Adobe AIR: Bringing Flash Out of the Browser


It’s really a shame that hardly anyone outside of the development community understands what Adobe AIR is, because it is actually pretty damn cool. Flash enables web content in your mobile browser, and that’s all fine and good. But those experiences are still stuck in your browser. They still exist as merely part of a web page where touch controls could easily become confused between interacting with Flash content and the browser as a whole. Bring those experiences out of the browser and now we’re cooking. And that is exactly what Adobe AIR achieves.

AIR allows any Flash developer who is willing to do a bit of tweaking to their applications and games and optimize them for a mobile environment to package up those experiences into a standard issue Android APK file. This APK can then be distributed how any other application file can. From the Android Market? Sure. From a third party website? Absolutely. Flash by itself is good and all, but AIR is where it’s at for mobile.

Adobe’s Aaron Filner was kind enough to demo just a few examples of AIR in action at the Adobe Android Summit this week, which I so graciously recorded and uploaded to Youtube for all to enjoy. The actual content being showcased might not get your juices flowing, but the possibilities AIR opens up have to get you a bit excited.

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. This is what Flash is all about. Flash on the web – meh. Native flash – cake.

  2. AIR is what Apple is overlooking when they claim that HTML5 is going to be better for the end user. it’s not either/or. And AIR is better for developers. AIR offers Flash significant advantages over HTML5 for a lot of things. And I think this really underscores that it’s not flash OR html5. Flash is being pushed in new directions that will allow it and HTML5 to both improve end user experience.

  3. Jitter, stutter, jitter…

    It’s just like running a native app…on a phone that’s one-fifth the speed!

  4. @ Dave – The Nexus One runs Flash 5x faster than HTML5. So, how is Flash such a bad thing?

  5. very cool!

  6. I dont understand how this works?? Do I need to be online for these apps to work on my phone? That would suck if i had to be connected online just for these apps to work.

  7. BBoyswoosh87,
    No, you don’t need to be online for this to work. It will run like a native app.

  8. BBoyswoosh87,
    From the comment, I can see Adobe has a lot of work to do to introduce this to consumers. Looks like it is a very misunderstood technology.

  9. Sorry to keep posting. I should have put everything in one post.

    Adobe has some pretty impressive technology, Flash, Flex, and AIR. Although they share root, Adobe may want to marketing these 3 as separate entities. It is too confusing to users to try to use one branding.

  10. @Kevin: “The Nexus One runs Flash 5x faster than HTML5.”

    Your assertion is unsupported and basically nonsense. What features of Flash and HTML 5 are you comparing?

    Just look at the video. Starting at around 2:25, you’ll see a map that performs terribly compared to the browser or the native Google Maps app. That bit of evidence jibes perfectly with my own experience: the Android browser is smooth like buttah, but add the Flash plug-in and it’s a jerky, stuttering mess.

  11. Dan, thats why flash is in Beta on most devices or not ready, its suppose to be jerky, thats y they call it beta.

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