If you often watch videos on the Internet, play online games or build websites, you need to compare Adobe AIR vs Flash to select the option that suits your needs best.
Adobe AIR is a cross-platform environment created by Adobe for app developers. It allows you to use HTML/CSS, AJAX, Adobe Flash and Apache Flex to bring web applications, including RIA, to desktop computers and mobile devices.
Flash is a cross-platform solution for playing interactive multimedia content (FLV and SWF files) in various browsers and operating systems.
You can use the Adobe AIR runtime and AIR SDK free of charge. Every person who installed the Flash add-on on their PC was able to use it without paying a dime as well.
Adobe AIR is considered to be an advanced version of Adobe Flash Player. When comparing Flash vs Adobe AIR, you will see that the former is simply a browser plugin that supports in-browser content. However, AIR supports applications running outside browsers and allows using them as standalone apps.
You don’t need to install apps developed for Flash Player. AIR apps require installation and can be used even outside a browser. Flash-based apps have access only to specific files, while AIR-based apps have unlimited access to all files.
In most cases, Adobe AIR apps are easier to use since they have more tools and features that aren’t available in browser-based apps. They provide users with a richer and more enjoyable experience.