Launching Flash Player 10.2 Beta

(update: the public release of Flash Player 10.2 has launched!)

We’re happy to announce a beta release of Flash Player 10.2 for Windows, Mac, and Linux is now available for download on Adobe Labs. Flash Player 10.2 beta introduces a number of enhancements we’re excited to share, including Stage Video, a new API that delivers best-in-class, high performance video playback across platforms. The new beta also includes Internet Explorer 9 hardware acceleration support previewed earlier (in Flash Player “Square”), enhanced text rendering, and two popular requests from the community: a native custom mouse cursors API and support for full screen playback with multiple monitors.

Setting the Stage for Beautiful Video

A lot of folks want to deliver the best possible video experience to the widest number of people. Stage Video in Flash Player 10.2 beta advances that goal. This new capability will help web sites deliver smooth, beautiful video across devices and browsers by enabling access to hardware acceleration of the entire video pipeline. As we showed in a sneak peek just last month at Adobe MAX, Flash Player 10.2 beta with Stage Video can deliver brilliant HD video with dramatically little processing power. Working together with hardware vendors has helped us take advantage of the GPU to offload not only H.264 hardware decoding (introduced in Flash Player 10.1) but the rest of the video rendering pipeline, including color conversion, scaling, and blitting. How efficient is hardware acceleration in Flash Player 10.2 beta? Using Stage Video, we’ve seen laptops play smooth 1080p HD video with just over 0% CPU usage.

Quality and performance are important, and so are richness and reach. Accordingly, Stage Video supports fully interactive, rich content combined with video. 1 billion people have Flash Player today. Because Stage Video works across browsers, when the final shipping version of Flash Player 10.2 is released, users will benefit from Stage Video accelerated content with a simple Flash Player update. We’re also introducing Stage Video across devices. In fact, today Google TV already takes advantage of Stage Video in Flash Player to deliver gorgeous 1080p HD video playback on TVs.

For content providers, Stage Video will work with all of the existing video viewed in Flash Player once they utilize the new API in their video player SWFs. This means their websites will continue to benefit from Flash Player’s advanced streaming for smooth, higher quality playback, DVR-like playback control, content protection, and consistency, with no changes to their encoded videos or infrastructure. Developers can learn more about how to enable their sites to take advantage of Stage Video today, and sites like YouTube have already started adding early support for Stage Video.

Other Enhancements

In addition to enhanced video playback, Flash Player 10.2 beta includes Internet Explorer 9 GPU support. In some of our tests this has yielded up to 35% improvement in rendering performance with Microsoft’s latest browser. Some other features are less about big numbers but little details that make experiences better. Flash Player has long allowed viewers to enjoy true full screen playback with one click. With Flash Player 10.2 beta, users with multiple monitors will be able to watch videos in true full screen on one display while multi-tasking on another (we heard you!). And we’re including another popular request from designers and developers: support for native custom mouse cursors. The new API allows developers to create their own cursors, static or animated, and ask the native OS to render them rather than use resources to manually draw custom cursors. This opens up new creative possibilities and can improve responsiveness in games, applications, and other content. Finally, the Flash Player 10.2 beta release also includes new sub-pixel text rendering enhancements that leverage Adobe typography research to further enhance readability of text in Flash Player, especially for complex character-based languages.

We encourage developers to install Flash Player 10.2 beta to check out these upcoming features. Developers with the beta can check out the Stage Video demos on Adobe Labs, including a demonstration of Stage Video from our friends at YouTube. If you’re an end-user, you probably don’t need to download the beta – you’ll benefit from Stage Video with the final release of Flash Player 10.2 next year as websites take advantage of it. We’ve found the beta to be pretty stable and ready for broad testing, but keep in mind this is a pre-release version of Flash Player, so not everything will be fully baked. If you encounter any issues, please file a bug in our public database so we can investigate. We appreciate your help and feedback.

We’re excited about what’s coming, and we hope you like it!

Tom Nguyen
Product Manager, Flash Platform Runtimes

39 Responses to Launching Flash Player 10.2 Beta

  1. Rodrigo says:

    Awesome news guys! Really excited about Stage Video!

  2. Luis says:

    Megusta

  3. Anon says:

    Sneak PEEK. A sneak peak is a stealthy mountain :(

  4. Mark Davies says:

    Does this release include AEC? http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FP-273

  5. Umesh says:

    Is there a version for 64-bit Win7?

    • Tom Nguyen says:

      Flash Player “Square” is available for previewing native 64-bit browser support: http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10_square.html

      (a future release will include all of the functionality of Flash Player 10.2 beta together with the native 64-bit browser support in “Square”)

      Note that Flash Player 10.2 beta (like earlier versions of Flash Player) work great with 64-bit Windows 7. You only need Flash Player “Square” if you’re using a 64-bit browser (e.g., Internet Explorer 64-bit). If you’re using a release version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Internet Explorer 32-bit in 64-bit Windows 7, you can use a 32-bit Flash Player.

  6. Very impressive :)
    Running the bunny demo, I noticed the spacebar worked for pause/play, while other keyboard shortcuts don’t function in fullscreen mode. Will we be able to get full keyboard interaction in fullscreen mode when the final version of 10.2 is released?

  7. Benny says:

    Is the documentation for the new APIs in Flash Player 10.2 beta already available online?
    At what address?

  8. GhostLyrics says:

    Where did the 64bit Support of the Square release go? o.O

  9. Dash says:

    Is this new hardware acceleration applicable to Linux, or has nothing changed there?

  10. Omar Zafra says:

    Is it true that Flash Player 10.2 Beta for Mac OS X is mostly coded in Cocoa 64-bit? If so, do you believe it solves some of the issues of battery usage on laptops?

  11. Kevin says:

    These features are limited to what platform? Windows only?

    • Tom Nguyen says:

      Nope — the features in Flash Player 10.2 beta benefit Windows, Mac, and Linux users (other than IE9 GPU support). When hardware acceleration is available, we’re seeing great performance benefits using the new Stage Video API across platforms (remember, sites need to enable their player SWFs to use Stage Video).

      On Macs, keep in mind hardware acceleration is dependent on the Mac OS Video Decode Acceleration Framework, which determines if HW decoding can engage (mentioned in the FAQ/release notes on Labs). Related to that, Mac users need the latest version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.5), which includes the required framework APIs.

      Unfortunately Linux is more fragmented in terms of video card support, and there’s no common hardware video decoding API that works across GPUs on Linux. But we’re investigating support and will have something to announce in the future. However, Stage Video will take advantage of “presentation” HW acceleration (scaling, blitting, etc) with some Linux distributions.

      Other features in Flash Player 10.2 beta, like native custom mouse cursors and text rendering enhancements, just work everywhere.

  12. Vadim P says:

    I’d like to know where is the 64bit Linux version – I’m on 64bit Ubuntu. There was a beta before, but it doesn’t seem to be included in this update.

  13. stevo81989 says:

    Well it yields no improvement on a mac, but good try??

    • Tom Nguyen says:

      (mentioned above) On Macs, keep in mind hardware acceleration is dependent on the Mac OS Video Decode Acceleration Framework, which determines if HW decoding can engage (mentioned in the FAQ/release notes on Labs). Related to that, Mac users need the latest version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.5), which includes the required framework APIs. Sites need to update their players to use the Stage Video API, so end users should wait until the final release of Flash Player 10.2 is available as sites take advantage. In the meantime, you can check out the demos on the demo page.

  14. Carson says:

    And where’s the 64-bit versions? Come ON guys!

  15. Mike Chapman says:

    Will the 10.2 download on 64 bit systems?

  16. derek knox says:

    Very cool, look forward to using the custom cursors! Adobe Max previews of Stage Video rocked, keep up the good work Adobe.

  17. Jake says:

    The native mouse cursors are awesome. Thanks guys!

  18. 3po says:

    Where is Flash Player 10.2 beta for 64 bit linux ?

  19. G_LEE says:

    hi i see you Adobe Flash 10.2 on tested.com it look good

  20. Nathan says:

    Great news to hear in the morning. . . Looking forward to play more in this player. .

  21. Sankaranaryanan says:

    Congratulations, folks! You guys are rocking!

  22. Nick Thomas says:

    Wow will definitely try it wanna enjoy its new features …:)

  23. Victor says:

    0% CPU usage???

  24. StageVideo/FP10.2 is crazy excellent!

    The instructions to install on Chrome, however, are either lacking or were not readily visible when I installed. You go: about:plugins then make sure “details” is expanded…and you’ll see TWO Flash Players. You then disable the “in-chrome” version of Flash player–10.1.xxx.

  25. Michelle Dessler says:

    Hi,

    I had problems installing 10.2 on Chrome for OS X – I just couldn’t get it to update! But I found instructions online that explained how to perform the upgrade manually, and now it works a treat. For anyone interested in trying out Flash 10.2 on Chrome/OS X, you can find the instructions at http://neosmart.net/blog/2010/updating-flash-player-manually-on-chrome-for-os-x/

  26. Julien says:

    … and still no *BSD support …

  27. nocturnal YL says:

    Very glad to hear all these. Got a few questions though:

    – Will there be (eventual) hardware graphical acceleration support for non-IE browsers?

    – Does the enhanced text rendering affect all current TLF text, or is it something entirely new and independent from it?

    Great work on these. The custom mouse cursor thing sounds cool (should be better than making the mouse move MovieClips – good for web games). Looking forward to the release version.

    • Tom Nguyen says:

      Thanks! Yes, Flash Player is taking advantage of hardware acceleration in lots of ways. To clarify, Flash Player hardware acceleration features like H.264 hardware video decoding and Stage Video benefit most users across browsers.

      Our work with Internet Explorer 9 specifically takes advantage of hardware compositing (accelerating the step where we layer different graphics together). We’re definitely rolling out similar hardware accelerated compositing across browsers. In fact, Flash Player 10.1 introduced hardware accelerated compositing for Safari in Mac OS using Core Animation.

      Some aspects of enhanced text rendering will affect all current TLF text, and others will only be enabled for SWF version 11 files. Check out the release notes (PDF) to learn how to create SWF11 files.

  28. gautam says:

    Note that Flash Player 10.2 beta (like earlier versions of Flash Player) work great with 64-bit Windows 7. You only need Flash Player “Square” if you’re using a 64-bit browser (e.g., Internet Explorer 64-bit). If you’re using a release version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, or Internet Explorer 32-bit in 64-bit Windows 7, you can use a 32-bit Flash Player.

  29. Lucky75 says:

    The fullscreen feature/fix for linux still doesn’t work. It still goes to the 0,0 position (i.e. always one monitor) and still exits fullscreen when the other monitor is clicked. Clearly you didn’t hear linux users.