CNET Editors' review
As Adobe has focused on Flash Player development in the aftermath of the rise of HTML5, it hasn't ignored its other content-delivery system: Adobe AIR. AIR 3 brings some hefty speed improvements to the system, thanks to a little something new called Stage3D.
In case you're new to AIR, which means Adobe Integrated Runtime, it's a platform that runs applications across multiple systems without coding in more than one language. It's powerful and respected for giving people the same end-user experience, whether on Windows, Mac, or Linux. One very well-known AIR app is TweetDeck. If you try to install an AIR app without having previously installed AIR, you'll be automatically prompted to download it.
Stage3D brings combined hardware-accelerated 2D and 3D graphics rendering that's up to 1,000 times faster than previous versions of AIR. Although it's only for desktops at the time of writing, Adobe promises that it will soon take Stage3D to its mobile apps. The advancements offered by Stage3D should bring far more complex graphics development for the player, and allow some developers to use it as a viable alternative for their projects, especially for cross-platform efforts. It includes more support for Android devices including software licensing and hardware, captive runtime support for developers to bundle AIR along with their programs (removing the requirement to separately install AIR), and native extensions for enhancing AIR's capabilities.
AIR has allowed developers to make hybrid applications, or desktop tools that can integrate with various Web services, while still allowing some offline functionality that Web browsers don't yet have. This includes things like taskbar and dock notifications. With these latest updates, Adobe is really improving AIR as an alternative development environment and maintaining its relevance on the Web.
From Adobe Systems:
What's new in this version:
-  [Win8] inconsistent freeze in performance moments after your finger(s) leave the touch screen (touch display only, not mouse)
-  Flash App created using Flex sdk 3.3 take about 10 seconds longer on Windows 7 thank on the Windows XP
-  [Mac]MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN/MOUSE_UP does not be fired when is pressed
-  [Mac] PDF doesn't render when rendermode is set to direct or gpu on Mac OS
- [Win8]... See all new features
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All versions:2.2 stars
out of 5 votes
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"Will not work on my Mac"
Version: Adobe AIR 3.4
cannot think of one
to many to write about
"Will not install"
Version: Adobe AIR 3.4
I don't know
Copy of error report answer:
Double click on AdobeAIR.dmg, then on Adobe AIR installer.app; window comes up, entitled Adobe AIR Setup; click on update as per instructions; text disappears, window remains--"forever" until closed; then "Adobe AIR Installer quit unexpectedly." NO, I expected it to quit when I closed the window....
And I did click on "Reopen" which simply repeated the process with the error report coming up when I closed the window. Had to click on cancel to get it to go away.
Will not install on Snow Leopard 10.6.8
"Does not install for me."
Version: Adobe AIR 3.1
Can't use it.
I am running Snow Leopard that has all the updates. The installer just sits in the dock and does nothing.
When I quit it, it crashes.
"Haven't given it a fair try yet."
Version: Adobe AIR 2.0.2
Have yet to put it to it's paces.
It would be unfair to complain at this time.
Still haven't used the software.
"May break evil silverlight plans"
Version: Adobe AIR 1.0
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com.
This is our only hope against MS SilverLight monster which only exists as a plugin (viewer) for OS X.
Or, we will be punished in first opportunity for using OS X.
For anyone dares to claim Silverlight is platform neutral just because there is a viewer plugin, I would ask about XCode plugin and nothing else.
I don't like writing "Anti M$" type of comments but the reality is very clear speaking from OS X persfective.
Every tool you need to produce a top class Adobe Air application can be downloaded freely/purchased/trialed from versiontracker.com OS X edition. That is what matters for my platform of choice.
Lets hope Adobe keeps up the good work for Air.
If this comment sounds paranoid to you, I would ask where is Windows Media Player OS X Universal Leopard edition. Quicktime is a great, advanced technology but a half hack "component" can't do what actual player can do. That is the trick MS prepares for Silverlight.
Tip to Adobe: Use every single acceleration step possible even including Altivec/Quartz2d.
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