Adobe AIR Launches on Android Market

Adobe’s AIR has shown up in the Android Market and is ready to download. While so far it is just the runtime to allow AIR apps to run on your Android powered smartphone, expect some exciting apps using AIR to show up soon. These coming AIR powered apps will be installable just like regular Android apps too, so no difficulties. Just keep in mind that you do need Android 2.2 ‘Froyo’ for AIR.

What exactly is AIR? AIR stands for Adobe Integrated Runtime and it is Adobe’s attempt at making a truly universal application framework. The same apps will work without modification on Windows, Linux, iOS, Android and Macintosh. Exciting isn’t it? I am sure developers are running around with glee. But wait, wasn’t this the same thing that Java was supposed to do years and years ago? Sort of.

Unlike Java, AIR is more of a framework that contains Flash, Javascript, HTML, CSS and the rest of the standard web development tools. Inside of AIR, components built with the just mentioned tools function the same regardless of platform. Or at least that’s how I understand it. Anyone else with a little more knowledge want to take a stab at a definition in the comments?

Adobe is betting that AIR will allow it to get a firm footing in the mobile market and keep its tools relevant. I really like the idea of a developer being able to just make one app and then use AIR to put it everywhere. Who wouldn’t want to play their favorite mobile game on their PC sometimes? Or how about your friend’s new app that isn’t available to you because they use iOS and you have Android. If the app was designed with AIR, the developer wouldn’t have to remake it for Android. They instead could just release it.

What is interesting to note is that Microsoft and Adobe had a secret meeting recently to discuss Apple and possibly a buyout by Microsoft. What might Microsoft do with AIR if it gets its hands on it? I shudder to think. I am not an Adobe Flash fan by any stretch of the imagination, but AIR is exciting. Hopefully developers jump on it in droves. More apps for everyone!

Here is a video of Adobe AIR in action on multiple devices, running the same game:


Let me know what you think.

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