Posts in Category "Announcements"

Upcoming changes to Flash Player’s extended support release

Beginning May 13th, 2014, we will be upgrading Flash Player’s extended support release from version 11.7 to version 13.  This change impacts enterprise and IT customers that currently deploy Flash Player using the extended support releases available through our distribution channel.

Adobe makes available the extended support release to organizations that prefer Flash Player stability over new functionality.  We will create a branch of the Flash Player code that we keep up to date with all of the latest security updates, but none of the new features or bug fixes available in our normal release branch.  This allows organizations to certify and stay secure with Flash Player with minimal effort.

To ensure a smooth transition, we encourage IT organizations to thoroughly test our version 13 releases (currently available on labs.adobe.com) over the next couple of months before deploying.

New Version Numbering

flash_player_11_icon_rgb air_3_icon_rgbToday we are excited to announce the beta availability of our next Flash Player and AIR releases, code-named “Jones“. With this release, we introduce a new numbering scheme for our product versions. Adopting the pattern set by Google with Chrome and Mozilla with Firefox, we will simply update the major version number with each subsequent release, doing away with minor releases altogether. In other words, beginning with the release of “Jones“, Flash Player will become Flash Player 12. With each new release, roughly every 3 months, that number will increase by one.

This change will also apply to AIR and the AIR SDK, albeit not right away. Our “Jones” release will be numbered AIR 4 and AIR SDK 4; however, with our “King” release, the version number will be synchronized with the Flash Player version at 13.

We think unifying the numbering makes great sense, as Flash and AIR have always shared the same core and are in many ways the same product. No more referring to AIR 3.x and Flash Player 11.x; we will all be able to refer to Flash and AIR using the same numbering. Hooray!

Adobe Flash Player 11.7 and AIR 3.7 Now Available!

Over the past 3 months we have been hard at work on the next version (Code name: Geary) of Flash Player and AIR. Our main focus in this release of Flash Player was to improve the sandboxing feature that was introduced in earlier versions.

In addition to improving Flash Player security through sandboxing enhancements, we’ve also fixed high priority bugs and issues that were reported by our community and partners.

Similarly we have been focusing on making AIR 3.7 a world-class platform to build your apps for Android and iOS platforms. In this release, we are introducing exciting features such as capability to host swf files on an external server which can then be download by your iOS applications at runtime, and support for gamepads on Android devices (like Ouya TV). Amongst a couple of other features, this release also addresses the need of preventing backup of shared objects, if required by your iOS application to comply with Apple guidelines.

Also the Flash Pro team has recently provided a glimpse of their next generation tool. Check out this quick tour:

We encourage you to continue provide your feedback and comments and stay tuned for more exciting features.

Tareq Aljaber
Product Marketing Manager – Web Segment

Licensing Premium Features

Adobe Premium Features for Flash Player give publishers and game developers the ability to deliver stunning, web-based games across browsers to over a billion computers — dramatically expanding the market for a new class of social gaming experiences. Now publishers and developers can create new revenue opportunities by targeting Flash Player for distribution of games developed using C/C++ and third-party tools and game engines, such as Unity.

As we announced earlier this year, the use of Premium Features will require a license from Adobe. Today, we’re announcing the Premium Features licensing website, available from adobe.com/go/fpl. The initial tier of Premium Features includes the cross compilation (XC) APIs, which enable the combined use of domain memory with Stage3D GPU acceleration. This allows publishers and developers to use technologies like the new Adobe Flash Runtime C++ Compiler (flascc), previously codenamed Project “Alchemy,” to publish and run advanced C/C++ game engines in Flash Player across browsers with GPU acceleration.

The XC APIs allow existing C/C++ codebases to run efficiently sandboxed across all major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. C/C++ developers, and developers using other third-party languages and middleware/engines, can now join ActionScript developers in benefiting from the ubiquity of Flash Player on desktop computers. And ActionScript developers can choose to leverage millions of lines of existing optimized C/C++ code in their ActionScript projects.

