Adobe AIR (formerly Adobe Integrated Runtime) is a cross-platform runtime system developed by Adobe Systems for building desktop applications and mobile applications, programmed using Adobe Animate, ActionScript and optionally Apache Flex. The runtime supports installable applications on Windows, OS X and mobile operating systems including Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS. It also originally ran on Linux, but support was discontinued as of version 2.6 in 2011.
Adobe AIR is a runtime environment that allows Adobe Animate content and ActionScript 3.0 coders to construct applications and video games that run as a stand alone app and behave similar to a native application on supported platforms. A Flash Player or HTML5 application used in a browser does not require installation, while AIR applications require installation from an installer file (Windows and OS X) or the appropriate App Store (iOS and Android). AIR applications have unrestricted access to local storage and file systems, while browser-based applications only have access to individual files selected by users.
Adobe AIR internally uses a shared codebase with the Flash Player rendering engine and ActionScript 3.0 as the primary programming language. Applications must specifically be built for Adobe AIR to use additional features provided, such as multi-touch, file system integration, native client extensions, integration with Taskbar or Dock, and access to accelerometer and GPS devices. HTML5 applications may run on the WebKit engine included in AIR.
Notable applications built with Adobe AIR include eBay Desktop, Pandora One desktop, TweetDeck, the former Adobe Media Player, Angry Birds, and Machinarium, among other multimedia and task management applications. According to Adobe, over 100,000 unique applications have been built on AIR, and over 1 billion installations of the same were logged from users across the world, as of May 2014. Adobe AIR was voted as the Best Mobile Application Development product at the Consumer Electronics Show for two consecutive years (CES 2014 and CES 2015).
|Initial release||February 25, 2008|
22.214.171.124 / April 25, 2019
126.96.36.199 / March 15, 2019
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
BlackBerry Tablet OS
BlackBerry 10 (Discontinued since OS 10.3.1)
Linux (Discontinued since v2.6)
|Platform||IA-32, x86-64, ARM, and MIPS|
|Available in||Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish|
Using AIR, developers can access functionality including text, vector graphics, raster graphics, video, audio, camera, and microphone capability. Adobe AIR also includes additional features such as file system integration, native client extensions, desktop integration and access to connected devices. AIR enables applications to work with data in different ways, including using local files, local SQLite databases (for which AIR has built-in support), a database server, or the encrypted local store included with AIR.
On desktop platforms, AIR supports:
On mobile platforms, AIR supports many mobile hardware features:
In 2011, the addition of Stage3D allowed AIR apps access to GPUs for hardware acceleration. Several third-party frameworks have been developed to build upon the functionality of Stage3D, including the Starling Framework and Away3D. These frameworks are also compatible with AIR, and provide vital performance improvements to AIR apps published for mobile devices.
AIR apps can be augmented in functionality with the usage of AIR Native Extensions (ANEs). Native extensions are plug-in code libraries that contain native code wrapped with an ActionScript API, allowing developers to access native features not otherwise usable in AIR, such as Apple Game Center or Google Cloud Messaging.
Native extensions may be programmed in the native language on each platform, allowing access to the full set of platform APIs provided by the developer. (C++ for Windows, Java for Android, Objective-C for iOS).
AIR is a cross-platform technology and AIR applications can be repackaged with few or no changes for many popular desktop and mobile platforms. Different installation options exist for each platform.
AIR applications may be published with or without the AIR runtime. Applications packaged with the AIR runtime are larger in file size, and are known as "captive runtime" applications. If the runtime is not embedded in the app, it must be installed separately.
In January 2009, Adobe claimed that there were over 100 million installations of Adobe AIR worldwide, and that "the majority of AIR runtime installations occur at the time the first AIR application is installed by a user". In May 2014, Adobe claimed that over 100,000 unique applications were built on AIR, and over 1 billion installations of the same were logged from users across the world.
The latest version of Adobe AIR, version 28, contains Adobe Flash Player 28, and is available for Windows 7 and later, as well as OS X 10.9 and later. Official support for desktop Linux distributions ceased in June 2011 with version 2.6.
|Platform||Installer file support||App Store support|
|Windows||.air, .exe and .msi||None|
|OS X||.air and .dmg||With captive runtime|
|PlayBook||.bar||BlackBerry App World|
AIR does not provide direct access to native GUI elements such as navigation bars or controls. Native extensions can be used to access additional native resources.
The AIR SDK is available as a free standalone download for software developers to make AIR applications. SDK users do not need to install any commercial software to use the SDK, although several options are available. AIR apps can be compiled from the command line using the AIR compiler included in the SDK; the compiler can also be called from an IDE to eliminate the need for the command line.
