Earlier this year, you probably heard that Apple blocked Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone App converter from the App Store on the eve of the tool’s launch. That may have crushed Adobe’s dream of allowing developers to write their Flash apps once and deploy them wherever they’d like, but its AIR platform still works with Mac, PC, and Linux, with support for Android devices coming later this year. That means developers will soon be able to write applications that will work on both the desktop and smartphones.
Of course, the prospect of running cross-platform applications is a lot more impressive when you can see one in action. Which is why Adobe Technical Evangelist Christophe Coenraets has put together a demo showing off what AIR can do when it’s used to deploy the same application across both Android and desktop computers. He’s built a basic video conference app in 30 lines of code, which he demos in the YouTube clip above (the heavy lifting was pre-written, powered by Adobe’s LiveCycle Collaboration Services module). Obviously the application is quite basic, but it’s pretty impressive nonetheless.
I’ve never been a big fan of AIR — I’ve yet to run into an AIR app on my Mac that didn’t feel a bit out of place, with quirky window behavior and decidedly non-native UI (though this may be the fault of third-party app developers building on the platform). Still, it’s hard not to see the benefit of being able to build an application that runs on both mobile and PC.