Author Archive: Adrian Ludwig

We Choose the Moon: 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11

Tom Barclay and I visited the folks at Domani Studios in Brooklyn today and
they showed us
which is part of a great new campaign celebrating the 40th anniversary
of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.


As a member of the Apollo
team here at Adobe, I personally thought the subject matter was really exciting. And hte site showcases a huge collection of video and photos from the JFK presidential library. Domani also did a great job with some 3-D video flyovers of the shuttle – you can click to zoom around as the rocket is waiting to be launched.

But as a current member of the Adobe AIR team, what I really like about the site is how they are providing a widget that extends the experience beyond their own website. There is a simple “get the widget” button that allows you to download and install a widget and track a replay of the launch in real time.


The widget can be installed as an AIR application, as well as embedded directly into your MySpace or Facebook page. It provides a countdown timer, a bit of information about the status of a real-time replay of the mission, and ties into twitter to make the experience even more social.

Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more examples of these types of applications that use Flash to deliver an application in the browser, beyond the browser and across social networks.

The 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch is Thursday at 9:23 am ET, and the “landing” is on Monday – so go check out today.

Adobe AIR now installed over 200 million times

During the Flash Camp Keynote in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch mentioned that AIR reached over 200 million installs. We’ve gotten some questions from developers about that number, so this is a quick post to confirm that as of June 1, 2009, AIR has been installed on over 200 million desktop computers worldwide.

With 100 million installs in the first 10 months of availability, and 200 million in just 16 months the rate of adoption continues to accelerate as more applications are developed and come to market.

The application built by Adobe and provided with Adobe Reader continues to be one of the most popular applications. Many of the early adopters like TweetDeck and eBay Desktop continue to be broadly used and we’re seeing many new applications that are gaining popularity including:

In addition to those large brands, we’re excited by the smaller companies that are achieving incredible reach with their applications. Seesmic Desktop now says they are getting about 10,000 downloads a day driven by their integration with Facebook and Twitter.

It’s also exciting to see enterprises widely adopting Adobe AIR. So far, these applications aren’t driving as many installs of the runtime as the media and social applications, but they are helping to confirm the reach the Flash Platform has established in the enterprise. We’ve recently talked about the improved integration with Salesforce, seen Oracle using Adobe AIR to deliver CRM widgets , and discovered that SAP xCelsius provides support for AIR. We’re also starting to see ISVs deliver applications to the enterprise on Adobe AIR:

And finally, for folks who have asked how AIR is gaining traction in the government, I want to share one of my favorite apps. The Finance Ministry in Poland built an AIR application to assist their citizens in filing their income taxes.

AIR Passes 100 Million Installs

Today at Adobe MAX in Japan, we shared some great news about the expanding reach of the Flash Platform. We announced that Adobe AIR has been installed over 100 million times. Also, as of December, Flash Player 10 was installed on 55% of computers worldwide. Flash Player 10 is breaking all previous records for rate of adoption for Flash Player, and we expect greater than 80% penetration by the second quarter of 2009. The Milward Brown survey has details on the methodology used to determine the Flash Player penetration.

Adobe AIR is not included in the Milward Brown data yet, so I thought it might be helpful to explain our methodology. The number we announced is the count of successful initial installations of Adobe AIR — this provides a minimum for the total install base of the AIR runtime.


Why does Adobe talk about installation numbers?

Our developers regularly ask about installation numbers because they are concerned about how quickly someone can install an application and begin using it. Having the runtime installed ahead of time makes that easier by making the download smaller and the download time faster. This the same reason that we focus on keeping the Flash Player very small, and why new versions are adopted so quickly.

What do we mean by "successful installation?"

Software installation can fail during download and also at installation time, so we only consider an installation to be successful when it can be confirmed by code running after the installation has been completed.

For example, the majority of AIR runtime installations occur at the time the first AIR application is installed by a user — usually through the use of an "install badge" using AIR’s seamless install feature. An install badge detects whether the runtime is installed on a user’s system before attempting to install the application. If the runtime is not installed, it will be downloaded and installed before the application is installed. In most cases, a user usually launches the app once the installation process has been completed. Once the application is launched, the AIR runtime checks on start-up to see whether a new version of the runtime is available. This request confirms that the runtime was installed correctly and that an application has been launched.

