40 Great Adobe AIR Applications for Designers and Developers

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July 13, 2009

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 256x256 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...

WDD Staff

WDD staff are proud to be able to bring you this daily blog about web design and development. If there's something you think we should be talking about let us know @DesignerDepot.

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