Adobe AIR – 13 Excellent Applications to Extend the Internet

Adobe AIR is a new cross-platform run time environment which allows developers to create highly interactive web applications.  Basically, Adobe AIR allows developers to extend the internet right to your desktop, without the use of a web browser. Think of AIR applications as a front end (user interface) to the internet.

Although the AIR platform is relatively new, there are many developers hard at work creating programs.  Here are a few that I hand picked after looking at the extensive (300+) list of AIR applications.  I chose these applications because they are truly unique, useful, and practical.

Snackr

This awesome RSS reader presents your feeds via a ticker bar.  You can position the bar on any edge of the screen, configure the speed, and more.  The RSS feeds are displayed randomly from to your choice of feeds (you can import your feeds).

Ebay Desktop

eBay Desktop makes  browsing, searching, and bidding for items much easier.  The interface is easy, fast, and intuitive.  You can see all the items you’re watching at a glance and the new layout makes shopping a breeze.  Features additions which are not possible within the browser such as one-click search filters, alerts, history, and feeds.

AOL Top 100 Videos

I’m not really a fan of anything AOL, but here’s one useful product.  The top 100 videos keeps you in the loop as to what’s popular.  I like this little application because it always keeps the videos fresh so there’s always something new to watch.

Flash Video Finder

This application has the ability to search many flash video sites  all at once.  Pretty nifty program if you’re into YouTube and the numerous other video sites. 

Kido’z

Kido’z has the young geek’s name all over it.  This program is perfect for little kids; everything is big and easy to find.  It’ll keep the little ones from wandering around and getting lost.  The only thing I wish it had was a password lock, to prevent them from closing the program.

feedDots

Yet another RSS reader.  I like this program because it organizes the feeds in a very simple way.  feedDots sits on your desktop and automatically updates the news.  If the scroll bar from Snackr is annoying you, feedDots may be an alternative.

Pixus

Pixus is a very simple tool which creates a resizeable box.  This box can be moved anywhere on the screen and lets you measure different windows and objects.  There are many, many scenarios where this would be handy to have!

Craigslist  Desktop

Are you a deal junkie?  If so, Craigslist is probably one of your main stops.  Craigslist Desktop brings a new interface to Craigslist.  It lists the items for sale, but includes the pictures and a short description all on one line, making Craigslist shopping much more efficient.

Google Analytics

Although still in beta, Google Analytics for Adobe AIR  is still pretty slick.  A must have for any webmaster, this makes looking at your stats a little easier and faster.  There are still some bugs to work out, like numbers not appearing under graphs, but it’s functional for the most part.

TweetDeck

A full-featured Twitter client.  TweetDeck has multiple, customizable panes that let you see a lot at once.  See your friends tweets, replies, direct messages, searches, etc all in one view.  TweetDeck is still in beta, so there may be some stability issues.  TweetDeck works fine on my main computer, but refuses to work on my laptop, so YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Twhirl

A lightweight Twitter application.  Pretty much similar to TweetDeck, except that it doesn’t have multiple panes.  On computers that TweetDeck crashes on, I use Twhirl.

Doomi

Doomi (doo-mee) is a great To-Do desktop application.  It is very, very simple to use.  Just type in a to-do and choose when to be reminded.  A must have for the forgetful person!

Klok

Klok is a personal time keeping application.  With this program, you can effortlessly track your time spent working on certain projects.  This could be especially useful if you perform services that charge hourly.