Nitobi acquired by Adobe - a Flash move
Nitobi acquired by Adobe - a Flash move
Written by Ian Elliot   
Tuesday, 04 October 2011

Nitobi, creator of PhoneGap, a development tool for building fast, easy, cross-platform mobile apps with HTML and JavaScript, has been bought by Adobe. Could it be that Adobe has just found its Flash replacement?

PhoneGap has been in the news recently for its beta release of Build and for its application to join the Apache Software Foundation.

Its other important news, that Nitobi, the company that created PhoneGap was being acquired by Adobe, was however kept under wraps so that it could be announced at the  Adobe MAX 2011 conference.



The purchase will give Adobe a new tool in the company's shift towards basing its future products on HTML5. PhoneGap allows developers to build mobile applications with HTML5, CSS and JavaScript and deploy them to iOS, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian and WebOS.

It also provides it with two very different approaches. Until now its cross-platform mobile development has been based on the Flash runtime and its packager for iOS which converts Flash apps to native code. Its a good idea but it doesn't work that well at the moment and the effort of making it work without some help could be too much.

PhoneGap support was added to the most recent version of DreamWeaver which can now be seen as the first step in its alternative direction. By allowing HTML5/JavaScript apps to be converted into native apps PhoneGap permits Adobe to free itself of native code and build a cross-platform, standards-based replacement for Flash. You could find that in the future Adobe has the tools you need to build Flash -like applications using nothing but HTML5/JavaScript. These will be able to run on just about every platform you care to name, including Apple's iOS which started Adobe's problems with Flash in the first place - by banning it.

PhoneGap will remain open source and Adobe says the Vancouver based Nitobi's employees are expected to join Adobe. The deal is expected to close by the end of October 2011.



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