Adobe, desperate to say their multimedia products are on the iPhone, are telling the world that they’ll be bringing console-level gaming to iOS with Air 3. Declaring the one-two punch of Flash Player 11 and Air 3 as the “game console of the web,” allowing fully 3D games to be played in your web browser over the Internet in the same way that your computer or console would.
In this day and age, people are pretty much aware that Flash is not permitted by Apple to run on iOS devices, but Air, described by Webglossary as “Air applications run on the desktop and are half way between web based applications (which run in a browser) and full blown desktop applications such as Word or Photoshop”, is sorta/kinda allowed. In a way. Or something.
Essentially, the combination of Flash 11 and Air 3 will create a development environment in which rich web apps can be created and both desktop and mobile devices will be able to access them, even iOS.
To say I’m skeptical is putting it mildly; Adobe has made a variety of inflated claims about what their products can do (including numerous boasts about how efficient and stable Flash performs on mobile devices, which turned out to be a whole lot of baloney). In the last 5 or 6 years it’s been rare that Adobe has followed up their high-falootin’ talk with results. There are some fairly good-looking YouTube vids going around that show off what Air is capable of, but when it comes to Adobe mobile apps, there’s usually a canyon-like gap between demo movies and the real thing.
I also wonder somewhat about the necessity of a “console platform” for the web. If you’re using your desktop, you already have access to console-quality games at your fingertips. If you’re using a mobile, well… we’ve certainly seen that you have access to it there, too. In trying to figure out which need Adobe will be meeting, I’m coming up dry.