If you are using Premium Features in your content, activating them from the licensing website is easy:

  1. Tell us the name of your game and the domain(s) where it’s hosted.
  2. Download the verification file and upload it to the root directory of the domain(s) that serve(s) your SWF files.
  3. Once the domain is verified, Flash Player will enable Premium Features for your content.

Learn more about how Premium Features can help bring your existing games to the largest audience in gaming. And if you’re a C/C++ developer, learn more about the Flash Runtime C++ Compiler. We’re excited to help you bring a whole new level of gaming to the web.

Dave Gebala and Tom Nguyen
Sr. Product Managers, Gaming

A Sweet Update: Flash Player 11.1 and AIR 3.1 for Android 4.0

We’re excited to announce the updated Flash Player 11.1 for Android devices, which will be followed by an AIR 3.1 update shipping next week. These introduce full support for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), including the new Galaxy Nexus. These updates will be available on the Android Market.

AIR 3.1 brings immersive, beautiful apps powered by Flash to iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, BlackBerry PlayBook, Barnes and Noble Nook tablets, and the Amazon Kindle Fire (whew!). As a developer, you can use Flash to create brilliant interactive experiences, games, and video and seamlessly deliver them to over 1 billion people: in the browser on 99% of PCs and via app stores to over 350 million iOS, Android and BlackBerry smartphones and tablets.

As we’ve mentioned before, we’re focusing on enabling amazing Flash based experiences via apps on phones and tablets, and this release will be the last major version of the mobile browser plug-in. The most stunning, innovative content and games for mobile devices are delivered and consumed through apps. The most impactful, engaging experiences on the desktop are delivered through the browser. With Flash Player for desktop and AIR apps for mobile, Flash allows you to craft and deliver beautiful experiences for both.

Flash developers are taking us on adventures across breathtaking worlds in best-selling games like Machinarium, a Flash-enabled game that became the best-selling app across the iTunes App StoreBlackBerry App World, and Mac App Store.

We’ve seen kids (and kids at heart) find hidden treasure bringing their drawings to life in interactive books like Kidoodle Apps’ Pirate Scribblebeard’s Treasure for iPad and Android tablets.

And we’ve had delightful fun getting lost in helping a sheep find his way in Aardman Animations’ Home Sheep Home 2 for iPad.

You guys are crafting experiences that show how creative, fun, and amazing mobile apps can be. And we know you’re just getting started.

Tom Nguyen
Sr. Product Manager, Flash Runtime

Focusing

As a long time Flash developer who loves Flash, I can tell you that what is happening right now is a good thing.

First, we are making bold moves like stopping the development of the browser plug-in on mobile browsers in favor of investing further in Flash-based apps packaged with AIR. Playing existing content sounds like a great idea on paper, but we know it doesn’t always work that way — you need to author for mobile and think for mobile, but from talking to customers and looking at content today, we realize that very few people are targeting the plug-in on mobile browsers.

Flash developers have always created some of the most stunning, immersive, emotional experiences on the web. They’ve always pushed the cutting edge, with few restrictions. But mobile is different, and developers need to adapt to different constraints and affordances. Flash lets you do that, whether you are taking advantage of efficient hardware accelerated video playback or native support for features like multitouch and accelerometers. But it’s costly to create beautiful experiences optimized for mobile browsers — a cost that doesn’t make sense if people using one of the most popular mobile platforms can’t see the content you create.

Existing content for desktops didn’t always look as magical on phones as people were used to seeing with Flash Player on their desktops. Content optimized for desktops with big screens and beefy processors can’t look as good on a phone or a tablet it was never designed for. This really had an impact on the trust that people had in Flash, and this perception made it hard to start new projects optimized for mobile browsers. There was just no appetite to even try doing this.

