What Is Adobe AIR?

By Geoff Whiting

Adobe AIR is a program that consumers download to their computers to run other services and apps that use Web technologies such as JavaScript and HTML. Developers use Adobe AIR to create apps and services because it builds programs that work across multiple operating systems. Adobe AIR is a free download for consumers and most developers at the time of publication.

Adobe AIR and Flash

Adobe’s AIR and Flash both support rich Internet applications, such as videos, games and music players. The main difference is that the Adobe Flash Player is a plug-in for a Web browser and requires the browser to run applications, while AIR makes it possible for the customer to run rich Internet applications from the desktop. While AIR does not need a browser to run, it does require a connection to the Internet. Notable AIR apps include Pandora, the Google Analytics Reporting Suite and PolitiFact. More than 50,000 apps for iOS and Android devices have been built with AIR.