Adobe AIR is a solid mobile app development environment if you know how to use it.
June 10, 2016

Adobe AIR is a solid mobile app development environment if you know how to use it.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Adobe AIR

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 was great for me because I had more experience with Flash and AS3 than any other programming environment.
  • I was able to use it for freelance jobs that earned fiscal income and programming experience.
  • It helped me carve out a niche and become a respected faculty member at the Academy of Art University.
  • Unity
Adobe AIR is more friendly to a serious programmer because it supports core programming methodology in a way that Unity does not. Both AIR and Unity have a hidden underlying layer of event management code that can add performance costs. However, Unity is more friendly to a beginner or a designer who has not studied programming principles. It has better error reporting and documentation.
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.