In contrast, you guys create super nice Flash-based apps packaged with AIR and delivering them to app stores across iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices – by the end of this year, you will be able to reach over 350 million tablets and smartphones. Have you seen an article from a journalist saying that Machinarium, Comb over Charlie, or TweetHunt are horrible ? No, people love those games. Your work fits the trend the entire industry is seeing: even as we’re excited about improvements in mobile browsers, the most compelling, immersive experiences for mobile devices are delivered through apps, optimized from the ground up for mobile. We’re helping you guys leverage your talent – the same skills in ActionScript and tooling – to reach that huge, growing market of smartphone and tablet users with amazing apps. Flash makes it possible for developers who craft beautiful desktop experiences to deliver great mobile app experiences. We are going to really focus on that, creating the best solution to build stunning interactive content, games, and video apps across all screens.

Flash Player on the desktop continues to show a path for the consistent, super duper experiences that are impossible to deliver to over a billion people with any other technology. For example, Flash Player 11 was released only a month ago, and it now enables fluid, cinematic hardware accelerated 2D and 3D visuals for more people on the web than any other technology. Flash Player uniquely does for the desktop what apps do for phones and tablets: it helps ensure that what you imagine is exactly what your users will see. Flash Player remains the best technology for delivering premium experiences on the desktop, period. Focusing helps us make sure that we continue to drive that continued innovation.

We are not stepping out of the mobile space with Flash, we are just focusing on what makes sense and where Flash looks great.

In the long term, we’re actively working on an ambitious future for Flash. The implementation details may change, as we’ve been talking about today. We believe that the DNA of Flash doesn’t reside in those implementation details, but in our promise to make it easy to create and deliver the most amazing experiences everywhere. We’re focusing on fulfilling that promise, and we’re excited to see what the future – and our community – will bring.

Thibault Imbert
Sr. Product Manager | Flash Runtime

Adobe Flash Player 11 & AIR 3 Have Launched!

Adobe MAX is here, and we’ve got a lot of news to share. Today we’re releasing Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 — you can download the release starting at 9:00 PM Pacific today. As we announced previously, there are lots of new features in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3, and one of the newest features that’s getting a lot of buzz is hardware accelerated 2D and 3D graphics rendering through Stage 3D, which will be available on Mac OS, Windows and connected televisions. It redefines what’s possible across the web. With up to 1,000 times faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2, developers can animate millions of objects with smooth 60 frames per second rendering and deliver cinematic, console-quality games both in browsers and in apps. And a production release with support for Stage 3D for mobile platforms including Android, Apple iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS is expected in an upcoming release. For more information about Stage 3D and to see some sample apps, check out the Stage 3D games on the Adobe Developer Center.

Additionally, we’re excited that “Proscenium,” a 3D framework technology preview, is available on Adobe Labs. Proscenium will allow developers using Flash Builder to rapidly prototype experiences focused on simple content interaction and display, whether for simple games, visualization, or high-quality rendering of small object collections. Check it out and let us know what you think.

We previously announced the availability of the Starling 2D framework for stunning hardware accelerated, fluid 2D graphics, and you can check out a new game developed using the Starling framework, Whack! from BxyB. There’s also new information for available for developing using 3D frameworks like Alternativa3D, Away3D, Flare3D, Mixamo, and Minko.

And lastly, we want to extend a welcome to our newest developers and colleagues from Nitobi, makers of PhoneGap, which will soon become part of the Adobe family. With all of our announcements today, we believe developers will benefit from a workflow that allows them to choose the right tool for the right job, and we’ll continue to keep driving innovation in Flash so you can push the edge of the envelope for immersive experiences online.

We’ve already seen some early previews of games and apps that will be available in market soon, and there are now over 10,000 AIR apps in mobile markets.

We can’t wait to see what you’ll create. And there’s more news to come tomorrow, so stay tuned. You can watch the second day MAX keynote streamed live at 10am PDT, and be sure to check out the Flash Platform Blog for the latest updates.

