Results tagged “Flash Player”

Flash to Focus on PC Browsing and Mobile Apps; Adobe to More Aggressively Contribute to HTML5

flash-logoAdobe is all about enabling designers and developers to create the most expressive content possible, regardless of platform or technology. For more than a decade, Flash has enabled the richest content to be created and deployed on the web by reaching beyond what browsers could do. It has repeatedly served as a blueprint for standardizing new technologies in HTML.  Over the past two years, we’ve delivered Flash Player for mobile browsers and brought the full expressiveness of the web to many mobile devices.

However, HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively.  This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.

Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores.  We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.  We will of course continue to provide critical bug fixes and security updates for existing device configurations.  We will also allow our source code licensees to continue working on and release their own implementations.

These changes will allow us to increase investment in HTML5 and innovate with Flash where it can have most impact for the industry, including advanced gaming and premium videoFlash Player 11 for PC browsers just introduced dozens of new features, including hardware accelerated 3D graphics for console-quality gaming and premium HD video with content protection.  Flash developers can take advantage of these features, and all that our Flash tooling has to offer, to reach more than a billion PCs through their browsers and to package native apps with AIR that run on hundreds of millions of mobile devices through all the popular app stores, including the iTunes App Store, Android Market, Amazon Appstore for Android and BlackBerry App World.

We are already working on Flash Player 12 and a new round of exciting features which we expect to again advance what is possible for delivering high definition entertainment experiences.  We will continue to leverage our experience with Flash to accelerate our work with the W3C and WebKit to bring similar capabilities to HTML5 as quickly as possible, just as we have done with CSS Shaders.  And, we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged.

We are super excited about the next generations of HTML5 and Flash.  Together they offer developers and content publishers great options for delivering compelling web and application experiences across PCs and devices.  There is already amazing work being done that is pushing the newest boundaries, and we can’t wait to see what is still yet to come!

(We have closed comments on this blog post. Please feel free to leave comments and questions about this post on the Flash Platform blog:)

Carnegie Mellon University Study Suggests Browser Cookie Respawning May be Waning

Today, Carnegie Mellon University published a research study titled “A Survey of the Use of Adobe Flash Local Shared Objects to Respawn HTTP Cookies.” I referenced this study in a blog post in December on the topic of the Federal Trade Commission’s preliminary privacy report released on December 1, 2010.

Some Background Behind the Study

Let me provide some background: Over the last 18 months, there have been a number of discussions around the alleged misuse of Adobe Flash Player local storage (or local shared objects, LSOs, in the public often referred to as “Flash cookies”) and the potential impact of this misuse on consumer privacy. The allegations have been that certain websites or ad networks use LSOs to restore browser cookies after users have chosen to clear their cookies (a process referred to as “browser cookie respawning”).

Adobe has actively participated in industry discussions on the topic and submitted an official comment to the Federal Trade Commission in preparation for the second FTC roundtable discussion on privacy last year, clearly stating our position on this misuse of local storage and the steps Adobe is taking to provide better privacy protection for consumers. In the comment to the FTC, we also confirmed our commitment to supporting research into the types and extent of the misuse of local storage. The Carnegie Mellon University study released today reflects that commitment.

About the Carnegie Mellon University Study

Adobe commissioned the Carnegie Mellon University research study in 2010 to follow up on the findings about misuses of Flash Player local storage detailed in a research paper released by the University of California at Berkeley in 2009. The Carnegie Mellon University study, performed by Aleecia M. McDonald and Lorrie Faith Cranor with assistance provided by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), was designed to determine the prevalence of the use of Flash Player local storage to respawn browser cookies. The study examined 600 websites based on Quantcast’s ranked list of the million most popular websites visited by United States Internet users—the 100 most popular sites and 500 randomly selected sites.

Study Results: Browser Cookie Respawning May be Waning

The study results suggest respawning is not increasing and may be waning. No instances of respawning were found in the randomly-selected group of 500 websites, and only two instances of respawning were found in the 100 most popular websites. The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) followed up with the two companies, whose websites showed HTTP cookie respawning using LSOs. Both companies have stopped the practice—one on their own and one as a result of this study.