One thing the number of successful installs does not tell us is where are all the installs are coming from. Some are coming from people who come to to download the runtime, but the vast majority are being driven by great, popular applications. Some of the most popular include:

Are there others? We’d love to know about it. If you don’t mind sharing — put a link to your application below and let us know how many people have installed it…

We’ve gotten a few requests for more specifics around badge installations, so I did a little more digging into the data. Over 30 million installations have been of applications delivered via AIR badges. That means a lot of people are also downloading applications without using a badge. In some instances the runtime and application are offered separately — such as Pandora Desktop and finetune. In other cases, the application and runtime are bundled within another application, such as Creative Suite 4, Adobe Reader, or raptr.

Popular Science visits Adobe AIR team

In the December issue of Popular Science AIR was awarded a “best of what’s new 2008”, and yesterday they came by to actually give the team the award. We’ve got a lot of Popular Science readers on the team, so it was a lot of fun to meet some folks from the magazine — and see Adobe AIR in print. Here’s Ed Rowe receiving the award from Wendi Berger, Associate Publisher:


Like many of you, we work on a distributed team — along with Ed are a bunch of members of the AIR team in San Francisco and the screen in the background includes has some folks in San Jose. Folks in Romania and India weren’t able to make it to the event, but have also been key to AIR’s success this year.

On screen (l. to r., t. to b.):
Mas Kagita, Juan Gutierrez, Jose Wong, Hitomi Kudo, Ted Zeng, Vincent Lee, Kevin Chow, Eric Simenel Sharon Chau, Ann Garrido-Nakagawa, Lawrence Lai, Frank Stokes-Guinan

In front:
Ethan Malasky, John Graziano, Chris Thilgen, Kiran Maiya, Steve Minns, Michael Pruett, Alex Mohr, Jason Williams, Jeff Swartz, Rob Christensen, Alex Alvarez, Jason Graham, Erica Norton, David Knight, Arno Gourdol, Paul Robertson, Wendi Berger, Alex MacDonald, Doug Rapp, Aaron Filner, Ed
Rowe, Chris Brichford, Adrian Ludwig

Not pictured:

California Team: Oliver Goldman, Arjun Urs, Brent Rosenquist, Christian Cantrell, Daniel Valencia, Stan Switzer, Shad Ahmad, Lisa Chao, Subha Subramanian, Steve Horvath, Joe Ward,

Romania Team: Alexandru Costin, Dragos Georgita, Raul-Nicolae Hudea, Alexandru Chiculita, Marius-Andrei Loana, Mirela Budaes, Horia-losif Olaru, Mihnea-Vlad Ovidenie, Tudor Muscalu

India Team: Aniket Ray, Ashutosh J Sharma, Gaurav Khurana, Romil Mittal, Priyank Choudhury, Damanjit Singh, Rahul Rohilla, Rohit Kewlani, Srijesh Kumar, Syed Mohd Mehadi, Sundeep Maithani

Signing applications on Adobe AIR

One of the most important features of AIR is the signing of applications, which allows users to know who built an application so they can decide whether to install. Adobe strongly recomends the use of a certificate issued by a well-known, trusted certificate authority (CA) for any application that is going to be distributed to the public.

The Adobe Developer center has a number of great articles that will take you through the all of the steps to digitally sign your AIR application.

One of the first steps to take is to acquire a certificate. To help make that easier, one of the most popular CAs, GlobalSign, is offering an end of year promotion for their certificates.

Application mashups on Adobe AIR

One of the best things about attending Adobe MAX is that you get to see some of the technology experiments that Adobe is conducting. The sneaks this year included a really cool new project called Durango that is now available on Adobe Labs. Durango is a framework that allows developers to build AIR applications that can be customized by end users. It allows developers, designers and end-users to easily mashup independent components to create new applications or extend existing Durango-enable applications.

Developers need to download the Durango SDK in order to use the Durango framework. The SDK also includes several sample applications . Durango enabled applications are delivered as AIR (.air) files which end users install. These applications incorporate the Durango framework. The team is requesting your feedback on this Labs release to as they continue to develop the features and capabilities of Durango.

For more details, please visit the Durango page and review the FAQ on Adobe Labs.