What users are saying about

Adobe AIR

46 Ratings

Adobe Flash

77 Ratings

Adobe AIR

46 Ratings
Score 6.8 out of 101

Adobe Flash

77 Ratings
Score 6.9 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Adobe AIR

A specific scenario where Adobe air would be a good candidate, is a project that requires the same experience to be delivered via mobile, desktop/kiosk, and browser (via flash). And one in which the assets are all created using Adobe software (photoshop, illustrator, etc.)

A scenario where AIR is less appropriate would be a performance-intensive app/game, and especially any type of project that includes 3D assets. While there are 3D frameworks for Adobe AIR, there are many other solutions that would be much better suited for that task (like Unity or Unreal Engine for example).
Thomas Gorence profile photo

Adobe Flash

Adobe flash is best to use for developing applications specifically for desktop and laptop PC websites. We use it a lot with clients who send us content from other countries to stream and/or view video, audio and multimedia. Since there is no mobile browser or device support, it can not be used for any app related projects.
Emily Sperduto profile photo

Pros

  • Smooth transition from Flash/Actionscript 3, and ability to port older Flash projects to AIR with little to no code changes.
  • Ability to integrate custom and third party native extensions (ANE files) provides access to hardware and other APIs otherwise only exposed via native java/obj-c/swift.
  • Ability to code and test within a single IDE (Flash / Flash Builder / Flash Develop) makes it extremely easy to set up a project and development environment. The ability to use the Flash timeline is a huge advantage when doing animation.
  • The abundance of AS3/Flash examples and tutorials online provide a vast resource compared to other hybrid solutions.
Thomas Gorence profile photo
  • I love that Flash enables my internet browsers to expand their capabilities because it really makes websites come to life.
  • Flash allows cross-functionality under all platforms and is visually consistent across all browsers
  • From Marketing perspective, the creative ability of Flash is exceptional. If used properly, the animation features such as moving pictures, words and sounds around help create flashy projects.
Emily Sperduto profile photo

Cons

  • The technology is proprietary, and running apps created on AIR depend on Adobe's runtime to work.
  • It updates a little too often, but this is typical of Adobe in general.
  • No Windows phone support, as far as I can tell.
William Alvarez profile photo
  • Drawing tools!! The lines in the brush just look pretty ugly. It would be nice if there was a way to choose between optimizing Flash for online export and to use for video pieces.
  • Program can be unstable and can slow down if you aren't mindful of how you are using it.
  • Many glitches in the program are still present ever since I first started using it nearly 10 years ago.
Chris Cookson profile photo

Usability

Adobe AIR7.0
Based on 1 answer
Although Adobe AIR is just an SDK without an actual "UI" it's commonly used within Flash, Flash Builder, or FlashDevelop. Considering the integration with Flash IDE, there are very few tools that can compete with its features.
Thomas Gorence profile photo
No score
No answers yet
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Alternatives Considered

Since Adobe AIR can be used with the Flash IDE, there are not many other solutions with such a robust toolset. The ability to import layered photoshop files directly onto the stage, and then ability to animate and create movieclips within that IDE is an extremely valuable resource. Not many other solutions offer this. The closest competitor would be Unity3D, however animating within Unity is vastly different.

Compared to PhoneGap/Cordova, the pricing and build process is very similar, however since PhoneGap/Cordova rely on browser rendering (like webkit), the types of UI possible can be limited, and performance lacking compared to AIR.

The biggest comparison is when developing graphic/animation intense programs and apps. For these, Unity3D and Unreal tend to be a much better solution.
Thomas Gorence profile photo
ToonBoom Harmony has a lot of the compositing stuff from AfterEffects built in and it has much stronger rigging tools than Flash. It's great because it lets you do a mix between both puppeted and animation that is tweaked by hand. However documentation on how to use the program is extremely limited. Photoshop solves a lot of the issues I have with Flash's drawing tools but the actual timeline controls are pretty weak.
Chris Cookson profile photo

Return on Investment

  • Using Adobe AIR allows your team to be comprised of Flash/ActionScript 3 developers, which can be easy/cheap to find compared to other disciplines (based on location). This can lower the bottom-line in terms of engineering costs.
  • As the Adobe AIR SDK is free to use, the cost of entry is basically free. Additionally, the Adobe AIR SDK may be used in conjunction with a free IDE, such as FlashDevelop, making the entire stack completely free to use.
  • One negative impact is the stigma against Adobe Flash/AIR. Due to Adobe's less than stellar track record (in terms of support and security) with both Flash and Flash Mobile, there are numerous clients that we've dealt with, that refused to approve Adobe AIR as a tool.
Thomas Gorence profile photo
  • It's good, mostly just use it because it's included in the Adobe Creative Suite but generally not the reason for buying the program. AfterEffects and Photoshop are the main contenders.
  • It was very useful when I first graduated from college in the early 2010s, now most studios moved on to Harmony.
  • Got my first job from Flash, so I am thankful for it.
Chris Cookson profile photo

Pricing Details

Adobe AIR

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Adobe Flash

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details