40 Great Adobe AIR Applications for Designers and Developers

Adobe AIR is one of the most under-appreciated application platforms, but the number of applications available for AIR make it incredibly useful.

There are apps for everything from business to shopping to image management to video editing.

And plenty of applications are useful to designers and developers, including HTML text editors, Flickr search apps, color palette management tools and even ones to help with the business side of the industry.

Below are 40 awesome AIR apps that we have selected to help you streamline your design and development workflow.


Color Tools

Kuler Desktop
View RSS feeds of the newest, highest-rated and most popular color themes, as well as random ones. You can browse or search for color themes and then import them directly into Creative Suite 3 Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign.

Color Browser
The Color Browser application lets you store your color palettes locally. It works with ASE files, so you can import your Kuler and COLOURlovers palettes.

COLOURlovers Desktop Color Finder
The COLOURlovers Desktop Color Finder lets you search the entire COLOURlovers database, which contains over 300,000 color palettes and almost 1 million named colors.

Contrast-A is a tool for checking the contrast between different colors, according to both WCAG 2.0 and 1.0. It allows you to view RGB colors in a three-dimensional model.


Image Tools

A simple application to resize images in batches. It includes settings for quality and a crop tool for individual images.

Icon Generator
The Icon Generator helps you create CS3 and Web 2.0-style icons in three easy steps.

Shrink O’Matic
Shrink O’Matic is a batch image resizer that works with JPEGs, GIFs and PNGs. It resizes, names and formats images using a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Random Patter
Random Patter lets you create random patterns based on images and other parameters. The outputted file can be saved as an SVG document.

Splashup Light
An image editor for simple image enhancements. It allows you to adjust levels, contrast, brightness, hue, saturation and more.

Resize images by dragging and dropping them in and out of this program. You can also create widgets that contain preset definitions for resizing.

PNG Icon Generator for Adobe AIR Applications
A simple app for creating AIR application icons in all four icon sizes out of one 256×256 PNG file.

BetaDesigns Caliper
Caliper lets you measure anything on your screen. It floats above other programs, can be rotated 360º and takes pixel-perfect measurements.

Flickr Desktop Search
Flickr Desktop Search lets you search for Flickr photos, groups and people right from your desktop.

A screenshot application that lets you capture an entire web page, your current view or a section of the page.

Capture a screenshot of any web page with Websnapshot just by entering the URL or dragging and dropping the page into the program. It also lets you select the type of image you want captured: thumbnail, browser size or full page.


Wireframing and Prototyping

iPlotz is a downloadable application for wireframing and creating clickable, navigable mockups of websites and apps. It comes with collaboration and project management tools. The desktop version is $75.

FlairBuilder is a wireframe, prototype and mockup builder. It supports multiple projects, includes a components library featuring common website elements (buttons, drop-downs, etc.), and has plenty of formatting options. The trial version is free, and the full program costs $99.

Balsamiq Mockups
Balsamiq Mockups lets you create website mockups in an environment that makes you feel as if you’re simply drawing a picture. The desktop Air version is $79, but you can try it for free (although you will not be able to save any of your files without a license key).


Typography and Fonts

.merlin is a free font organizer. It handles OTF, TTF and Type1 fonts.

Font Picker
Font Picker does just what its name suggests: it helps you pick fonts for your design projects from the ones already installed on your computer.


SEO and Analytics Tools

Demandbase Stream
Demandbase Stream lets you see in real time and on your desktop which businesses are visiting your website. It allows you to filter the data, set up a watch list, see the search keywords that visitors used to reach your website and see the pages that visitors are currently viewing.

SEO Analyzer
SEO Analyzer checks your page rank and analyzes your links and keywords for their search ranking effectiveness.


Framework and Grid Tools

Boks is a free user interface for working with the Blueprint CSS framework. It handles baseline rhythm and grid configuration, CSS and grid.png exporting and HTML layouts.

Em Calculator
The Em Calculator calculates the vertical rhythm of your designs in em units rather than pixels.


