AIR Install Badge – USE IT!
After you spend hours creating your AIR application, how do you distribute it? Unfortunately, many developers simply post a link to their .air file. This is fine for us AIR-savvy people but when the .air file goes to non-technical people, it’s important that the install process go as smooth as possible. Telling your Mom to install AIR and then to double click your .air file over-complicates the experience. Will your Mom try to install AIR again when you send her an update? (hopefully you have auto-update built in too 🙂 )
David Tucker recently wrote an article that is now published on the Adobe AIR Developer Center titled, “10 common mistakes when building AIR applications” and lists “Not using the seamless install badge” as the #7 mistake. Several others have blogged about it but I thought I would show you just how easy and effective it is.
You may think that an install badge is just a nice image that is a simple link to your .air file, but if you look closer, you’ll see that a good install badge handles just about every scenario your users will face, such as AIR not being installed, the wrong version of AIR being installed, Flash Player not being installed, etc.
To demonstrate this, I created an install badge for my little Hurricane app using the AIR badge on Adobe Labs at http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/AIR_Badge. All I had to do was create a quick 205×170 image, edit the EmbedDemo.html file, rename it to index.html, and upload the folder contents along with my .air file to here. It took me less than 5 minutes!
To test it, I accessed the installer from one of my home computers that has never had AIR installed. The 35 second video below shows the results. Notice that it immediately detects that AIR is not installed and takes care of installing it. Then, it installs my app.
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