At the developer conference in San Francisco today, RIM and Adobe announced a collaboration around creating content for BlackBerry devices and Adobe’s Creative Suite tools. This builds off of the momentum we started with RIM when they announced they were joining the Open Screen Project and dedicated to bringing Flash Player to BlackBerry. There are some good links on Techmeme which cover the announcement pretty well.
Creating Content with Adobe Tools
Adobe is known for first class design and development tools and today’s announcement means that you’ll be able to use those tools to target RIM’s devices. There are going to be multiple points of integration. One of the critical pieces of creating mobile content is to make sure it is optimized for the smaller screens and often less bandwidth. In Creative Suite 5 we’re going to support optimized graphic and video content from Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Illustrator. We’re also supporting a seamless workflow between those design tools and Blackberry’s developer tools including the BlackBerry Web Plug-in for Eclipse and the BlackBerry Java Plug-in for Eclipse.
More interestingly for developers, we’re going to be working closely with RIM to enable full support for BlackBerry devices in Creative Suite Design Central, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks. You’ll be able to use those three tools to test and create content for BlackBerry’s mobile browser as well as to create widgets directly on the BlackBerry device. Device Central is a fantastic way for testing both HTML and Flash content for specific mobile devices. It lets you tweak battery settings, screen sizes, and other phone-specific functionality. Now we’ll have support for most of the BlackBerry phones so you never have to leave Creative Suite to see exactly how something will look on the phone.
Lastly, on the application front, Adobe is to be working on applications for BlackBerry that will let users take rich media and image content from the phone and quickly and easily bring it into tools like Photoshop Elements and Photoshop.com so it can be edited and modified.
My colleague Mark Doherty has some great stats on what the BlackBerry market looks like and what this collaboration will mean for people who want to use their existing skills with Adobe’s tools to create mobile content for BlackBerry. Seeing the level of cooperation between Adobe and RIM is an exciting thing for designers and developers. Unlike some companies I think RIM sees the value in partnerships and with the breadth of Adobe tools it means they’re able to leverage our community for all kinds of different content- not just Flash.
Next year is going to be incredibly exciting for Adobe developers and designers. We’ve already talked a lot about Flash Player being available for smart phones next year, you’ll undoubtedly be hearing more about AIR, and hopefully we’ll continue to see deeper mobile integration across all of our tools just like you’re seeing with RIM here today. For more information you can check out the BlackBerry portal on Adobe’s site to get the scoop on the details and see some of the workflows in action.