Five Adobe Air Apps Designers Can't Live Without

You might have heard about Adobe Air but chances are you're not using it as a means to improve your producticity as a designer or developer. Let's look at a few Adobe Air applications to design better, faster and more organized websites.

For those not yet familiar with Adobe Air, let's start with a definition/explanation. Adobe AIR is a runtime environment for building and deploying RIA's (rich Internet applications). AIR allows Flash, ActionScript or HTML and JavaScript code to be used to create desktop-like programs. For all intents and purposes, consider it a browser-less application framework. The advantage of using AIR is that when you are working with data on a local file system (as opposed to those in browser-deploed apps) you have greater flexibility - meaning that you can work offline and then upload data if neccessary when a connection becomes available. Two examples I have come across recently that I have been testing are eBay Desktop and TweetDeck

Now that we've got a handle on what Adobe Air actually is, let's move on to a few applications that will I believe designers can't (or shouldn't) live without. If you have an Adobe AIR app that you would like Website Magazine to review, just let us know in the comment section below.

Web Snapshot: Takes snapshots of any webpage and provides the ability to configure image sizes (thumbnail, browser size or the full page). Another Adobe Air tool is WebKut which gives designers the ability to select a portion of the page.

Web Snapshot Adobe AIR App

Icon Generator
: If you need to create an icon quickly in a very 2.0 style, look no further than Icon Generator, an application that enables designers to pick the color, enter characters and save into four different sizes.

Image Generator Adobe AIR app

RichFLV - FLV Editor: Editing FLV files is incredibly easy with RichFLV, an FLV editor that lets designers edit then export files to other formats like SWF and merge multiple files. Features include the ability to read metadata and change the sound of the FLV to MP3. There have been some complaints that the app locks up with longer videos but I have not experienced any issues to date.

Rich FLV Adobe AIR app

ColourLovers - Color Finder
: The application interface lets designers access over one million colors and 300,000 color palettes of the resource website - which we have covered at dreamweaver tools for Kuler available as well if you just can't bring yourself to install Adobe AIR.

Colour Lovers Adobe AIR app

ConceptShare Desktop Uploader: This app allows desigers (or developers) to set up secure online workspaces for sharing designs, documents and video, and invite others to review, comment and give feedback - much like it's companion website. ConceptShare Desktop enables drag and drop uploading of concepts to workspaces, the ability to create new workspaces, manage people and get alerts when someone replies or comments on one of your workspaces.

ConceptShare Adobe AIR app