AIR can also be used with Adobe Flex. Flex is an integrated collection of stylable graphical user interface, data manipulation and networking components, and applications built upon it are known as "Flex" applications. Flex GUIs are defined in MXML, similar to how Android and Microsoft Visual Studio define GUIs; however, Flex does not give access to native GUI components.
AIR applications built without the Flex framework allow greater flexibility and performance, and are known as "pure ActionScript" applications. Video games built on the AIR platform are typically pure-Actionscript projects. Various open-source component frameworks are available for pure ActionScript projects, such as MadComponents, that provide UI Components at significantly smaller SWF file sizes.
Adobe distributes three commercial software products for developing of AIR applications in ActionScript:
Third-party development environments that target the AIR runtime are also available, including:
Adobe made a public preview release of AIR (then called Apollo) along with a software development kit (SDK) and extension for developing Apollo applications with the Flex framework, on March 19, 2007.
On June 10, 2007, Apollo was renamed to AIR and a public beta release of the runtime was launched. Public beta 2 of AIR SDK was released on October 1, 2007. Public beta 3, was released on December 12, 2007.
Version 1.0 of the Adobe AIR runtime and SDK was released on February 25, 2008.
Version 1.1 of Adobe AIR was released on June 16, 2008. This release included a number of new features including:
In addition, version 1.1 works on Microsoft Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and 64-bit editions of Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise.
Adobe AIR 1.5 was released on November 17, 2008. New capabilities included:
Released on February 24, 2009, AIR 1.5.1 was primarily a compatibility update that includes bug fixes and security updates.
Released on July 30, 2009, AIR 1.5.2 introduced a number of minor new features and compatibility issues. Some of the important fixes included:
Adobe AIR 1.5.3 was released on December 8, 2009. It included fixes for a number of compatibility and security related issues. The BBC iPlayer Desktop manager v1.5.15695.18135 is the first version to use AIR 1.5.3.
The Adobe AIR 2 public beta was released on November 16, 2009 followed by the beta 2 on February 2, 2010 and the release candidate on May 11, 2010. In addition, Adobe AIR for Android was announced on February 12, 2010. AIR 2 was officially released for Windows, Mac OS and Linux on June 10, 2010 and Android on October 8, 2010. It dropped the ability to run on PowerPC Macs.
Adobe AIR 2.5 was released on October 24, 2010 at the Adobe MAX 2010 conference.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.0 on October 3, 2011. AIR 3.0 added the ability to run on native 64-bit CPU architecture and use hardware accelerated graphics rendering, captive runtime, native extensions, JPEG-XR image format, LZMA compression for SWF files, and H.264 encoding.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.1 on November 11, 2011.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.2 on March 28, 2012.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.3 on June 8, 2012.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.4 on August 21, 2012.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.5 on November 6, 2012.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.6 on February 12, 2013.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.7 on April 9, 2013.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.8 on July 24, 2013.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.9 on October 8, 2013.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 4.0 on January 14, 2014. It was released to beta on October 30, 2013, code named Jones.
Adobe applied a new numbering scheme for the Flash products versions to synchronize them with the version numbering of the Flash Player, starting from Flash Player 13.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 14.0 on June 10, 2014.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 15.0 on September 9, 2014. It includes improvements to Stage3D technology, AIR Gamepad enhancements, and a new packaging engine for iOS apps that reduces compile times from minutes to seconds.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 16.0 on January 13, 2015.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 17.0 on March 12, 2015.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 18.0 on June 9, 2015.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 19.0 on September 21, 2015.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 20.0 on December 8, 2015. Android SDK (API Level 21) has been upgraded in the AIR Runtime, applications built using this AIR SDK and later will only support Android OS 4.0 or greater.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 21.0 on March 10, 2016.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 22.0 on June 16, 2016.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 23.0 on September 13, 2016.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 24.0 on December 13, 2016.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 25.0 on March 14, 2017.
Adobe released Adobe AIR 26.0 on June 13, 2017.
We will no longer be releasing our own versions of Adobe AIR and the AIR SDK for desktop Linux, but expect that one or more of our partners will do so. The last Adobe release of AIR for desktop Linux is AIR 2.6. By focusing on the porting kit and support of partner implementations, we expect to provide broader support for AIR across Linux-based PCs and devices, whereas our own desktop Linux releases have accounted for less than 0.5% of lifetime AIR downloads.
Adobe AIR 1.5 Update for Flash CS4 Professional
ActionScript is used primarily for the development of websites and software targeting the Adobe Flash Player platform, used on Web pages in the form of embedded SWF files.
