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AIR, what's it good for? 3 sample apps

As we reported earlier today, switching gears from alpha into beta, Adobe has revealed Apollo's true name, AIR. Short for Adobe Integrated Runtime, the framework remains largely the same but gains some new functionality under the hood. Expect to find embedded SQLite support, WebKit HTML rendering, drag & drop support, support for PDF and general improvements to window management and networking.

So what's in it for users? Sure, its got some great functionality geared towards web developers, but what's the use unless there are some real useful applications for AIR? I did some digging around and have found 3 AIR apps that I think have some usefulness, and show some promise for AIR. If anything, by the end of this article you'll get tired of reading the acronym AIR.

Salsa - A simple Amazon S3 client
Salsa is a super simple client to copy files between Amazon S3 and your computer. It's just a simple uploading and downloading interface, that's all. Amazon S3 has been called a cost-effective backup solution, and this app could make that practical on a desktop level. Salsa is considered 'alpha' quality, but if I needed a simple, secure method for backing up files I can see its value. Salsa is available on the Adobe Labs AIR:Applications:Samples wiki page. It would be great to see this little app mature a bit and move beyond the lab.

Tweetr - Twitter client
Yeah, we love Twitter around here at DLS, it's a little shameless. There's no shortage of ways to go about tweeting, and Tweetr is a nicely done implementation in AIR. The interface reminds me of a little bit iChat, a little bit Twitterrific. While not perfect, it's lightweight and does a fine job. I like how you can view your replies and direct messages as well. Check it out at

Fresh - RSS feed reader
Another one straight outta Adobe Labs is Fresh, a straightforward feed reader app. What I like about Fresh is that it's pretty full featured for only being a sample: OPML import/export, tabbed interface, integrated web view for stories, themes and more. Obviously an application like this isn't very innovative or groundbreaking, but it's a good demonstration of AIR's abilities: structured content, feed retrieval, ui elements, and HTML rendering. Check it out on the Adobe Labs AIR:Applications:Samples wiki page.

If you'd like to keep an eye on upcoming AIR applications, here's some good sites to keep your browser or feed reader pointed at:

3 sample AIR apps

Tags: adobe, air, apollo, freeware, fresh, html, salsa, sqlite, tweetr, webkit