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.

  1. Thanks for the article. Many of us app devs still have to publish to Air 2.6 for the older Nook, and 2.7 for Kindle Fire – do you know if the overlay technique will work with CS6?


  2. Hi Stacey. I haven’t tried it but I’m pretty sure you can still do the old fashioned overlay technique that’s used for CS5.5.

    In addition, you can probably open CS6’s AIR_iOS.xml file (Adobe Flash CS6/Common/Configuration/Players/) and add a new entry for your 2.6 and 2.7 SDKs.

    Christopher (Author)
  3. Can you tell me, do you have any problems using the new APIs of Air 3.3 this way? Using flash CS6, and simply selecting the 3.3 SDK, I get error #1069 whenever I try to Test Movie using any of the new methods, for example drawWithQuality or others.

    Is there anything else your supposed to do or is it just as simple as you describe?


  4. Hi mildred. Yeah you can publish to iOS but publishing and testing within ADL within Flash Pro will produce a runtime error. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ll try and take a look at this in the next day or two but it looks like you might need to do some overlay trickery after all.

    Christopher (Author)
  5. Hi Mildred. I’ve looked into this and it looks like you still need to manually copy the SDK’s airglobal.swc file in to Flash Pro CS6’s Common/Configuration/ActionScript 3.0/AIR3.1/ folder. This may be a bug with CS6 as having to do this negates the Manage AIR SDK panel’s usefulness.

    You can find out more regarding the AIR overlay process in Flash CS6 from this Adobe resource:

    Christopher (Author)
  6. Thanks Chris,
    You said “3.1” folder, I assume you mean 3.2 folder?
    CS6/Common/Configuration/ActionScript 3.0/AIR3.2

    Anyway, I tried that and I still can’t get ADL to recognize the new methods of 3.3.
    I also followed the cs6 overlay instructions you pointed to, and the 5.5 overlay instructions, changing name spaces to 3.3 and swf version 16

    Also odd, when I have a 3.3 SDK targeted in the properties panel, code hints are not showing up in the timeline code editor, but they do show when changing back to the original 3.2 target.

    Even when I have 3.2 targeted, and have copied the contents of 3.3 into that folder, I do get the code hints for new 3.3 methods, but I just cant run ADL with it. ahhh!

    I know this isn’t your job, i’ll hit up the adobe forums. One last question though, it sounds like you got it working, did you copy airglobal.swc as you mentioned AND overlay 3.3 onto the 3.2 folder, then publish with 3.2 drop down? or publish with the new 3.3 drop down?


  7. never mind my ‘no code hits’ comment, code hints worked after a restart…still no luck on the main issue though.

  8. ok I got it!
    You do not need to overlay anything,
    My unzipped .apk shows it had 3.3 namespace but the swf was being published as version 15. There is an error in the 3.3 SDK somewhere. Rather than find that error, I updated the 3.2 version# from 15 to 16 within 3.3_folder/airask.xml

    the namespace in that file says 3.2, I changed that to 3.3 but it didn’t help, I needed to ‘fake it’ by setting version 16 for 3.2 .. I am not sure where I was being stuck on 3.2 especially when the apk shows 3.3… oh well solved!!

    The code hints thing, I was right the first time, they do NOT show up when you have one of the new SDKs targeted, they only show if you target the original 3.2 drop down.

  9. jeez! sorry I cant type today…
    “3.3_folder/airsdk.xml” is what i meant. I don’t mind if you delete this comment and update my last post to cut down on my novel.

  10. Thanks for the info mildred!

    Christopher (Author)
  11. i’ve begun a project with 3.2 sdk, add3.3sdk and switch my project to it.
    after impossible to switch back to 3.2…
    when compile my app, the 3.3 beta is used (a line of text with version appear in the compiled apk)
    Is it a bug ?

  12. Hi. Could you try changing the version number within your FLA’s application descriptor XML back to 3.2.

    Christopher (Author)
  13. thanks. Very useful

  14. Thanks for the articel.

    Your a LIFESAVER. I recently installed Flash CS6 to a Windows 8 PC and just could not install any AIR above the 3.2 that it comes with. I thought it was a Windows 8 issue (thats right blame EVERYTHING on Windows 8). Thanks tou your article I now have AIR 3.8 happily installed.


  15. No problem Paul. Glad you got everything working.

    Christopher (Author)
  16. Thaks

  17. Thanks so much!

  18. I have a problem to get the contacts list from android devices in flash cs5.5
    I use Air for Android
    Can anybody advise me to solve this problem?

  19. Hi. You’ll need to use a native extension to obtain the contacts list using AIR for Android. Distriqt have one available that may serve your purposes:

    There are also a few free alternatives if you look around. Here’s one on GitHub:

    It looks like it hasn’t been updated in a while, but might still work for you.

    Christopher (Author)
  20. thanks so much

  21. thanks
    but how can I convert swf games to apk with adobe flash cs6
    thanks again

  22. Hi. You’ll need to load your SWF game’s FLA file into Flash and change it to target AIR from the Publish Settings panel. Of course you’ll also need to then lace into your game’s code various pieces of mobile-specific code and also rework your code to fit the various device screen resolutions you wish to target.

    You can find more info in my book, Flash iOS Apps Cookbook, which is available from Amazon or directly from the Packt Publishing website:


    Christopher (Author)
  23. please have eny idea to import swf game and convert to apk


  24. please have you a method to convert swf game to apk


  25. Hi. Please see my previous post above for some detail, but you’ll likely need the original FLA file rather than just the SWF file. Thanks.

    Christopher (Author)
  26. Thaks a billion!!

  27. what that’s mean this

    The target version of air sdk “pfi17_0” is not available