Adobe AIR Moves Web Apps to the Next Level

Here's a sampling of current and upcoming Adobe AIR applications that blur the line between online services and desktop programs.

Adobe's New AIR Technology

As if the line between desktop apps and Web services wasn't fuzzy enough, Adobe has introduced a technology called Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) that promises to further blur the difference even more--for the good. This technology, launched this week, lets Web site owners build services--be it a media player, an accounting app, or a video editor--that Web surfers can more easily and more quickly access either online, offline, or on a cell phone. To get a better idea of how this works, browse this collection of current and upcoming Adobe AIR apps.

ShiftD Keeps Your PC and Phone in Sync

ShifD, developed by The New York Times Company, is a free Adobe AIR application for shifting notes, Web links, and addresses between computers and mobile phones. ShifD eliminates the need to e-mail yourself a reminder of a great travel Web site, for example. Instead, you save your Web notes to ShifD and access the data as if it were a universal yellow sticky note on all your PCs or a mobile device. The service is currently in beta mode.

AOL Uses AIR to Beef Up Online Storage

The longstanding online storage service Xdrive receives a major Adobe AIR facelift with the introduction of the free Xdrive Desktop Lite beta. AOL touts that, with the AIR-ified Xdrive desktop program, grabbing data from your Xdrive account on the Web will be as easy as grabbing it from your computer's local C: drive.

Finetune Your Music

Finetune Desktop complements the Finetune streaming music Web site. The free desktop application allows you to listen to streamed audio as well as create personal playlists and specialized playlists dedicated to artists of your choice.

Juggle Your Digital Stuff With Joggle

Joggle is a site and application that keeps track of where all your digital movies, pictures, and music are stored--no matter how many desktops, notebooks, and online services such as Flickr your content may reside on. If you decide to store any sort of content on Joggle's site, you can easily share it publicly or privately. Joggle is not available today, but you can try it in about one month when the service debuts as a public beta in late March, the company says.

E-Commerce Gets an AIR Upgrade

Allurent Desktop Connection (ADC) has developed an e-commerce alternative for online merchant that makes shopping online feel more like flipping through a brick-and-mortar glossy catalog. In this example of ADC technology, the women's apparel and home goods retailer Web site Anthropologie has created a highly interactive e-commerce Web site.

AIR Helps AOL Enhance Music Video Browsing and Watching

AOL is using Adobe AIR in hopes to make browsing and viewing videos easier with a free application called AOL Top 100 Music Videos. The app allows you to browse and play popular music videos. Because it also takes advantage of local system resources, the software can integrate features such as the ability to bookmark a favorite video, personalize content with feedback, and to share videos with other AOL Top 100 Music Videos users.

Nickelodeon Dials Up the Fun

Nickelodeon uses Adobe AIR to create a jigsaw puzzle game that entices visitors to to explore the site, locate pieces of a video, and then drag the pieces to the AIR application on their PC. Get all the pieces to the puzzle and--you guessed it--the video plays.

Today's Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld's Editors