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Adobe AIR

Adobe AIR


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Product Demos

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Adobe Air Demo on Android/Nexus One!

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Product Details

What is Adobe AIR?

Adobe AIR Technical Details

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Reviews and Ratings


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(1-9 of 9)
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July 30, 2021

Was Once Great…

Jon Marr | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 2 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We developed a popular mobile and desktop RPG utility in Adobe AIR. The flexibility of Adobe AIR made it possible to leverage our old Flash skill set to seamlessly provide tools for both users at home and on the go. The entire development cycle for the app was built around Adobe AIR.
  • Flexible Deployment
  • Solid API with AS3
  • Once had strong user base
  • No longer supported by Adobe
  • Dwindling user base
  • Lack of new functionality
Adobe AIR was once the king of cross platform development. Sadly, I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone at this point. It’s old, falling behind, not trusted by users, and a poor choice to build either mobile or desktop applications.
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We were using it for HTML content on client websites and other web development tasks, which is a growing part of our business. However, it's no longer being supported by Adobe, which is very unfortunate. So we are moving to something else soon but will continue using AIR until it can no longer be updated etc. or it stops working.
  • Easy to learn
  • Works efficiently
  • Seamless integration
  • Adobe support (when it was still being updated)
  • Would have been nice to keep it supported
  • No updates in a long time
  • Not many tutorials on advanced features
  • Can no longer update it anywhere
With AIR, we construct apps using Adobe Animate components as ActionScript coders. We also used it to create a game for a client that ran on an intranet a couple of years ago. Since it's a self-contained app, it behaves like a normal program and so it's stable. The interface is Adobe standard so it's familiar and easy to use. AIR integrates with a browser as well, so it's hand for making add-on types of things. While it's a great program, I can't recommend it at this time as it's been discontinued. Which is a shame!
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Develop and deploy rich Internet applications by combining JavaScript, HTML, adobe flash Professional, and ActionScript. End-users can access these applications from many types of devices including laptops, desktops, smartphones, and tablets. This cross-operating-system runtime system is currently used by the IT department and addresses two principal problems: cross-system functionality portability and ease of deployment.
  • Runs on Windows, Mac OS, Android and Apple iOS.
  • Allows developers to use tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Flash Professional and even text editor to develop an app.
  • Adobe AIR runtime and AIR SDK are free.
  • Android widgets are currently not supported in AIR.
  • Not all Adobe Creative Suite applications are compatible with AIR.
  • No support for desktop Linux.
If you need to quickly develop and deploy rich Internet applications that run on a broad range of devices, applications that offer basic functionality including graphics, transactional, lookup, dialog windows, etc., then Adobe AIR works well. It does use proprietary technology and in some cases, it is CPU and memory-intensive and can slow things down.
July 28, 2021

Adobe AIR

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
We have used Adobe AIR to help our team build out different applications on windows, mac and android. It has amazing capabilities and allows us to build excellent applications.
  • Saves and stores documents and keeps organized
  • Crossplatform compatibility
  • Can build without code
  • Applications and secure and fast
  • There are not a lot of resources out there, even from Adobe
  • Not used a lot so not a lot of integrations
  • Difficult to learn at first
I would recommend [Adobe AIR] because it works very well, I just wish there were more resources out there on it to help the onboarding.
October 03, 2017

AIRing my grievances

Chris Cookson | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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.
William Alvarez | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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.
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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.
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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.
Thomas Gorence | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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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