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47 Ratings
84 Ratings
47 Ratings
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Score 6.8 out of 101
84 Ratings
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Score 7.1 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Adobe AIR

  • If you want to create relatively simple applications fairly quickly and you need them to be able to run across a variety of platforms (PC, Android, iOS).
  • If new information becomes available and we need to quickly create a training module to deploy that information without too much fuss. In our situation, it would be less appropriate for creating apps that need to integrate with our main CRM system.
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Adobe Flash

Adobe is particularly well-suited for workplaces that understand its basic functionality but may be lacking in highly-skilled coders or programmers. Adobe continues to successfully bridge the gap between sophisticated users and practical users and makes it easy for novice computer users to create meaningful content and to code proficiently.
Olivia Crellin profile photo

Pros

  • Adobe AIR supports a lot of commonly needed features for mobile app development.
  • It is fairly stable and consistent once you learn how to use it.
  • It is cross-platform and is supported by some useful third-party plugins.
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  • It's very easy to use and intuitive per the types of files used.
  • It's easily able to be updated and the communication between Adobe and the user is exceptional.
  • It makes combining various file types quick and simple.
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Cons

  • Over the course of months/years, various security exploits and other issues are discovered and patched in AIR, often requiring you to rebuild and resubmit mobile apps to the various storefronts. This happens often enough that it's worth mentioning as a major con.
  • While development on Adobe AIR seems to be fairly constant, there is very little communication between the community and Adobe regarding the future and general support of AIR. The track record of Flash (and particularly Flash Mobile) does not inspire much confidence that Adobe intends to support Flash/AIR for years to come.
  • Adobe AIR does not seem to perform as well (in terms of raw performance, memory usage, framerates, responsiveness, etc.) as other hybrid solutions for certain tasks. For example using shaders tends to be experimental still, and graphic/animation intensive projects often require the use of third party frameworks such as Starling.
Thomas Gorence profile photo
  • The ability to create projectors again (Win/PC)
  • Security always seems to be an issue
  • Flash seems to be on the designer/developer decline (it has for years)
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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
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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
If you need to deliver on a laptop or PC, Flash is okay. iOS/macOS development trumps Flash easily if you have the capability. Developing for iOS and macOS can be just as fast or faster than developing for Flash. Apple Swift has great momentum - Flash is a dying technology outside of games and video delivery.
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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