eBay released their AIR application last night. It’s a cool, flashy way to interact with eBay. If you’ve been to an Adobe event in the past year, you’ve seen this demo.
We didn’t go to the desktop to do off-line, we did it because browsers were not built for applications, and AIR is a platform that *is* built for applications. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to build complex applications in the content platform that is the Web.
In a Web environment, there are constraints to what users expect in terms of the user interface (e.g., bookmarkability). With the AIR app, we could start over and invent our own conventions. (He presented this as an advantage.)
They have all kinds of usability enhancements for the eBay Desktop application that dramatically improve the website’s usability. They had tons of examples. Plus, eye candy!
They also have desktop widgets for tracking key auctions.