EPIX and the Adobe Flash Platform Engage Movie Buffs Across Multiple Devices

Today’s technology savvy audiences want to experience content across multiple platforms and devices, and are beginning to move away from passive forms of entertainment—they want to participate and interact with others to shape their experience. EPIX—a multi-platform premium entertainment channel, video-on-demand, and online service– teamed up with Adobe to bring current releases, classics, and original entertainment to all video platforms—linear TV, on demand, online, and mobile—while also encouraging social integration and sharing to reach the broadest audience possible.

With the Adobe Flash Platform, EPIX, a joint venture of Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, and MGM Studios, was given the necessary tools to create and carry out broadband authentication systems to over 30 million U.S. homes through its distribution partners including Charter Communications, Cox Communications, DISH Network, Mediacom Communications, NCTC, Suddenlink Communications, and Verizon FiOS with little to no development effort.

Using multiple Adobe technologies such as  Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe AIR, Adobe Flash Media Server, Adobe Flex, Adobe Flash Builder, and Adobe Flash Player, EPIX delivers content beyond the Web by building a library of available movie titles, which are encoded for delivery to a specific platform across different devices like Motorola XOOM, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Boxee Box. One of the notable capabilities in EPIX is “Screening Room: Watch With Friends,” a feature that includes sharing capabilities allowing users to watch movies in a social event, turning the experience into a more into viral, interactive, and engaging gathering. The Screening Room is great for large-scale events like concerts on-demand to bring fans together.

Learn more about how EPIX how it provides premium HD content to its subscribers on devices everywhere here.

Flash Game License and the Adobe Flash Platform Match Game Development with Marketing Savvy

Creating games is the easy part for developers, but finding ways to make money from their games is challenging because of resources and limited marketing experience. Marketers, on the other hand, don’t necessarily have the expertise to develop games, but they need them to drive traffic online for their brands. FlashGameLicense.com (FGL), an online marketplace engineered by the Adobe Flash Platform, brings them together.

Created by two previous independent game developers, FGL offers Adobe Flash game developers a venue to post games and an opportunity for sponsors to shop for games to feature on their sites. Lucrative deals between companies such as ArmorGames, Disney, Kongregate, Microsoft, The Cartoon Network, Viacom (AddictingGames) and Yahoo and tens of thousands of independent developers have been brokered throughout the years.

The Adobe Flash Platform helps both groups reap the benefits. Adobe Flash Player’s reach helps companies and their developer partners ensure the widest reception and best performance across multiple platforms. Mentorship, centralized technical resources, peer review and analytics provided to developers guarantee that the best game possible goes live. The quality of the site and its games are such that 30 percent of FGL users come back and uniquely visit the site monthly.

FGL’s strength is allowing developers to focus on what they do best—creating games. For example, Berzerk Studios created the hit games, “Homerun in Berzerk Land” and “Gunbot,” leaving marketing and monetization to the FGL platform. The games, sponsored by SlixMedia, have received 15 million and 16 million plays respectively. The team’s also excited about future endeavors into multi-screen and multiplatform Flash game development. FGL encouraged former game hobbyist-turned-developer Ben Olding to release “Warlords: Call to Arms,” which has accumulated 121 million plays in less than two years and still enjoys about 50,000 plays a day.

Adobe is also proud to work with FGL to further mobile game development. Last year, Adobe sponsored FGL’s contest, “Cell Your Flash Game,” to encourage more mobile game development. The competition generated 260 submissions either built from scratch or ported to mobile from web, up from its original goal of 150 entries.

To learn more about how FGL works with the Flash Platform to effectively match independent developers and designers with sponsors to not only deliver the best game experiences but also effectively monetize them, visit here.

Frima Studio and the Adobe Flash Platform Bring Zombies to Life

Canadian-based game development firm Frima Studio boasts a client list that includes Electronic Arts, Warner Brother and Nickelodeon and a reputation for high-quality 3D games such as Zombie Tycoon, one of the original six games available in the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) Mini. Looking to expand beyond the console, Frima Studio uses the Adobe Flash Platform to bring those same, engaging 3D experiences to the widest number of devices.

