Adobe AIR is a cross-platform runtime that allows applications to be run natively from the desktop of both OS X and Windows without the need for either a web browser or an Internet connection. Developers creating applications with AIR will write their software once and be able to deploy it to Windows, OS X, and Linux without recompiling their code. If developers take care in using the default AIR APIs, their applications will automatically render appropriately in the destination operating environments using native windows, and native operating system functionality, like the Windows Taskbar or OS X's Dock, and allow Flex-based applications to save files to default user documents, folders, and so forth.
This chapter will explain what AIR is and how to use it. You'll start by building a simple application. Later in the chapter, advanced AIR configurations will be discussed. And finally, a sample application with a fancy splash screen will be created that highlights some of the modern operating system integration for which Adobe AIR enables development.