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

[Also posted on Adobe's Conversations Blog]

Adobe 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 video.  Flash 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!

Danny Winokur is the Vice President and General Manager of Interactive Development at Adobe

 

[UPDATED: 11/15/11 at 6:40 p.m. PT]

Read these related posts from Adobe’s Ben Forta, Thibault Imbert, Lee Brimelow, Pritham Shetty, Mike Chambers, Andrew Shorten and Deepa Subramaniam:

Some Thoughts on Flash and Devices
By Ben Forta
http://forta.com/blog/index.cfm/2011/11/9/Some-Thoughts-On-Flash-And-Devices

Adobe AIR and Flash Player Team Blog- Focusing
By Thibault Imbert
https://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2011/11/focusing.html

Flash to Focus on Apps for Mobile
By Lee Brimelow
http://www.leebrimelow.com/?p=3151

Adobe Flash for Premium Video
By Pritham Shetty
http://blogs.adobe.com/ktowes/2011/11/adobe-flash-for-premium-video.html

Flash Professional and the Future
By Mike Chambers
http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2011/11/10/flash-professional-and-the-future

Clarifications on Flash Player for Mobile Browsers, the Flash Platform, and the Future of Flash
By Mike Chambers
http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2011/11/11/clarifications-on-flash-player-for-mobile-browsers-the-flash-platform-and-the-future-of-flash/

Your Questions about Flex (UPDATED: 11/15/11)
By Andrew Shorten & Deepa Subramaniam
http://blogs.adobe.com/flex/2011/11/your-questions-about-flex.html

 

 

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!

Adobe Pass Makes TV Everywhere a Reality

Today we are excited to announce the Adobe Pass authentication service, which enables pay TV subscribers to easily access premium content across the web from virtually any Internet-connected device.  
 
“TV Everywhere” is the Industry term that refers to Pay TV subscribers being able to access the same content they subscribe to through their traditional TV provider, online allowing customers to access premium TV content in web browsers, smartphones, tablets or IPTV’s.  The biggest problem to date with TV Everywhere is having a system that is transparent and easy to use for customers, conforms to all of the different parties business rules, and mostly importantly – is secure.  Adobe Pass solves these problems for all parties- consumers, programmers and pay TV providers alike.
 
Adobe has worked hard over the past year to integrate Adobe Pass with major Pay TV providers and content programmers.  By providing a secure, hosted solution, Adobe ensures that both the providers and the programmers have minimal integration work to perform as they pull together their many different online viewing options.  
 
Adobe Pass  leverages the Flash Platform for a seamless high-quality experience along with Adobe Flash Access® for enhanced security.  Adobe Pass also utilizes HTML5 for devices where Adobe Flash technology is not yet available.  
 
Adobe Pass is now live on several sites. Any Comcast, Verizon, Dish or Cox customer can try out the Turner TV everywhere sites, just click on the orange key to unlock more content by entering your pay TV username and password (typically the same information you would use to view your bill) at: www.tnt.tv/tveverywhere. What’s more, as you move to another site like www.tbs.com/tveverywhere, the premium contents come alive without a 2nd login. Verizon FiOS customers can also check out www.mtv.com/tve and again, the authentication will persist.

Adobe Pass is a great opportunity for Adobe to promote the Flash Platform across the entire media and entertainment industry, and to generate consistent, recurring revenue by solving a key business problem.  Keep up with the latest information on Adobe Pass on our product page at www.adobe.com/go/adobepass.

- Todd Greenbaum, Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Pass

Flash and AIR Momentum from Mobile World Congress 2011

We’re stirring up Flash Platform buzz at Mobile World Congress (MWC) this week by announcing strong mobile adoption of Flash Player and Adobe AIR, plus performance enhancements with Flash Player 10.2 to benefit developers and content publishers. Some highlights:

  • AIR applications can now be deployed to more than 84 million smartphones and tablets running Android and iOS.
  • Thousands of applications have been created and made available on Android Market and Apple’s App Store to date. For examples of popular AIR applications for Android check out m.flash.com.
  • Over 20 million smartphones were shipped or upgraded with Flash Player 10.1 on more than 35 certified devices in the first six months following the launch.
  • With more than 6 million downloads to date and more than 150,000 users giving it a 4.5-out-of-5 star rating, Flash Player is one of the top free apps on the Android Market.

Also, Flash Player 10.2 is now available for Mac, Windows and Linux users with several performance enhancements. The biggest feature of this release is support for Stage Video, which offers much improved video performance by optimizing hardware acceleration on desktops, mobile devices and TVs. Test results show up to 80 percent CPU savings when playing back video in 1080p on Windows and Mac OS—and existing H.264 video content on the Web will benefit from Stage Video without any changes to the content. Stage Video support for mobile devices will be available on Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” and BlackBerry Tablet OS.

Adobe also announced that leading global publishers, like National Geographic, Dennis Publishing, Martha Stewart Living and Condé Nast, are using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite tools to create and distribute their magazines and newspapers on Android tablets. The Content Viewer for Android is available now for publishing customers through the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite pre-release program.

Flash Platform developments don’t stop at MWC – the year ahead looks bright:

  • By the end of 2011, Adobe expects more than 200 million smartphones and tablets to support Adobe AIR applications.
  • For 2011, the company expects Flash Player to be supported on more than 132 million units worldwide.
  • More than 50 tablets are expected to support Flash Player this year alone.
  • Using Creative Suite 5 tools, over 3 million Flash Platform developers can create content across many devices for both Flash Player and AIR.

Watch David Wadhwani, senior vice president, discuss Flash Player and AIR momentum in 2011:

Watch Danny Winokur, vice president, discuss Flash Player 10.2 including Stage Video and performance updates, and upcoming 3D functionality:

Are you in Barcelona at MWC, and taking video you’d like to share? Send us an e-mail and maybe we‘ll cut it into our highlight reel.

Our partners are busy with the Flash Platform as well. Check back this week for links to some of their news…

Adobe AIR on iPad

After queuing for an hour at the flagship Apple Store in SF this morning, we finally got our hands on a stack of magical devices. We’ve spent the rest of the day having fun getting the first Adobe AIR apps running on the iPad.

We’ve tested many of the existing AIR apps that are on the Apple App Store today (Alchemist, BaoZi Jump, Something Fishy, Gridshock, Space On-Air, Moai Mawashi etc, etc…), and they all have been working beautifully.

We have also been working on bringing up the first “HD” apps that take advantage of the gorgeous screen of the iPad.

Christian Cantrell from our team also got a multiscreen AIR app working on the iPad today.

The performance is pretty impressive, seems to be about 2x the performance of the 3GS. We’re looking forward to all the cool new apps that are going to be possible with this form factor.

Transforming the Magazine Experience With Wired and AIR

Adobe and Wired magazine just introduced a new digital magazine concept that provides an immersive, interactive content experience for readers as well as innovative possibilities for advertisers. The video above provides an excellent overview of the collaboration and includes interviews with some of the individuals leading this project at both Wired and Adobe.

Adobe AIR was used to develop the prototype of the application unveiled by Chris Anderson (Wired) and Jeremy Clark (Adobe) at the TED conference last week. For additional information on the concept, please see the post by Introducing a New Digital Magazine Experience on Adobe Digital Publishing blog.

Screenshots

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