Run Web Apps On Your Desktop In 10 Seconds : Introducing Airifier

Back in 2004 and a few times thereafter, I’ve rambled on about how your browser is leaking. About how a confluence of web technology trends would bring applications to the desktop. This trend is slowly becoming a reality today.

A major player in the web-to-desktop space is Adobe with their compelling AIR technology. AIR is “a cross-operating system runtime that allows developers to use their existing web development skills to build and deploy rich Internet applications to the desktop.” So with AIR, you can take a web, Flash or Flex application yank it right out of your browser and throw it on your desktop.

Well, this is all great…for developers. But we (“we” being the crew at Arc90)  wanted to give end-users the ability to grab any web destination and create an application out of it. Just visit, punch in the URL, click Download Now and create a desktop install of any web application. It works great for applications like Google Reader or Gmail. The Airifier site also lets you share your installable applications with others.

For the less technical among us, here’s a sketchcast on Arifier and why it will change your life (or something) :

Here’s a helpful tip: All those shiny new iPhone applications out there work great right on the desktop. They’re small, lightweight and specifically designed for the bite-size web. Check out Pickleview and Netvibes for iPhone.

Airifier is an Arc90 lab experiment.

9 Comments Run Web Apps On Your Desktop In 10 Seconds : Introducing Airifier

  1. Avi Flax

    Nicholas, I noticed that too. Some Flash sites do seem to work, some don’t. This isn’t too surprising given that AIR is still a Beta; it’s expected to have bugs. I’m planning to add a note to that effect to Airifier. Things should improve with the next beta, which I believe is due out at the end of the month, during Adobe’s MAX conference.
    Avi Flax

  2. Rich Ziade

    Anonymous (coward) :
    It’s not really an application. The point is to cater to that slight thought-shift and begin blurring the line between web and desktop. This is far & away one of the most frictionless ways to do that.

  3. Andreas Gohr

    I don’t get it. Why would I want to do this? What are the benefits? That’s not much different from dragging an URL to the desktop and creating a direct link to a website or is it?
    I think Google Gears is much more a way of connecting web and desktop, because what is really different between those two is that desktop apps do work without the net.

  4. Rich Ziade

    Andreas – this is the first step to a better desktop experience with web apps. Other featurs – like pop-up notifications, offline capabilities (like you mentioned), and eventually easier file management.
    I think this is as much a perception thing as anything else. I’m in Google Reader all day long. It’s silly for it to be just another tab in my browser.

  5. Rich Ziade

    At the risk of sounding slightly defensive:
    Nobody said this was revolutionary. I think the Flex/Air dev community is seeing this and saying “big frickin’ deal, I can do this in 10 minutes in Flex Builder.”
    That’s not the point here. The point is that anyone – even non-developers – can take a stab at this.


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