February 17, 2010

Wired demo running on AIR, Android, & GPU

A comment on my previous post said that Flash running on a mobile device would be a slow, battery-killing CPU hog. Here’s a little counter perspective from people who actually know what they’re talking about–namely, the guys at NVIDIA:

The demo itself starts roughly halfway through. Graphics are smooth, and the AIR application leverages the GPU for fast, efficient video playback.

Posted by John Nack at 10:10 AM on February 17, 2010

Comments

  • Alex — 11:06 AM on February 17, 2010

    What a shame that there will be no public beta. I would LOVE to try this myself. Can’t wait – looks superb!

  • leef — 11:25 AM on February 17, 2010

    YES! That is brilliant! I’m glad to see what appears to be viable iPad competition even before the iPad launch. It’s taken longer than I’d hoped for Windows 7 & Android to surpass the iPhone. Apple really needs a competitive kick in the bottom to keep pushing their products forward.

  • leef — 11:28 AM on February 17, 2010

    Side Note: Adobe TV really needs new music for the intro…that piece is really bad = (
    SoundRangers has a great library of music…
    http://www.soundrangers.com/

  • thorsten wulff — 11:33 AM on February 17, 2010

    I love the Schneider Biergarten with a beer called Optimator from Munich Neil shows in the blipTV part ;))

  • Ian — 2:06 PM on February 17, 2010

    Hey John,
    I never did believe all the bru-ha-ha about Flash player being slow. Glad that there are some great looking apple competitors coming soon!
    For my own two cents I think Apple are blocking Flash Player because they think it will be a threat to the iTunes / App Store and not because of percieved Flash Player performance issues (Browser + Flash Player + Cache = Saved Apps / Games / music)

  • JD — 4:04 PM on February 17, 2010

    Adobe firing on all cylinders. Awesome porting job guys!

  • Mark Alan Thomas — 4:48 PM on February 17, 2010

    Isn’t this basically the same kind of stuff that the iPad manages to do without Flash? If so, why does Android need the added complexity and overhead of a third-party runtime to accomplish the same things? And how is that an advantage?
    [Whether it’s AIR, HTML, PDF, a native app, or anything else, you need some code to define the layout & interactivity of your content & a runtime engine to display it. If this were running as “HTML5″ in Safari on an iPad, you’d think it was great, despite Safari being a runtime that’s interpreting layout & interactive code. AIR lets designers and developers use tools they already know to create multitouch, GPU-acclerated presentations that run across platforms (iPad, Android, Windows, etc.). –J.]

  • Ken — 5:28 PM on February 17, 2010

    John,
    Do not know if I will get tablet in 2010, not into geek “stuff”, but I know Adobe will be the stock to have in the next 2 years…
    You guys have carved out a nice path.
    Your stock holders will love you all.
    My best,
    Ken in KY

  • Matthew Fabb — 8:21 PM on February 17, 2010

    Mark, the advantage to developers is reaching many platforms with one code base, perhaps swapping out some of the UI for different screen sizes. Reaching a wider audience with less cost means more projects will be profitable that might not have been if they had port applications to different platforms. Or in some cases, projects just get budgets and if the project only has enough money for an iPhone version that means no Android version of that application.
    So in turn, Android users gets more applications that they might not have gotten before without AIR.
    Also native applications on Android run via the Java. So either way, a native application or an AIR applications is running inside a runtime environment. Now the argument could be made that the Android team has modified the version of Java running on Android devices. However, the Android team has had access to the Flash Player code than runs inside of AIR to optimize it to run faster on Android devices.

  • Mirko Maus — 9:38 PM on February 17, 2010

    Wow! Cool!
    But how about Fullscreen Flash Videos on Linux? No?

  • James Stuart Johnson — 11:58 PM on February 17, 2010

    Usability would be a problem for some impaired individuals with limited motor skills. The device shown, also makes it appear difficult to navigate one handed without putting it down. Not ideal for note taking, drinking coffee or other common tasks while reading.

