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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.

Reported issues with Flash Player 10.3 and Internet Explorer 9

We are tracking and actively investigating the issues reported with Flash Player 10.3 and Internet Explorer 9. Users are reporting that SWF content is being displayed in the upper left corner of the screen. We want to give those of who are encountering these issues an update.

First, we apologize to everyone affected — we know you count on Flash Player as an integral component of the web and we strive for high quality and performance in each release.  We are actively looking into the root cause and best fix for this issue, and many thanks to those of you who have submitted the necessary information via email and our online bug database which has given us the solid leads we are pursuing.

Flash Player 10 and later can use your system’s graphics hardware to accelerate video decoding, and can also accelerate video presentation on some sites. Starting with Flash Player 10.2, Flash Player also takes advantage of hardware accelerated graphics in Internet Explorer 9, utilizing hardware rendering surfaces to improve graphics performance.

The reports for Flash Player 10.3 indicate that systems with Intel HD Graphics adapters running Internet Explorer 9 are the systems being impacted by this particular bug.  However, if you are encountering this issue and have a different configuration we’d love to hear from you.  Please review the instructions on this page for details on generating the information we’ll need for further investigation.

There are a few workarounds that you can do on your end until this issue is resolved:

  1. On some systems, you may be able to resolve this issue by updating the Intel HD Graphics drivers .  It has been reported that driver versions 8.15.10.2361 and above do not exhibit this bug.  Unfortunately, some systems might require updates directly from your system manufacturer.  We’re working with system manufacturers to make sure they include the latest drivers in future releases.
  2. You can disable hardware acceleration in Internet Explorer 9 using the instructions on this page .  Please note that you should re-enable hardware acceleration once this problem has been resolved to enjoy the full benefits of hardware acceleration.

We will continue provide updates as new information becomes available.

5.19.2011 Update: Thanks for those of you that provided feedback on making this available on Adobe.com. We just posted it as a technote: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/904/cpsid_90416.html. We are working on a hotfix release for this issue.

5.24.2011 Update: We have posted a build with a fix for this issue for testing in the technote above. See this update for more details.

Adobe Flash Player 10.3 for desktop and Android devices now available (including Android 3.1 support)

We’re excited to announce that Flash Player 10.3 is now available for Android, Linux, MacOS, and Windows. Flash Player 10.3 improves stability, enhances security and user privacy protection, and provides new desktop video and audio capabilities for enterprises and developers. Intrepid developers can also check out a set of new bleeding-edge technologies in the Flash Player Incubator program on Adobe Labs. On the device side, with the rollout of Android 3.1 users of Honeycomb tablets like the Motorola XOOM will experience performance improvements introduced in Flash Player 10.2. For more information on how Google’s update to Honeycomb improves the experience of content designed for Flash Player, visit the Flash Platform blog.

New features in Flash Player 10.3 include:

  • Media measurement (desktop only) – Measuring video usage just got easier. Using Adobe® SiteCatalyst® with Flash Player 10.3, developers can implement video analytics for websites with as little as two lines of code for the first time. Media Measurement for Flash Player allows companies to get real-time, aggregated reporting of how their video content is distributed, what their audience reach is, and how much video is played. Mobile support will be available in an upcoming release.
  • Acoustic echo cancellation (desktop only) – With Flash Player 10.3, developers can create real-time online collaboration experiences with high-quality audio for 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.
  • Enhanced privacy protection – Flash Player 10.3 enables local storage clearing within browsers’ privacy settings and streamlines the controls of the Flash Player privacy, security and storage settings within the local control panel of desktop OSes.
  • Security enhancements including the support of auto-update notification for MacOS – See the Security Bulletin APSB11-12 for more details.

For more information on the new features and a list of bug fixes, see Flash Player 10.3 release notes.

The Flash Player Incubator is also being updated today, highlighting new technologies and APIs that will provide further enhancements for performance, security, as well as support video and Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions. See detailed feature descriptions on Adobe Labs, let us know what you think on the Incubator forum or report bugs.

Finally, we now have an official name for one of our first Incubator technologies — the project formerly known by the code name “Molehill” will be called Stage 3D.  Stage 3D is a new method/model of 2D and 3D rendering developed by Adobe 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. The excitement and community response has been amazing. Stage 3D (code name “Molehill”) was also recently honored by Computer Graphics World following the Game Developers Conference as a recipient of its Silver Edge Awards, a designation presented to companies whose product represents the best of show at the industry’s leading conferences and exhibitions. From Computer Graphics World’s April 2011 print edition, its editors noted, “Using the new 3D APIs in Adobe Flash Player and AIR will make it possible to deliver sophisticated 3D experiences across almost every computer and device connected to the Internet.”

We hope you enjoy the improved performance and new features in Flash Player 10.3 on desktop and Android devices, and please continue to provide us feedback on the capabilities we’re demonstrating in the Incubator.

