Adobe AIR allows developers to build web applications without a browser. Why is this important? AIR apps are a combination of a web and desktop applications allows users to run web applications on any desktop whether it’s Windows, Mac, or Linux.
Adobe AIR utilizes HTML and Flash to give the user a consistent experience that feels like a desktop application. This enables applications to have more power and functionality, and because they run in the background, can enable notifications.
One example is Earth Browser by Lunar Software. It’s a 3D view of the earth that relays real-time weather conditions including live earthquakes, satellites, wildfires and more. With a simple click, you can view volcanos all over the world, and get real-time data on their activity.
With the recent Adobe-Apple war, we have to ask if this means that CS6 will be released via AIR? Clearly AIR is a pet project of Adobe, and has already taken off like a rocket.
From a practical point of view, users may love their Macs, but need their Adobe apps. Most of us consider Photoshop/Flash/Dreamweaver/InDesign a lifestyle, and with a library of existing files, a change to anything else is impossible.
It will be interesting to see how the current debates between Adobe/Apple/Flash/iPhone/AIR continue.