  • JEVEN SOBS — 1:44 AM on February 18, 2010

    Don’t you get it Adobe?
    Sure the iPad would handle Flash like this easily, but thats not the reason you are left out of the party. The real reason is the years of neglect you gave the plugin on the Mac platform that Apple is screwing you over now.
    Think about the huge number of people who would have gone into Apple stores and gone on their horrible myspace page with about 12 pointless Flash widgets running in semi transparent HTML and the computer comes to a standstill because of your shoddy plugin, customer leaves thinking macs are garbage thanks to you.
    Apple has deemed you incompetent and that you can’t be trusted to live up to their quality of experience expectations. Maybe if you had started putting the effort in you are now 4 years ago it would be a different story.

  • gfhghffhg — 2:28 AM on February 18, 2010

    “if the project only has enough money for an iPhone version that means no Android version of that application”
    But if you went down that route the UI would suffer on the iPhone version and no one would want it.
    You get what you pay for, and one button cross platform development is a false economy.

  • Tim — 8:21 AM on February 18, 2010

    Jeven,
    Apple has been known for the same shoddy treatment of their Windows apps. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had problems with Quicktime, Quicktime Pro and iTunes. For all we know, the reason flash doesn’t run well on Apple is because of shoddy Apple programming. Don’t be so quick to crucify Adobe.
    The real reason Steve doesn’t want Flash on his iPhone/iPad/iPod is because of the apps. He wants your money. And he’ll block anything that might induce competition so that he can maintain a monopoly.

  • Eric — 9:03 AM on February 18, 2010

    “But if you went down that route the UI would suffer on the iPhone version and no one would want it.”
    The point is that if you aren’t having to essentially start from scratch for each platform, you can adjust things like platform specific features and UI needs more easily.
    This isn’t about not doing the work to suit the platform, it’s about taking some of the strain off the whole process so more platforms can be customized for.

  • Eric — 9:07 AM on February 18, 2010

    “Apple is screwing you over now.”
    That’s interesting because as an Apple AND Adobe customer, it feels a lot more like Apple is screwing ME over. If they own 17% of the market and the other 83% can do something that I can’t because Steve says so, I’m the one who gets screwed for going with Apple – not Adobe.

  • Jeven — 9:50 AM on February 18, 2010

    What would be the benefit for Apple making free windows software awesome when they’re a hardware company‚Ķ
    “The real reason Steve doesn’t want Flash on his iPhone/iPad/iPod is because of the apps. He wants your money”
    Firstly, as if anyone would be making flash web apps for the iPhone, the reason the app store is a success is because it lets any jerk monetize their work easily and provides all that content in one place. A load of Flash apps strewn across the internet wouldnt have had a fraction of the impact.
    Secondly barely any of the existing Flash apps on the internet would work on a touchscreen anyway.
    Thirdly apple makes no money off the development tools (99$ is sod all, definitely not a moneymaker) so apple wouldn’t care if you developed in Flash or Obj-c.
    Maybe leave your tin foil hat at home next time because its not a massive conspiracy.

  • Jerry — 5:41 PM on February 18, 2010

    To know that veterans of the print/publishing industry could conceivably layout magazine spreads with InDesign, and seamlessly port those spreads to a Flash/AIR developer who could make it sing & dance on a mobile device with GPU acceleration makes an excellent story for Adobe’s publishing customers in the new tablet marketplace.