 

Adobe Supports Microsoft IE 9 Launch at SxSW

With today’s launch of Internet Explorer 9, the Adobe Flash Player team is excited to highlight the results of our collaboration around both hardware acceleration and end-user privacy. Both companies believe that the best experience with the web is achieved when browsers and web runtimes like Flash Player are tightly integrated to ensure that the web browsing experience is seamless and highly interactive.

As part of the South by Southwest conference, we shared a demo that highlights the work we’ve done together in terms of hardware acceleration. In this case, 3D content in Flash directly participates in Internet Explorer’s hardware rendering pipeline, as exposed through the ISurfacePresenter API. For web developers, this means that hardware accelerated features in Flash, such as stage video and 3D graphics, will directly leverage the power of the GPU in the presentation process. This translates to a more responsive and efficient web browsing experience.

If you’d like to learn more about the new features coming in Flash Player, check out this post on the team blog. If you’re interested in learning about the new 3D capabilities, called project “Molehill”, you can read about them as part of our new Incubator program. I encourage you to check out the demos to get a feel for the power of Flash and tell us what you think.

Update on Flash Player 10.2 for mobile devices

Today we are happy to announce that Flash Player 10.2 will be available for download via Android Market on March 18th.  Flash Player 10.2 is a production GA (General Availability) release for Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) devices which meet the Flash Player hardware system requirements.  It is initially a beta release for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets which requires Google’s 3.0.1 system update.

We have been working very closely with Google to ensure tight integration between Flash Player 10.2 and new OS and browser capabilities in Android 3.0.  The March 18th beta release of Flash Player 10.2 in conjunction with Google’s first system update to Android 3.0  (version 3.0.1) currently underway for the MOTOROLA XOOM™ will deliver the first phase of our work together.  This will be followed by subsequent updates, which will complete the optimizations and result in a production GA release of Flash Player 10.2 for Android 3.0.

Some of the new capabilities of Flash Player 10.2 for Android include:

Hardware accelerated video presentation for H.264 (Android 3.0.1+ only)

Flash Player 10.2 leverages the hardware accelerated Stage Video presentation pipeline to enable users of Android 3.0 tablets, like the MOTOROLA XOOM™, to enjoy smooth playback of high-definition Flash video content on the web.   Users will experience reduced CPU usage and higher frame rates for existing H.264 video content.

Deeper integration with the Android browser rendering engine (Android 3.0.1+ only)

Deeper integration of Flash Player and the enhanced Android 3.0 browser delivers faster and better rendering of rich, interactive web content resulting in a browsing experience similar to the desktop.

Flash Player can now render content as part of the web page along with other components such as HTML, images and gif animation. As a result, users will experience:

  • Improved scrolling of web pages;
  • Uncompromised viewing of rich, immersive content in the way intended by the page designer, including support for instances where HTML and other web content is composited over Flash Player rendered content.  Flash Player rendered content will continue to be placed in a separate window on top of HTML in the Android 2.2 and 2.3 browsers, as these browsers do not support the new Android 3.0 browser rendering model.

Enhanced performance for the latest smartphones and tablets

Experience performance improvements designed to take advantage of the current generation of multi-core, GPU-enabled processors to deliver Flash videos, games and other interactive Web content on the latest smartphones and tablets.  For a list of upcoming Flash-enabled devices which show off the latest performance improvements, including the MOTOROLA ATRIX™ 4G, MOTOROLA XOOM™ and LG Optimus 2X, please click here.

Automatic soft keyboard support

Users of touch screen devices will enjoy a more optimized experience interacting with rich content that requires keyboard input.  This feature simplifies the development of multiscreen applications that require keyboard input, making it easier for developers to optimize desktop applications for mobile devices. A new ActionScript API enables developers to automatically launch and display the soft keyboard.

In addition to its availability on Android Market, the production GA release of Flash Player 10.2 will also be available pre-installed on many upcoming tablets and smartphones or delivered as an over-the-air (OTA) update to existing devices in market.

To see which devices are certified to support Flash Player, please visit http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/certified_devices/.

To learn more about Flash Player for mobile devices, please visit http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flashplayer.html.

Flash Player for Chrome Notebooks

We are excited about the launch of the Chrome notebook Pilot program. Since we announced the support of Adobe Flash Player in Google Chrome, the engineers have undertaken some extensive work on more tightly integrating our technologies. This work has taken a few forms including an integrated update system, plus improvements to security, end-user privacy, and performance advancements on operating systems like Windows and Mac OS. As we look forward, there’s a long list of integration opportunities ahead to improve and optimize the web browsing experience.

In terms of Chrome notebooks specifically, as with many aspects of the device, Flash Player 10.1 support remains a work in progress. Video performance in particular is the primary area for improvement and we are actively working with the engineers at Google to address this. Enabling video acceleration will deliver a more seamless experience on these devices. Because Flash Player is integrated directly into Chrome Notebooks, users will automatically benefit from the latest features and improvements as new versions of the software are pushed out.

