After it was announced in February this year, there was a lot of anticipation in the months that followed but the long wait finally came to an end as an Android supported version of adobe air was launched. This has come as welcome news to many developers especially those using Flash Builder or Flash Professional CS5 as this means they will now be able to publish AIR applications directly to the Android market. Unfortunately, this newly released version is not compatible with the usual packages that were meant for desktops and this means that the users will mostly be restricted to the applications that have been developed specifically for this version. Luckily, despite having only hit the market there are already quite a number of applications that have been developed and more and more are cropping up everyday.
The only real unfortunate thing is that most android users won’t be able to partake in these celebrations and not for any technical reasons other than the fact that they have little or no idea what Adobe AIR is all about. To give you a brief insight into what this means to you, I’ll give you a brief definition and some history of the AIR.
Of course everybody knows Adobe so AIR stands for Adobe Integrated Runtime and this is a cross platform runtime environment for making internet applications. Adobe flash, Adobe flex, Ajax and even the more common HTML can all be used for this purpose when one is using AIR. The difference between the AIR’s internet applications and the traditional kind is the fact that while the previous applications were simply run through the browser the AIR applications can simply be deployed on the desktop like regular applications. Of course this also means that the application will have to also be installed on the user system but this also means that it is also much easier for the applications to access data on the users file system which make them more flexible unlike the browser based applications.
Since 2007, there have been at least nine different versions of the Adobe AIR that have been released including the ‘Adobe AIR 1.5 Linux’ which was the first stable version of AIR that had been released for the Linux OS which has been quite popular with many independent/freelance programmers and developers. Adobe AIR for android is now the latest to join the family of ‘AIRs’ as it just recently hit the market and so far is getting rave reviews from users.
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