What is Adobe AIR
According to the Adobe AIR website, Adobe AIR "is a cross-operating system runtime that lets developers combine HTML, Ajax, Adobe Flash®, and Flex technologies to deploy rich Internet applications (RIAs) on the desktop. Adobe AIR allows developers to use familiar tools such as Adobe Dreamweaver® CS3, Flex® Builder™ 3, Flash CS3 Professional, or any text editor to build their applications and easily deliver a single application installer that works across operating systems."
Basically it means it allows you to view fancy Flash and AJAX from your desktop, across different platforms.
How do I build on AIR
Applications for AIR can be built in:
- HTML/AJAX (Using Dreamweaver, or any text editor in conjunction with the AIR SDK)
- Adobe Flex Builder 3
- Adobe Flash CS3
Learn more at: Adobe AIR Developer Center for HTML and Ajax
What is the point of AIR when you can use a browser?
Probably if you are in a company building an application that you want to be able to view outside of the fetters of a browser, and also to be able to view it across many different platforms.