  • Tim — 11:00 AM on February 19, 2010

    Jeven,
    It’s a business. Apple is after money. So is Adobe. Once you realize that, you might just have woken up to reality. You say there is no conspiracy?? I disagree, if you believe that a business looking after themselves don’t conspire to maximize profits, then you are in for a rude awakening. There are constant reports of Apple rejecting apps because they don’t like how it portrays them. They are allowed to, it’s their store. Apple keeps their cut from the sale of apps in the app store. If they allow Flash and Flex apps, then they lose control over the apps because now any user can just go to flash enabled url in the browser and use the app. That bypasses the app store entirely. So am I saying there is a conspiracy? Yes. It’s business. Apple is looking after their bottom line to get more money out of you and other users.
    If you think that Apple is your friend, you right, but you have to pay them to be your friend first. Same with Adobe… Same with Microsoft… Same with Google… (Google may have free services, but they are still being paid for by consumers who click on Ads, and business who pay them for the ads).
    FYI the Flex SDK is open source. You don’t have to buy Adobe’s Flex or Flash suite to develop flash applications.
    Also, Flash CS5 will include the ability to compile apps directly to the iPhone format, but, Apple still has to approve it in their app store. It’s not a developer friendly process.

  • Tim — 11:11 AM on February 19, 2010

    That’s an interesting take on it, Eric. It’s funny how Apple has received a lot of complaints for a large number of would be customers that these platforms don’t support Flash, and yet their response is, “we think Adobe is a crappy company, so we don’t care what the consumer wants.” Whatever happened to giving the customer what they wanted?

  • Brandon — 11:26 AM on February 20, 2010

    Or is it your fault for going with Apple in the first place? It just seems so silly that when alternatives exist, people would not speak with their wallets and get something else.
    I avoid Apple on principle. Their products are pretty sleek, and at times impressive, but the arrogance and social stigma associated with Apple is not just a stereotype, it is the truth.

  • alex kent — 12:07 PM on February 20, 2010

    john, i think your example is flawed.
    you show a demo of a tablet device playing a stand alone semi-native AIR application.
    this is exactly the type of application which is currently available (and selling) in apple’s app store.
    this is a different thing to the big ‘flash on iphone’ argument, which is about the Flash runtime within Safari.
    it appears to me that running a single app well is not the same as running the flash runtime concurrent with the safari html/js runtime for all those videos, ads, and (yes) entire sites on the web.
    [So, if Runtime A runs great until it’s hosted by Runtime B, are we to fault Runtime A? Yes, if A comes from Adobe and B from someone with more ardent fans. The reality is that it takes two to tango, and Flash performance is dependent on the capabilities/limitations of its host. FWIW, I fully expect Flash Player 10.1 to run great inside browsers, mobile or otherwise. –J.]
    on a technical note, when there are several separate flash elements a webpage, does the flash runtime create multiple instances of itself ? (i understand that flash panels in Photoshop CS4 are each individual instances of the runtime).
    [In short, yes, but the Flash team is making great improvements. Check out this 3-minute explanation of what they’re up to. –J.]

  • Mark Alan Thomas — 11:05 AM on February 22, 2010

    The point is that if you aren’t having to essentially start from scratch for each platform, you can adjust things like platform specific features and UI needs more easily.
    This never happens. When developers are allowed to write once, run anywhere, what always happens is that Lowest Common Denominator Syndrome takes over and the best platform is dragged down to the level of the worst.

  • Mark Alan Thomas — 11:29 AM on February 22, 2010

    If this were running as “HTML5″ in Safari on an iPad, you’d think it was great, despite Safari being a runtime that’s interpreting layout & interactive code. AIR lets designers and developers use tools they already know to create multitouch, GPU-acclerated presentations that run across platforms (iPad, Android, Windows, etc.).
    Flash is never going to be on the iPad no matter how much Adobe kicks and screams about not being able to drag the iPad down to a dodgy cross-platform ghetto.
    But good luck with Android and do enjoy Windows.
    And you’re right, if this were HTML5 in Safari it would be great. But you gloss over the fact that multitouch on the iPad has nothing to do with HTML5 or Safari. The iPad’s multitouch GPU-accellerated coolness is a core functionality which works without the added complexity of a third-party runtime (Flash) taking over the screen and turning the platform into sketchtastic trash.
    My point being that AIR and Flash serve no purpose on the iPad other than to drag it down to the junk level of lesser platforms and to make it easier for tasteless Flash developers to not write proper iPad apps.
    Screw that.

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