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Locked by Moderator, Not on subject anymore,AIR Roadmap Update

Adobe Employee ,
Jul 25, 2017 Jul 25, 2017

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Hello AIR developers,

With the news today regarding Flash Player, I'm sure many of you have questions regarding AIR and its future roadmap.  Let me start by saying that today's announcement was not about AIR, and instead focuses entirely on Flash Player and the browser plugin environment.  Adobe remains committed to AIR and we believe it continues to be a great desktop and mobile development platform.

Many of you have asked for a roadmap update.  We hope to have our official Flash Runtime roadmap updated soon, but until then I wanted to share some of the features we'd like to accomplish in our upcoming releases.  As always, this list may change as we receive feedback from the community.

  • Support for 64-bit AIR – Windows Captive Only
  • AIR SDK installer on Windows
  • Desktop async texture upload
  • DirectX11 support for AIR desktop
  • Increase the GPU memory texture limit
  • Improved monitor and resolution settings for AIR Desktop
  • GPU render mode for AIR Desktop
  • Support for the latest SDK on iOS 11 and Android O
  • ASTC Support for mobile
  • VR/AR support for AIR apps
  • ANE support for Swift on iOS
  • METAL bindings for Stage3D
  • Motion detection for Android devices

We've also been following a feature request thread on the Starling forums.  We wanted to get your feedback on some of the items outlined by the community.  If you'd like to provide additional input, please take a minute and take this three question survey so we can better understand what folks would like to see in future releases.

Community AIR Feature Requests​ Survey

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Advocate ,
Jul 27, 2017 Jul 27, 2017

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It's a private tool developed for my needs and my company, like I said if there's interest expressed I could develop a public version, we'll see.

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Advocate ,
Aug 01, 2017 Aug 01, 2017

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Little note on converting existing AS3 code base to another technology.

If your code base follows the industry standard recommended design patterns (like MVC for example) then the conversion will be fairly easy (the M and C should level nicely while the V will require most work) but if your code base does not follow any industry standard patterns then the conversion will be difficult at best or even simply impossible.

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Enthusiast ,
Aug 01, 2017 Aug 01, 2017

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ASWC  wrote

Little note on converting existing AS3 code base to another technology.

If your code base follows the industry standard recommended design patterns (like MVC for example) then the conversion will be fairly easy (the M and C should level nicely while the V will require most work) but if your code base does not follow any industry standard patterns then the conversion will be difficult at best or even simply impossible.

except MVC is not a design pattern and even less an industry standard

you have many more other architectural pattern: MVP, MVVM, etc.
not all apps need those kind of architecture

see GUI Architectures for reference.

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Advocate ,
Aug 01, 2017 Aug 01, 2017

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Not only what you say is false but is also completely irrelevant to the subject of my post (code/project conversion). Stay on topic or don't reply please or if you really need to post irrelevant reply at least post a recipe or something useful.

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Engaged ,
Aug 01, 2017 Aug 01, 2017

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The title of this thread is "AIR Roadmap Update"

It is you ASWC who is going off topic.

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Advocate ,
Aug 01, 2017 Aug 01, 2017

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I'm getting multiple questions concerning code/project conversion and I'm giving some pointers, sorry if that doesn't fit your standard ...

Code/project conversion IS on topic of AIR roadmap since after the end of Flash it will be difficult (but not impossible) for AIR to survive much longer so conversion of code is of great interest even in this thread.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 01, 2017 Aug 01, 2017

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What you say is true if you take pessimistic view. A more optimistic view is that without having to spend time keeping the browser plugin going Adobe would have more time for AIR. Plus Adobe making statements about the ongoing improvements to AIR sounds hopeful.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 01, 2017 Aug 01, 2017

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I choose to take the optimistic view here. I'm pleasantly surprised to see a future facing commitment to the AIR platform and will in fact be soon releasing an app on top of AIR26 feeling confident for the app's future. Even if we only get another 5 years - that is still awesome considering how much things will change in the next 2 years let alone 5.

As a point of historical reference, Macromedia (Adobe) Director continued to evolve for nearly a decade after it appeared to be "dead." You just never know...

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Enthusiast ,
Aug 01, 2017 Aug 01, 2017

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Considering that Adobe announced Flash EOL, if they planed to also discontinue Adobe AIR they would have done it at the same time.

But no, they did post here what they plan to add in the Adobe AIR Roadmap.
You don't show a roadmap when you plan to discontinue a product...

I'm kind of tired of the fear mongering people who jump to pessimistic conclusions.


So yeah you can convert a Flash project to HTML5 if you absolutely have to support publishing for the web,
but it's not what Adobe AIR is about.

