Adobe Integrated Runtime

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Adobe AIR
Developer(s) Adobe Systems
Initial release February 25, 2008; 6 years ago (2008-02-25)
Stable release 13.0.0.83 (April 8, 2014; 12 days ago (2014-04-08)) [±]
Development status Active
Operating system Microsoft Windows
OS X
Android
iOS
BlackBerry Tablet OS
BlackBerry 10 (Discontinued since OS 10.3.1)[1]
Linux (Discontinued since v2.6)[2]
Platform IA-32, x64, ARM and MIPS
Available in English
Type Run-time environment
License cost (Proprietary)[3]
Website www.adobe.com/products/air/

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.

Architecture[edit]

With AIR, Adobe intends to provide a versatile runtime-environment that allows existing Flash, ActionScript, or HTML and JavaScript code to construct Internet-based applications that have many of the characteristics of more traditional desktop-like programs. Adobe positions AIR as a browser-less runtime for RIAs that can be deployed onto the desktop, rather than as a full-fledged application framework. An application deployed in a browser does not require installation, while one deployed with AIR requires that the application be packaged, digitally signed, and installed on the user's local file system. This provides access to local storage and file systems, while browser-deployed applications are more limited in where and how data can be accessed and stored.[4]

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.[5] 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.

Availability[edit]

Desktop platforms[edit]

The latest version of Adobe AIR, Version 3, contains Adobe Flash Player 11, and is available for Windows (XP and newer) and OS X.[6] Official support for desktop Linux distributions ceased in June 2011 with version 2.6.[7]

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".[8] 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.[9]

Mobile platforms[edit]

Adobe AIR applications can be published as native phone applications on certain mobile operating systems, such as Android (ARM Cortex-A8 and above[10]) and Apple iOS.[6]

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+ [11] AIR 3.6.0.597 (uses Flash Player 11.6)[12] Option 1: Have your app include its own 'captive' runtime.[13]

Option 2: Install AIR framework. If not already installed, your air app will automatically download and install it.[14]

Apple iOS iOS 4.3 or later AIR 3.6.0.597 (uses Flash Player 11.6)[12] Not applicable: each app includes its own 'captive' runtime.[15]
BlackBerry Tablet OS None AIR 3.1 (uses Flash Player 11.1)[16][17] Already pre-installed on each device.[15]
BlackBerry 10 None AIR 3.5 (uses Flash Player 11.1) Already pre-installed on each device.

Application development[edit]

Adobe AIR runs Flash applications within a contained Flash Player instance, and HTML/JavaScript/Ajax web applications by running them within the included WebKit rendering engine. Multiple instances of the browser can be started within a single AIR application, but JavaScript content executes with some security limitations.

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 provides for AIR HTML/JavaScript development with Adobe Dreamweaver CS5, although any other HTML editor or text editor can be used.[18]

ActionScript[edit]

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:

  • FlashDevelop, an open-source Flash ActionScript IDE, which includes a debugger for AIR applications
  • FDT by PowerFlasher Solutions, a commercial ActionScript IDE
  • CodeDrive, an extension to Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 for ActionScript 3 development and debugging

JavaScript[edit]

Adobe AIR can run a subset of JavaScript, with no ability to dynamically execute code when running in the application sandbox. According to Adobe, this restriction is designed to prevent malicious remote content from attacking a user's system.[19] Because of this restriction, JavaScript frameworks that make use of dynamic JavaScript functions like eval() were not initially compatible with Adobe AIR. However, several frameworks including Dojo Toolkit,[citation needed] jQuery,[citation needed] and ExtJS[citation needed] were updated to run in Adobe AIR's application sandbox. Some frameworks like MooTools were already compatible.[citation needed]

Dreamweaver CS4/CS3 requires an additional extension to compile AIR applications,[20] as does Flash CS3 in the form of an update.[21] The cross-platform nature of the runtime means any HTML editor, coupled with the AIR SDK, can create AIR applications.

Release history[edit]

"Apollo" 1.0 Betas[edit]

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.

1.x[edit]

Adobe AIR 1.0[edit]

Version 1.0 of the Adobe AIR runtime and SDK was released on February 25, 2008.[citation needed]

Adobe AIR 1.1[edit]

Version 1.1 of Adobe AIR was released on June 16, 2008. This release included a number of new features including:

  • Additional languages including Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish
  • Ability to localize the name, description local database error messages of the application
  • A new option that allows an application to be updated from an old certificate to a new one while preserving the identity of the application (for example from a self-signed certificate to a chained certificate)
  • A new property for detecting the space available on a drive
  • A new property for detecting whether the hosting operating system's window manager allows transparency

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.[22]

Adobe AIR 1.5[edit]

Adobe AIR 1.5 was released on November 17, 2008. New capabilities included:

  • Ability to encrypt the local database
  • Inclusion of Flash Player 10 features
  • An updated version of WebKit with performance improvements due to a new JavaScript interpreter
  • Five new languages including Czech, Dutch, Swedish, Turkish and Polish
  • A Linux version was released on December 18, 2008.[23][24]

Adobe AIR 1.5.1[edit]

Released on February 24, 2009, AIR 1.5.1 was primarily a compatibility update that includes bug fixes and security updates.

Adobe AIR 1.5.2[edit]

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:

  • When using the full-screen interactive mode an application using the 1.5.2 namespace can capture the keyDown event and call the preventDefault() method of the event
  • SWF content embedded within an HTML container could now be displayed with certain wmode settings.

Adobe AIR 1.5.3[edit]

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.

2.x[edit]

AIR 2.0[edit]

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.