This is good news! Adobe proactively encourages our customers to use all Adobe products in responsible, ethical ways. While the nature of providing tools for an open platform means that we cannot, in practice and on principle, control how developers and content producers use our products, these results demonstrate that the vast majority of websites, developers and content producers use local storage capabilities for their intended purpose—to provide a better user experience.

The study found LSOs with unique content and made the assumption that it could be storing user IDs; however, it notes that not all unique content is used for identifying computers. Unique content could be benign, for example, uniquely identifying where a user paused a specific animation or music clip. Tracking users is of concern from a privacy perspective, but further insight would be needed to understand the extent to which local storage is used for the purpose of uniquely identifying and tracking computers or individuals. The study does conclude that even assuming a pessimistic worst case scenario in which all websites showing LSOs with unique content were using it to track users, the absolute number of websites doing so would be small and the overall percentage of all sites studied using LSOs to track users would be low.

Stakeholder Recommendations

The Carnegie Mellon University study also examines which steps stakeholders—Adobe included—might be able to take to further reduce privacy-sensitive practices. Privacy has become an increasingly significant topic. It’s important to recognize that privacy is not a static concept. As technology and the way we engage with it evolve, the privacy discussion will evolve. Adobe is committed to the consumer’s right to privacy, and we have taken and will continue to take appropriate steps with regards to safeguarding user privacy in our tools and policies. Our goal is to put consumers in control by enabling informed choices. The recently introduced privacy-related enhancements in Adobe Flash Player demonstrate that commitment.

Adobe Initiatives to Improve Privacy Options for Users of Adobe Flash Flayer

In June 2010, we released Adobe Flash Player 10.1 with support for the private browsing feature found in many Web browsers. When users activate private browsing in their browser, Flash Player will not save any of their information from that session.

Adobe has also been working with major browser vendors to develop effective approaches that allow users to control local storage in Flash Player directly from their browser privacy settings. Today, Google Chrome already provides access to Flash Player local storage settings from within the browser’s privacy controls. Our collaboration with representatives from several key companies—including Mozilla and Google—to define a new browser API for clearing local data takes this effort a step further: A new API for clearing local data (NPAPI ClearSiteData) was approved for implementation on January 5, 2011. Any browser that implements the API will be able to clear local storage for any plugin that also implements the API. The capability to clear Adobe Flash Player local storage from within the Google Chrome browser should be available on the Google Chrome dev channel in the coming weeks. Similar controls for other browsers should be available in the coming months. Once the browsers have included this feature in their settings, users will be able to control the clearing of their HTTP cookies and their plugin local storage in one place. This should also discourage the use of LSOs to respawn or to track users.

Additionally, we are currently working on aredesign of the Flash Player Settings Manager, which is expected to be available in the first half of the year. This redesign will make it simpler for users to understand and manage their Flash Player settings and privacy preferences. In addition, we will enable users to more easily find the Flash Player Settings Manager by providing access to it directly from the computer’s Control Panels or System Preferences on Windows, Mac and Linux.

For details on these upcoming privacy enhancements in Adobe Flash Player, see a recent blog post by Emmy Huang, group product manager for Flash Player, titled “On Improving Privacy: Managing Local Storage in Flash Player.”

The Carnegie Mellon University study released today recognizes some of our initiatives and introduces additional suggestions, which we will carefully evaluate. Privacy is an important topic. We are dedicated to including privacy controls in our products and services. And we look forward to continuing to play an active role in the privacy discussion as it evolves.

MeMe Jacobs Rasmussen
Chief Privacy Officer
Adobe Systems Incorporated

FTC Issues Preliminary Privacy Report

This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a preliminary staff report that proposes a framework to balance the privacy interests of consumers with innovation to develop beneficial products and services.

