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Wired Can't Quit Adobe, Pours Cash Into Flash-less iPad App


Wired magazine's efforts at producing an iPad imprint aren't going to be stifled by the spat between Adobe and Apple over Flash, apparently. The e-mag is plowing ahead—on a path paved with cash, apparently.

We're all familiar with the notion that the iPad can save newsprint and magazine publishing by now (good news for Wired magazine, whose very moniker sounds a bit dated in the wireless iPad era), and we've all seen several times the efforts by Condé Nast to transmogrify their slowly-sinking science-tech magazine into a tablet e-zine—Condé is aware of the iPad's "savior" status too, of course. We've even seen some odd statements from Wired that it'll be leveraging Adobe tech, even though we know the iPad won't support Flash...and we've wondered what's been going on.

Well, now we know: Adobe is helping Wired, directly. Condé Nast has made it clear that the recent development in the Apple-Adobe battle won't affect the plans for Wired. Apple banned the use of intermediary compilers that do part of the transcoding job automatically, meaning you could craft an iPad app in Adobe's software, then have a compiler rejig it to run on the iPad. It's been working directly with Adobe, apparently, and though the Adobe guys will probably have to take a slightly more backseat role from now on, they'll still be helping. The point is that Wired, like many publications, uses Adobe software to craft its printed version...and the Condé team was clearly hoping that it could automate a lot of the iPadification of Wired.

You'd expect a magazine about high-tech to leap wholeheartedly into the new mode of working and craft an innovative, highly unique and value- (and revenue-) generating iPad app. Instead, it seems Condé is throwing money an old tech, forcing the publication to squeeze and twist itself through a number of Adobe hoops before emerging on Apple's tablet. Can the resulting mongrel really take full advantage of the latest innovations and multitouch magic? Can any forced collaboration with Adobe live up to eye-popping innovations we're already seeing on apps such as Alice? The longer Wired takes to deliver on its promises, the higher the bar is set.

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