU usage by up to 30%, and reduce memory consumption immediately, no application recompilation required. And hardware graphics acceleration should help to maximise rendering performance on Android and iOS systems.

There’s much better support for most mobile devices. AIR 2.6 allows you to take advantage of iOS 4 features like multitasking, for instance, or front and back cameras. You can now control applications by shaking or rotating your device (where applicable). It’s possible to debug Android apps via USB (no wireless connection required), and AIR 2.6 is just better generally at allowing you to take advantage of every platform.

So you can now record audio locally, say, without the need for a server; capture pictures or videos directly from your device’s camera; and new mass storage detection makes it easier to work with cameras, USB flash drives and any other storage devices that might be available.

Elsewhere, new support for multitouch (Windows 7, Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, and iOS) and gestures (Windows, Mac OS, Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, and iOS) will allow developers to create richer, more interesting and interactive applications.

And there a host of other useful additions, everywhere you look: geo location support, cross-platform vector printing, automatic soft keyboard support and many networking additions (UDP/ IPv6/ TSL/SSL sockets, more). It’s an impressive list, and should help to rectify many of the existing problems with AIR apps: if you’re a developer, you really need to give AIR 2.6 a closer look.

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