Adobe AIR, launched in 2007, is a unique platform (a “runtime environment”) that allows developers to transform Internet applications into desktop apps. Why should you, the businessperson or entrepreneur, care about it though? Since AIR’s release, it has quickly grown into a fast, reliable, powerful platform for getting things done on the desktop.
Unlike bulkier desktop programs like Photoshop, AIR apps load and work fast and are built to integrate with the web. Today, there are hundreds of apps available, including some very useful and powerful ones for small businesses and startups. While we can’t go over all of them, we thought we would highlight six of our favorites:
1. Salesbuilder: Built by Adobe Technical Evangelist Christophe Coenraets, Salesbuilder is designed to help you and your team organize and coordinate your sales efforts. This includes tracking revenue, accounts, your team, and making projections based off that data. It’s an open-source sample app, so you can also modify it to suit your needs.
2. Agile Agenda: This app is essentially a project management dashboard. Do scheduling, tasks lists, timekeeping, priority management, and even integrate with the popular Basecamp software. It does cost $79 for the full version, though.
3. Klok: Klok is meant for freelancers, consultancies, and any organization that really needs to track time. It’s an incredible AIR tool for managing projects, billing clients, and has some beautiful graphs and visualizations that help put your time into context.
4. TweetDeck: TweetDeck is a social media application primarily meant to manage Twitter accounts. What people don’t realize is that it’s also a great business tool for monitoring chatter related to your company. Manage your Twitter feed through it, but add searches that find mentions of your brand, your competitors, and your industry.
5. Ora Time and Expense: This popular and award-winning app is another incredible time and expense tool. While Klok focuses on the time tracking aspect, Ora focuses on making expensing as painless as humanly possible.
6. Remember the Task: One of the most popular web apps for task management is Remember the Milk, which allows you to set up to-dos, set up reminders via SMS, Twitter, and email, and share them with your team. Remember the Task is the AIR version of this app, giving you direct access to everything you need to complete.
Image courtesy of iStockphoto, Synergee