Adobe Acquires Nitobi, Strengthens HTML5 Strategy

Every year during the MAX technology conference, the latest technology trends and new products are showcased. And at the start of this year’s event, Adobe didn’t disappoint. First the company announced the acquisition of privately held company Nitobi Software. And second, the company is unleashing the third public preview version of the new generation of Web standards, the Adobe Edge software.

Nitobi makes PhoneGap and PhoneGap build, one of the popular open source platforms to create cross-platform mobile applications with HTML5 and JavaScript.  PhoneGap’s open source platform is widely used in building applications for devices based on Android, iOS, BlackBerry and other operating systems.

Then there’s HTML5, a trend that Adobe has been following very closely in an effort to take hold of future technology uses.  The company recently announced two tools to support web development using HTML5.  And the addition of Nitobi to its family will further strengthen Adobe’s products portfolio, offering developers a platform to create next generation, web-rich content solutions using HTML5 and JavaScript with PhoneGap, and also using Adobe Flash with Adobe AIR.

“PhoneGap has proven to be an industry-defining app solution for HTML5 developers,” said Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager, Platform, Adobe. “PhoneGap is a fantastic solution for developing a broad range of mobile apps using the latest Web standards, and is already integrated with Dreamweaver CS5.5. It’s a perfect complement to Adobe’s broad family of developer solutions, including Adobe AIR, and will allow us to continue to provide content publishers and developers with the best, cutting-edge solutions for creating innovative applications across platforms and devices.”

To give developers a peek into its long term goals around HTML5, Adobe also released the third public preview version of the authoring tools based on HTML5/CSS3, Adobe Edge. With Edge, developers can build a web site with a variety of animation effects without coding or using JavaScript.  Adobe added interactivity features on this version of the software to elaborate features on web pages. The previous release of Adobe Edge was a hit, reaching 50k downloads in its first day.

“Interactivity is the most requested functionality thus far,” said Mark Anders, the Adobe associate who leads the Edge project. “With it, Edge changes from a tool that essentially spruces up a page as it load into one that changes as people use it.”

More companies are innovating around HTML5 technology. Last month InMobi acquired Sprout, which creates HTML5 rich media creative platform to help agencies and brands reduce the complexity of rich media mobile ad creation and distribution.  Also, Google is apparently building HTML5 versions of their browser-based web apps to present a uniform interface on supported devices, covering both Android and iOS.