It has been available since AIR 4.0 but I’ve held off covering AIR’s improved packaging engine for iOS due to a major bug at the time. Thankfully it seems to be fixed in the AIR 13.0 beta (yup we’ve gone from 4.0 to 13.0 in one step) so I thought I’d take the packager out for a spin on a couple of projects.

Adobe claim that the packaging times can now be up to 10 times faster than the old packager. Here’s my findings from packaging two separate projects on my ageing PC with its i3 processor: WeeWorld’s MatchMee app and my Monster Dash clone.

Project Legacy Packager New Packager
Match Mee 2.10 mins 52 secs
Monster Dash 2.06 mins 16 secs

As you can see, both projects packaged significantly faster using the new packager. Match Mee’s packaging time was roughly half that of the old packager’s, while my Monster Dash clone saw a reduction in packaging time that was actually not far off Adobe’s bold claim of being up to 10 times faster.

I was hoping that Match Mee would see improvements similar to my Monster Dash clone’s packaging times, but as it stands we’re still looking at times close to a minute, which is still far from ideal. I’m not sure what’s causing the difference in times between the two projects but Match Mee does have 7 SWC files statically linked to it along with 4 native extensions so perhaps that’s what caused the longer packaging times.

Either way though, the new packager brings a significant reduction in times and is a welcome addition.