10 impressive Adobe AIR apps

From video tutorials on creating great Web sites to smart ways to keep an eye on your friends' tweets, these apps are worth downloading.

Since Adobe Systems relaunched its AIR marketplace , I've been spending some considerable time there. There are so many great apps, it's hard to pick just a handful worth talking about. But after taking some time to sift through all my apps, I've selected my favorites.

Adobe AIR aps

Adobe Media Player If you're a Photoshop, Premiere, or Dreamweaver user, the Adobe Media Player will come in handy. The app lets you watch a slew of videos that train you how to use Adobe's applications.

Although there are videos for advanced users, there are quite a few videos that help Photoshop novices find their way around the sophisticated program. You can also save your favorite videos and go step-by-step during instruction. It's a great app for anyone who wants to be creative.

Adobe Media Player
Adobe Media Player teaches you how to use Adobe programs. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

AOL Top 100 Videos If you're a music lover, you'll love the AOL Top 100 Videos app. Instead of forcing you to go to YouTube to find videos or search through Google, AOL Top 100 Videos lets you watch them all right from the app. Besides having an outstanding design, the app lets you share clips with friends, create a "favorite videos" playlist, and pick the genre of music you like. The videos load quickly, and the quality is stellar.

AOL Top 100 Videos
AOL Top 100 Videos is perfect for music lovers. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Desktop iPhone Desktop iPhone is one of the coolest apps in this roundup. You can experience the iPhone user interface, check the weather, and record voice messages. But the Desktop iPhone app's best feature is the ability to make phone calls from the app with an account from online phone company Ribbit. More features, including Google Maps, Calculator, and other options haven't been enabled.

Desktop iPhone
Desktop iPhone lets you use the iPhone UI. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

DeskTube DeskTube is the best YouTube AIR application I've used. The app provides you with a full listing of all the recently featured videos on YouTube. You can search the video site, as well as see all the top videos. If you have a YouTube account, you can upload videos directly from the app instead of going to the YouTube page. The app even lets you share videos on Facebook and Twitter.

DeskTube
DeskTube lets you search YouTube, see the top favorites, and more. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Finetune Desktop Finetune Desktop is a beautifully designed music player. It finds all the music on your computer and allows you to play those tracks. You can also search the Finetune library of music to find songs you might like, and you can add those tracks to a custom playlist.

Finetune
Finetune Desktop is a good-looking music playlist app. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Quakeshakes Tracking earthquakes can be difficult, but with the help of Quakeshakes, it won't be so bad. The Quakeshakes app lets you see where earthquakes have hit around the world in the past week. You can also see where the plates boundaries around the world are, so you can determine if you're in an area with a high potential of being affected by an earthquake. It's a really neat app that will come in handy.

Quakeshakes
Track Earthquakes in Quakeshakes. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Remember the Task Remember the Task is the Adobe AIR app version of the popular to-do list site Remember the Milk. Remember the Task lets you quickly input tasks you need to complete. When you do that, it adds that task to your online Remember the Milk profile. You can set priority, input time estimates, and add tags to your tasks. It's a simple app, but it's a quick and easy way to remember all the things you need to do.

Remember the Task
Remember the Task ensures that you won't forget your to-do list. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

TweetDeck TweetDeck is the best Twitter client in this roundup. The Adobe AIR app is designed well and allows you to see your Twitter stream, replies, and direct messages. It also makes it easy to send tweets to update your status. Thanks to its URL-shortening tool, you can quickly reduce the size of a link by choosing between Bit.ly, TinyURL, and others. TweetDeck also provides a link to TwitPic so you can tweet pictures. The app even lets you update your Facebook status.

TweetDeck
TweetDeck is the best Twitter app in this roundup. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Twhirl Twhirl is another Adobe AIR app designed to provide you with access to your Twitter account. You can update your Twitter stream, view what others are saying, see your replies, and send direct messages. You can even search Twitter Search or TweetScan to see what's going on in the social network. Twhirl alerts you to replies made to your tweets. It also sends you alerts when it receives tweets. Twhirl isn't nearly as beautifully designed as TweetDeck, so keep that in mind when deciding between the services.

Twhirl
Twhirl is another Twitter app worth checking out. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

Wikipedia Desktop Widget This Wikipedia application isn't going to shock you with its beauty. But it's a quick and easy way to access the online encyclopedia. After it's installed, you'll find just a simple Wikipedia search box. Input your query, and the app will open the Wikipedia page for you to view. You can then search the site again or access the citations in the app.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia in a widget is just as useful. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

My top 3

1. AOL Top 100 Videos: Any music lover will love this app.

2. TweetDeck: TweetDeck is the best AIR Twitter app. Period.

3. Desktube: Desktube brings you the video you want.

Tags:
Software
About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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