Adobe would support and participate in any industry initiative to foster clear, meaningful, and persistent choice regarding online tracking for purposes that are not obvious in context or commonly accepted, as described in the FTC report. This includes the “tracking” of user preferences by third parties for advertising purposes using local storage capabilities (such as Flash Local Shared Objects, often referred to as “Flash cookies” in the public and confused with Web browser cookies), which were not designed for this purpose. Adobe has repeatedly stated publicly that we condemn such practices because they clearly circumvent the user’s expressed choice. The public comment Adobe submitted in preparation for the FTC’s second privacy roundtable discussion, which took place on January 28, 2010, reflects our position.

Adobe recently commissioned a study to follow up on the findings about misuses of Flash Player local storage that were detailed in a research paper released by the University of California at Berkeley in 2009. The new study, performed by a reputable university and a non-profit privacy organization, is designed to determine how prevalent the use of Flash Player local storage to respawn browser cookies is in light of all the publicity on this topic over the last year. Results from the study are promising and show that respawning is negligible on the Web today. The study is expected to be released before the end of the year.

Adobe recognizes the importance of protecting user privacy and continuously works on new ways to help ensure the consumer’s right to privacy. As an example, Flash Player 10.1, released in June 2010, supports the private browsing mode found in many browsers, which allows users to browse the Web without storing any browsing history on the user’s computer, including local storage data. Among other improvements, Adobe is also working with the browser developers to better coordinate local storage management with browser privacy management settings. Today, Google Chrome already provides access to Flash Player local storage settings from within the browser’s privacy controls. Adobe anticipates that future versions of Google Chrome and other browsers will include the ability for users to view and clear their local storage data directly through the browser privacy management interface.

MeMe Jacobs Rasmussen
Chief Privacy Officer
Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe in Leaders Quadrant of Leading Analyst Firm’s Web Conferencing Report

adobe-connect-9Today we announced that Adobe has been positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner’s 2010 Magic Quadrant for Web conferencing. Adobe was one of 15 vendors evaluated in the report. Evaluations were based on each vendor’s ability to execute and completeness of vision.

Adobe Connect is our enterprise Web conferencing solution for Web meetings, online training, and webinars. The software is based on Flash Player and as a result ensures easy meeting entry for participants while also enabling rich and engaging interactions. Adobe Connect also works with mobile devices, including Google Android smartphones, as well as Apple iPhone and iPad.

To keep up with the latest on Adobe Connect, follow us @AdobeConnect on Twitter and check out the team’s blog.

Samsung Galaxy Tab & Flash Player 10.1

Samsung introduced the Galaxy Tab to the U.S. market on Thursday. With support for Flash Player 10.1, the tablet allows users to experience thousands of sites with rich Flash based applications and content including games, animations, visualizations, ecommerce, video, music and more. Watching tech news on CNET.com, playing games on Kongregate, checking the interactive finance chart of your stocks on Google Finance or listen to BBC news, it’s easy and seamless on the Galaxy Tab.


Visit the Flash Platform Blog for more details and to watch a video demo of the new Samsung tablet in action.

Samsung Galaxy Tab - via Androidcentral

Samsung Galaxy Tab – via Androidcentral

 

Preview Flash Player for IE9 Beta and 64-bit OS’s Now Available

There is now a preview of Adobe® Flash® Player, which we’re calling “Square”, available on Adobe Labs. This preview includes support for two new areas — enhanced support for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 Beta and native 64-bit support for all major desktop operating systems including Linux, Mac, and Windows.

As part of our collaboration with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team, Flash Player “Square” has been enhanced to directly support the hardware-accelerated graphics capabilities in the newest version. In our internal testing, we’ve seen significant improvements in Flash Player graphics performance – exceeding 35% in Internet Explorer 9 Beta compared to Flash Player running in previous versions of IE.

Today we’re also sharing a refresh of the Linux 64-bit version of Flash Player together with the first preview of both the 64-bit Windows and Mac versions. Those who used the previous 64-bit version of Flash Player for Linux should find this new version even faster and more reliable.

These new preview versions are fully functional, so all content should be compatible, but keep in mind this a sneak peak. If you encounter any issues, we encourage you to file a bug in our public database.

