Sometimes it’s the little things that make such a big difference. If you’ve been using Flash Professional CS5.5 then you’ll know what a chore it is to overlay the latest AIR SDK onto your installation. Well the good news is, if you upgrade to Flash Professional CS6 then all that hardship will be a thing of the past.

It’s now possible to install and manage various AIR SDKs within Flash Professional CS6’s IDE. To show just how easy it is let’s walk through the steps involved to install the latest AIR 3.3 public beta.

  1. Download the Adobe AIR 3.3 SDK Beta archive from Adobe Labs.
  2. Copy the archive to your desktop and extract it to a folder.
    After unzipping you should be left with a folder named air3-3_p3_sdk_win_050412 on your Windows desktop and a folder named air3-3_p3_sdk_mac_050412 on Mac OSX.
  3. Now launch Flash Professional CS6.
  4. From Flash Professional select Help | Manage AIR SDK from it’s drop-down menu.
  5. The Manage AIR SDK panel will appear. Click on the Add New SDK icon, which is represented by a + symbol. You’ll be asked to select an AIR SDK to be installed. Simply browse to your desktop and select the AIR 3.3 SDK folder.
  6. The AIR 3.3 SDK will be added to the list of installed SDKs within the Manage AIR SDK panel.
  7. Now click OK to close the panel.

Congratulations, you’ve successfully installed the latest AIR SDK. Whenever you create a new AIR document within Flash Professional CS6, the AIR 3.3 SDK will be used by default. You can however revert back to the default AIR SDK, or select from any other versions of the AIR SDK that you have installed.

This can be done from either your FLA’s Properties panel, or from the Publish Settings panel. Simply select the desired SDK from the Target drop-down box. As you can see from the screenshot below, each AIR SDK can be used to target desktop, iOS, and Android.

So there you have it. Each new AIR SDK can be installed and used within Flash Professional CS6 with only a few simple steps.