Adobe AIR Reviews

51 Ratings
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Score 8.1 out of 100

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Reviews (1-5 of 5)

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October 03, 2017
Chris Cookson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
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It's a great middleware solution for designing an app that is compatible with many devices that can pass relatively quickly through QA. We like to use it for developing applications for desktop use that aren't too heavy. Allows for fast, scaleable iterating.
  • Easy to develop for, skills for programs such as Adobe Animate and basic backend translate well to the program.
  • Stable across multiple different platforms.
  • Can get a working prototype really quickly
  • Adobe Air applications are taxing on a user's CPU, especially considering how simple a lot of the apps are.
  • Updating and installing Air based applications is very user unfriendly, often asks for updates that are aggressively pushed to the front of the user.
  • As HTML 5 has gotten more and more sophisticated, for basic things a lot of times browser-based apps make a lot more sense.
Hackathons, making prototypes, testing an idea out with your team to see if it works before embarking on a more ambitious project. Currently we don't really use Adobe Air for any end user experiences.
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April 17, 2017
William Alvarez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
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We use Adobe AIr to create simple training modules for our sales people and sales associates that include text and animation. The modules are structured much like games, which is part of why we chose AIR to create them. It enables us to get training content to both new hires and existing staff in a way that is a bit more fun than the typical training material.
  • Cross-platform functionality. Apps can work on different operating systems.
  • Easy to convert existing applications.
  • Very good support and documentation.
  • 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.
  • 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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June 07, 2016
Thomas Gorence | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
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I've used Adobe AIR to create hybrid/cross-platform apps and games that needed to run on Android, iOS, and desktop/kiosk devices. Using AIR allowed our team to stay within the Adobe suite (Illustrator, Flash, Photoshop), and also provided an easy way to build for multiple platforms with a single code base. This addresses the business problem of managing multiple versions of the same project, and helps keep assets standardized (due to integration with Adobe Creative Suite/Cloud).
  • 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.
  • 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.
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).
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June 10, 2016
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
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I previously taught Adobe AIR to students interested in making mobile game apps. I also occasionally use it when making my own video game apps on the side. However, I now teach Unity and tend to use that technology for side projects as well. It's just easier to use and tends to have better performance.
  • 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.
  • It is cumbersome to update if you use Flash Builder.
  • It still relies on Flash and vector graphics and therefore can have poor performance unless you are using a third-party library such as Starling.
  • It is updated somewhat slowly and is still missing some useful features such as controller support.
Adobe AIR is well-suited for a developer who is already familiar with Flash and AS3. It is well-suited for 2D app development using Starling or another third-party graphics library. However, to be used appropriately and avoid errors and poor performance, a basic understanding of programming principles is needed, so it's not great for a designer who hasn't studied a lot of coding.
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June 17, 2016
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
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Adobe Air is no longer being used by Disney Interactive. In the past, it was used to quickly build and release high quality games for iOS and Android mobile platforms. Starting two years ago, Disney caught wind that Adobe Air was no longer going to be supported by Adobe in a capacity that we felt was worth our investment. At the same time, both Apple and Unity dropped support for Flash, and we made the executive decision to completely switch our tech stack over to Unity, as it offered much better support and arguably better performance for about the same level of time investment.
  • Adobe Air helped us very quickly build and iterate on games for both mobile and web.
  • Adobe Air gave our artists good integrated tools and a pipeline to make high quality 2D static and animated assets that were relatively easy to get into the game.
  • Adobe Air allowed us to deploy to both Android and iOS platforms with relative ease, without needing to have an Apple laptop to build from.
  • Adobe Air - at the time - was extremely difficult to get into in a non-professional sense. The industry standard tools for Air (Flash Builder and Flash Professional) were far too expensive to warrant purchasing as an independent developer wanting to try the technology. At the same time, Unity Free version provided a very easy way for curious developers to explore their tech with relatively few strings attached. As a result, it became increasingly more easy for us to find talented Unity engineers than Flash engineers, especially with the industry basically predicting the imminent death of Flash.
  • Adobe Air's iOS crash logs were almost completely useless for debugging. Because Air used its own iOS compiler (which admittedly DID give us the ability to build iOS games without a Mac), symbolicating crash logs for Air apps gave you nothing of use whatsoever. As a result, a lot of crash bugs on our end (mostly caused by native extensions) went unfixed for the lifetime of our products.
  • On the subject of native extensions - they were absolutely horrible to write and debug in Air mobile. There was VERY little documentation regarding how to build and maintain native extensions. As a result, being the engineer assigned to native extensions was about as exciting as being the janitor assigned to cleaning the toilets at Taco Bell.
I still recommend new up and coming engineers to give Air and Flash a shot, because it's still pretty easy to learn and quick to develop for. I'm much less likely these days, as the heyday of Air has mostly come to an end, but I still feel like ActionScript and Air give newcomers a fairly intuitive way to build fast little games and apps to deploy on the web as well as mobile. I'm not up to date on the current pricing plans for the industry tools, but I can say that neither exorbitantly priced software nor expensive subscription models are any way to get new developers to adopt your tech. Take a hint from Unity and Unreal and let the tiny indies develop for free.
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What is Adobe AIR?

Categories:  .Net Development

Adobe AIR Technical Details

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