ActionScript 3 is also used with Adobe AIR system for the development of desktop and mobile applications. The language itself is open-source in that its specification is offered free of charge and both an open source compiler (as part of Apache Flex) and open source virtual machine (Mozilla Tamarin) are available.
ActionScript is also used with Scaleform GFx for the development of 3D video game user interfaces and HUDs.Adobe Animate
Adobe Animate (formerly Adobe Flash Professional, Macromedia Flash, and FutureSplash Animator) is a multimedia authoring and computer animation program developed by Adobe Systems.Animate is used to design vector graphics and animation for television programs, online video, websites, web applications, rich internet applications, and video games. The program also offers support for raster graphics, rich text, audio and video embedding, and ActionScript scripting. Animations may be published for HTML5, WebGL, Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) animation and spritesheets, and legacy Flash Player (SWF) and Adobe AIR formats.It was first released in 1996 as FutureSplash Animator, and then renamed Macromedia Flash upon its acquisition by Macromedia. It was created to serve as the main authoring environment for the Adobe Flash platform, vector-based software for creating animated and interactive content. It was renamed Adobe Animate in 2016 to more accurately reflect its market position then, since over a third of all content created in Animate uses HTML5.Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash is a deprecated multimedia software platform used for production of animations, rich Internet applications, desktop applications, mobile applications, mobile games and embedded web browser video players. Flash displays text, vector graphics and raster graphics to provide animations, video games and applications. It allows streaming of audio and video, and can capture mouse, keyboard, microphone and camera input. Related development platform Adobe AIR continues to be supported.
Artists may produce Flash graphics and animations using Adobe Animate. Software developers may produce applications and video games using Adobe Flash Builder, FlashDevelop, Flash Catalyst, or any text editor when used with the Apache Flex SDK.
End-users can view Flash content via Flash Player (for web browsers), AIR (for desktop or mobile apps) or third-party players such as Scaleform (for video games). Adobe Flash Player (supported on Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux) enables end-users to view Flash content using web browsers. Adobe Flash Lite enabled viewing Flash content on older smartphones, but has been discontinued and superseded by Adobe AIR.
The ActionScript programming language allows the development of interactive animations, video games, web applications, desktop applications and mobile applications. Programmers can implement Flash software using an IDE such as Adobe Animate, Adobe Flash Builder, Adobe Director, FlashDevelop and Powerflasher FDT. Adobe AIR enables full-featured desktop and mobile applications to be developed with Flash and published for Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Wii U, and Switch.
Although Flash was previously a dominant platform for online multimedia content, it is slowly being abandoned as Adobe favors a transition to HTML5. Flash Player has been deprecated and has an official end-of-life at the end of 2020. However, Adobe will continue to develop Adobe AIR, a related technology for building stand-alone applications and games.Adobe Flash Builder
Adobe Flash Builder (previously known as Adobe Flex Builder) is an integrated development environment (IDE) built on the Eclipse platform that speeds development of rich Internet applications (RIAs) and cross-platform desktop applications, particularly for the Adobe AIR platform. Adobe Flash Builder 4 is available in two editions: Standard and Premium.
Adobe Flash Builder offers built-in code editors for MXML and ActionScript and a WYSIWYG editor for modifying MXML applications. Adobe Flash Builder includes an interactive debugger, allowing developers to step through code execution while inspecting variables and watching expressions. Flex Builder 3 added support for performance analysis. The profiling view displays statistical information about memory use in addition to function call execution time.
Prior to version 4, this product was known as Flex Builder. The name change is meant to signify its connection to other products in the Adobe Flash Platform and to create a clear distinction between the open source free Flex SDK and the IDE.Adobe Media Player
Adobe Media Player was a desktop media player that allowed users to manage and interact with their media content, and allowed content publishers to define branding and advertising in and around their content. The Adobe Media Player was one of the first Adobe AIR applications from Adobe Systems. It was announced at NAB show in Las Vegas and was released in April 2008. It used DRM and enforces advertisement viewing, when watching videos both online and offline.