Adobe AIR is all about the Out of Browser experience, to publish directly on desktop and mobile.

That's it, the Flash tech have surpassed the browser and does  not longer need to be limited by it,
there are so many things you can do with Adobe AIR that you would not do with HTML5 or simply can't do with HTML5.

My personal wish (a long shot) would be an Adobe AIR update for Linux,
maybe not all the features but 64-bit and ANE would be good enough.

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Contributor ,
Aug 01, 2017 Aug 01, 2017

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I believe Adobe should post a 5 year commitment to AIR; it would set in stone their commitment to this amazing platform; & ultimately open source it.

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Advocate ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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fear mongering people? Let's be serious, if you rationally consider Adobe historical handle on Flash tech and the actual situation of AIR which is:

- dev teams reduced

- low budget

- new platform won't be supported (official)

- Adobe DOES NOT make money with AIR

- Adobe DOES NOT sell any AIR related software (except Flash Builder)

- Flash Builder is stuck at 4.7 and will never go any higher.

- (most important) fewer and fewer developer using that tech (AIR community is not growing, it's shrinking)

Of course they have a roadmap, AIR has still a good 5 years to go and maybe more who knows, but if nothing else changes AIR will become irrelevant as a cross platform tech at some point, any rational person can see that.

I love AIR and I even love Flash but I see what Adobe is doing with it and it's not good, as many have already said here, open sourcing is the only thing that can save both in the long term, but even that Adobe won't do.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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All users of the current Adobe Animate are paying a subscription, so the more reasons people have to use Animate, the more money Adobe make. I know that many people develop AIR apps using Eclipse, or even Notepad, to avoid having to pay for software, but a lot of people do use Creative Cloud apps.

I'm skeptical about whether an open source community would make progress on features faster than the engineering team that created the code.

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Advocate ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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What people use Animate CC for only Adobe knows but you can be sure they are watching those analytics closely. For sure it's less scary than Flash Builder for beginners that want to tackle developing and AIR publishing.

But overall are those (AIR users) numbers growing, shrinking, or staying the same? What could be an educated guess? Only Adobe knows for sure but I've seen all those AS related popular forums close one by one and the ones that are still up don't have a comparable activity to other popular tech forums for many other languages/tech.

You are correct open sourcing is not a guaranty of success in any way but if given to the Apache foundation (for example) chances will be higher and new features can be produced very fast depending on the technology success (more success = more collaborators)

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Contributor ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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I actually code and publish some of my simpler AIR applications directly from Animate CC.  I've components I've built I can visually position.   I'm currently working to have those work as SVG's in the same fashion, so I can design in Animate, publish a SVG and have JavaScript do pretty much the same interactivity I was doing with AS3.  Again, this is for simple, very graphical, front end sales applications.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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I've worked on 19 apps that are in the various stores, and all of them were made in Flash Pro or Animate. Some of them are fairly complex and demanding apps.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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Indeed. Do a Google search for "https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com" (include the quotes) and you'll see 11,500+ entries with 850+ in the past year alone. Respectable.

Anyway, looking forward to see a long overdue update to AIR roadmap.

(waves hi to Colin)

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Engaged ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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Here are the stats from AppBrain for Android App Frameworks as of July 2017

Adobe AIR - Android library statistics - AppBrain

Android app frameworks - AppBrain

Includes Slither.io which has 100million+ downloads - Amongst the highest Rank in different categories

Re: using air.com as an identifier. It naturally doesn't include those apps which omit this - so the actual figures are higher.

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Contributor ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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Adobe AIR, 2nd place after Cordova, not bad at all... Now Adobe just needs to push AIR a bit more, maybe create a Game studio creator for AIR, and AIR will take 1st place

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Advocate ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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I used to work that way too long ago but company requirements and platform publishing requirements made it not viable anymore. I had to move to a more development friendly environment which was Flash Builder at the time. The amount of time I save by working with a true IDE is simply enormous, Animate CC cannot offer that. I manage a code base of 10s of thousands a classes and Animate CC is just not made for that.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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We actually switched to IntelliJ and it works very well for Flex/AIR development.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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Business model is simple in the first place. Unity's technology clearly proves whether AIR technology will be money. Whether AIR technology is needed in the market as a development tool in the first place or not. Program languages ​​such as AS 3 are not directly related to money in the first place. This is obvious when you look at other languages. If it is important to earn money for Adobe, the biggest point is whether AnimateCC is definitely excellent as a development tool, or whether it is necessary for the production site. If Unity is earning it would be that their tools are needed. Also, in order for the tool to earn money, it must be directly connected with the ability to develop what is needed for the market where the tool can earn money. If you understand the creative market where you can earn the most money now you can see what is now lacking in AIR. Adobe does not understand the fact that many Flash creators are now making money with Unity. And, if there are development teams who lament that tools can not earn without taking countermeasures, it is very luscious. The mobile game market has grown rapidly in the Japanese market, development costs several dozens of the development cost of WEB are now dropped, and personnel expenses are rising, but AIR is not currently required in that market. Why? It is a fact that you understand immediately if you think about it. I believe that AIR should officially restructure its functions as a tool and review its road map. AIR will inevitably live long if recognized in the mobile game industry as the best development software in 2D animation. It has already been overwhelmed by Live2d and SPINE, but I believe that the accumulated resources in the past are more abundant than any other software and it is still possible to fight.

