Yes, Adobe AIR is still a thing, and now Adobe has released v14 of the AIR runtime with updated support for the x86 architecture and gamepad support for web games. AIR didn't make the splash in developer circles Adobe was hoping for, but it's still inching along.


In case you've forgotten, AIR is a runtime that can be used to build apps that work across platforms and devices with fewer compatibility issues. Many AIR titles are available on iOS as well as Android, but the new x86 support will obviously only affect the Android side of things. The gamepad support actually refers to a second-screen interface for web games, which might be neat. Basically, your device is the gamepad.

AIR is not often used in heavy or high-performance apps and games as those do better with native code, but there are still plenty of apps that use AIR. So, this is mostly a developer facing change. It's not likely you're going to need to worry about what is and isn't supported by AIR. You're probably not even going to run into AIR apps that often, though Adobe says there are over 50,000 of them.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Larry Simpson

    Never had a reason to install Air years ago, still don't

    • Marcell LĂ©vai

      They support Adobe Air for Android, that very few people use, but not Flash Player. Because fuck logic.

      • Sergii Pylypenko

        After the Flash Player fiasco, no one really trusts Adobe - Unity is better anyway, and also has web plugin.

    • JS

      Correct. Newer Air apps have the player embedded right inside the app. Adobe calls this "captive runtime". You are probably using Air apps without even realizing it, because it looks and behaves like any other app.

  • Mohnish Wadhwa

    The web games which require AIR to run will have this functionality if I'm right?

    • someone755

      If a game requires AIR:
      1st: uninstall
      2nd: check if made after 2009
      3rd: if 2nd=true then rate 2 stars, else rate 1 star

  • dudi1986

    i don't think anyone is using it

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Do modern game developers really use AIR? I thought it was very limited in terms of usage by the existing Android games?

    • JS

      Yes, modern game developers really do use AIR. You may not have noticed since most newer AIR apps have the player embedded inside them so you don't need to install the AIR runtime seperately. You have probably played several games made with AIR without even knowing it. The main advantage to developers is that they don't need to rewrite their code for each OS.

  • Moosa Mahsoom

    So far I've only run into one Adobe Air app which was the app of a lame malayalam newspaper.

  • http://twitter.com/jdrch jdrch

    I haven't encountered an app that needed AIR in ages.

  • JJ

    Probably you use some AIR apps but you don't know it. You can't distinguish an AIR app from a native app if it was build with captive runtime on Android. And on iOS it's actualy cross-copilled to native code so no difference there either. And 99% of AIR apps on android are build with captive runtime ;)

  • T

    Good apps that use AIR embed the runtime so you don't need a separate download, nor do you even know it's running off AIR. It's the shitty ones that need you to install it standalone.

    You morons don't know shit.

  • JS

    "AIR is not often used in heavy or high-performance apps and games as those do better with native code"

    Ever since Adobe introduced Stage 3d, this assumption has become incorrect. Air apps that take advantage of the GPU can and do behave as smoothly as apps built with native code.