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Adobe AIR

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 stands for 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.

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 131

  • 1.0 stars

    "absolute crap from an untrustworthy crap company"

    December 5, 2013  |   By jmurphy914

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.9

    Pros

    none. Dont trust adobe. Dont use their products. Adobe is finished after screwing the whole world (except Microsoft?)

    Cons

    Memory hogging, full of bugs, cant trust that adobe will even keep supporting this platform in the future (flash anybody?)

    Summary

    "As Adobe has focused on Flash Player development in the aftermath of the rise of HTML5,"

    haha CNET you wrote this article before adobe totally screwed us all and decided to squash flash support in a mere month! When they did this HTML5 wasnt on a single site yet either.

    SCREW YOU ADOBE SCREW YOU ADOBE SCREW YOU ADOBE
    I wouldnt install AIR if you had a frigin gun to my head!

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "The best program I used in a long time."

    April 7, 2013  |   By Bigjim918

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.6

    Pros

    Easy to use.

    Cons

    I can not think of any.

    Reply to this review

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Beyond Useless!!"

    November 29, 2012  |   By cardol

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.5

    Pros

    None afaik

    Cons

    I can't even install it. Asked the forum last nighto on Adobe AIR the question and no one's got back to me to explain why I can't install it. And I'm not the only one. A quick search brings up loads of pages all about AIR won't install.
    Only gave one star cos I had to give something.

    Summary

    Ruined BBC iPlayer for me :-((

    Reply to this review Read replies (2)

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Broke the UK BBC iplayer - Again"

    November 12, 2012  |   By pmounsey

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.5

    Pros

    Can't think of any

    Cons

    For at least the third time, an update has broken the BBC iplayer. This is an important application for millions of people. Why don't they test it before release?
    When it does 'work' it is slow, resource hungry and has sound sync and bandwidth issues. Compared to basic flash it is a non-starter.

    Summary

    Please developers, stay away from this junk.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Powerful APP Development tool"

    April 26, 2012  |   By DigitalAdAgency

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.2

    Pros

    Build APP once deployed across iTunes and Android Markets. Brands shouldn't care what device the user has

    Cons

    Game Center integration isn't there and Windows Mobile support is still in progress

    Summary

    We built this robust APP for Wrangler Jeans and AIR worked perfectly. At the inception of the project there was concern that AIR might not be the most robust if the APP needed to do many things and there wasn't any decent examples of games at this level. We were able to build once and deploy to iTunes and Android


    Android;
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.daa.wrangler

    iTunes;
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wrangler-rope-your-rewards/id501252209?mt=8

    DigitalAdAgency.com

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  • 5.0 stars

    "works great"

    April 19, 2012  |   By palsdad1946

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.2

    Pros

    still free and works great

    Cons

    none found yet

    Summary

    you can't beat a free program that works

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Excellent...and I know what it does!"

    April 5, 2012  |   By JasonMc92

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.2

    Pros

    I'm a professional game developer, and I chose Adobe AIR as my platform. It allows me to use all the best features of the Flash platform, plus new ones, to create standalone desktop applications for Windows and Mac! Even better, the final product runs on sparse resources, and takes up very little room.

    Cons

    The best way to develop in Adobe AIR is through Flash Professional (which I have). It is expensive to get started, though well worth the cash. There are some difficulties with keeping code inaccessible (a developer concern, but never a user-end concern) Other than that, no real cons!

    Summary

    Adobe Air is an excellent development platform for many, many types of projects. I love working with it.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "excellent piece of software needed"

    January 12, 2012  |   By darrelj

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.1

    Pros

    all good works as it should

    Cons

    nil, nothing so far

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "It easier when you keep them updated"

    November 28, 2011  |   By LauraLou51

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.1

    Pros

    thanks to adobe software I am able to upload my vids

    Cons

    It can sometimes take longer when you are a rookie like me

    Summary

    Adobe has worked to keep their products working together

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  • 2.0 stars

    "I just do not use it much."

    November 27, 2011  |   By kenneth_the_dark

    Version: Adobe AIR 3.1

    Pros

    I just do not use it much.

    Cons

    I just do not use it much.

    Reply to this review

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Results 1-10 of 131

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