The player was designed to allow users to subscribe to webcasts from various providers to be either streamed or download for viewing offline. Adobe had signed CBS, PBS, MTV Networks, Universal Music Group, CondeNet, and Scripps Networks as partners. Adobe had planned to release other features to support various business models, such as the ability to rent videos.Adobe Media Player was discontinued on 16 September 2010.The player had been praised for its user-friendliness and compared to the internet TV service Joost.Adobe Scout
Adobe Scout is a visual profiler for Adobe Flash content running on desktop or mobile platforms, and works together with Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR. Scout enables in-depth profiling of ActionScript 3 code execution, 2D graphics and text rendering, and 3D graphics rendered via the Stage3D application programming interface (API).Scout is the successor of the code profiler introduced in Adobe Flash Builder. Scout was released in January 2013, and provided memory and code execution profiling. Stage3D support was added c. June 2013, along with an integrated Stage3D rendering preview and draw-call recording and replay toolset.Adobe Shockwave
Adobe Shockwave (formerly Macromedia Shockwave) was a multimedia platform for building interactive multimedia applications and video games. Developers originate content using Adobe Director and publish it on the Internet. Such content can be viewed in a web browser on any computer with the Shockwave Player plug-in installed. Macromind originated the technology; Macromedia developed it further, releasing Shockwave Player in 1995. Adobe Systems acquired Shockwave in 2005. Shockwave supports raster graphics, basic vector graphics, 3D graphics, audio, and an embedded scripting language called Lingo.Shockwave was a common format for CD-ROM projectors, kiosk presentations, and interactive video games, and dominated in interactive multimedia during the 1990s. Various graphic adventure games were developed with Shockwave during the 1990s, including The Journeyman Project, Total Distortion, Mia's Language Adventure, Mia's Science Adventure, and the Didi & Ditto series. Video game writers developed hundreds of free online video games using Shockwave, publishing them on websites such as Miniclip and Shockwave.com.
In July 2011, a survey found that Flash Player had 99% market penetration in desktop browsers in "mature markets" (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand), while Shockwave Player claimed only 41% in these markets. Adobe Flash and Adobe AIR are alternatives to Shockwave, with its 3D rendering capabilities, object-oriented programming language, and capacity to run as a native executable on multiple platforms.In 2017, the authoring tool for Shockwave content Adobe Director, was discontinued on February 1 and the following month Shockwave Player for macOS was officially discontinued. In February 2019, Adobe announced that Shockwave Player would be officially discontinued and unsupported on Microsoft Windows effective April 9, 2019.Apache Flex
Apache Flex, formerly Adobe Flex, is a software development kit (SDK) for the development and deployment of cross-platform rich Internet applications based on the Adobe Flash platform. Initially developed by Macromedia and then acquired by Adobe Systems, Adobe donated Flex to the Apache Software Foundation in 2011 and it was promoted to a top-level project in December 2012.
The Flex 3 SDK was released under the open source Mozilla Public License in 2008. Consequently, Flex applications can be developed using standard Integrated development environments (IDEs), such as IntelliJ IDEA, Eclipse, the free and open source IDE FlashDevelop, as well as the proprietary Adobe Flash Builder. The latest version of the SDK is version 4.16.1. It is released under version 2 of the Apache License.
Away3D is an open-source platform for developing interactive 3D graphics for video games and applications, in Adobe Flash or HTML5. The platform consists of a 3D world editor (Away Builder), a 3D graphics engine (Away3D or AwayJS), a 3D physics engine (Away Physics) and a compressed 3D model file format (AWD).Development is managed by the Away Foundation, a UK-based non-profit focussed on building and maintaining free and open-source software resources for high-performance mobile games and applications. The foundation is supported by corporate sponsorship (Adobe, JetBrains among others) and individual donors.BlackBerry Tablet OS
BlackBerry Tablet OS is an operating system from BlackBerry Ltd based on the QNX Neutrino real-time operating system designed to run Adobe AIR and BlackBerry WebWorks applications, currently available for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer.
The BlackBerry Tablet OS is the first tablet running an operating system from QNX (now a subsidiary of RIM).
BlackBerry Tablet OS supports standard BlackBerry Java applications. Support for Android apps has also been announced, through sandbox "app players" which can be ported by developers or installed through sideloading by users. A BlackBerry Tablet OS Native Development Kit, to develop native applications with the GNU toolchain is currently in closed beta testing. The first device to run BlackBerry Tablet OS was the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer.A similar QNX-based operating system, known as BlackBerry 10, replaced the long-standing BlackBerry OS on handsets after version 7.BlazeDS
Previously available only as part of Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES, on December 13, 2007 Adobe announced that the technologies included in BlazeDS, along with the Action Message Format specification, were contributed to open source under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL v3) with the source code being available for download from early 2008. BlazeDS can be downloaded from the official page.