Collaboration and Presentation Tools

Live Presentations
Its owners describe Live Presentations as “presentation software for the Internet generation.” It works online and offline, lets you share and collaborate with others and allows you to import and export to PowerPoint, among other things.

ConceptShare Desktop Companion
If you already use ConceptShare, the Desktop Companion makes it easier to share media files. Just drag and drop files from your computer to a new or existing ConceptShare workspace.


Business and Project Management Tools

Ora Time and Expense
Ora Time and Expense is a free, easy-to-use application for creating and managing timesheets, expense reports and invoices.

FEAT (Freelancer’s Estimation Assistance Tool)
This tool helps freelancers create more accurate pricing estimates. It stores values that you set to save you time when creating estimates in future.

Klok is a time-management and tracking application that simplifies the process of working with multiple projects, clients or tasks simultaneously. Just press a button when you start working and then again when you stop, and Klok tracks everything else.

Google Calendar Invoice Creator
If you use Google Calendar for time management, this app makes it easy to create invoices from your calendar’s RSS feed. It creates text and HTML-formatted invoices.

Timeloc tracks the time you spend working on projects. It can handle multiple projects and clients, lets you edit the billing period and change the rate per client and uses audible alerts and reminders.

Doomi is a simple app for to-do lists. It shows current to-do items, along with archived tasks.


Backup and Archiving Tools

Fireworks AutoBackup Utility
If you use Fireworks, this app will continually back up any PNG images you use in the background as you work. It automatically saves a copy of the working file at intervals that you specify.

BackIt Archive Tool
BackIt lets you batch archive and copy files from your computer to a USB drive or CD. It has a drag-and-drop interface and stores your settings and current selections.


Other Useful Tools

De MonsterDebugger
A free, open-source debugger for Flash, Flex and AIR. It includes live editing, method testing and a tree structure, among many other features.

Fnk is a visual programming environment for using a dataflow approach to real-time analysis of data from images, sounds and other sources. It simplifies the creation of multimedia presentation prototypes that respond to a number of input and output devices.

SQLite Sorcerer
SQLite Sorcerer helps you perform the primary admin functions for your SQLite database. It supports the creation of new databases, opening recent databases from a list and retrieving the entire structure of a database. You can even compare the structure of two databases. You can also create, delete and modify tables and data and check the results of SQL that you write.

This is a great app for managing you Twitter account(s). It lets you update, post images, shorten links, and group those you follow. And there’s even an iPhone app you can use that will sync with your Air version.

htmlText Editor
htmlText Editor is a simple visual WYSIWYG editor for HTML text editing.

Organize all of your code and text snippets in one place with Snippely. You can also save snippets in groups for quick retrieval.

RichFLV lets you edit FLV files. It enables you to read, edit, modify and delete cue points, cut FLVs, convert FLV to SWF and modify the sound on FLV files, among other things.

Compiled exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman.

Which ones are your favorites? Please suggest other apps that we didn’t mention in this article…

  • Sab

    Very useful! Thanks.

  • http://austinpassy.com The Frosty

    Some very, very useful application there!

  • http://www.totalfootballmadness.com flagged

    Wow, thanks for this list, i personally like the Demandbase Stream

  • http://www.resourcesweekly.com/ Ronald H.

    Great list buddy. Kuler Desktop is great.

  • timhecker

    Very useful tools! Another useful Adobe AIR Applications for designers and developers is the EM Calculator for vertical rhythm (http://jameswhittaker.com/journal/em-based-layouts-vertical-rhythm-calculator/) by James Whittaker.

  • http://www.red-i.co.za Markgt

    Some great new apps in there, thanks for the list :-) I’ve used ImageSizer – its easy to use, quick and outputs great quality – wonderful for clients who need to just crop and resize images, but don’t know how to use imaging software. But i’m definitely going to try some of those others!