The work we’re doing on acceleration for video in Flash Player is a top priority because the vast majority of video on the web is delivered using Flash.  As a matter of fact, adoption of Flash video streaming is on the rise with a more than 100% year-over-year growth over the past two years. Just in one month alone, we are now seeing 120 petabytes of video streamed, that’s 128 billion megabytes!  Chrome notebooks provide yet another opportunity for Adobe’s three million Flash developers to deliver their rich, interactive content to end-users.  The multi-screen opportunity is truly upon us and getting stronger by the day.

Paul Betlem
Sr. Director, Engineering

MAX Session Spotlight: “How to Build Adobe AIR Apps for the iPhone and Android”

A few weeks back, we added a late-breaking session titled "How to Build Adobe AIR Apps for the iPhone and Android" by Adobe AIR team member Christian Cantrell to the MAX conference schedule. Within just a couple of weeks, this session sold out indicating that the subject matter was important to many designers and developers attending MAX this year.

Based on popular demand, I am very pleased to announce that a second version of this talk will place on Wednesday, October, 27th, from 8:00A.M. – 9:00A.M. If you or members of your company are building mobile applications for Android and/or iOS devices, you will not want to miss Christian’s session!

Thank you Christian for offering to jump in and repeat your session!

Additional information:

A Sneak Peek into Flash Player “Square”

Today we’re making available a preview of Adobe® Flash® Player that we’re calling “Square.” This preview includes support for two new areas, namely enhanced support for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 Beta and native 64-bit support for all major desktop operating systems including Linux, Mac, and Windows.

As part of our collaboration with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team over the past few months, Flash Player “Square” has been enhanced to directly support the hardware-accelerated graphics capabilities in the newest version of IE. Flash Player “Square” leverages the new GPU support available with Internet Explorer 9 Beta to deliver a faster and more responsive user experience. In our internal testing, we’ve seen significant improvements in Flash Player graphics performance – exceeding 35% in Internet Explorer 9 Beta compared to Flash Player running in previous versions of IE. While the performance improvements will vary based on the type of content and how it’s created, bitmap-heavy content for Flash Player will experience the greatest benefit. Content created for Flash Player that’s embedded as transparent (wmode=”transparent”) will also run more efficiently given the benefits of offloading the HTML and Flash content compositing to the GPU. Try it out by downloading the Internet Explorer 9 Beta and the Flash Player “Square” preview. We’d appreciate your feedback and observations on performance.

The community has been very vocal around the need for native 64-bit support and we’ve heard you loud and clear. Today we’re also sharing a refresh of the Linux 64-bit version of Flash Player together with the first preview of both the 64-bit Windows and Mac versions. If you’re using a 64-bit browser, I encourage you to install a 64-bit version of Flash Player and give it try. Those using the previous 64-bit version of Flash Player for Linux should find this new version even faster and more reliable.  These new versions are fully functional, so all content should be compatible. We’ve found “Square” to be stable and ready for broad testing, but keep in mind this a sneak peak and not everything will be fully baked. If you encounter any issues, I’d encourage you to file a bug in our public database so we can investigate.

I hope you enjoy this early preview into some of the areas of focus for the Flash Player team. I encourage you to take the opportunity to try them out and share your feedback with us.

Flash Player 10.1 for Android – Update 1 Now Available

We are pleased to announce the first update release of the Flash Player 10.1 binary for Android devices.  Earlier this summer, in June 2010, we released Flash Player 10.1 to all of our OEM Open Screen Project partners and achieved general availability of the Player binary for all Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) devices on August 16, 2010.  This update release includes new device optimizations for recently certified devices, additional bug fixes, and security updates.

While many of our OEM partners will be shipping their new devices with Flash Player 10.1 pre-installed, we highly encourage you to download the latest version of Flash Player from Android Market so that you will be able to receive auto-notifications from Android Market when new update releases and versions become available.  If you do not update the pre-installed Flash Player, you won’t receive auto-notification from Android Market for new update releases.  These updates will include new certified device optimizations and feature enhancements, and will also provide security and bug fixes.

As we continue our collaboration with our silicon partners, and as our OEM partners go through the device certification process for Flash Player 10.1 for their new devices, we are receiving more information and insights on how we can further optimize our runtime for variances between device models and OEMs, including, for example, for hardware H.264 video decoding and the performance of OpenGL ES drivers.  We are also identifying device/chipset specific bug fixes and optimizations as Flash Player is supported across a broader set of hardware and devices.

As new devices come through certification, we will be providing regular Flash Player update releases to Android Market that will include device optimizations and security updates as appropriate. Now that we’ve deployed a single binary for all Android devices, we can seamlessly deliver new capabilities and optimization to all supported devices using Android Market.