Get more details about “Square” on the Flash Player Blog.

HTTP Dynamic Streaming and Open Source Media Framework – now available

At Streaming Media East, we showcased HTTP Dynamic Streaming, a new protocol that expands content delivery for the Adobe Flash Platform, and the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) to accelerate development of custom media players. Today, both products are immediately available for free download.

OSMF 1.0
Open Source Media Framework 1.0, which is available for download at www.osmf.org, is an open framework for building custom media players. The initiative was started more than a year ago to give developers a simple way to create high-quality and full-featured playback experiences through flexible plug-ins.

OSMF allows developers to assemble, rather than code, new player functionality by using best-in-class code base built on open standards and supported development best practices by leading players. Developers have more time to focus on custom features and the overall user experience, while simultaneously reducing production time and costs.

Multiple partners are already providing plug-ins for OSMF, including advertising, analytics, content delivery and platform services companies Adap-tv, Akamai, Anvato, Conviva, Edgecast, FreeWheel, GlanceGuide, KIckApps, Level 3Limelight Networks, MediaMelon, Omniture (an Adobe company), Podaddies, Quantcast, ScanScout, Streaming Media Hosting, Tremor Media Videoplaza, and YuMe.

HTTP Dynamic Streaming
Adobe’s new HTTP Dynamic Streaming builds on the success of Adobe’s Flash Platform for the delivery of streaming content, offering content publishers, distributors and developers an additional choice for high-quality media delivery.

This new delivery method provides the flexibility to leverage HTTP network infrastructures and standard Web server hardware to deliver rich media experiences on a massive scale. HTTP Dynamic Streaming includes integration of content protection powered by Flash Access 2.0 software, allowing publishers to encrypt and apply business rules to their premium video content for both live and Video on Demand (VOD).

HTTP Dynamic Streaming continues the Flash Platform’s support of high-quality media codecs, including H.264 and VP6, and all the use cases that media companies rely on, including high quality live and recorded media with adaptive bit-rate and network DVR support to the Flash player.

If you’d like to learn more about these solutions or see video interviews with some of our leading partners discussing how we’re collaborating to bring these solutions to market, please look to the social media press release.

Flash Player Support of VP8

As Kevin Lynch mentioned today at Google I/O, we are excited to include the
VP8 video codec in Flash Player in an upcoming release, which will help
provide users with seamless access to high quality video content on all of
their Internet-connected devices. Today, VP8 was released as
open source by Google as part of the WebM effort.

Read more on the Flash Platform blog.

FlashPlat.jpg

Adobe AIR on the Android Platform

Partnerships have been at the very heart of Android, the first truly open and comprehensive mobile platform, since we first introduced it with the Open Handset Alliance. Through close relationships with carriers, device manufacturers, developers, and others, Google is working to enable an open ecosystem for the mobile world by creating a standard, open mobile software platform. Today we’re excited that, working with Adobe, we will be able to bring both AIR and Flash to Android.

Google believes that developers should have their choice of tools and technologies to create applications. By supporting Adobe AIR on Android we hope that millions of creative designers and developers will be able to express themselves more freely when they create applications for Android devices. More broadly, AIR will foster rapid and continuous innovation across the mobile ecosystem.

Google is happy to be partnering with Adobe to bring the full web, great applications, and developer choice to the Android platform. Our engineering teams have been working closely to bring both AIR and Flash Player to Google’s mobile operating system and devices. The Android platform is enjoying great adoption, and we expect our work with Adobe will help that growth continue.

We also look forward to all the innovative content and applications created for Android and Flash. Join us at Google I/O in May to learn more about our work together with Adobe to open up the world of Flash on mobile devices.

Open Access to Content and Applications

Some have been surprised at the lack of inclusion of Flash Player on a recent magical device.

Ironically, Flash was originally designed for pen computing tablets, about 15 years before that market was ready to take off. Flash exists now only due to its finding an alternate route in its use — first filling a niche on the Web by enabling low-bandwidth vector graphics in the early days and then rapidly adding new capabilities over the past decade. That includes bringing animation, streaming audio, rich interactivity, arbitrary fonts, two-way audio/video communication, local storage, and enabling the video revolution on the Web.

