Adobe: 25 Million AIR App Installs, Actual Number Likely Higher

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Adobe emailed me last night to let me know that their cross-browser desktop runtime for RIAs called AIR (the Adobe Integrated Runtime) had been seen over 25 million application installations. If that sounds confusing, you’re not alone. I pinged Adobe to ask if that meant 25 million installs of the AIR runtime itself or something else, and they let me know that the 25 million number is their count of application installs, and not runtime installs. However, due to how they count we can guess at two things:

  1. The actual number of application installs is likely higher.
  2. The number of AIR runtime installs is north of 25 million.

Adobe doesn’t share AIR download numbers, but the way they arrived at the 25 million app installs number sheds some light on how popular AIR has become.

Here’s what I got from from a PR rep at A&R Edelman speaking on behalf of Adobe:

Adobe does not have the ability to track installations of individual 3rd-party applications, but they get a ping following a successful installation of the runtime. So to come up with the 25 million number, Adobe took the number of installs and then subtracted out those instances where the runtime might have been installed without an application (for example, people who came to the http://get.adobe.com/air — Adobe wasn’t sure whether they had installed an application). If the same person had downloaded multiple applications on the same machine, Adobe would have only counted them once.

Unless I’m missing something, what that suggests to me is that the actual number of AIR applications installed could be a lot of higher. I know I’ve tried many more than just one AIR application. Further, because the 25 million number is only counting one install per user and not counting AIR installs direct from Adobe, the number of API installs is probably higher as well. Adobe indicated that one of its most popular AIR apps, the eBay Desktop, had been downloaded more than a million times.

In addition, Adobe’s Ryan Stewart is reporting that the AIR developer SDK has been downloaded 850,000 times, indicating not only a healthy user ecosystem, but strong developer interest as well.

Note: if you’re just getting started developing with Adobe AIR, check out some of the recent SitePoint tutorials on the topic.

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