What Is Acrobat Air?

Written by andrew mikael
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What Is Acrobat Air?
AIR allows developers of multiple backgrounds to work with the same technology. (binary digits - computer science image by drx from Fotolia.com)

Adobe AIR is software for creating and running computer programs from the company that created Acrobat, Flash, and Photoshop. It works with a variety of different programming languages and has support from numerous professional and free applications. You can download AIR free from Adobe's website.


For program developers, AIR can create almost any conceivable program, but Adobe advertises the system as giving additional functionality to programs that would traditionally run in a Web browser. AIR runs as part of a browser, or as a separate program on the user's system. For users, downloading AIR lets your computer run any program created with the AIR development kit.


Developers can create AIR content using the Flash, Ajax, HTML, and Flex programming environments in combination. This allows programmers from a wide variety of backgrounds or programming needs to work with the system, or collaborate on projects. Users of Dreamweaver, Flash Builder, text editors, and other platforms can all import their work into the AIR environment. For end users, AIR presents a single, simple program that can run many different applications.


AIR includes a grab bag of development features, among them multitouch support, drag-and-drop support, screen reader compatibility, Web launching, PDF rendering, and others.


For users with AIR installed on their system, the Adobe website has a list of downloadable AIR applications, and others may be found elsewhere on the web. Sample applications offer radio connections, mapping tools, RSS feeds, games, cloud storage, media organisation and note-taking. If you find a program online that requires AIR, download AIR from Adobe's website, then install the program.

System Requirements

Bot the AIR development environment and the user platform run on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux computers. Running AIR applications requires 512MB of RAM (1GB for Linux users), and a Pentium 3 or Core Duo or newer processor. AIR does not function on Windows 2000, or with computers running PowerPC processors. The system is available in more than a dozen languages.

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