Posts in Category "Announcements"

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

Update on Flash Player 10.3 and IE9 issues

Thanks to everyone who has provided information on their system and driver versions. This has helped us work on identifying a fix for the SWF rendering issue.  This bug was exposed due to some changes we made to blocklist certain incompatible drivers from using hardware acceleration in Flash Player.

We have a pre-release build ready for testing, which is available in the updated technote.

We have confirmed this fixes the SWF rendering in the wrong location on the machines where we have reproduced the problem. As there are many configurations and driver combinations that we don’t have in our testing lab, your feedback is important to ensure we have a good resolution. If your system has this issue, please download the pre-release and let us know either through the bug or on the forums if it resolves the issue. Make sure you re-enable IE9 hardware acceleration when you try the player.

The issue where the SWF rendering problem re-appears after exiting full screen mode now seems to occur sporadically, so please report your system information if you still experience this problem with the pre-release build. We are working with Microsoft to determine the cause of the full screen issue.

If you encounter any new issues please also report these, along with your feedback, through the Adobe Flash Player Bug Management System. Please review the instructions on this page for details on generating the information we’ll need for further investigation.

Update 5.25.2011 Folks that still see the top-left SWF issue, please verify that your installation was successful by selecting right click on SWF content and viewing the version in the “About Flash Player…” menu item or go here.

Update 5.26.2011 We will be releasing an update next week to address both issues (top-left and in/out full screen). We also continue to follow up on reports that the pre-release build doesn’t resolve the problem on some computers. The dxdiag info is very helpful, and also please post the URL where you are experiencing these problems.

Update 5.31.11 Flash Player 10.3.181.16 has been released and is available on adobe.com and through the auto-update notification. It addresses the Intel HD graphics and Internet Explorer 9 issue.

Adobe AIR 2.6 SDK now available with enhanced iOS support!

Adobe is pleased to announce the availability of the Adobe® AIR® 2.6 SDK and AIR® 2.6 desktop runtimes for Windows, Mac and Linux. With AIR 2.6, AIR achieves feature parity for Android and iOS platforms. This new release provides major performance and feature enhancements for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) app development as well as updates for Android and desktop app development.

The AIR 2.6 for Android runtime was released on February 25, 2011, to the Android Market to support the Content Viewer for Android and announcement of Adobe® Digital Publishing Suite , and new Android tablets running on Android 3.0. Currently over 1,900 AIR applications for Android are available in the Android Market.

“Adobe AIR 2.6 enables me to develop once and publish across multiple platforms. There are slight tweaks required for each platform (Android vs iOS) but we’re talking about a few minutes not weeks. The majority of the optimizations revolve around screen sizes which would be an issue regardless of the development tool. If I were targeting Android and iOS natively vs Adobe AIR I would expect my costs to be at least 80% higher; and much closer to 100 – 150% higher should maintenance and updates be required for each platform.”

-Charlie Schulze, President and co-founder, Woven Interactive, LLC

Video: Watch Charlie Schulze’s demo of “Comb Over Charlie” a multiscreen app (Android and iOS smartphones, tablets and Windows laptop) developed using AIR.

New Features in AIR 2.6 for iOS and Android

AIR for iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)

“I’m now getting 60 fps on an iPhone 3GS, it’s smoother than Packager for iPhone too!”

-Kevin Newman, Senior Developer, adcSTUDIO

“My project uses things like vector graphics, blend modes, and filters. In the past, many effects needed to be removed or altered for iOS to achieve decent performance. This gargantuan improvement means that I can now use the same project to target both iOS and Android. It’s likely to save me many hours of time previously spent on optimization.”

-Josh Tynjala, Founder, Bowler Hat Games

  • Updated AIR for iOS support with improved performance. Developers can take advantage of new features in iOS 4 like multitasking, Retina display support for higher screen resolutions, and front and back camera support. Developers can now build applications that capture audio with microphone support and take advantage of the same graphics hardware method used in AIR for Android using OpenGL ES 2 for high performance graphics.
  • Packager for iPhone (PFI) is now replaced with functionality integrated with AIR Developer Tool (ADT) a command-line tool for compiling applications in the AIR SDK. ADT can now be used to package AIR files, native desktop installers, AIR applications for Android and iOS.

Video: Learn more about what’s new in AIR 2.6 for iOS in this short video with Ryan Stewart, Senior Technical Evangelist.

AIR for Android

“I was blown away with how much AIR has grown in API support for Android and iOS as well as the improvements in speed. This is just amazing.”