Tom Nguyen
Sr. Product Manager, Flash Player & AIR / @tomng

Updates from the Lab

Customer feedback helps us evolve Flash so that we can help developers and designers push what’s possible for over a billion people on the web. Adobe Labs is an invaluable channel for us to engage with our community, and it’s where we share some of our early investigations, showcasing unsupported previews of experimental technologies. Some of these previews go on to become fully supported features or products, and others are phased out after we’ve had the opportunity to learn from them, allowing us to prioritize new product innovations.

In advance of releasing the next-generation Flash runtimes, Flash Player 11 and AIR 3, we want to share that we will soon be winding down our Labs preview of “Alchemy.”

We released Alchemy on Labs over two years ago as an experimental prototype that allowed developers to leverage C/C++ code in Flash Player and AIR. We have not updated the original Alchemy prototype, and while we noted from the beginning that it should not be relied upon for production content, we’ve received persistent requests from developers asking for official support in the Flash runtimes.

We’ve been listening and have decided to invest in creating an improved version of Alchemy, which we plan to release as part of a paid production offering for commercial development. We intend to make non-commercial use free of charge.

The production release will offer significantly better performance and productivity over the Labs prototype. By re-architecting major portions of the technology, we aim to enable code execution approaching native performance, scalable support for large code bases, full debugging support, up to 75% reduction in code size, and seamless integration with ActionScript – all while reaching virtually every connected computer on the web.

This new offering will be available with a future update to the Flash runtimes, and we are temporarily including the prototype in the initial releases of Flash Player 11 and AIR 3. We continue to advise developers not to use the prototype for production content. Content created with the prototype for Flash Player 10.x and AIR 2.x will continue to work in future versions of Flash Player and AIR. The new production version of Alchemy will be needed to deliver Alchemy-enabled content that requires Flash Player 11 or AIR 3 and beyond.

In other Adobe Labs updates, we’re excited about today’s announcement that Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 will be available in early October. They introduce full GPU-accelerated graphics rendering with the new Stage 3D API previewed on Adobe Labs, providing 1000x faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2. Stage 3D takes the throttle off developer and designer creativity, enabling stunning content that can animate millions of objects with silky smooth 60 FPS rendering. Check out our announcement blog post to learn more about this and the other advanced new capabilities in Flash Player 11 and AIR 3.

We’re using the spirit of innovation behind Adobe Labs to change what people can do on the web, and technologies like Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 will enable a new class of incredible immersive experiences. We have a lot more in store as we continue our work to enable millions of developers to reach over a billion people with stunning applications – from games and premium video to sophisticated, data-driven content. We look forward to sharing – and showing – more about the future at Adobe MAX next month.

Update – Nov 22, 2011: Starting with Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2, content targeting Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 (i.e., content using SWF version 13 and above) will not support the experimental Alchemy prototype. Existing Alchemy experiments targeting Flash Player 10.x and AIR 2.x are unaffected. We’re continuing work on the new production version of Alchemy for next year that will allow developers to publish Alchemy-enabled content targeting Flash Player 11 or AIR 3 and beyond. And if you’re interested in Alchemy, we invite you to participate in our survey. We appreciate hearing your thoughts and feedback!

 

Adobe AIR 3 and Flash Player 11 Desktop Beta for Developers Now Available!

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.
  • Native JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) support: Enables ActionScript programmers take advantage of fast parsing and generation of JSON-formatted data. Take existing data and integrate it with minimal or no modification into your ActionScript project.

* 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.

Adobe AIR 2.7 Now Available: iOS apps 4x Faster!

Adobe is pleased to announce the availability of Adobe AIR 2.7 SDK and the Adobe AIR 2.7 runtimes.   Adobe AIR 2.7 includes new features for both desktop and mobile applications with mobile support for Android 2.2+, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iOS 4+ operating systems.  Companies can build and deploy AIR 2.7 apps using Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 with an upcoming update to AIR 2.7 later this month. (BlackBerry Tablet OS is scheduled to receive an OTA (over the air) update of AIR 2.7 by the end of June.)