  • http://www.axlsoftwares.com prafuldass

    Great list. thanks for sharing

  • http://www.bayoudesign.net Chance Lay/Bayou Design

    Great applications. the Font Organizer is absolutely marvelous. I commend you on finding all of these great AIR programs. Keep up thegreat work.

  • vikas ghodke

    woow.. thx

  • http://www.patternhead.com Patternhead

    Some great apps that I haven’t seen before.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://devesigner.com Lamin Barrow

    Amazing… great list if air apps. I am checking some of them out right now. Thanks for posting. :)

  • http://jashsayani.com Jash Sayani

    Remember The Task is a nice GTD (Getting Things Done) app that uses Remember The Milk: http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/marketplace/index.cfm?event=marketplace.offering&offeringID=10052

    On Adobe AIR Marketplace.

  • frujo

    Thanks! I like the acolor tools and gonna use the one from “kuler”.

  • http://blog.jakerocheleau.com/ Jake Rocheleau

    These are fantastic, thanks for sharing! I haven’t had a lot of time to work with Adobe AIR yet, so these little programs are definitely worth checking out

  • Deluxe Interactive

    kuler desktop is a good application i think…

  • GoodDog

    Sweet. I love Kuler and I never knew they had a desktop app. Great list.

  • http://www.teknopoint.info Himanshu Mody

    Amazing apps, I think it shows how AIR is poised to be next big offering for all product companies. All product companies need a AIR version or they will loose clients.
    I think we will stop using an online version of prototyping application after evaluating 3 AIR apps mentioned here for wire framing.

  • http://www.octopoda.com.ar agustin ruiz

    cool! I downloaded some of them already, thanks!!! :D

  • http://circleboxtextures.com/ Callum Chapman

    Thanks for putting this list together – I’ve stumbled it for future reference… Not going to bother installing anything right now (theres a couple of apps there that I want to try but i’ll save them for when I get my new mac) ;)

  • britneyfreek

    you just forgot about dukt (formerly known as kronos) by twodecember:

  • http://twitter.com/muereelkin El Pastor Culión

    Great!!!!!… =)

  • http://www.fuelyourcreativity.com Angie Bowen

    Great list of apps. I’m a huge AIR fan and this will give me lots of new toys to try out :). Thanks!

  • http://mokshasolutions.com Moksha

    Thanks i never knew AIR is so powerful

  • http://www.funkyfreshmedia.com Ramy

    I absolutely loved this article, thanks for the useful information

  • http://andymatthews.net/ andy matthews

    I’d like to suggest my AIR app, Shrinkadoo:

    It allows you to shorten URLs from any of the major services in one interface.

  • http://www.jsbwebdesign.com JSB Web Design

    This is an awesome list! Thanks for putting it all together, there are more than a few I will be sharing with others.

  • http://www.cheekymonkeymedia.ca Rick

    Thank you for the list,
    I knew about a lot of these but there are some real gems here
    thanks again

  • http://www.theolympicgamescountdown.com/ Mike

    Great list of programs! Haven’t really got started on AIR yet, but I’m gonna give it a try with some of these applications!

  • http://dynamical.biz/blog Ani López

    I would like to mention http://konductor.net a CMS platform based on Adobe AIR Application

  • http://www.windyapps.com ion100

    You can find 270 free air apps @ http://www.windyapps.com

  • http://www.sonnydesign.com sonnydesign

    thank you for sharing this really a complete tools for web developers from designing, seo, time monitoring and billing. Great job

  • http://veil1426.multiply.com sharin_sg

    This is just wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://blogs.adobe.com/cantrell Christian Cantrell

    For a different kind of screen/pixel measuring application, check out PixelWindow:



  • http://www.technomesh.com Nilimesh

    personally saying……
    really really good collection!
    they are really awesome.

  • Rich Snap

    Under the Business and Project Management Tools section you should add the adobe air app studiocloud which lets designers/developers create free estimates/quotes plus other free business management stuff.

  • http://www.trafficoholic.com Kuslahne

    I like your software list. The Doomi is great apps. I am using it to keep on deadline, looks cool.