The Signal

The Signal is a daily column that brings you the five things you need to know in the world of mobile.
Adobe AIR, Cross-Platform Pipe Dream: Adobe AIR sounded great when it launched for desktop computers. Many of us ran different applications through it, at least once, before realizing that those apps don’t run exactly like iPhone-style apps. Adobe is now bringing AIR to mobile. The code in AIR executes natively on the device, making it legal and approved by Apple as the apps would be submitted through the app store. Is Adobe trying to reclaim the spot they had with Flash in the mobile market? Gizmodo
Microsoft on Apps: It’s not a numbers game: Microsoft clearly has no interest in a “whose is bigger” game when it comes to apps. It claimes just 11,500 apps and purposely excludes many types. Breaking down the 11,500 is what’s even more interesting: 7,500 are paid, 1,100 are using advertising, and the rest are completely free. There has yet to be any sales data from Microsoft outside of those numbers. Microsoft is without a doubt still a bit player in the apps world. PC Pro
Time Warner Cable App Highs and Lows: Did you know that Time Warner Cable offers an iPad app that lets you stream television channels when you’re connected over WiFi in your home? It effectively gives you another screen and receiver, without having to pay for either. The app, which doesn’t work over 3G, is gaining and losing channels on alternating days this past week. Some networks are all for it, like ESPN, but others like MTV and Comedy Central don’t agree that they’re within their right to offer it. The messy situation is probably a harbinger of things to come as cable operators and content owners wrestle with new business models to fit new distribution avenues. WSJ
Amazon Goes NFC: Who would have thought that a company without a mobile phone or an operating system would be competing with Google and Apple at their own game. Amazon, who has quite a significant number of accounts and payment methods attached to it, is now taking on near field communication as a mobile payment option. With it clear that Apple and Google are both sniffing out the market, we’ll have to wait and see if Amazon takes the same play that they took with their Appstore by not entering the game first. VentureBeat 
U.S. Government Funding Apps: A grant based system with $22 million in funding for the State Department’s Internet freedom program has just announced one of its first apps, a Panic Button. This app, only for Android (due to limitations in Apple’s operating system), allows you to wipe your phone with the click of a button. The use case gets sketchy when you think U.S. based, but in a foreign country this could save lives. This is not the first step the government has taken regarding Internet, mobile, or social media and how it can help around the world. It will be interesting to see what the rest of that $22 million can bring to life.  TechCrunch
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