Posts in Category "Uncategorized"

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.

Flash Player hardware video acceleration for Macs is now enabled

Earlier this year, we released a public preview of Flash Player called “Gala” that included support for H.264 GPU decoding on Mac OS X. We’re happy to announce that this feature is now officially enabled in the latest Flash Player, and it can significantly improve the performance of HD video. You’ll see these additional benefits on Macs with Mac OS X 10.6.4 or later supported by the Apple Video Decode Acceleration framework, including most MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac mini models shipped in 2009 or later. You can read more about the technical details behind Mac hardware decoding on our earlier blog post. And go get it.

Flash Player 10.1 introduced numerous major performance and power management enhancements, and the Mac in particular benefits from improvements that include full Cocoa support, graphics hardware acceleration using Core Animation, faster code execution, significant memory optimizations, and now GPU video decoding support. We’ve also got some major enhancements in the pipe that will further enhance how content is experienced using the Flash Player – stay tuned.

Tom Nguyen
Product Manager, Flash Player

The new Flash Player update and Google Chrome

We’ve just released an update to Flash Player 10.1. Google Chrome users have Flash Player integrated into their browser, and Google has begun pushing out automatic updates to Chrome users. If you’re using Chrome, you’ll automatically get the latest Flash Player, and most users will be updated within 24 hours (the Dev channel will be updated by the end of the week).

Chrome 5.0 users who can’t wait to get the new version of Flash Player can select “About Google Chrome” under the Tools menu (indicated by the wrench icon near the Chrome address bar) to trigger the latest update.

In addition, developers can view this TechNote to learn how to download a separate version of Flash Player manually and use it with Chrome. However, we recommend that Chrome users simply wait to receive an automatic update and benefit from the seamless upgrade via their browser.

Tom Nguyen
Product Manager, Flash Player

Flash Player and Chrome Integration is a Go!

Per our announcement in March about working with Google to integrate Flash Player into Google Chrome — the initial phase is now complete. When users install or update the Chrome browser, they will also receive the latest version of Adobe Flash Player with no need to do a separate install. Our hope is that the integration between Flash Player and the Chrome browser will serve as a showcase for more consistent, seamless, and intuitive Web browsing experiences. We feel that this work by both Google and Adobe will benefit the entire community of developers and end-users. Read more about the integration from the Chrome team on their blog.

Additionally, as we discussed previously in our original announcement of the Flash Player and Chrome integration, work is underway on a new API called Pepper that can provide a more robust way for Web browsers and plug-ins to interact with each other. We welcome and encourage others to participate in the definition and development of the Pepper API.

Flash Player 10.1: Live and Ready for Android

This week marks an exciting milestone for Flash Player. On Tuesday, June 22, we announced the availability of the shipping version of Flash Player 10.1 for mobile. The final release has been posted to the Android Market. With Andy Rubin’s announcement today about Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) being released as open source, we expect select devices can be upgraded to Froyo and can install Flash Player. As I shared previously, this release was a major undertaking to get the same Flash Player to work across various smartphones and desktop operating systems and browsers. Through the generous contributions of our partners (read more about the Open Screen Project) and the extensive community feedback we received along the way, we’ve been able to further optimize and tune the technology. For instance, the Beta release feedback we received was instrumental in helping us further improve Flash Video performance.
You may have also heard the news on the launch of Motorola’s new Droid X smartphone on the Verizon network this morning. It’s an impressive device with a beautiful 4.3 inch high-res screen backed up by a 1 ghz processor and 8 GB of onboard memory and a 16 GB microSD card. Both users of the Droid X and the original Droid can get Flash Player 10.1 with the Android 2.2 update later this summer.
What I personally find most exciting are the opportunities ahead for developers. At today’s Droid X launch in New York, Andy Rubin shared that 160,000 Android phones are sold daily. As more and more Android devices come to market, along with planned support for Flash Player on RIM’s Blackberry devices, Nokia’s Symbian and MeeGo devices, Palm’s WebOS devices, and future versions of Windows Phone, the momentum is clear. Its a truly an amazing time for Flash.

