Statement on Google Chrome Phasing Out the NPAPI Plug-In Interface

This week, the Google Chrome team announced it is phasing out the NPAPI plug-in interface, which has a direct impact on the functionality of major browsers plugins. Since it migrated from the NPAPI interface to the modern Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI), Adobe Flash Player is not affected by this change.

Video-specific functionality such as Adobe Primetime DRM (formerly Adobe Access) and Adobe Primetime Player SDKs are also not affected. There is no migration work required, as Chrome browser users have already been using the PPAPI version of Adobe Flash Player.

Chrome browser users will automatically receive new features and security updates due to the integration of Adobe Flash Player with Chrome, which permits seamless background updates.

For DRM-related questions or feedback, please visit the Adobe Primetime Community Forum.

MWC 2011 and Flash Platform: Good Progress and Good Performance

With Mobile World Congress coming to a close in Barcelona, we are seeing tremendous momentum for the Flash Platform runtimes on mobile devices. It’s incredibly exciting to see, touch and play with all the latest devices that our ecosystem partners are announcing and launching this year, including tablets like the Motorola XOOM, RIM Blackberry PlayBook and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S II, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro and neo and the five new Android smartphones from HTC. With beautiful web content for Flash Player and rich apps built with AIR, these devices highlight the wide adoption of both the Flash Player and AIR, especially since the former has only been available for about 6 months and AIR has only been available for a little more than 3 months!

While the momentum has been astonishing, there are still some questions on how Flash Player is performing on mobile devices. Tim Siglin, an editor at Streaming Media and co-founder of Transitions, Inc., wanted to find out for himself and published his findings in his whitepaper Performance or Penalty – Assessing Flash Player 10.1 Impact on Android Handsets. It is an in-depth look at the performance of Flash Player on a number of mobile devices, and the results may surprise you. Key highlights from the whitepaper include:

  • For the vast majority of video content delivered for Flash Player on mobile devices, performance is equivalent to the full frame rate experience on desktop. This is a huge improvement vs. video played back on previous devices.
  • The most significant factors impacting mobile battery life for video playback, for both Flash Player and the native device player, is appropriate video encoding and optimization.
  • There is minimal, if any, impact on mobile device battery life with Flash Player, even with multiple apps running.
  • All web content, running in Flash Player or not, consume battery power at consistent rates over WiFi in the native browser.
  • GPS, 3G and other resources on a phone consume more power than Flash Player, including when highly interactive content is viewed.
  • Flash Player 10.1 performance was 350% better than equivalent content in HTML, running an average of 24 frames per second for Flash Player 10.1 and 7 fps for HTML.

These initial findings support the positive feedback we have seen from users on Android Market where there have been over 6M downloads, 150K ratings resulting in a 4.5 out of 5.0 stars for Flash Player. Here are a few additional new devices that were announced yesterday at Mobile World Congress that are supporting the Flash Platform runtimes:

On Improving Privacy: Managing Local Storage in Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player delivers some of the most compelling, interactive experiences on the web. The team works hard to add new features and push Flash Player capabilities so designers and developers can make the richest content available. We’re also committed to continuously improving Flash Player in less conspicuous areas, such as privacy. Privacy is a hot topic, and there are good reasons it’s on many people’s minds, so we wanted to share some of the work we’re doing to help you protect your privacy.

Some of the Flash Player team’s privacy efforts are happening around a feature of Flash Player called “local storage” (often called local shared objects or LSOs, and sometimes incorrectly referred to as “Flash cookies”). Local storage is required functionality to provide the quality web experience you expect from today’s rich Internet applications (RIAs). It is used by a number of Web technologies, including Flash Player and similar plugin technologies, as well as browsers that support HTML5.

Why is local storage helpful for web apps? Using local storage means information doesn’t need to be stored on a website’s servers. Instead, small amounts of information are stored locally, on the user’s computer. For Flash Player, the default amount of disk storage space is minimal – the LSO is at most three-hundredths the size of a typical MP3. Local storage can be used to allow you to save your website or app login details, site history, or form information so that you can avoid retyping data the next time you visit. Local storage allows you to store work in progress from a photo editor or productivity app, for example. Local storage is also the feature that helps your computer or device remember that you like the volume turned down when you watch videos of your favorite TV show on YouTube, or a video website can show you your most recently viewed playlist without requiring a user account or login. This kind of helpful productivity data is saved on your computer, and Flash Player protects this information so that only the exact website that saved that information can access it.