Zombie Tycoon is a single-player game in which zombie squads take over the world. The game is full of puzzle-filled cities, 360 degree animations, and skybox effects, which have delighted PSP Mini gamers for years. But to bring that same 3D experience to web gamers, Frima tapped Adobe Flash Player and Stage 3D APIs, a new method of 2D and 3D rendering in Flash Player.

The Frima team recognized a number of other advantages in the Flash Platform for its gamers.  Since Flash Player is everywhere—98 percent of the world’s Internet-connected computers—concerns about downloading a separate player to play these games are dispelled.

Using the Flex framework to build the tools to create the 3D apps, Adobe Flash Professional and Adobe Flash Builder to build the game UI menus and Adobe Photoshop CS5 to texturize images, developers reap the rewards too. Flash Player’s reach across screens worldwide offers developers greater monetization opportunities, particularly for Facebook games and free-to-play games. The new set of Stage 3D APIs, allows Frima developers, most of whom are ActionScript developers more versed in 2D game building, to easily create rich effects, texture and atmosphere in its games without sacrificing performance.

Frima is also very excited about its future 3D games for multiple device platforms using the Flash Platform. Learn more about how they engage a new gaming audience with immersive 3D experiences enabled by the Flash Platform here.

Introducing the Expanded Adobe & Mobile Showcase

If you’re looking for examples of full web browsing with Adobe Flash Player on your mobile device, chances are you’ve visited m.flash.com. Since launching a year ago, this site has been a great resource for leading device manufacturers like Motorola and RIM to promote some of the best rich content created with Adobe Flash technology for their customers to enjoy anywhere, demonstrating the benefits of Flash Player. Today, we’re excited to expand the breadth of expressive apps and web browsing created with Adobe tools for Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and Apple iOS platforms with the Adobe & Mobile Showcase.

Built with Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 products like Dreamweaver CS5.5 using HTML5, visitors to the Adobe & Mobile Showcase can view content available for their mobile platform, with a consistent Adobe-branded experience throughout. Android and BlackBerry PlayBook users will notice a revamped showcase design. And now, Apple iOS device users can view some of the selected AIR apps from FX Networks and USA Network built with Creative Suite 5.5, also available on the iTunes App Store.

More mobile-optimized content will be regularly updated, so be sure to bookmark the site on your smartphone or tablet. Android and BlackBerry PlayBook users will continue to see more great examples of expressive apps and rich web content on their devices, powered by the Adobe Flash Platform. Check out the new Adobe & Mobile Showcase today at m.adobeshowcase.com and let us know what you think!

Adobe Flash Player 10.3 Has Arrived for Desktops and Android Devices

Today, we announced the immediate availability of Flash Player 10.3 for Windows, MacOS and Linux desktop platforms plus support for Android devices (including Android 3.1 support). You can download the latest version from Adobe.com for desktops or on Android Market for Android devices.

The latest Flash Player enhancements include improved stability, stronger security and user privacy protection, and new desktop audio/video capabilities for businesses and developers. For details about these new capabilities and more, check out the Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash Player Team Blog post. We’ve also posted more feature information and a list of bug fixes as part of the Flash Player 10.3 release notes.

Given the recent rollout of Android 3.1, users of tablets running “Honeycomb” (Android 3.0) can take advantage of performance improvements introduced in Flash Player 10.2. To learn about how Google’s “Honeycomb” update optimizes Flash Player 10.2 content, read our previous Flash Platform Blog post.

The Flash Player Incubator is also being updated today, showcasing new technologies and APIs that will provide stronger performance and security enhancements, as well as support for video and Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions. We welcome your feedback on the Incubator forum and you can report any Flash Player bugs online.

Lastly, one of the first Incubator technologies – formerly known as “Molehill” – will now officially be called Stage 3D. It’s a new model of 2D and 3D rendering developed by Adobe and supported with a new Stage 3D API. This new set of low-level GPU-accelerated APIs enable advanced 2D and 3D capabilities across desktops, mobile devices and TVs—providing developers with the flexibility to leverage GPU hardware acceleration for significant performance gains. The initial community response has been positive and we’re very excited to hear more from the community as they start working the Stage 3D API. Computer Graphics World recently designated “Molehill” as a Silver Edge Award winner in its April 2011 print issue, stating, “Using the new 3D APIs in Adobe Flash Player and AIR will make it possible to deliver sophisticated 3D experiences across almost every computer and device connected to the Internet.”

