A new product from Adobe, InMarket, represents the next step in the company’s battle to help software developers publish their applications as widely as possible. It could also blunt the effects of Apple’s blockade against Adobe’s flagship product, Flash.
Apple has the distinction of running what’s commonly called “the” app store, but plenty of other companies offer consumers similar marketplaces. The huge numbers of apps that people download for mobile devices have cemented the role of the app store, no matter who offers it. An app store makes a device more valuable by giving people more ways to use it, and software developers have embraced this way of distributing the programs they create.
There’s a dark side to the boom, however. Many consumers have felt the pain of hearing about a cool app and finding out that they can’t get it for their device. Few developers have the time and resources to write applications that run on any device, let alone to negotiate all the deals they would need to get into every app store. And companies that want to open an app store have to attract these exhausted developers and convince them that the time and money they invest in this new market will pay off.
With InMarket, announced Monday at an annual Adobe conference in Los Angeles, the company plans to handle all the difficulties of working with an app store. Developers could submit apps through InMarket and have them automatically go to all of Adobe’s partner stores. Adobe would handle the payment details, and the developer could access any money made from the app through a single interface. On the other side of things, Adobe plans to deliver applications to app stores that desperately need content.
“We’re trying to make it so the developer only has to deal with one company, and we’ll take care of all the complexity behind the scenes,” says Dave Gruber, group product marketing manager for Adobe.
Adobe plans to launch with Intel’s AppUp store, which offers applications for netbooks, as its first partner. The company also has deals with Samsung (including for its app store aimed at set-top boxes) and Acer. Gruber says that the company expects to have 10 stores supported by InMarket in 2011, on such devices as tablets, set-top boxes, and phones.
InMarket will be integrated with other tools from Adobe that help developers write applications that can be published in the variety of formats suited for the different app stores.