By augmenting the capabilities of HTML, Flash has been incredibly successful in its adoption, with over 85% of the top web sites containing Flash content and Flash running on over 98% of computers on the Web. It is used for the majority of casual games, video, and animation on the Web and familiar brands like Nike, Hulu, BBC, Major League Baseball, and more rely on Flash to deliver the most compelling experiences to over a billion people.

Now we are at an important crux for the future of Flash. A wide variety of devices beyond personal computers are arriving, many of which will be used to browse the Web, making it increasingly challenging to deliver what creators and users of content and applications have come to expect of Flash on personal computers — seamless, consistent and rich experiences. The Flash engineering team has taken this on with a major overhaul of the mainstream Flash Player for a variety of devices.

We are now on the verge of delivering Flash Player 10.1 for smartphones with all but one of the top manufacturers. This includes Google’s Android, RIM’s Blackberry, Nokia, Palm Pre and many others across form factors including not only smartphones but also tablets, netbooks, and internet-connected TVs. Flash in the browser provides a competitive advantage to these devices because it will enable their customers to browse the whole Web. This is being accomplished via the Open Screen Project, where we are working with over 50 partners to make this a reality across a wide array of devices. For example, the recent Nexus One from Google will rock with a great experience in the browser with Flash Player 10.1.

So, what about Flash running on Apple devices? We have shown that Flash technology is starting to work on these devices today by enabling standalone applications for the iPhone to be built on Flash. In fact, some of these apps are already available in the Apple App Store such as FickleBlox and Chroma Circuit. This same solution will work on the iPad as well. We are ready to enable Flash in the browser on these devices if and when Apple chooses to allow that for its users, but to date we have not had the required cooperation from Apple to make this happen.

Longer term, some point to HTML as eventually supplanting the need for Flash, particularly with the more recent developments coming in HTML with version 5. I don’t see this as one replacing the other, certainly not today nor even in the foreseeable future.

Adobe supports HTML and its evolution and we look forward to adding more capabilities to our software around HTML as it evolves. If HTML could reliably do everything Flash does that would certainly save us a lot of effort, but that does not appear to be coming to pass. Even in the case of video, where Flash is enabling over 75% of video on the Web today, the coming HTML video implementations cannot agree on a common format across browsers, so users and content creators would be thrown back to the dark ages of video on the Web with incompatibility issues.

The productivity and expressiveness of Flash remain advantages for the Web community even as HTML advances. The Flash team will drive innovation over the coming years as they have over the past decade to enable experiences that aren’t otherwise possible. With the ability to update the majority of Web clients in less than a year, Flash can make this innovation available to our customers much more quickly than HTML across a variety of browsers.

Our mission at Adobe is to revolutionize how people engage with ideas and information, and we focus daily on how to best empower designers and developers to express themselves most fully and creatively. To have the greatest creative control combined with the most productive tools and broadest ability to deploy their content and applications. We support whatever technologies and formats that best enable our customers to accomplish these goals, and work to drive technology forward where there are gaps that we can fill. The blend of Flash and HTML are best together, enabling anyone to make pragmatic decisions to use these for their strengths to make the best experiences on the Web.

Engaging with ideas and information also means ensuring there is an open ecosystem and freedom to view and interact with the content and applications a user chooses. This model of open access has proven to be more effective in the long term than a walled approach, where a manufacturer tries to determine what users are able to see or approves and disapproves individual content and applications. We strongly believe the Web should remain an open environment with consistent access to content and applications regardless of your viewing device.

We are continuing to focus on enabling our customers to do their best work, and helping them reach people effectively and reliably around the world across operating systems, browsers, and a variety of devices.

Update: I’ve responded as well in the comments below.

We have closed comments on this post but encourage you to continue the conversation on other Adobe blogs. Check out the links to the right and at the bottom of the page, or visit blogs.adobe.com for a complete list of Adobe blogs.

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