Here Mike Downey presented a ton of new web possibilities using the Adobe AIR runtime – hence the keynote strapline: “The long arm of the web”. Sounds like a mix between a Tim O’Reilly soundbite and a totallitarian government mantra…
Happily the content was less opressive and more inspired than the strapline suggests! A few interesting facts about the AIR runtime were noted:
- Uses Webkit – the HTML engine that drives Safari.
- Includes SQL Lite for database communication.
- Inbuilt remote application updater – allowing seamless upgrading for new releases of created apps.
- Background runtime doesn’t require GUI – allowing AIR apps to be created for background processes.
There was a selection of example AIR apps showcased:
- Acrobat.com for file sharing – a new online filesharing platform that can be downloaded as an AIR implementation.
- E-Bay widget – can monitor bidding progress on an active item, notify participants when their bid is exceeded and allow new bids to be placed.
- Finetune – A music player combining local desktop music with online music from the Finetune database
- Google Analytics – offers more visualization options, and data exports for excel spreadsheets etc.
Finally a few options were shown for the creation of AIR applications. Currently two methods exist:
- Using the AIR export option in the Flash CS3 update
- Using the AIR project option in Flexbuider3 (including a new components folder containing Flex components created specifically for AIR)
There was also mention of a 3rd export option in Dreamweaver, allowing HTML to be published directly to AIR, although it wasn’t clear whether this was an available release or something coming soon.