Adobe unveils Edge tools for mobile development

Adobe has unveiled a new platform, dubbed Edge, to offer web developers an alternative to programming in Flash

Adobe has unveiled a new platform, called Edge, which will offer web developers an alternative to programming interactive websites in Flash.

Adobe said the Edge tool will help designers and developers create mobile-ready content and apps with HTML, CSS and JavaScript to target modern browsers and mobile devices.

With the boom in tablets and smartphones, companies need to adapt their websites to make them mobile-friendly. At the same time, many enterprises have built mobile apps for Apple’s App Store and Google Play mobile apps marketplaces.

Tools such as Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe’s own Flash are not available across all mobile platforms. In particular, Apple's iOS does not support Flash directly. Experts recommend web developers start building apps in HTML 5.0 to ensure their code works across different mobile platforms.

But app development is costly. A recent survey of 200 retailers by Vanson Bourne found the biggest challenges to deploying mobile commerce was integration into other eCommerce systems (38%) and lack of budget to develop a site or app (37%).

Adobe is hoping to establish Edge as a cross-platform suite of tools for mobile development. Edge Animate is a design tool for users to bring animated content to the web using HTML, JavaScript and CSS. 

Edge Inspect is Adobe’s HTML debugging tool for mobile content. 

Edge Code is the code editor, built on the Brackets open source project, which Adobe claims is optimised for web designers and developers working with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Other tools in the Adobe edge suite include:

  • Edge Reflow – A web design tool to help users create layouts and visual designs with CSS, the standard for styling HTML content;
  • Edge Web Fonts – A free web font service for using a growing library of open source fonts on websites and in apps;
  • Typekit – A service that gives designers and developers access to a library of hosted, to use on their websites;
  • PhoneGap Build – A service for packaging mobile apps built with HTML, CSS and JavaScript for popular mobile platforms.

Adobe Edge is available on the company’s Creative Cloud subscription service. Edge Animate is expected to be priced at $499 (£307) for a perpetual license, £9.75 (inc VAT) per month for a standalone subscription. The tool suite is available with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, which costs £38.11 (ex VAT) per month based on annual membership and £57.17 (ex VAT) per month for month-to-month membership.

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