-Boz Bundalo, Creative Director / Chief Technology Officer, Republic Project

  • Submit apps to be included in the Amazon Appstore for Android when the store launches.  Companies now have an additional distribution option with one of the largest online shopping destinations on the web. Learn more in Christian Cantrell’s blog post “AIR 2.6 Applications and the Amazon Appstore for Android”.
  • USB debugging was added as an additional debugging option to WiFi. Learn more about AIR 2.6 features for mobile and desktop please read Scott Castle’s article“What’s new in AIR 2.6″.

Links and Resources

Video: Learn more about the business benefits of deploying Adobe AIR apps for a wide range of devices such as smartphones, tablets, TVs and desktop with Ryan Stewart.

Learn more about selling your apps in the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal.

Downloads: AIR 2.6 SDK and AIR 2.6 Desktop Runtime

Flash Player 10.2 now available for mobile devices

Flash Player 10.2 is now available for download on Android Market.  This is a production GA (General Availability) release for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices and an initial beta release for Android 3.x (Honeycomb) tablets that include at least Google’s 3.0.1 system update.*  To see if your device is certified for Flash Player 10.2, visit: http://www.adobe.com/go/cd1.

The beta of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.x is an exciting release that brings a full web browsing experience, including video, games and other interactive content, to the latest Android tablets. We have been working very closely with Google through the development of this beta to ensure tight integration and optimization between Flash Player 10.2 and new OS and browser capabilities.

Improvements include:

  • Performance enhancements to take advantage of new hardware in both Android 3.x tablets, as well as existing hardware in many Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices
  • Tight integration with the new Android 3.x browser to treat Flash content as part of the web page instead of as a separate “overlay.”  This results in improved scrolling of web pages and the ability to display pages in the way intended by the page designer, including new support for compositing HTML and other web content over Flash Player rendered content.
  • Automatic soft keyboard support to simplify text entry for rich mobile and multi-screen experiences

We are working to complete additional optimizations of the interaction between Flash Player and the new browser before releasing a production GA version of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.x in the coming weeks, at which point we intend to enable hardware acceleration and Stage Video support in the production GA release.

These optimizations are expected to provide a better “embedded” in-browser experience, comparable to the full screen experience with this beta, and to also provide improved playback of many 720p high definition videos (including full screen). In the meantime, the best way to experience the performance potential of this beta and to enjoy an immersive Flash content experience is to view Flash content full screen.**

We hope you enjoy all of the rich web experiences that Flash Player 10.2 delivers to Android devices.  As always, you can visit m.flash.com <http://m.flash.com> for great examples of websites which show off what you can do on your device with Flash Player.

* Note, today’s release includes the security update addressing the Flash Player vulnerability announced on March 14: http://www.adobe.com/support/security/advisories/apsa11-01.html

** The best way to switch to full screen mode is to use buttons provided by many content providers, but it is also possible to tap content once, followed by a long tap, to bring down a button in the upper left corner which can be tapped to force full screen mode. For best performance with the beta we recommend viewing video in 480P or below.  Improved 720P video playback will be included in the production GA release of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.x.

Introducing Flash Player 10.3 beta!

We recently announced the Incubator program with a preview of the next generation 3D GPU accelerated APIs (Molehill) coming in the Adobe Flash runtimes. As you know, features or builds from the Incubator program include features under development or things we are considering adding. But what about features coming in the next Flash Player release ? Well, we are happy to announce the availability of Flash Player 10.3 beta for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

Note : Note that the Incubator builds available in the Incubator program contain the features available in Flash Player 10.3.

Flash Player 10.3 will also be available in the future on mobile devices, we invite you to test the following features and let us know what you think through the Adobe Flash Player 10.3 beta forums:

Media Measurement – Measuring video just got easier. With Flash Player 10.3 and Adobe® SiteCatalyst®, developers can implement video analytics with as little as two lines of code for the first time.  Analytics solutions can use a new set of open APIs to easily implement consistent video analytics irrespective of implementation or delivery protocol.  Media Measurement for Flash allows companies to get real-time, aggregated reporting of how their video content is distributed, what the audience reach is, and how much video is played. For instance, using a very few lines of code you will be able to retrieve all the NetStream instances created in your applications, access any meta data (XMP) associated to media being played, and more through the NetDataEvent event. Make sure to check the NetMonitor API and the additions done to the NetStreamInfo API. We also improved the consistency over events dispatched by the NetStream API when dealing with progressive, HTTP or RTMP streaming. We also added helper APIs like pageDomain property on the Security object to expose domain of the current URL.

Acoustic Echo Cancellation – Flash Player 10.3 enables developers to create real-time online collaboration experiences with high-quality audio, such as telephony, in-game voice chat, and group conferencing applications. Developers can take advantage of acoustic echo cancellation, noise suppression, voice activity detection, and automatic compensation for various microphone input levels. End users will be able to experience higher quality audio facilitating smoother conversation flow, without using a headset. Make sure you check the new MicrophoneEnhancedOptions and Microphone.getEnhancedMicrophone() APIs.

