Adobe's Digital Viewer Lands on the iPad

Apple's feud with Adobe Systems over the latter's Flash technology continues to boil, but that doesn't mean the design and publishing software giant is ready to abandon Apple's line of devices. This week, Adobe unveiled a digital viewer technology for print publishers that will appear first on the Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad.

The news comes at a time of heightened interest in tablet and e-reader devices for viewing digital content, especially following the debut of the iPad, which has sold over two million units since its release in April. Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) said it worked with Wired magazine on the first implementation of the viewer technology. The Wired Reader is now available for download for $4.99 at Apple's iTunes App Store.

Adobe said Wired's implementation showcases interactive features, including video and slide-shows. For tablets like the iPad, users can dig into magazine content using touch input, including a "zoomed-out browse mode" to see content at a glance. Wired's implementation is the first of many traditional print magazines Adobe expects to use its InDesign Creative Suite 5 (CS5) tools to create branded viewers.

"We aim to make our digital viewer software available to all publishers soon and plan to deliver versions that work across multiple hardware platforms," David Burkett, vice president and general manager of Creative Solutions at Adobe, said in a statement. "It's safe to say that if you are already working in InDesign CS5, you'll be well on your way to producing a beautiful digital version of your publication."

An Adobe spokesman said the viewer technology should be broadly available to publishers later this summer.

Once close partners, Apple and Adobe came to an impasse over Adobe's Flash media software. After keeping earlier versions of Flash off the iPhone, Apple recently changed its developer guidelines effectively ensuring that newer versions of Flash wouldn't make the cut either. Apple CEO Steve Jobs cited security and performance issues, among other reasons, for the ban on Flash. The digital viewer technology that Wired has implemented complies with Apple's latest developer guidelines, a spokesperson for Adobe told InternetNews.com.

At last month's Google I/O developer conference, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) said it's working closely with Adobe on Flash support for Android-based smartphones and other devices, such as tablets, set for release later this year.

Officials from Adobe and Wired publisher Conde Nast said the viewer technology heralds a new digital advertising paradigm for print publications that offers readers more depth and interactivity with ad content. "Our partnership with Adobe allowed us to re-imagine and rebuild a print issue into an amazing digital magazine experience on iPad," Thomas Wallace, editorial director at Condé Nast, said in a statement.

David Needle is the West Coast bureau chief at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


Android, iPad, Apple, Adobe Flash, CS5