Native process API: Some developers wanted the option to better integrate their AIR applications with existing native code libraries, or to extend the AIR runtime with native code. Although we considered adding this support in AIR 1, one concern we heard from developers is that they wanted AIR applications to remain cross-platform. When AIR for Linux was released about ten months after the Mac and Windows version, hundreds of applications that were deployed .air installer files, including TweetDeck and Parleys.com Desktop were instantly available to Linux users.
Microphone data access: You can access the sound data from a microphone directly for recording or other processing without the need of a server. An example of an application that could take advantage of this is a note-taking tool that allows a user to record audio clips when they are offline.
Server sockets support: You can listen for incoming socket connections. Using the server socket API, it is now possible to build lightweight servers that run locally, and to communicate across applications using TCP sockets.
UDP sockets: You can send and receive messages using the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). For real-time, time-sensitive applications, including multiplayer games, you may find that UDP support in AIR will help provide a better user experience.
TLS/SSL sockets: You can now connect to a server that requires TLSv1 or SSLv3 for socket communications. For developers, this means that you have new cryptographic protocols available for accessing sensitive data over network that can help you build more secure applications.
DNS lookup: You can look up Domain Name System (DNS) resource records using the new DNSResolver class. This class provides you with the ability to obtain resource records, including the IPv4 and IPv6 address information of a host.
More efficient CPU usage: On the Mac, without code change, many applications are consuming 50% less CPU usage when running in the background.