Adobe AIR, a cross-platform runtime environment developed by Adobe Systems, Inc., is coming to the TV screen, the company announced today at its developer conference Adobe MAX 2010. With the launch of Adobe AIR 2.5, the software, already supported on various smartphone, tablet and desktop platforms, is being extended to televisions with the first AIR-enabled TV shipping in Q1 2011.

Samsung will be the first hardware OEM to ship AIR 2.5 in its SmartTV devices, but no exact launch date was given. 

AIR currently supports smartphone operating systems like Android, Blackberry's Tablet OS and even iOS, says Adobe. Acer, HTC, Motorola, RIM and Samsung are all expected to ship the AIR runtime pre-installed on number of devices, including both tablets and smartphones.

Because Adobe software has had a shaky history on Apple's mobile operating system, we quizzed the company on how well AIR on iPhone was doing today. In return, Adobe provided a list of several top AIR apps available for the iPhone now, including the following:

Games

Non-games

Adobe also noted that there are hundreds of AIR for Android available on the Market today, some of which can be seen here on AppBrain, an Android Market search engine and recommendation site.

What's New in AIR 2.5

AIR's expansion to the TV is notable as this platform is becoming an increasingly important battleground for attracting developer interest, thanks to both Apple TV and Google TV's plans in this area.

However, big screen support was not the only important update for AIR today. The newly refreshed runtime also now includes support for the accelerometer, camera, video, microphone, multi-touch, gestures and geo-location, the latter which will enable developers to build location-based mobile apps using AIR software.

Also new is AIR's ability to display native browser controls within the application for the integration of HTML and .SWF content and SQLite support for databases to be cached and stored within an app. Hardware acceleration is enabled across major partners, reports Adobe, including Intel, nVidia, ST Micro, Trident, Texas Instruments, Qualcomm and more.

Availability

Adobe AIR 2.5 and its associated SDK (software developer's kit) will arrive today on Adobe's website. Android users running the latest version of the Android mobile operating system (2.2, aka "Froyo") will be able to download the updated version of Adobe AIR directly from the Android Market today. AIR 2.5 for Blackberry's Tablet OS and Samsung's SmartTV will arrive next year.

Adobe also announced new releases of Flash Platform tools, including the AIR SDK and an update to the open source Flex framework.