AIR 2.5[edit]

Adobe AIR 2.5 was released on October 24, 2010 at the Adobe MAX 2010 conference.[25]

AIR 2.6[edit]

Adobe AIR 2.6 was released on February 24, 2011 for Android devices.[26] Another update was released on March 22, 2011 for updated iOS interoperability.[27]

AIR 2.7[edit]

Adobe AIR 2.7 was released on June 14, 2011.[28] Ability to run on Linux was dropped.[29]

3.x[edit]

AIR 3.0[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.0 on October 3, 2011.[30] 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.[31]

AIR 3.1[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.1 on November 11, 2011.

AIR 3.2[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.2 on March 28, 2012.[32]

AIR 3.3[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.3 on June 8, 2012.[32]

AIR 3.4[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.4 on August 21, 2012.[32]

AIR 3.5[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.5 on November 6, 2012.[32]

AIR 3.6[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.6 on February 12, 2013.[32]

AIR 3.7[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.7 on April 9, 2013.[32]

AIR 3.8[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.8 on July 24, 2013.[32]

AIR 3.9[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 3.9 on October 8, 2013.[32]

AIR 4.0[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 4.0 on January 14, 2014. It was released to beta on October 30, 2013, code named Jones.[32]

AIR 13.0[edit]

Adobe released Adobe AIR 13.0 on April 8, 2014.[32] It was numbered 13 to synchronize itself with the version numbering of Flash Player.[33]

Criticisms[edit]

Some developers have complained about certain lacking features on Adobe AIR for Android, such as acoustic echo cancellation,[34] which causes AIR applications to suffer from some echo issues.

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.[35][36][37]

The mobile version of Adobe AIR's Context3D drawToBitmapData[38] 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).[39] 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 cannot run on Intel processors under Android; in can run only on ARM[40], despite the adoption by Samsung of the Intel chipset instead of ARM for recent products [41].

References[edit]

  1. ^ "End of Support Notice". BlackBerry Ltd. 15 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "System requirements". Adobe AIR website. Adobe Inc. Retrieved 2011-09-07. "Adobe is increasingly investing in mobile devices. As such, we are changing our distribution model for Linux® and will no longer invest in the development of a desktop Linux operating system version of Adobe® AIR® or the AIR SDK. The last version to support desktop Linux is AIR 2.6." 
  3. ^ "Adobe AIR 1.1 EULA" (PDF). Adobe Systems. 4 February 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  4. ^ "Adobe AIR: Browser vs. Desktop". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Adobe AIR 3, Adobe
  6. ^ a b iOS features in Adobe AIR 2.6, Adobe Devnet
  7. ^ http://helpx.adobe.com/air/kb/install-air-2-64-bit.html
  8. ^ Ludwig, Adrian (28 January 2009). "AIR passes 100 million installations". Adobe AIR Team Blog. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Gottwals, Steve (27 June 2008). "Adobe Reader 9 is Here!". Adobe Reader Blog. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Flash Player 10.1 – Installations and updates". Archived from the original on 8 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-19. 
  11. ^ http://www.adobe.com/in/products/air/tech-specs.html
  12. ^ a b http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/release-note/fp_116_air_36_release_notes.html
  13. ^ http://stackoverflow.com/questions/9176680/install-air-application-in-android-without-adobe-air
  14. ^ http://forums.adobe.com/thread/848409
  15. ^ a b http://forums.adobe.com/docs/DOC-1322
  16. ^ Announcing Flash Player 11 and AIR 3, Adobe Flash Platform Blog
  17. ^ http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/certified_devices/tablets.html Retrieved on September 19, 2011.
  18. ^ "Getting started with Adobe AIR for HTML/JavaScript developers". Adobe Systems. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  19. ^ "ADOBE® AIR™ 1.5 Security White Paper" (PDF). Adobe Systems. 2008. p. 6. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  20. ^ "Adobe - AIR: Tools for Ajax". Adobe Systems. Archived from the original on 14 April 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  21. ^ "Adobe Flash - Downloads". Adobe Systems. 17 November 2008. Archived from the original on 3 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011. "Adobe AIR 1.5 Update for Flash CS4 Professional" 
  22. ^ "Adobe AIR 1.1 FAQ" (PDF). Adobe Systems. 16 June 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  23. ^ "Adobe release AIR for Linux". Heinz Heise. 18 December 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  24. ^ "AIR for Linux:Release Notes". Adobe Systems. 31 March 2008. Archived from the original on 27 May 2008. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  25. ^ Hu, Michael (24 October 2010). "Adobe AIR 2.5 is Now Available!". Adobe AIR Team Blog. Adobe Systems. Retrieved 15 March 2011. 
  26. ^ "Adobe AIR Team Blog". Adobe Systems. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  27. ^ "Adobe AIR Team Blog". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  28. ^ "Adobe AIR Team Blog". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  29. ^ "Adobe AIR Team Blog". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 14 June 2011. 
  30. ^ "Adobe AIR Team Blog". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 4 Oct 2011. 
  31. ^ "Adobe AIR 3 Features". Adobe Systems Incorporated. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  32. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Flash Player and Adobe AIR feature list". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 13 November 2012. 
  33. ^ "Jones Beta Release Notes". Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  34. ^ "AEC in Android not working". Adobe Systems. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  35. ^ Issue 141645: Chrome 21 broke Adobe AIR Badge installer, Chromium at Google Code
  36. ^ Issue 140854: Adobe AIR not supported in Pepper Flash, Chromium at Google Code
  37. ^ [1], Adobe Bug Report
  38. ^ [2]
  39. ^ [3]
  40. ^ [4]
  41. ^ http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/tablets/samsung-galaxy-tab-3-vs-tab-2.html

External links[edit]