The foundation of management strategy is selection and concentration. If it can not be done, AIR will become a mere nuisance in the glory of the past.

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Advocate ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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Well I agree 100%, AIR potential is enormous but it needs true commitment from Adobe and a real dedicated IDE, without that it's condemned to slowly fade away just like Flash did.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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I already warned the adobe team in Japan. However, the Japanese adobe team says that the American home country will not try to understand the current state of AnimateCC in Japan. Unfortunately, the mission that the US side requires to the Adobe team in Japan is only to sell "Creative cloud". The headquarters in the United States appeals PhotoShop and Ilustlator, it only requires short-term sales and results. If management wants only short-term results, they are hopeless. Currently I hope to cooperate with people using AIR around the world and want to break through this situation, but I do not know how. I believe that AIR will never die if we can positively break this situation with the AIR development team.

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Enthusiast ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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ASWC  wrote

fear mongering people? Let's be serious, if you rationally consider Adobe historical handle on Flash tech and the actual situation of AIR which is:

- dev teams reduced

- low budget

- new platform won't be supported (official)

- Adobe DOES NOT make money with AIR

- Adobe DOES NOT sell any AIR related software (except Flash Builder)

- Flash Builder is stuck at 4.7 and will never go any higher.

- (most important) fewer and fewer developer using that tech (AIR community is not growing, it's shrinking)

Of course they have a roadmap, AIR has still a good 5 years to go and maybe more who knows, but if nothing else changes AIR will become irrelevant as a cross platform tech at some point, any rational person can see that.

I love AIR and I even love Flash but I see what Adobe is doing with it and it's not good, as many have already said here, open sourcing is the only thing that can save both in the long term, but even that Adobe won't do.

OK, you want serious I gonna give you some serious to your FUD

"new platform won't be supported (official)"

That's completely false, here a list of new platforms

  • Android x86 Intel - AIR 14 (June 10, 2014)
  • iOS 64bit - AIR 16 (Jan 13, 2015)
  • Mac OS X 64bit - AIR 20 (Dec.08, 2015)
  • Android N - AIR 22 (June 16, 2016)
  • tvOS - AIR 24 beta channel
  • Windows 64 bit - AIR 25 beta channel
  • Android TV - AIR 25 (Mar 14, 2017)

it's all here in the AIR release notes

You claim "dev teams reduced" and "low budget", you don't know what you're talking about

what anyone can see in Flash Player and Adobe AIR feature list​ is that the runtimes are regularly updated on a quarterly basis

It is not only bug fixes and security updates, there are tons of new features

combine the release notes of AIR 21, AIR 22, AIR 23 and AIR 24 for ex

and over the span of 1 year you see AIR being packed with tons of new features

About "Adobe DOES NOT make money with AIR", it's a moot point
do you see Google making any money with Chrome, or Mozilla making any money with Firefox ?

Why do you think the Flash Player was free for two decades?
when you want your runtimes and/or tools to become popular, you let users use it for free

In fact, I would argue that developers being able to use the AIR SDK for free

and that they can publish AIR apps without paying any kind of licensing fee is a good indicator

of the strategy of Adobe: they want to enable "creators" to publish to desktop and mobile.

Also why Adobe bought PhoneGap in 2011 and later released it as open source via Apache Cordova.

It's the same strategy, wether creators build their apps or games based on SWF or HTML5,
via Animate CC or with more advanced settings, in any case they can easily publish to mobile/desktop

with either Adobe AIR or Apache Cordova (Adobe PhoneGap).

You are so blindfolded by your own interpretation of events it is almost ridiculous.,

but yeah all your moot points is what I call fear mongering, because they are not based on any facts.

It would be nice if you could keep it "on subject", eg. talking about the Adobe AIR roadmap,
instead of keep arguing that you are right about some hairy predictions not based on any verifiable informations.

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Engaged ,
Aug 02, 2017 Aug 02, 2017

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Absolutely well said.  Let's not use this forum to argue about the merits of AIR. Let's talk features we'd like to see.

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