Support for AIR Beta Applications After 1.0 Ships

If you’ve released an application based on one of the AIR beta releases, here are a few things to keep in mind when making the transition to 1.0.

The Adobe AIR 1.0 release will install side-by-side with any beta releases already on the target machine. Applications which are bound to the beta releases will continue to run on those releases until the beta releases themselves expire. That’s June 1, 2008 for Beta 2 and November 1, 2008 for Beta 3.

Users with either (or both) beta release installed will be automatically updated to 1.0 the first time they encounter an application bound to 1.0. This is true regardless of whether it’s a new installation or an update. I described this in more detail in this earlier post on the auto-update mechanism.

If your application is auto-updating itself, keep in mind that you must maintain its identity between releases.

For users who first install 1.0 and then encounter an application bound to one of the beta releases AIR will not automatically install the beta release. Instead, the user will see a polite message informing them the application requires an unsupported version of AIR and they should check with the application’s publisher for an update.

Users in this situation who can’t obtain a copy of the application for 1.0–e.g., if the application hasn’t yet been updated–can manually install the beta 3 release. They can also manually install the beta 2 release but the beta 2 release can only be installed before beta 3 and 1.0. Attempting to install beta 2 after any later release will, unfortunately, trash your installation.

Why don’t we support automatically installing the betas after 1.0 is already installed? It hardly seemed like the best use of our resources.