|This article relies on references to primary sources. (March 2011)|
|Initial release||February 25, 2008|
|Stable release||188.8.131.52 (April 8, 2014[±])|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows
BlackBerry Tablet OS
BlackBerry 10 (Discontinued since OS 10.3.1)
Linux (Discontinued since v2.6)
|Platform||IA-32, x64, ARM and MIPS|
Adobe Integrated Runtime, also known as Adobe AIR, is a cross-platform run-time system developed by Adobe Systems for building Rich Internet applications (RIA) that can be run as desktop applications or on mobile devices, programmed using Adobe Flash, Apache Flex (formerly Adobe Flex), HTML, and Ajax. The runtime supports installable applications on Windows, Mac OS and some mobile operating systems such as BlackBerry Tablet OS, iOS and Android. It also originally ran on Linux, but does not anymore.
Adobe AIR internally uses Adobe Flash Player as the runtime environment, and ActionScript 3 as the sole programming language. Flash applications must specifically be built for the Adobe AIR runtime in order to utilize additional features provided, such as file-system integration, native-client extensions, native window/screen integration, taskbar/dock integration, and hardware integration with connected Accelerometer and GPS devices. AIR enables applications to work with data in multiple different ways, including using local files, local SQLite databases (for which AIR has inbuilt capability), a database server via web services, or the encrypted local store included with AIR.
The latest version of Adobe AIR, Version 3, contains Adobe Flash Player 11, and is available for Windows (XP and newer) and OS X. Official support for desktop Linux distributions ceased in June 2011 with version 2.6.
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". Adobe AIR is also included with all downloaded installations of Adobe Reader 9 (released in July, 2008), Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, with no option for exclusion either in the download or in the installation.
The following table explains to what extent Adobe AIR can run on various mobile operating systems:
|Operating System||Prerequisites||Latest Adobe Flash Player||AIR Framework|
|Android||Android 2.3+, ARM Cortex-A8+ ||AIR 184.108.40.2067 (uses Flash Player 11.6)||Option 1: Have your app include its own 'captive' runtime.
Option 2: Install AIR framework. If not already installed, your air app will automatically download and install it.
|Apple iOS||iOS 4.3 or later||AIR 220.127.116.117 (uses Flash Player 11.6)||Not applicable: each app includes its own 'captive' runtime.|
|BlackBerry Tablet OS||None||AIR 3.1 (uses Flash Player 11.1)||Already pre-installed on each device.|
|BlackBerry 10||None||AIR 3.5 (uses Flash Player 11.1)||Already pre-installed on each device.|
Adobe has provided a free SDK in order to build AIR applications, known as the AIR SDK. The AIR SDK allows developers to use any text editor such as Notepad++ or FlashDevelop (an IDE) to edit ActionScript source code (.as files), and then build a corresponding AIR application or AIR installer (.air file) from the same.
Adobe AIR applications can be built either with the Adobe Flex Framework, or without. The framework is an integrated collection of stylable Graphical User Interface, data manipulation and networking components, and applications built upon it are known as "Flex" applications. Applications built without the framework depend entirely on the developer's own skills and artistic abilities, and are commonly known as "pure ActionScript" projects.
In both methods, developers can access the full Flash Player set of functionalities, including text, vector graphics, bitmap graphics, video, audio, camera and microphone capability, among others. Adobe AIR also includes additional features such as file system integration, native extensions, native desktop integration, and hardware integration with connected devices.
Adobe provides two ways of developing AIR applications in ActionScript:
Third-party development environments that target the AIR runtime are also available:
Dreamweaver CS4/CS3 requires an additional extension to compile AIR applications, as does Flash CS3 in the form of an update. The cross-platform nature of the runtime means any HTML editor, coupled with the AIR SDK, can create AIR applications.
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 AIR can be installed using a
.air installer file, or directly from a web browser using the Adobe AIR Installation badge. Starting in Google Chrome 21 the badge does not install the AIR application.
The mobile version of Adobe AIR's Context3D drawToBitmapData method is known to not work like its Desktop counterpart. Any call to drawToBitmapData to return stage3D data which is outside of the stage size will return black pixels (missing bitmap data). Despite an overwhelming need by the Actionscript Community for this bug to be fixed, Adobe has to this point shown no interest.
Also, Adobe AIR currently cannot run on Intel processors under Android; in can run only on ARM, despite the adoption by Samsung of the Intel chipset instead of ARM for recent products. However, on the 21th of April 2014 Adobe announced that an upcoming release of AIR will indeed support Intel Android devices.