New AIR 2.7 Features

Mobile

Enhanced rendering for iOS: AIR apps for iOS render up to 4x faster in CPU mode.  This change will improve the performance of many AIR for iOS apps, including those built with the Flex framework.  Watch the performance improvements

Video: Adobe AIR 2.7: Faster App Performance on iOS  (Renaun Erickson, Adobe Flash Platform Evangelist, demonstrates faster AIR 2.7 app performance on iPad)

 

Faster development time for iOS applications: Developers can now debug and build iOS applications faster than with previous versions using a new mode available within the AIR Developer Tool (ADT). During the development of an application, developers can now choose to use “interpreter mode” to streamline the testing and debugging development cycle.

AIR installation on SD cards for Android devices: This feature allows end users to install or move the AIR runtime onto the SD cards within their Android devices so they can free up storage space on the phone.

Desktop

Integrated support for Media Measurement:  The Adobe AIR 2.7 runtime now includes the same built-in support for media measurement as Adobe Flash Player 10.3, allowing companies to simplify the collection of real-time, aggregated reporting data for how content is distributed and viewed by users. With direct support for Adobe SiteCatalyst, powered by Omniture, developers can implement video analytics for existing or legacy video players with as little as two lines of code. For additional information, see the article on measuring video consumption in Flash.

Acoustic echo cancellation: With integrated support for acoustic echo cancellation, developers can now add real-time VoIP capabilities to games, enterprise, and other types of applications without requiring users to wear a noise-canceling headset. Users can now chat using the speaker built into their desktop or laptop computer. This new capability is also available in Flash Player 10.3.

Navigation Improvements for HTML Content: Enables seamless weblink-style navigation within desktop apps such as magazine viewers and ebook readers.  Developers can now respond to a new event to be notified when content within the HTMLLoader control attempts to change the location of a page. This enhancement provides developers with a better way to implement intra-application navigation.

For additional feature and release details please read the AIR 2.7 developer release notes.

New AIR apps for Android, iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS

Although these apps are not currently using AIR 2.7, I thought I’d call to your attention to a few new apps based on Adobe AIR that recently hit the market.

iOS (iPad)

Rossignol Experience: Ski season is coming to a close, but this fantastic app from this famous ski maker provides a rich interactive branded experience to learn more about Rossignal skis. Video demo.

BlackBerry Tablet OS (BlackBerry PlayBook)

Comb Over Charlie: Comb Over Charlie was availble on the Android Market using AIR.  This game is now available on the BlackBerry PlayBook.  Soon to be on the iPad.  4.5 out of 5 stars!

Android

G20-G8: This is the official app of the French Presidency of the G20 and the G8.  Get real time updates and access to all the latest developments from the Summits and the preparatory meetings, as well as video reports and photos on the G20-G8 website.

Performance Improvements

Finally, performance improves with each release of AIR and the Flash Player.  If you checked out the AIR 2.7 on iOS video, you can really see the difference.  If you missed it earlier, here are a few Flash Player 10.3 on mobile related performance resources to check out.

Video: Enhanced Video Performance with Flash Player 10.3 on Android 3.1 (Renaun Erickson demos Flash Player 10.3 video on the Motorola Xoom)

 

Performance Tests

GUIMark3 by Sean Christmann –  Sean tests Flash Player and HTML5 on various phones and tablets.  Check it out.

“In terms of interactive content overall, it’s safe to say Flash maintains a 2x performance lead over HTML5 on average”

“The Flash VM performs really well on mobile chipsets and I don’t see any evidence here to support the idea that Flash is slow on smartphones and tablets.”

The Right Fit? Video Playback Performance on Android Handset and Tablet Devices Using Adobe Flash Player 10.2 and 10.3 By Tim Siglin. - Tim Siglin from Transition Inc., and Streaming Media fame recently published a follow up to his previous white paper testing Flash Player video performance.

“Our current testing finds that FP 10.2 on handsets and 10.3 on the Xoom: Provide a more consistent media consumption than Android’s built-in apps and services.

Download the Adobe AIR 2.7 SDK