Thursday, October 06, 2011

Adobe MAX and AIR: Disappointed and Confused

Dear Adobe,

You keep telling me that you can build an AIR app and deploy it to multiple devices. So when I sat down to watch the keynotes, I expected to see an app running across multiple devices. Instead, you showed me the following:

  • Touch apps that are running on a single Android tablet and “coming soon” for iPad

  • Angry Birds (and others) running on the desktop, but not on a tablet or a phone

No matter how impressive your AIR app is, I only want to see your app if it’s running on multiple devices. You’re shooting yourself in the foot when you say “coming soon to other devices”. I guess next time I approach a client I’ll say, “Thanks to AIR, I can deliver this Android app and then also deliver an iPad app a few months later.”

Your Angry Birds and Unreal demos were impressive, but didn’t they belong in the “sneaks” section? Am I supposed to send my mom a link to the MAX keynote and say, “Look Mom! Angry Birds running in Flash!” She doesn’t want to watch a video of a mobile game in a browser and she doesn’t care what Flash is, she just wants to play Angry Birds on every device she has today.

I love the the vision of Flash (deploying high performance apps across multiple devices), but unfortunately the reality is very upsetting. You have no tooling for 3D, GPU is not working across desktop and mobile devices, and your “build once, deploy everywhere” message is falling flat on its face. If you would have shown me released tools for building games (physics, level editors, sprite management, etc) and Angry Birds running across desktop, Android, and iOS, that we could all take home and play, I would have given you a standing ovation. Unfortunately, MAX felt more like a message of, “Just hang on a little while longer, we’ll get there, we promise!”

All I want to see is mind-blowing demos of AIR running across multiple devices and the tools you used to make them, but instead I saw an awkward message of buying PhoneGap to support HTML apps and Flash become the new browser "console".

Fix your story. Clear your message. Deliver on your promises.

I'm still waiting...

John Lindquist


  1. [...] to offer to flash developers but excuses and broken promises. One of my favorite flash bloggers, John Lindquist also noticed that all was not well in the house of Adobe. Were you at MAX? Tell me what you thought in the [...]

  2. Oh! I feel for you, you really sound disappointed. I wonder if they have improved this software?

  3. This is a good point. Adobe is not one of my tools anymore. They screwed us enough.