Since local storage allows sites and apps to remember information, there are concerns about the use of local storage to store tracking information – or of greater concern, to restore tracking information to a browser cookie that a user has intentionally deleted. This use of local data storage has raised questions about privacy. So we’re continually working to make sure that users have better control over the local data stored by applications running in Flash Player.

Most recently, we’ve been collaborating with browser vendors to integrate LSO management with the browser UI. The first capability, one that we believe will have the greatest immediate impact, is to allow users to clear LSOs (and any local storage, such as that of HTML5 and other plugin technologies) from the browser settings interface—similar to how users can clear their browser cookies today. Representatives from several key companies, including Adobe, Mozilla and Google have been working together to define a new browser API (NPAPI ClearSiteData) for clearing local data, which 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.

Keep your eye on the Google Chrome dev channel to see this feature show up in the coming weeks.

We expect other vendors to be rolling out support for this capability in the near future, and we will continue to work on additional capabilities to improve user privacy in partnership with browser vendors.

The ability to clear local storage from the browser extends the work we did in Flash Player 10.1, which launched with a new private browsing feature integrated with the private browsing mode in major browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, and Apple’s Safari. When you are in a private browsing mode session in your browser, Flash Player will automatically delete any local storage that was written by websites during that browser session once the browser is closed. This ensures that Flash Player can’t be used to store any history or other information from your private session. In striving to ensure a great user experience, we’ve made this seamless and automatic for the user.

Finally, you will soon see improvements to the Flash Player Settings Manager. Since local storage functionality was first introduced, users have been able to fully control their local storage settings using the online version of the Flash Player Settings Manager. By right-clicking on any content that is written for Flash Player, and selecting “Global Settings…” (or by visiting the Flash Player Settings Manager directly), you can customize which sites, if any, are allowed to use local storage. You can even turn local storage off entirely, if you don’t feel you need the functionality for things such as saving game data or your preferences on websites. If you’d like to turn it off just click on “Global Storage Settings panel,” drag the storage amount slider to “None” and select “Never Ask Again.”

Still, we know the Flash Player Settings Manager could be easier to use, and we’re working on a redesign coming in a future release of Flash Player, which will bring together feedback from our users and external privacy advocates. Focused on usability, this redesign will make it simpler for users to understand and manage their Flash Player settings and privacy preferences. In addition, we’ll enable you to access the Flash Player Settings Manager directly from your computer’s Control Panels or System Preferences on Windows, Mac and Linux, so that they’re even easier to locate and use. We expect users will see these enhancements in the first half of the year and we look forward to getting feedback as we continue to improve the Flash Player Settings Manager.

These local storage improvements will give you better control over the information stored on your computer and are part of our ongoing efforts to help you manage your privacy.

Emmy Huang
Group Product Manager, Flash Player

Flash Player 10.1 for Google TV

We are excited about the launch of the first Google TV devices.  Google TV has set out to revolutionize the way we all enjoy television by bringing the web and search to the experience.  All Google TV devices will ship with a beta version of Adobe® Flash® Player 10.1, a great step towards bringing a full web browsing experience to Internet connected televisions and other digital home devices.  With support for Adobe Flash, more than three million developers worldwide are now able to extend their web content to the digital home so users can enjoy rich, high-definition videos and other Flash-based web content.

Thanks to the ubiquity of Flash, there is a tremendous amount of engaging content on the web.  Watching video on computers and smartphones is great, but it is an even better experience watching web videos streamed to the biggest screen in your home – your TV.  Flash Player for Google TV is optimized to deliver amazing HD Flash video – all the way up to pristine 1080p.  Users can access both free and premium video content from sites across the web.  Some great examples are YouTube, TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, VEVO, Amazon Video On Demand, and HBO GO, just to name a few!

This is another important milestone for our multiscreen vision, enabling Flash content across devices, platforms, and browsers.  Similar to the release of Flash Player 10.1 for Android smartphones in May, the initial release for Adobe Flash on Google TV is a beta version.  It’s a great way for us to get feedback on real-world performance within the unique context of these new device screens.  Users will be able to benefit from “over-the-air” updates of the Google TV platform and Flash Player as we continue to collaborate with Google to improve the capabilities of Flash on these devices.