For more information about today’s announcement, visit the Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash Player Team Blog. We hope you enjoy the new features and capabilities in Flash Player 10.3 on desktops and Android devices. Let us know what you think about Flash Player and Incubator updates by providing feedback on Adobe Forums.

 

Shantanu Joins RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis on Stage at BlackBerry World

During RIM’s BlackBerry World developer conference, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen and Danny Winokur, Adobe’s VP of Flash Runtimes, discussed how our developer community has embraced the opportunity to create innovative apps for the PlayBook. Shantanu announced that a large majority of the 3,000 apps in App World today are AIR apps, including the new Facebook app, which was built using Creative Suite tools like Flash Builder.

Check out the presentation and the demos of Flash Player as well as the Adobe Reader and Reader’s Digest apps below.

Growing Momentum for Flash Player and AIR Across Devices

The industry continues to rapidly innovate, continuously introducing devices with new CPUs, graphics processors (GPUs), operating systems and browsers. We are excited by this progress and the new opportunities it provides for end users to enjoy increasingly rich experiences enabled by Flash Player and AIR on their favorite devices, including PCs, tablets, smartphones and TVs. Our work with more than 70 leading partners through the Open Screen Project has delivered Flash Player and/or AIR for Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS, iOS, Google TV, and Samsung SmartTVs and Smart Blu-ray players, complementing our long-standing support for major desktop platforms.

With the new Creative Suite 5.5, including Flash Builder 4.5, millions of developers and designers are able to accelerate and simplify development of rich applications for the web and top mobile devices including Android smartphones and tablets, the BlackBerry PlayBook and all versions of the iPhone and iPad. We anticipate that we will certify Flash Player on more than 40 smartphones and 50 tablets for release this year, bringing Flash Player smartphone installations to more than 130 million by year’s end. More than 200 million devices will support AIR applications by this same time.

We continue to work closely with our silicon, OS and browser partners to provide users with regular performance and feature enhancements that build on the latest device hardware and software updates across this vast array of devices. This cooperation is critical, as Flash Player and AIR deliver rich web experiences and mobile applications, including HD video and immersive gaming, through a reliance on each layer of the complex and evolving technology “stacks” that embody modern devices. As these stacks deliver new optimizations and support new capabilities, we will take advantage of them in ways that deliver value to both end users and content developers.

Today we are releasing Flash Player 10.2 for Android Honeycomb devices, available for download from Android Market. This final release will take advantage of Google’s enhancements in Android 3.1*, including hardware accelerated playback of 720p high-definition video referenced in our earlier blog post. Users of Android 3.0.1 will not experience these improvements until their devices receive the update to Android 3.1*. In addition, this Flash Player 10.2 release includes a security update addressing the Flash Player vulnerability announced on April 15th for all versions of Android.

Our plan moving forward is to continue delivering improvements in performance, quality, security and/or new features with each new release of Flash Player and AIR in accordance with our regular development schedule. Devices and software updates from our partners which introduce new technologies are being developed on varied schedules that are different from our own. Flash Player and/or AIR may not be optimized or supported on some of these devices until a subsequent release. We will continue to provide developers with access to pre-release features through early access programs on Adobe Labs so that they can test their content and provide us with feedback prior to final release.

*Blog post UPDATED on May 10, 2011 to reflect Adobe Flash Player 10.2 support for Android 3.1, announced at Google I/O.

Taking HD Video and Mobile Apps to a New Level on the BlackBerry PlayBook

The BlackBerry PlayBook is now shipping with Adobe Flash Player, so users can experience the best of the web—including video, games, animations and more – anytime, anywhere. Some of the latest Flash Player features, like hardware accelerated video decoding and rendering, will give PlayBook users a great mobile video experience allowing them to watch their favorite TV shows, movies or sports games in up to 1080p HD video on the device’s own screen or, thanks to the PlayBook’s HDMI interface, on any HD TV. Check out the positive feedback around Flash performance from top reviewers at the Wall Street Journal, Engadget, CNET, GigaOM, BGR and others.

