Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen Reuters

Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), the leading publishing software company, introduced a new product intended to speed development of smartphone applications to reflect the shift to mobile platforms.

Dubbed PhoneGap Build, the new software is “merely an extension of our toolbox,” said Ben Forta, developer relations director for the San Jose, Calif., publishing specialist. “There’s no easy way now to write applications except in native translation.”

So PhoneGap Build is intended to spur developers because they can write applications for phones using the iOS from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), the world's most valuable technology company; Android OS from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the No. 1 search engine, or other applications from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), the world's biggest software company, or BlackBerry developer Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM).

“It will work on every phone, every device,” Forta said, including tablets like the iPad and Microsoft’s Surface.

Available immediately via Adobe’s Creative Cloud, which reported about 200,000 subscribers in the company’s most recent quarter, a standalone subscription is $9.99 a month. Membership in Creative Cloud is $49 a month for an annual subscription or $74 for just month-to-month use.

Forta explained PhoneGap Build was designed atop the company’s opens-source Apache Cordova, which has been used successfully by developers to design items the app for the 2012 London Summer Olympics by the BBC, Wikipedia and Salesforce Hybrid Mobile SDK from Inc. (NYSE: CRM).

Forta said Adobe plans to make more announcements tied to mobility and the cloud in coming weeks.

The move is clear: While market researchers such as IDC expect the overall market for PCs to rise a tepid 2 percent this year, compared with about 66 percent for tablets and and more than 44 percent for smartphones. Between them, Apple and Google have said more than 1 million apps are currently available from their app stores.

Shares of Adobe fell 52 cents to $33.21 in Monday trading. They’ve gained about 19 percent in 2012.