In addition to acoustic echo removal, the following functionality will also be available through the MicrophoneEnhancedOptions API:

  • Noise suppression – Remove ambient noise from microphone input.
  • Automatic gain control – Compensate for level variation of microphone input (due to distance of speaker, etc.).
  • Voice activity detection – Provides information whether speech/voice is detected.

Integration with browser privacy controls for managing local storage – Users will have a simpler way to clear local storage from the browser settings interface – similar to how users clear their browser cookies today. Flash Player 10.3 integrates control of local storage with the browser’s privacy settings in Mozilla Firefox 4, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 and higher, and future releases of Apple Safari and Google Chrome. See this related post we published in January.

Native Control Panel – The Global Settings Manager is currently a SWF residing on macromedia.com, Flash Player 10.3 provides users with streamlined controls for managing their Flash Player privacy, security and storage settings. Windows, Mac, and Linux users can access the Flash Player Settings Manager directly from the Control Panels or System Preferences on their computers. See this related post we published in January.

Auto-Update Notification for Mac OS – Flash Player 10.3 supports automatic notification of software updates on Mac OS, making it easier for Mac users to stay current with new capabilities in the latest version of Flash Player.

To download the beta release of Flash Player 10.3, visit Adobe Labs. We look forward to hearing your feedback, which will help us make Flash Player better for you. To log bugs about issues found in Flash Player 10.3 builds, please use the Adobe bugbase at bugs.adobe.com/flashplayer and select Flash Player 10.3 for the version.

Adobe AIR 2.6 for Android is now available!

Adobe is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Adobe AIR 2.6 for Android smartphones and tablets.  AIR 2.6 for Android adds support for Android 3.0 and the latest Android tablet devices – including the Motorola Xoom – as well as improvements to performance and GPU-based rendering, updated Android gesture support, and improved handling of HTML content within AIR apps.

AIR 2.6 for Android provides the foundation for the new Content Viewer for Android, part of Digital Publishing Suite.  Content Viewer for Android uses AIR 2.6 to enable publishers to author immersive, engaging publications and deploy content across platforms and different devices.  Major publishers using Digital Publishing Suite are on board to create and distribute content using Content Viewer for Android.  Condé Nast, National Geographic and Dennis Publishing are among the first publishers to indicate they will use this new viewer to amplify the reach of their iconic titles.

AIR 2.6 for Android can be downloaded from the Android Marketplace and is available on devices running:

  • Android 2.2 (FroYo)
  • Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • Android 3.0 (Honeycomb)

A list of mobile devices that meet the AIR system requirements can be found at http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/certified_devices/.

AIR 2.6 for Android performance improvements include:

  • Up to 20% faster scrolling performance
  • H.264 video decoding at 30fps
  • GPU-based animation and games at up to 50FPS

AIR 2.6 for Android functional improvements include:

  • Support for the latest Android system gestures
  • Bitmap Capture for StageWebView, which provides tighter visual integration between Flash and HTML content
  • Asynchronous Bitmap Decoding, which improves the performance of transitions in image-intensive applications

Applications developed with the Adobe AIR 2.5 SDK are compatible with the Adobe AIR 2.6 runtime.  Adobe is on target to deliver the AIR 2.6 SDK and desktop runtime before the 2nd half of 2011.

Update 02/25/2011 6:10PM PST

Motorola Xoom users who are using the Restore Applications feature of Android to transfer their content and apps – including the AIR and Flash Player runtimes – from a different Android device may experience the following as AIR 2.5 and Flash Player 10.1 are not supported on Android 3.0:

  • AIR apps are not able to launch. To resolve this, please go to Android Market, search for Adobe AIR, and select ‘update’ to upgrade to AIR 2.6. You won’t need to update or re-download your existing set of apps unless there is an update to the app itself.
  • Content developed for Flash Player will not display in the browser. Flash Player 10.2 with Stage Video and other new performance features will support Android 3.0 and address this. The runtime will be preinstalled on some devices or provided via OTA download for others like the Motorola Xoom within a few weeks of device availability.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Learn

* How to publish your AIR application to the Android Market

* Learn how to get started building applications and content for mobile and devices

Develop

* Tell us about your AIR app for Android after you’ve posted to the Android Market at air-android-apps@adobe.com

Flash Player 10.2 is Here: Available Now for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Today, we’re launching Flash Player 10.2 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. We’re especially excited that this release introduces Stage Video, a full hardware accelerated video pipeline for best-in-class, beautiful video across platforms and browsers. Additionally, this version of Flash Player offers all the new capabilities previewed in our beta release, like custom native mouse cursors, multiple monitor full-screen support, Internet Explorer 9 hardware accelerated rendering support, and enhanced sub-pixel rendering for superior text readability.