With RIM’s BlackBerry Tablet OS Software Development Kit (SDK) for Adobe AIR and the PlayBook’s support for AIR native extensions, developers can easily use the same Adobe Flash tooling to create rich mobile applications. With the recently announced mobile tooling and framework support in Flash Builder 4.5, developers can create, test, and deploy high performing mobile applications on BlackBerry Tablet OS. Flex 4.5 will include support for BlackBerry Tablet OS in June 2011.

Check out this demo of Adobe Flash technology and some AIR applications for the PlayBook:

Several AIR apps will be available for the PlayBook at launch and in the coming months from Adobe, Epix, Facebook, salesforce.com, Universal Mind and others. There has already been some buzz from developers and our partners around AIR applications running on the PlayBook:

  • “Building applications for the PlayBook was a natural extension of our AIR development capabilities. Everyone on our team was impressed by the device, and we are very excited to build great experiences for this new platform!” Grant Skinner, Chief Architect/CEO, gskinner.com
  • “We are excited to showcase Reader’s Digest–the largest paid-circulation magazine in the world–on the new BlackBerry PlayBook. We are reinventing our iconic brand for the digital age, adding interactivity, video, audio and brilliant photos to our storytelling and condensed insights, and the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite is the key to getting it all done to our exacting standards.” Peggy Northrop, VP, Global Editor-in-Chief, Reader’s Digest
  • “I can’t keep my hands off iGIZMO on PlayBook. It’s interactive, entertaining and more impressive with every read. It’s a huge achievement and packed full of cutting-edge features that are enabling us to innovate on this exciting new platform. Now we can extend the reach of our brand to new audiences–and pursue new commerce opportunities–by using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to make our content avaialble on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Our readers can now engage with ground-breaking photography, video reviews and interactive content on the go–wherever they are and whenever they want to enoy it.” James Billington, Editor, iGIZMO
  • “With Adobe AIR, we were able to extend the superior quality and accessible delivery of our Epix video experiences to the BlackBerry Playbook with minimal development effort.  We continue to look to the Adobe Flash Platform to help us provide an immersive entertainment experience to our customers, across multiple platforms and devices.” Emil Rensing, Chief Digital Officer, Epix
  • “Aqualux is a perfect fit for the tablet form factor, and it’s exciting to have it running on such a capable device.  I’m impressed with how seamlessly the Flash Platform is integrated with the OS.  Adobe and RIM have made AIR a first-class citizen on the PlayBook; key features like multitasking, in-app purchases, and UI controls are directly accessible via the AIR SDK, and empowered Aqualux to run with native features and native performance. “Alex Liebert, Milkman Games, LLC, http://www.milkmangames.com

Playbook users will also be able to enjoy more engaging, immersive digital publications created by media and business publishers using the new Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. With the new Adobe Content Viewer for PlayBook, media and business publishers, including Dennis Publishing and Reader’s Digest , can share their well-known titles and brands on the device. Content Viewer for the PlayBook is immediately available to content publishers through the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Prerelease program. Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, along with the latest set of soon-to-be-released tablet authoring tools in Creative Suite 5.5, can be used to create content for BlackBerry Tablet OS. Lastly, Adobe is providing enterprise applications such as Adobe Connect Mobile for web conferencing and LiveCycle for business workflows for the PlayBook, and the device ships with an optimized version of Adobe Reader for seamless viewing of PDF content.

We can’t wait to see how these developments with Adobe Flash technology will change the way people work and play as they engage with digital experiences across desktops and devices. We’d love to hear your feedback and experiences, and stay tuned for more exciting announcements to come!

Lucid Design Group Uses the Flash Platform to Help Save the World One Dashboard at a Time

With global warming on the rise, Lucid Design Group, a privately held cleantech software company, wanted to create something that would educate and inspire people to change their daily habits to help reduce consumption in their homes and offices (like turning off lights and unplugging appliances). Lucid developed Building Dashboard, a data visualization and communication application that monitors the use of electricity, water, natural gas and heating, and encourages social networking around the topic of resource conservation. It’s available via the Web, kiosks and mobile devices using the Adobe Flash Platform and Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium. With Building Dashboard (a MAX 2010 award finalist) in place, Fortune 500 companies, universities and residential customers saw consistent energy reductions up to 20 percent.

