I really must applaud Adobe for their really quick turnaround times for the AIR SDK. The public beta of AIR 3.4 is now available and includes some great new features. Being quite heavily focussed on iOS development myself, I’m delighted to see the following inclusions:

  • Direct AIR deployment using ADT (without iTunes)
  • Push Notifications for iOS
  • Ambient AudioPlaybackMode
  • iOS 5.1 SDK Support

My favourite feature is direct deployment, which is a real time saver. It’s great simply being able to install directly to your iOS device via a USB cable without having to go through iTunes or the iPhone Configuration Utility. It’s particularly useful when you’re performing small incremental changes with interpreter mode builds. Compiling and deploying your changes to the device takes only a few seconds now.

Another really exciting feature is support for Push Notification on iOS. Its inclusion seems like a real turn around for Adobe as they are clearly targeting a single platform (iOS), which in many respects goes against Adobe’s cross-platform goal. The API however looks generic enough that I’m guessing we’ll see support for notifications on Android eventually.

Perhaps the biggest new feature, and one developers have been crying out for, is the inclusion of ActionScript Workers. Yeah that’s right, ActionScript developers can now concurrently run background worker tasks in order to leverage more machine resources and avoid things like UI freeze. At the moment, Workers are restricted to the desktop.

For a full list of new features head on over to Adobe Labs and give the 3.4 SDK a spin.