In The City That Knows How*, A History of Moving Images

The Horse in Motion by Eadweard Muybridge

Here in San Francisco, we’ve had a bit of tradition around changing how folks see the world with images. In the 1870s, a San Francisco photographer named Eadweard Muybridge captured some of the earliest motion pictures. In 1927, Philo Farnsworth transmitted the first electronic television image in his laboratory on 202 Green Street.

And way back in 2002, a small team in San Francisco introduced video in Flash Player, bringing seamless video to 9 in 10 connected computers – allowing video to become an integral part of the web. Three years ago, that team introduced H.264 video to over 93 percent of users, bringing immersive high quality video to more people than ever. Flash Player has helped create a beautiful web that moves and connects. Flash Player 10.2 continues that tradition by introducing Stage Video: smoother, more efficient, more beautiful HD video for the web.

Bringing Beautiful Video to the Stage

Stage Video lets websites take advantage of full hardware acceleration of the entire video pipeline. This builds on the H.264 hardware accelerated decoding in Flash Player 10.1. Stage Video hardware acceleration means that Flash Player can play even higher quality video while using dramatically less processing power, giving users a better experience, greater performance, and longer battery life. In our testing across supported systems, we’ve found it’s up to 34 times more efficient.

Put another way, Flash Player using Stage Video can effortlessly play beautiful 1080p HD video with just 1-15% CPU usage on a common Mac or Windows computer* – working across platforms and browsers, it will enable the best video experience for the most people. Many millions of additional PCs, from netbooks to desktops, can now become slick HD home theaters on the web.

Note that Stage Video performance gains might not be visible right away. Websites and content providers will first need to update their video players before users experience Stage Video playback with Flash Player 10.2 on their sites. For developers, this typically means updating a SWF player file. However, no changes are needed to existing video libraries or infrastructure, and websites just continue to leverage Flash Player benefits including unmatched reach, advanced streaming capabilities, DVR-like playback control, rich interactivity, content protection, and consistency. Since adoption of new Flash Player releases is accelerating, websites can expect that many of the over 1 billion people with Flash Player will be ready to benefit from Stage Video in Flash Player 10.2 soon.

Companies like Vimeo, Brightcove, Epix, and YouTube have already started work to enable support for Stage Video to deliver amazing video playback experiences. You’ll be seeing them enable Stage Video performance in the near future. And you can try examples of Stage Video today after upgrading to Flash Player 10.2. Tens of thousands of sites will be enabled by the Brightcove player, and Jeff Whatcott at Brightcove explains, “Brightcove is continually innovating to deliver great video experiences. We have been blown away by the performance and efficiency of Stage Video and we are truly excited to be working so closely with Adobe to bring this breakthrough technology to customers.” And Ryan Hefner at Vimeo notes, “Since Vimeo’s users upload a lot of high-definition content, being that HD is the default quality for videos viewed on our site, the decision to take advantage of Stage Video in Flash Player 10.2 was a no brainer. We love to keep up on the latest technologies, and if those technologies also enhance the user experience for our users then it’s a win-win.” Folks that want to deliver gorgeous, smooth HD video to more people than ever have reason to be excited, and more and more sites will enable Stage Video in the coming months.

Additional New Capabilities in Flash Player 10.2

Along with the new Stage Video architecture, we’re adding features in Flash Player 10.2 to enable even more polished experiences.

  • Video at its best is immersive, so Flash Player allows you jump to true full screen playback with one click. With multiple display full screen support in Flash Player 10.2, you can now easily watch your favorite videos  in true full screen on one display while you multitask on another and get some work done (or not).
  • Added support for custom native mouse cursors lets designers and developers create their own static or animated cursors with silky smooth responsiveness, enabling richer game and application interfaces.
  • New sub-pixel text rendering enhancements leverage Adobe typography research to further enhance text readability, especially for complex character-based languages.
  • Support is included for the GPU rendering technology in Microsoft’s upcoming Internet Explorer 9 browser.

Today and the Future

You can install Flash Player 10.2 today. We encourage everyone, developers and users, to try it out and let us know what you think. And hang tight for exciting mobile updates. We’ll be providing more information about the next Flash Platform runtimes – Flash Player and AIR – on phone and tablet devices at Mobile World Congress next week. We’re thrilled about today’s launch, and we hope you enjoy it.

Tom Nguyen
Product Manager, Flash Platform Runtimes

* For example, using Flash Player 10.2 with Stage Video hardware acceleration, we’ve tested a Mac Mini released two years ago and a low-powered GPU-enabled Windows netbook playing smooth full HD 1080p video using less than 8% of the CPU; more powerful computers use even less.