One of the benefits of web applications is the ability to quickly publish updates to the application to your end users. As soon as you upload the changes to your web server, your users and enjoying the latest version! With AIR, this becomes a little more difficult. What if your user is offline? Should they be able to use the application if a new version is available? AIR provides an updater API (Updater.update), which will install a new AIR file over an existing application, but doesn’t solve any of the problems mentioned above.
Enter the new Adobe AIR Update Framework. This framework was developed internally and allows you to focus on building your application, not the logic for handing updates. Using a simple API and schema for storing version information, the updater API will allow both Ajax and Flash/Flex developers to push updates with a minimal amount of work. On top of the logic for handling updates, they even provide some default UI for you to use. So, if you are trying to figure out how to handle updates in your AIR application (which you should definitely be doing starting in the first version of your app) you now have no excuse to put off that work.