Adobe acquires developer Nitobi

Adobe, Flash and Nitobi
Adobe Flash, JS and HTML5 from Nitobi

Today at the MAX 2011 technology conference, Adobe Systems Incorporated announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Nitobi Software. Nitobi is the creator of PhoneGap, a popular open source platform for easily building fast, cross-platform mobile applications with HTML5 and JavaScript.

Adobe is really ramping up its move towards HTML5 based development, and with PhoneGap, Adobe will be able to offer developers the choice of two powerful solutions for cross-platform development of native mobile apps. One is Adobe Flash that is commonly known and used on sites and in solutions all over the web, and now another with HTML5 and JavaScript at its core.

Nitobi’s PhoneGap is an open source solution designed to give web developers JavaScript access to popular mobile device features, like the camera, GPS, the accelerometer, local SQLite databases and more, without having to write full applications. PhoneGap has been downloaded more than 600,000 times to date and thousands of applications built using PhoneGap are available in mobile app stores that span devices based on Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian and other operating systems. Nitobi are no strangers to Adobe’s Flash and Flex frameworks, and have used their expertise to create interactive and intuitive web applications for clients like WebEx, PayPal and Tabrio.

Adobe have been tinkering with HTML5 for a while now, after the fall out with Apple concerning Flash. As an example Adobe Flash CS5 lets you export Adobe Flash animations straight to HTML5. The acquisition agreement with Nitobi seems a natural step for Adobe, fully adopting HTML5 for future solutions. “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.”

“Adobe has always been a big supporter of the open source community and at the forefront of enabling rich, Web based applications across screens” said Andre Charland, chief executive officer, Nitobi. “We share the same philosophy about enabling extraordinary mobile and Web applications. Becoming part of the Adobe family with its industry-leading tools and technologies opens up amazing new opportunities for PhoneGap and our customers.”

“We are also excited to announce our donation of the PhoneGap code to the Apache Software Foundation” said Dave Johnson, chief technology officer, Nitobi. “Adobe has been fully supportive of our decision, further demonstrating Adobe’s continued commitment to the developer and open source communities. The Apache Software Foundation’s model makes it possible for contributors to collaborate on open source product development and Adobe and Nitobi look forward to engaging with other community members to advance the PhoneGap technology.”