Profiles are a mechanism for defining the classes of computing
devices on which your application works. A profile defines a set
of APIs and capabilities typically supported on a particular class
of device. The available profiles include:
You can define the profiles for your application in the application
descriptor. Users of computers and devices in the included profiles
can install your application, users of other computers and devices
cannot. For example, if you include only the desktop profile in
your application descriptor, users can install and run your application
only on desktop computers.
If you include a profile that your application does not truly
support, the user experience in such environments may be poor. If
you do not specify any profiles in the application descriptor, then
AIR does not limit your application. You can package the application
in any of the supported formats, and users with devices from any
profile can install it — however, it may fail to work properly at
Where possible, profile restrictions are enforced when you package
your application. For example, if you include only the extendedDesktop
profile, then you cannot package your application as an AIR file
— only as a native installer. Likewise, if you do not include the
mobileDevice profile, you cannot package your application as an
A single computing device can support more than one profile.
For example, AIR on desktop computers support applications from
both the desktop and the extendedDesktop profiles. However, an extended
desktop profile application can communicate with native processes
and MUST be packaged as a native installer (exe, dmg, deb, or rpm).
A desktop profile application, on the other hand, cannot communicate
with a native process. A desktop profile application can be packaged
as either an AIR file or a native installer.
The inclusion of a feature in a profile indicates that support
for that feature is common in the class of devices for which that
profile is defined. However, it does not mean that every device
in a profile supports every feature. For example, most, but not
all, mobile phones contain an accelerometer. Classes and features that
do not have universal support usually have a boolean property that
you can check before using the feature. In the accelerometer case,
for instance, you can test the static property Accelerometer.isSupported to
determine whether the current device has a supported accelerometer.
There are following profiles can be assigned to your AIR application
using the supportedProfiles element in the application descriptor:
- The desktop profile defines a set of capabilities for AIR
applications that are installed as AIR files on a desktop computer.
These applications install and run on supported desktop platforms
(Mac OS, Windows, and Linux). AIR applications developed in versions
of AIR before AIR 2 can be considered to be in the desktop profile.
Some APIs are non-functioning in this profile. For example, desktop
applications cannot communicate with native processes.
- Extended desktop
- The extended desktop profile defines a set of capabilities
for AIR applications that are packaged into and installed with a
native installer. These native installers are EXE files on Windows,
DMG files on Mac OS, and BIN, DEB, or RPM files on Linux. Extended
desktop applications have additional capabilities that are not available
in desktop profile applications. For more information, see Packaging a desktop native installer.
- Mobile device
- The mobile device profile defines a set of capabilities for
applications that are installed on mobile devices such as cell phones
and tablets. These applications install and run on supported mobile
platforms, including Android, Blackberry Tablet OS, and iOS.
- Extended mobile device
- The extended mobile device profile defines an extended set
of capabilities for applications that are installed on mobile devices. Currently,
there are no devices that support this profile.
Restricting target profiles in the application descriptor file
As of AIR 2, the application descriptor file includes a supportedProfiles
which lets you restrict target profiles. For example, the following
setting specifies that the application is only available in the
When this element is set, the application can only be packaged
in the profiles you list. Use the following values:
desktop—The desktop profile
extendedDesktop—The extended desktop profile
mobileDevice—The mobile device profile
The supportedProfiles element is optional. When
you do not include this element in the application descriptor file,
the application can be packaged and deployed for any profile.
To specify multiple profiles in the supportedProfiles element,
separate each with a space character, as in the following: