Today we are excited to announce the availability of the Adobe AIR 3 beta and the Adobe Flash Player 11 beta for desktop platforms on Adobe Labs. AIR and Flash Player continue to drive innovation for rich, engaging digital experiences with new features for cross-device standalone application development and expressive rich internet applications, games, and videos in the browser. Some of the features from the Flash Player Incubator, such as Stage 3D and 64-bit support, have been moved into this beta release. Developers can test and provide feedback on the new features, and should also focus on testing existing content for compatibility and stability.
Some of the features and performance enhancements included in the Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 betas:
- Captive Runtime for AIR*: This popular feature from AIR for iOS will now be available on AIR for desktop. Simplify the app installation process, reduce testing and certification cost by encapsulating the AIR runtime in your Windows, Mac and and Android apps.
Native 64-bit support for Flash Player: Take advantage of new 64-bit operating systems and 64-bit Web browsers on Linux, Mac OS, and Windows.
- Stage 3D graphics rendering: Stage 3D (“Molehill) is a new method of 2D and 3D rendering and is supported with a new Stage3D API. The Stage3D API is a set of low-level GPU-accelerated APIs enabling advanced 2D and 3D capabilities across multiple screens and devices (desktop, mobile and tv). These new low-level APIs will provide 2D and 3D engine developers the flexibility to leverage GPU hardware acceleration for significant performance gains. You can view examples on the Stage 3D page.
- H.264/AVC SW Encode for camera encoding: Higher compression efficiency and industry wide support for real-time communications and non-real-time broadcast scenarios, like webcasting, livecasting, etc.
* The AIR 3 desktop runtime beta is provided to ensure current AIR 2.7 and AIR apps targeting older version of AIR are compatible with this upcoming release of AIR 3. At this time the AIR 3 SDK and AIR 3 specific features (e.g. captive runtime) will not be available in a public beta. To learn more about the new AIR 3 mobile and desktop features and develop apps with AIR 3, please apply for admission to our private prerelease program.
We’re also pleased to announce a new public bugbase system where you can file bugs and feature requests for both Flash Player and AIR. The new bugbase is a public front end to our internal bugbase, which will improve tracking, communication, and responsiveness for issues and feature requests. The former bugbase will remain as read only, and we are in the process of transferring over all relevant issues and feature requests to the new system.
Finally, as 3D and security have been a topic of interest lately, I want to touch on a few points about how Adobe is bringing 3D to the Web in Flash Player and apps through AIR. Because two of our primary design goals were to ensure Stage 3D will run great on mobile devices without compromising security, the Stage 3D implementation exposes a specific set of GPU features, resulting in a small API surface, making it easier to secure. We also added restrictions that help mitigate many of the security concerns around accessing OpenGL. For instance, we limit the number of calls per frame, minimizing the risk of denial-of-service attacks. We also designed a simple shader language (AGAL – Adobe Graphics Assembly Language) with restrictions such as prohibiting loops or functions inside shaders. The simplicity of AGAL makes it also easy to verify and validate compared to the GLSL dialect that is used by other solutions like WebGL.
This first beta is a desktop release, and we’re hard at work on mobile, which will be coming soon. The runtimes team is looking forward to your feedback during the beta period, and the amazing experiences that will be delivered through Flash Player 11 and AIR 3!
To learn more about the Flash Player 11 features, and for compatibility testing, please participate in the Flash Player 11 beta.
To learn more about the AIR 3 features and for compatibility testing for AIR desktop apps, please participate in the AIR 3 beta.