Some Interesting AIR Marketplace Statistics

A little over a year ago, I wrote a Python script to screen scrape the entire Adobe AIR Marketplace, download all the listed AIR applications, crack open the installers, and extract some statistics. My primary interest was how many HTML-based AIR applications were listed versus SWF-based applications, but I recorded some other interesting stats, as well.

I ran the script again the other day (after some updating since screen scraping scripts always break), and here’s what I found:

Statistic Data Description
Total AIR apps on the Marketplace 724 Total number of AIR applications listed on the Adobe AIR Marketplace as of 10/29/2009.
Total testable apps 536 The total number of applications I was able to download and test.121 applications don’t have direct links to their AIR files on the marketplace,and the rest couldn’t be tested because of 404s or network timeouts.
Total SWF-based AIR apps 443 (82.6%) Total number of applications that use a SWF as their main content. There is no distinction between Flash and Flex apps.
Total confirmed AS2 apps 2 Total number of SWF-based applications that use ActionScript 2 rather than ActionScript 3. (I’d be alarmed if this were much higher.)
Total HTML-based AIR apps 93 (17.4%) Total number of applications that use an HTML file as their main content.

Some things to keep in mind about this data:

  • I was only able to test applications that were listed on the Adobe AIR Marketplace. These stats don’t include the (hundreds? thousands?) of AIR applications not listed.
  • I was only able to test applications that have direct links to their AIR files on the Marketplace. 121 applications only have links to their sites rather than links to their AIR apps, so that’s a fair percentage of missing data (16.7%). Maybe I’ll fix that limitation in the future.
  • I don’t have any statistic on “hybrid” apps, or applications that load a SWF as their main content, but then load HTML/JS into an HTMLLoader (or the opposite — HTML apps that load Flash content). I’ve personally written several applications that combine Flash/ActionScript/HTML/JS, and I suspect a substantial portion of the SWF-based applications on the Marketplace are hybrids, as well.

I plan on updating the script to look for any HTML/JS files in the application bundle in order to give an indication of the number of hybrid applications out there. I’ll post the results when I have them.

So my questions for you guys are:

  • Any other statistics you’d like to see?
  • Anything we can do for the HTML/JS/Ajax developers out there to get more HTML-based apps?
  • Will any of the new HTML features in AIR 2 give HTML devs what they need to build on AIR?