The latest update to Adobe AIR is here and it brings some great new features for those developing for the iPhone. With this release Adobe has aimed for feature parity between Android and iOS, but have added some new features for desktop AIR users as well. AIR 2.6 for Android has been available for a while now, and now developers will be able to target some of the new features that come with the updated runtime.
Adobe AIR 2.6 brings support for numerous new APIs to the SDK:
- The Microphone API is now supported
- StageWebView can now be used on iOS as well. StageWebView allows mobile developers to display web content in their app by embedding the device's native browser.
- Camera, CameraUI and CameraRoll
- Retina support (Retina refers to the new display in iPhone 4 devices that has a high resolution)
- Multitasking on iOS
Adobe AIR 2.6 also improves hardware acceleration on iOS.
Android users get news features as well:
- Support for the Amazon Android Market (in addition to Google's market)
- Debugging on device over USB (USB drivers are now bundled with the AIR SDK)
- Enhanced text support, allowing scrolling, selection and text context menus for cut / copy / paste
Other major new features are:
- Native cursors support — this is a new feature included with the latest Flash Player 10.2 and now supported in AIR as well
- Asynchronous Bitmap decoding — bitmaps can now be configured to decode on another thread leading to more responsive applications
- Owned Windows — this new feature allows you to create new AIR windows as owned windows that simplify situations such as using additional windows for tool palettes without coding the behaviour yourself
- Bitmap Capture in StageWebView — content rendered in the StageWebView can now be captured as a bitmap
- Vector printing on Linux
- Native Menu enhancement — a new "preparing" even for native menus gives AIR developers further control over the Native Menu feature
- New Soft keyboard — now developers can listen in and respond themselves when a device's soft keyboard launches in response to a user clicking on a text entry field. Additionally they can programmatically request the soft keyboard
With this release of the Adobe AIR 2.6 SDK, the Packager for iPhone is no more — though not due to the kind of things that happened before — and has instead been merged with the ADT (AIR Developer Tool), allowing that single tool to generate application packages for destop, android, iOS, and native installers.