Coined “the first social network for buildings,” Building Dashboard employed the Flash Platform to help develop and deliver widgets, apps, maps and flow lists to encourage users of all technical backgrounds to save resources and understand their resource consumption levels. Currently, nearly 100 U.S. colleges and universities are using Building Dashboard to support key sustainability initiatives to reduce carbon dioxide emissions across campus.

To streamline the developmental process behind Building Dashboard, Lucid used a variety of Adobe products including Flash Catalyst, Flash Player, Flex, Flash Professional, Photoshop and Flash Builder. The advantage of working with various Adobe products is seamless integration. For example, Adobe Flash Builder helped improve the Flex development process while Adobe Flash Catalyst and Adobe Flash Builder expedited design/developer workflow, ultimately reducing design and development time by one third. By adding Adobe Flash Player to the mix, Lucid developers could run their product across different platforms, devices and operating systems, while cutting testing time in half.

To learn more about how Lucid worked with Adobe technologies and to see how New York-based Hamilton College uses Building Dashboard, read their story here.

Adobe continues to advance Flash.

Adobe teams have been working hard to innovate around new tools for HTML5 and the Flash Platform. We truly believe that it’s important for the web to have a driving force for innovation and consistent playback of rich content across platforms and browsers regardless of what codecs are used – H.264, VP8, VP6, Sorensen, AAC or others.

We see several key opportunities for the Flash Platform that are not fully enabled by standards and other formats available today:  Rich, casual games; premium video with content protection and video enhancements like overlays and other effects; rich Internet applications in enterprises and on the web with data-driven features; and digital publishing.

Following the release of AIR 2.6 for Android and last week’s Incubator release of the new “Molehill” 3D GPU accelerated APIs at the Game Developer Conference, Adobe today released a beta version of Flash Player 10.3 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Flash Player 10.3 provides key features to developers, content publishers and end-users. And we expect to bring them to mobile devices in the future.   Try them out and let us know what you think.

  • Media Measurement – Measuring video just got easier. With Flash Player 10.3 and Adobe® SiteCatalyst®, developers can implement video analytics with as little as two lines of code for the first time.  Web analytics solutions can use a new set of open APIs to easily implement consistent video analytics irrespective of implementation or delivery protocol.  Media Measurement for Flash allows companies to get real-time, aggregated reporting of channels driving viewers to videos, what the audience reach is, and how much video is played.
  • Acoustic Echo Cancellation – Flash Player 10.3 enables developers to create real-time online collaboration experiences with high-quality audio, such as telephony, in-game voice chat, and group conferencing applications. Developers can take advantage of acoustic echo cancellation, noise suppression, voice activity detection, and automatic compensation for various microphone input levels. End users will be able to experience higher quality audio facilitating smoother conversation flow, without using a headset.
  • Integration with browser privacy controls for managing local storage – Users will have a simpler way to clear local storage from the browser settings interface – similar to how users clear their browser cookies today. Flash Player 10.3 integrates control of local storage with the browser’s privacy settings in Mozilla Firefox 4, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and higher, and future releases of Apple Safari and Google Chrome. Also see a related post by Emmy Huang in January.
  • Native Control Panel – Flash Player 10.3 provides users with streamlined controls for managing their Flash Player privacy, security and storage settings. Windows, Mac, and Linux users can access the Flash Player Settings Manager directly from the Control Panels or System Preferences on their computers.
  • Auto-Update Notification for Mac OS – Flash Player 10.3 supports automatic notification of software updates on Mac OS, making it easier for Mac users to stay current with new capabilities in the latest version of Flash Player.

To download the beta release of Flash Player 10.3, visit Adobe Labs. We look forward to hearing your feedback, which will help us make Flash Player better for you.

P.S. For a preview release of Flash Player with 64-bit support, please check out Adobe Flash Player “Square” for developers on Adobe Labs.