Flash Player in Chrome, An Update

As we recently announced, we’re working with Google to integrate Flash Player into Google Chrome so that when users install or update the browser, they will also receive the latest version of Adobe Flash Player, with no need to do a separate install.
Chrome 5.0 and Flash Player 10.1 have been in beta testing together for the last several weeks. Now as we are preparing our final releases, Google is locking down Chrome 5.0 first, without the beta version of Flash Player 10.1 built-in (since the plug-in will still be in beta when Chrome 5.0 ships). Once we finalize Flash Player 10.1, it will be reintegrated into Chrome shortly.
In the meantime, if you download the latest build of Chrome, the integrated Flash Player will not be enabled by default (though it is still available behind the “-enable-internal-flash” command line flag). However, if you have a version of Flash Player on your system for other plugin-based browsers, Chrome will automatically use the shared version of Flash Player.

The Engineering Behind Flash Player 10.1

Today represents an exciting milestone for the Flash Platform as we officially launch the public beta release of Flash Player 10.1 on Android-based devices. The Beta release is now available and as soon as Google releases their update to the Android OS, code-named “FroYo”, users will be able to get the new Flash Player installed over the air from the Android Market. The public beta release is your opportunity to try out our dramatically updated browser-based runtime with a deep focus on performance, battery life, memory management, user experience on mobile devices, and other mobile-specific features. With the pervasive use of Flash Player content on the web today, users will be able to experience the full extent of the web that Flash enables including video, games, animations, Rich Internet Apps, data presentations and visualizations, commerce, music, and so much more. It’s great to see that our extensive technical collaboration on this with our partners is now becoming a reality. To give you some perspective on the magnitude of this release, let’s look at some of the performance improvements and optimizations we made for Flash Player 10.1.

Power and Battery Optimizations

Mobile platforms are carefully tuned to deliver a broad range of capabilities while minimizing battery consumption. Flash Player 10.1 was developed to seamlessly integrate into this environment. To deliver on this objective, we added a new capability called instance management to intelligently load and play back Flash content only after it comes within view on the web page. This capability also allows us to work in conjunction with the browser to ensure the web page is loaded as quickly as possible.

A related capability we added is called pause and resume. Flash Player will automatically pause the content that is running when the browser is hidden from view or the current tab is placed in the background. Not only does this conserve power, but it allows the content to instantly hibernate should an important trigger event occur, such as an incoming phone call. Once the user returns to their browser session, the HTML page and the Flash content are returned to their exact point prior to the trigger event.

Another example of a power-saving capability we have developed is called timer throttling. Flash Player makes use of timers to control the speed of content execution. When the screen display dims, Flash Player utilizes this signal to automatically throttle back the speed at which the content is executing while the device is in this power-saving mode. In the case where the content is playing back audio or video, Flash Player will not throttle it back to ensure a seamless media playback experience.

These new capabilities in Flash Player 10.1 offer some insight into the priority we placed on conserving power and staying true to the goal of maximizing battery life on mobile devices.

Maximizing Performance

The architecture of mobile platforms is very different from desktops, laptops, and netbooks. To take advantage of these highly integrated hardware environments, we took a very comprehensive look at how Flash Player uses the CPU, GPU, memory, and storage. The Flash Player team, with engineering cooperation across our Open Screen Project partners, meticulously optimized the machine instructions used in our virtual machine, rendering engine, and media codecs to run efficiently on mobile hardware.

In the case of the ActionScript 3 virtual machine, we updated our just-in-time compiler to emit native ARM instructions to maximize the execution speed of applications on these platforms. With a significant portion of the Flash content on the web having been written in ActionScript 1 and 2, we also invested in increasing the execution speed of this content.

In addition, Flash Player will take advantage of the purpose-built hardware on the mobile device including the media decoders to optimize the playback of content such as H.264 video and AAC audio streams. This specialized hardware can often perform a specific task more efficiently than the CPU. Not only does this result in higher fidelity playback, but it can yield a nice power savings.

The investments we made in execution speed will be apparent in a broad range of content, from Flash applications to games to video, and everything in between. We took an extensive look at the performance characteristics of Flash Player in many different scenarios and drove considerable improvements in the execution speed. As a result of this work, most Flash content on the web today will execute more efficiently with no changes required to receive these benefits.

