June 10, 2010

Flash Player goes Cocoa, makes a host of improvements

Flash Player 10.1 is here, ready for download, making tons of improvements in rendering efficiency and memory usage. Engineering manager Paul Betlem has provided extensive details on the team blog.

Being a Mac user, I was particularly happy to hear about Mac-specific improvements & the fruits of the team’s collaboration with Apple’s Safari team:

“First and foremost, Flash Player 10.1 is a full-fledged Cocoa app (though legacy Carbon support remains for some browsers that require it). We now leverage Cocoa events, use Cocoa UI for our dialogs, leverage Core Audio for sound, Core Graphics for printing support, and use Core Foundation for bundle-style text… The overall performance improvements of Flash Player for Mac users will result in faster video playback, more efficient CPU utilization, and greater battery life.”

Check out the full post for details on smoother video playback, DVR-style seeking, and much more.

As for mobile devices, FP 10.1 is available in beta form on the Android OS, with the finished version available shortly. Here’s a demo of a 3D flight simulator running in Flash on a Nexus One.

Posted by John Nack at 9:42 PM on June 10, 2010


  • Matt Dial — 10:26 PM on June 10, 2010

    John — Am I correct in understanding that the “Gala” GPU improvements did not make the 10.1 cut for this release?
    If that is the case, I’m sticking with the Gala version — it has made video so much bearable on my MBP.
    [You are correct. The availability of the Apple API didn’t sync up with this release, but the team is of course working hard to bring all the improvements together. –J.]

  • Mike — 1:17 AM on June 11, 2010

    John – you are probably the wrong person to ask but please, please, please don’t force me to install an additional proprietary download manager just to install Flash 10.1 in Firefox.
    I admit that it might make sense for things like large trial versions but I’m not going to do it just for a 2MB download.
    There used to be the possibility to download it manually – seems like that’s gone for the FF version.

  • Martin — 2:24 AM on June 11, 2010

    @Mike, no need for a download manager : http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html
    @John, I have the debugger version of 10.1 and Safari 5 hangs as soon as I close an flash error popup window. It doesn’t crash or freeze, it can’t get in focus (I can’t close the browser or do anything with it)

  • joe c — 7:19 AM on June 11, 2010

    “Full-fledged Cocoa” doesn’t matter as much as getting the Mac look and feel right, and the Creative Suite apps fail here. Still too many concessions made to make it as similar to the Windows versions as possible.
    [Can you be more specific? –J.]
    I’d say the only successful Adobe product as far as getting the Mac look and feel right is Lightroom, which everyone raves about.
    [LR is great, but it’s ironic: the entire app skin is custom (not Aqua, etc.) and looks identical between Mac and Windows. –J.]
    So it sure seems like the only way to get the Creative Suite apps right is stop trying for Windows interface similarity and rewrite them from the ground up like you did with Lightroom.
    Yeah, I know, it’ll never happen but that’s what it’s gonna take.
    [Actually it’s much more fruitful to point out *specific*, actionable things you don’t like. –J.]

  • Ryan Butterworth — 7:37 AM on June 11, 2010

    Umm, lightroom looks nothing like an Apple designed application. Does that really matter? No. Is it so bad to differ from what Apple dictates great apps should look like? What about Final Cut? It’s looked the same since 1998.
    [I think you’re right that the point is less about fealty to specific visual conventions & more about thoroughness, thoughtfulness, and fit & finish. –J.]

  • Eric — 9:33 AM on June 11, 2010

    As concerns photographers, do you have any idea why Flash in Safari on a Mac has color shifts (even with ColorCorrection.ON)?
    Firefox with the same Flash plugin is ok, as are all windows browsers (firefox, iexplorer, even windows safari). I’ve searched this to death but feel resigned that my audience will see something different with Safari on a Mac. (The fact that photos look so good on all other configurations is inspiring, though, after so many years without color management.)

  • foljs — 1:10 PM on June 11, 2010

    “Full-fledged Cocoa” doesn’t matter as much as getting the Mac look and feel right, and the Creative Suite apps fail here. Still too many concessions made to make it as similar to the Windows versions as possible.
    [Can you be more specific? –J.]

    I can: http://adobegripes.tumblr.com/

  • Richard the 3rd — 9:10 AM on June 13, 2010

    Maybe you should ask Apple. They make safari. I did not know that color correction had made it into safari – will go look for it.

  • Joe — 9:10 AM on June 18, 2010

    Could we get an explanation as to why the postflight script in the installer package is in a binary format?
    What is the script doing?
    Why was the .pkg put inside an app in the first place?
    [Good questions, Joe. I’m asking. –J.]

  • Joe — 6:58 AM on July 20, 2010

    Any answers on those questions?

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