The Message Service provides a complete publish/subscribe infrastructure allowing Flex clients and the server to exchange messages in real time. Remoting allows a Flex application to directly invoke methods of Java objects deployed in an application server.BlazeDS applications consist of client-side code and server-side code. Client-side code is typically a Flex application written in MXML and ActionScript and deployed as a SWF file. Server-side code is written in Java and deployed as Java class files or Java Archive (JAR) files.FlashDevelop
FlashDevelop is an integrated development environment (IDE) for development of Adobe Flash websites, web applications, desktop applications and video games. The resulting applications run in Adobe Flash Player or Adobe AIR, on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Android or iOS. The primary purpose of FlashDevelop is enabling developers to edit, compile, debug and publish a Flash ActionScript project. It supports ActionScript 2.0, ActionScript 3.0, Haxe and other upcoming languages. It has code completion, syntax highlighting, snippets and other features similar to Microsoft Visual Studio.
Visual Studio Code (with plugin)
HaxeDevelop (supports Code folding, code refactoring and interactive debugging)
Sublime Text (with plugin)
IntelliJ IDEA (with plugin)OpenFL contains Haxe ports of major graphical libraries such as Away3D, Starling, BabylonJS and DragonBones. Due to the multi-platform nature of OpenFL, such libraries usually run on multiple platforms such as HTML5, Adobe AIR and Android/iOS.
More than 500 video games have been developed with OpenFL, including the BAFTA-award-winning game Papers, Please, Rymdkapsel, Lightbot and Madden NFL Mobile.Papervision3D
Papervision3D is an open-source, 3D graphics engine for rendering 3D content within Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR.Unlike modern Flash 3D engines such as Away3D and Flare3D, Papervision3D is not built for Stage3D and renders 3D content fully on the CPU without GPU-accelerated rendering.Powerflasher FDT
Powerflasher FDT is an integrated development environment (IDE) built on the Eclipse platform for development of Adobe Flash-based content.FDT enables development of content such as video games, rich internet applications and Adobe AIR applications, in the ActionScript 3 and Haxe programming languages. FDT offers project management, code editing and interactive debugging. FDT is similar in purpose and design to Adobe Flash Builder and FlashDevelop. The primary purpose of the IDE is enabling developers to edit, compile, debug and publish a Flash ActionScript project.
FDT uses a subscription-based licensing model and is available in multiple editions, including a free version with restricted features for hobbyists, and a low-cost version for students.Scaleform GFx
Scaleform GFx was a game development middleware package, a vector graphics rendering engine used to display Adobe Flash-based user interfaces and HUDs for video games. As a result of Autodesk's acquisition of Scaleform Corporation in March 2011, Scaleform GFx became part of the Autodesk Gameware line of middleware. On July 12th 2018, Autodesk discontinued Scaleform GFx and is no longer available for purchase.Authors created user interfaces using Adobe Flash authoring tools, such as Adobe Flash Professional; the resulting SWF files could be used directly by the GFx libraries, providing similar functionality to the Adobe Flash Player but optimized for use within game engines.
All major platforms were supported, including game consoles, mobile and PC operating systems. Scaleform provided APIs for direct communication between Flash content and the game engine, and pre-built integrations for popular engines such as Unity, Unreal Engine, and CryENGINE. Scaleform GFx could also have been licensed for use as a standalone Flash runtime system on mobile platforms, competing with Adobe AIR.Simfy
Simfy Music was a music subscription service available in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, It was available as a website and also had clients for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry which can play streaming music or cache songs for offline playback. The web-based service also offered a cross-platform client based on Adobe Air. Its library had content from the four major record labels, as well as the Merlin Network and aggregators such as The Orchard, and Finetunes. Simfy also offered social networking, allowing users to share playlists and follow others to see what music they listen to.In June 2014, MTN partnered with Simfy for streaming musicOn 1 May 2015, Simfy changed its music catalog. The official website now only shows a message, that Simfy continues to only offer a "limited amount of songs" and redirects all users to Deezer. According to Bundesanzeiger, the company is in liquidation since April 2015.WeTab
WeTab (initially announced as WePad) is a MeeGo-based tablet computer announced by German producer Neofonie in April 2010.
The specifics include an 11.6" TN-panel touch screen (1366×768 resolution), a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 processor with fan, 16 GB NAND memory and a total weight of the device of an announced 800 g (1.8 lb), but actually 1.002 kg (2.21 lb).Most media coverage in relation to the WeTab took place in German. WeTab GmbH began mass marketing in September 2010.Retailers of the device are Amazon.de and German electronics retail giant Media Markt.The WeTab runs the Linux-based MeeGo operating system and thus can execute native Linux programs, additionally Adobe AIR applications work. Android apps are supported via Virtual Machine.