Adobe AIR vs Adobe Reader

Want to learn more about the Adobe AIR vs Adobe Reader battle? Both programs work with PDF files and are compatible with different devices. But while Adobe Acrobat Reader is limited to PDF files, Adobe AIR allows you to view Flash SWF, HTML, and JavaScript content.

Adobe AIR is a cross-platform app launcher that allows you to use HTML/CSS, AJAX, Adobe Flash, and Apache Flex to open web applications (including Rich Internet Application) on PCs and mobile devices. The WebKit engine, the HTML Loader class, and the Adobe Reader browser plug-in are used to render PDF content.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is a great option for those looking for a free application for various manipulations with PDFs. It includes tools for viewing, signing, collecting, tracking feedback, and sharing files. You can open multiple large files at once, add comments in documents and print them.

What Is Adobe AIR

adobe air logo

Adobe AIR was released in 2008. Currently, Adobe's partner, HARMAN, is supporting the product. Thanks to the capabilities of this software, developers can create and deploy standalone desktop programs and native iOS and Android apps based on Flex, ActionScript, and HTML content.

Comparing Adobe Reader vs Adobe AIR in terms of game and application development, we can say that the latter option has much to brag about. This cross-platform software has an excellent set of tools and features such as multimedia and streaming video capabilities, hardware-accelerated 3D graphics framework, and multi-window business app support. Using AIR, you can easily bring a ready-made HTML or Flex application to a user's computer and/or mobile device as a regular launching app.

AIR apps can open SWF, HTML, and PDF content. You can install an Adobe Reader browser plug-in to control the display of PDF files in an AIR application.

  • adobe air interface
  • adobe air interface

    Adobe AIR: Pros and Cons

    Convenient viewing of PDF files. The app allows you to display PDF content across its full height and width or as part of a UI. Both AIR applications and a browser preserve changes made to position, anchoring, and visibility settings on subsequent views of PDF documents.

    Easy file management. JavaScript is used to control PDF content in the same way as you do with a web page in the browser. Form processing within a file, page navigation, magnification control, and multimedia events management are also available.

    More convenient interface for Flash developers. Flash developers were limited to the browser environment until AIR came along. Internet applications (or RIAs) are based on Flash technologies and can be easily moved to a desktop. This feature is especially important for developing desktop widgets. It allows them to stay up-to-date by collecting data from the net. That means, while browsing various websites, you stay in your OS and have a more pleasant experience.

    Development of applications that can run outside a browser. The ability to combine Adobe Flash, JavaScript, HTML, ActionScript, and Flex is one of the AIR’s advantages that gives it an extra point in the Adobe AIR vs Adobe Reader battle. This is a key feature for developing applications for multiple devices.

    As a result, developers can provide web apps that are not limited to a browser and can work without an Internet connection. AIR applications have access to the file system, the clipboard, support for windowing, drag-and-drop technology, GPU, and more.

    Applications to expand functionality. AIR apps help improve the functionality of a desktop. For example, you can create a to-do list and set deadlines for tasks using Doomi Task Manager. Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and other Google account apps are synchronized in one interface with GMDesk. Shrink O'Matic makes resizing your images easier.

    You need to use Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat to render PDF content in AIR. 

    The program doesn’t support PDF commenting workflows.

    What Is Adobe Reader

    adobe reader logo

    Adobe Reader is a free version of Acrobat with some of its features. This is a good option for viewing, printing, and making simple notes in PDF documents. Comparing Adobe Reader vs Acrobat, you should remember that the free version doesn't support text or media editing. You have to use Acrobat for this purpose.

    You can annotate documents and then share them with other users to learn their opinion. Then, you can combine all annotations into a single shared online PDF. Besides, you can add your electronic signature to a limited number of documents and send forms by mail. Plus, you can save the document to Document Cloud and find it in an instant.

    Cross-platform nature is another feature to keep in mind while comparing Adobe Reader vs Adobe AIR battle. You can create a PDF document on a Mac device and then open and modify it on a desktop computer without any structural changes. Moreover, converting a photo to PDF is a breeze. All you need to do is select the desired picture and initiate conversion.

    • adobe reader interface
    • adobe reader interface

      Adobe Reader: Pros and Cons

      Convenient viewing of multiple large files at once. You can use this free PDF reader to open multiple large files simultaneously. You won’t experience program crashes when you read and comment on big documents. File viewing is similar to what you have in a web browser. All opened documents are displayed as tabs.

      Great annotation tools. Many users consider it the best PDF reader for Windows thanks to its fantastic set of annotation tools. The program includes almost everything you need to make annotations. You can highlight text, fill and sign forms, as well as add comments. A text-to-speech mode is another useful feature.

      Convert PDFs to Word. If you want to create PDF files and export them to OCR-powered Word or Excel documents, you can subscribe inside the Reader. 

      Supports cloud storage. Regardless of what Adobe software you use, you can connect it to Adobe’s cloud storage. You can also use other cloud services (such as Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, or Box) to save and open your PDF documents.

      Convenient work with PDF on the go. Using Acrobat Reader mobile app, you can work with PDFs anywhere. You can convert, edit and sign documents both online and offline. Moreover, using a camera on your device, you can photograph a document, receipt, whiteboard, and save the image in a PDF format.

      Create PDF from photos. Turing a photo into a PDF document is very easy. Select the needed image and convert it. Done!

      The free version has a limited set of tools. 

      Adobe AIR vs Adobe Reader: Price

      adobe air vs adobe reader price

      Adobe AIR is free to use if the revenue cap is less than $50k/year. In this case, the splash screen is injected. If the revenue cap exceeds the acceptable rate, the price of AIR starts at $199/year.

      Adobe Reader is also free to install and use. If its functionality isn’t sufficient for you, you can buy Acrobat Pro DC for $14.99 per month.

      Adobe AIR Basic Tier costs $199.00 for 1 year. It is suitable for users with a revenue cap of $ 100k/year. This package includes support via web channels.

      Adobe AIR Professional Tier costs $799.00 for 1 year. It is suitable for those who have a revenue cap of $500k/year. Support via web channels is also available.

      Adobe AIR Enterprise Tier. You pay $1199.00 for 1 year. The tariff plan has no income restrictions. This package includes priority email support for issues.

      Acrobat Standard costs $12.99/month. You can create, edit, sign and export PDF files, add security and password-protect PDF files and benefit from high-end mobile editing features.

      Acrobat Pro costs $14.99 per month. In addition to Standard features, it includes a comparison of two versions of a PDF to review all differences, the ability to convert scanned files into editable, searchable PDFs, validate and fix PDFs for ISO and accessibility standard, edit PDFs to permanently remove unwanted information.

      Adobe AIR vs Adobe Reader: Who Wins?

      Which program to choose - Adobe AIR or Adobe Reader? The answer depends on your tasks. If you need good software for viewing, annotating and collaborating on PDF files, then Adobe Reader is a more suitable option. You can work with documents anywhere and you don’t have to deal with a complex interface.

      If you want to expand the functionality of your PC not only with applications such as Adobe Reader but also with other programs to improve productivity and work with media, then I advise you to take a closer look at Adobe AIR. It is a great choice for building advanced multi-platform applications.

      Ann Young

      Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

      GET 60% OFF GET 60% OFF