updated 03:20 pm EDT, Wed October 7, 2009
Should also address performance complaints
Adobe has uncovered plans for AIR 2.0, an update to its Flash-based, cross-platform runtime environment, used in software like TweetDeck and the New York Times Reader. The v2.0 runtime will add support for accessing mass storage devices, for instance allowing a camera to transfer photos to a computer, or indirectly upload photos to a website. A new native process API will similarly let AIR apps communicate with regular desktop software, calling up extra functions when needed.
Unlike most AIR programs however, those needing local integration will have to be installed through a downloadable executable; a special development kit is under construction. Other changes scheduled for AIR 2.0 include peer-to-peer connections, and support for opening Word or PDF documents. Adobe says it also intends to address complaints about excessive memory and CPU usage.
A beta of the new runtime should be ready later in 2009, to be followed by a public release in the first half of 2010. A version of AIR for smartphones is in the works as well, though Adobe makes no mention of iPhone support. Most new smartphones will gain Flash support in 2010; Apple has deliberately blocked Flash from the iPhone out of concern for problems like battery life.