Conserving Memory

Mobile platforms have considerably less memory than most personal computers and Flash Player 10.1 includes numerous optimizations to minimize the amount of memory required for content and applications. We have added automatic compression of media in memory to matchthe typically smaller screen size and color depth of a mobile device. We have also enhanced the memory garbage collection system to work more effectively, particularly in low memory situations. We made changes to more aggressively release temporary buffers and media caches for images and audio data. These changes have translated into some dramatic improvements. In some cases, you’ll see content that now automatically consumes 50% less memory with Flash Player 10.1 when compared to our previous release.

Another important enhancement we made relates to streaming media. In some cases, content such as video is buffered in memory to allow the user to quickly seek forward or backward. In the case of mobile platforms, we added a new circular buffering capability that allows Flash Player to constrain the size of the media buffer and recycle this memory as the content plays. This new capability strikes a balance between allowing the user to navigate within sequential media, like video, and the amount of memory that content can consume.

The Flash Player team also did a lot of development around low memory support, as this is a common situation on mobile devices. To protect against content that requires too much memory for the device, we added a new system that detects when memory is running low so defensive actions can be taken to prevent a crash. In this case, the Flash Player now has a set of heuristics to shut down content when resources are running low or depleted and gracefully exit the content. This work will also benefit personal computer users that have many tabs open in their browser such that their PC is operating in a low memory situation.

Usability and Interactivity

The last topic I’ll cover is usability. In this case, it’s critically important that Flash content on a smart phone both behave consistently with the HTML page and enable rich interactivity with media in Flash. For example, as a web page can be zoomed using a multi-touch gesture by the user, the Flash content needs to enable that to happen seamlessly. If the user rotates the phone to switch into landscape mode, the Flash content responds as you’d expect. If the user double-taps to zoom in or out, the Flash content responds in a consistent, intuitive way. We have enhanced this interaction to enable a new smart-zoom capability, bringing zoomed Flash content to the best width/height dimension for the device to enable easy viewing of video and other content in Flash. We have also added the ability for content to specify that it should automatically go into full screen mode on first interaction in order to enable easy full screen interactivity with games. This new mode is indicated to the user with a message about how to exit full screen mode on their particular device.
The Flash Player team added a number of new capabilities that are essential to smart phones. Text fields in Flash will automatically take advantage of virtual or soft keyboards for text entry when a physical input device is not available. In this case, the text field is intelligently repositioned on the screen to facilitate text input.

In addition, Flash Player exposes some of the unique capabilities of mobile platforms, including access to the accelerometer. This will allow the Flash development community to create content that leverages some of the unique capabilities. We’ve got more work to do here, but we’re off to a good start and look forward to exposing new capabilities in the future, such as geolocation support.

These examples demonstrate the importance of ensuring that Flash content on a mobile device offers a predictable and intuitive experience to the end-user. To help ensure that we got the experience right, we conducted multiple rounds of usability testing to try out new ideas and improve the experience based on the feedback we received. Our goal was to ensure that existing content simply works as expected and ultimately allow smart phone users to experience the full glory of the web.

Looking Ahead

As we look forward, it’s important to note that this is just the start of our work to bring the full Flash Player to mobile devices. We will continue to improve on this effort as we support a broad range of smart phones, tablets, televisions, and other devices. Of course, a number of these optimizations and improvements will also directly benefit Flash Player on desktop and netbook platforms. At the same time, we’ve seen content publishers like Sony Pictures, Nickelodeon, Miniclip, Warner Brothers, Kongregate, South Park Studios and others already optimizing their sites to deliver the best possible experience within the context of smaller screens. Developers, who are looking for tips about optimizing Flash content for mobile devices should check out this document.

Smartphones in market today that will be able to run Flash Player 10.1 include the Nexus One, DROID by Motorola, HTC Evo, HTC Incredible, HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy S, Motorola Milestone and others, but will depend on FroYo availability for a given device. Upgrade mechanisms and timing will vary by device and device manufacturer. To make it as easy as possible to install Flash Player, we are enabling over-the-air downloads which include content-initiated downloads, system software updates, and on-device app catalogs. Over time, a number of new phones are planned to ship with Flash Player 10.1 preinstalled. We’re thrilled to take the first step today and can’t wait to see how millions of Flash developers will innovate for mobile devices.

I hope you’re as excited about the future and the opportunities ahead as we are.

Paul Betlem
Sr. Director, Flash Player Engineering
PS: If you are a developer and want to start developing apps for Android today, check out this post from the AIR team and read all about the AIR SDK developer release we made available for Android today.