Apple releases iAd Producer 2.0, Java updates

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Apple on Tuesday released the 2.0 version of its iAd producer software, as well as Java updates for Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion users.

iAd Producer

The Cupertino, Calif., company first released iAd producer late last year as a tool for designing interactive "rich media ads" and an alternative to Adobe's Flash.

The tool draws from Apple's Xcode developer environment to work with HTML5, CSS 3 and Javascript in a simplified interface. It includes page layout templates and pre-built user interface components to assist developers. iAd Producer 2 is available for registered Apple developers to download on the company's website.

New features included in iAd Producer 2 are: animation tools, page objects, code-editing improvements, project validation and an Object List. The project validation feature checks projects before an ad is sent to Apple, while Object List provides easy access to objects or elements on a single page.

Though iAd made a big splash when it arrived last year, the advertising service appears to have struggle in recent months. Apple is said to have cut rates by as much as 70 percent in order to attract clients.

But, recent rumors have suggested that iAds could play a part in the ecosystem surrounding an Apple television set. Speculation surrounding such a device has gained momentum in recent weeks after a biography about late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs revealed that he believed he had "cracked" the interface for a connected HDTV.

Java updates

Java update for Mac OS X 10.6 brings Java SE 5 to 1.6.0_29, providing "improved compatibility, security, and reliability." The 75.45MB download requires Mac OS X 10.6.4.

Java for OS X Lion Update 1 also updates Java SE 6 to 1.6.0_29 with improved compatibility security and reliability. The download comes in at 62.53MB and requires OS X 10.7.

Apple has said that the version of Java "that is ported by Apple, and that ships with Mac OS X," is deprecated. As Apple phases out support, Oracle is expected to step in to maintain Java, which it obtained when it acquired Sun.