Adobe has been working closely with Google to integrate Flash Player 10.1 into all of their platforms, including Chrome, Android, and now Google TV.  While the beta version of Flash Player 10.1 on Google TV is a work in progress and still needs to be optimized for certain types of content, we are excited about the unlimited potential a full browser combined with Flash Player will bring to the TV experience.  We are committed to delivering updates to the Flash Player over the coming months to constantly improve the web experience on Google TV.

Flash Player 10.1 on Google Nexus Ones

We are pleased to announce that Flash Player 10.1 is now generally available for download on the Android Market for Google™ Nexus One™ phones. Flash Player 10.1 for Android (2.2) is now generally available as of August 16; we had previously released Flash Player 10.1 to partners in June 2010. We expect additional Android devices like the HTC Incredible, Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Milestone, Droid X, Droid by Motorola, Dell Streak and other mobile platforms to get Flash Player 10.1 over the next few weeks and months. Upgrade paths for devices in market today depend on the specific device, manufacturer, operator and the region. In addition to Android, mobile platforms including webOS, BlackBerry, MeeGo, LiMo, a future version of Windows Phone 7 and others will deliver support for Flash Player 10.1 over the coming months. Many of the new devices are expected to come pre-installed with full Flash.

Android phones available now which support Flash Player 10.1 include:

  • Google™ Nexus One™ — Download from Android Market.
  • HTC Evo™ 4G — Included with the Android 2.2 update from HTC.
  • HTC Desire — Included with the Android 2.2 update from HTC.
  • DROID 2 by Motorola — Devices ship with Flash Player 10.1 preinstalled.

Learn more about current and upcoming devices that support Flash Player 10.1.

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Summer AIR Mobile Contest 2010 CZ/SK

Adobe Czech Republic in cooperation with youngsters conference JuniorInternet (by Together CZ) opens innovative contest for Czech and Slovak developers to celebrate mobile versions of Flash Player 10.1 and AIR for Android. Enter and win Google Nexus One or Creative Suite 5!

What can you win
1st Place – Google Nexus One (Froyo) + goodies
2nd Place – [...]

Technoracle Road Test: Google Nexus One Car Dock

Having recently switched from iPhone to Nexus One, I have been really impressed by the functionality and ease of use. On a recent trip to Victoria, I decided to test out the new Navigation features of the Nexus One using the Car Dock. The Car Dock is available from Google or a number of other resellers. It keeps your device constantly charging and also turns the Nexus One into a speaker phone (legal in most states, provinces).

Here is the video of the recent test. There are also a few drawbacks. One wish is that the Bluetooth stayed connected while in the Car Dock. For some reason, as soon as the Car Dock mode is engaged, Bluetooth headsets no longer work. This can be annoying if you want to make a private call with other passengers in the car. Other than this minor nit, I give it a solid 10/10.

Flash Player and Chrome Integration is a Go!

Per our announcement in March about working with Google to integrate Flash Player into Google Chrome — the initial phase is now complete. When users install or update the Chrome browser, they will also receive the latest version of Adobe Flash Player with no need to do a separate install. Our hope is that the integration between Flash Player and the Chrome browser will serve as a showcase for more consistent, seamless, and intuitive Web browsing experiences. We feel that this work by both Google and Adobe will benefit the entire community of developers and end-users. Read more about the integration from the Chrome team on their blog.

Additionally, as we discussed previously in our original announcement of the Flash Player and Chrome integration, work is underway on a new API called Pepper that can provide a more robust way for Web browsers and plug-ins to interact with each other. We welcome and encourage others to participate in the definition and development of the Pepper API.

YouTube Uses Flash – Google Explains Why

A great, detailed post on the YouTube API blog from Google’s YouTube team explains why they depend on the Flash Platform to deliver 2 billion videos a day to people worldwide.

The team explains how Flash provides a reliable way deliver video to the browser, securely; how Flash makes it easy for people to share videos and embed on other sites; how you can go fullscreen in HD with videos using Flash Player, and how the 1000’s of people who record and upload vids directly to YouTube need camera and microphone access “which would not be possible without Flash technology.”

Thanks to the YouTube team for shedding some light on why Flash is such a major part of the most-used video site on the web.

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The apps on my Nexus One

People have asked me which apps I use on my Nexus One quite a few times already so I thought I’d do a blog post on it.
Adobe AIR & Flash Player 10.1
I don’t think this needs too much explanation ;-) Having Flash Player 10.1 in the browser really is a blessing. When breaking news happens I [...]