New Flash Player, AIR Features

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-09-21 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

Flash Player 11 and AIR 3 offer dozens of new features, including the following:

  • Accelerated 2D/3D graphics: Full hardware-accelerated rendering for 2D and 3D graphics enables 1,000 times faster rendering performance over Flash Player 10 and AIR 2. Developers are able to animate millions of objects with smooth 60-frames-per-second rendering and deliver console-quality games on Mac OS, Windows and connected televisions. A prerelease brings these same accelerated 2D and 3D capabilities to mobile platforms, including Android, Apple iOS and BlackBerry Tablet OS. A production release for mobile platforms is expected in the near future. For examples of 3D games for Flash Player, visit www.adobe.com/go/gaming.

  • AIR native extensions: With support for thousands of highly optimized, open-source libraries, developers are able to tap into unique software and hardware capabilities, including access to device data, vibration control, magnetometers, light sensors, dual screens, near field communications (NFC) and more. Native extensions also allow developers to more deeply integrate AIR applications with other business software.

  • Captive runtime: Developers can automatically package AIR 3 with their applications to simplify the installation process on Android, Windows and Mac OS in addition to Apple iOS. Users no longer have to download and update AIR separately on any of these platforms, or BlackBerry Tablet OS, which includes AIR built in. In addition, with the captive runtime option, developers can manage version updates to their application independent of general AIR updates by Adobe.

  • Content protection: Premium video content can now be protected using Adobe Flash Access 3 across all supported platforms, including new support for mobile platforms.

  • HD video quality across platforms: Full frame rate HD video can now be displayed within AIR applications on Apple iOS devices using H.264 hardware decoding. Rich applications on televisions are also able to deliver HD video with 7.1 channel surround sound.

  • Rental and subscriptions support: With support for Adobe Flash Access and Adobe Pass, content publishers can take advantage of rental and subscription options for more flexible business models and offer TV Everywhere content to more than 80 percent of U.S. pay TV subscribers.

  • Compatibility: 64-bit support on Linux, Mac OS and Windows ensures a seamless experience with the latest 64-bit browsers. "Zynga's mission is to connect the world through games by bringing play to everyone, everywhere," said Cadir Lee, CTO of Zynga, in a statement. "In order to do that, we're committed to building mainstream entertainment across all devices, platforms and applications, whether it's through Flash or HTML5. We look forward to the release of Adobe Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR as next-generation applications to help bring Zynga games to our players worldwide."

    "We strive to bring games to our customers wherever and whenever they want to play," said Mark Vange, vice president and chief technology officer at EA Interactive, in a statement. "The ubiquity of Flash helps EA to bring our chart-topping games to a broader variety of platforms and connect with consumers across a wide range of devices."

    "Adobe Flash Player with 3D lets us render a tremendous number of buffered triangles quickly with excellent performance and stability," said Michael Plank, co-founder of Pro 3 Games, in a statement. "It was clear from the beginning that Adobe Flash was the perfect solution to deliver browser-based, console-quality games with powerful visuals and interactivity. The develop once, deploy anywhere capabilities enable us to engage gamers everywhere across Web browsers and sets us up nicely to move into the mobile space."

    "Adobe Flash makes it easy to extend the reach of our brand and our games because of the deep market penetration of Flash Player and that worldwide ubiquity is critical for us," said Anton Volkov, chief technology officer at AlternativaPlatform, in a statement. "Adobe Flash Player 11 with Stage 3D provides unique functionality, including native 64-bit support and asynchronous bitmap decoding, to allow us to leverage both 2D and 3D components for the best gaming experience possible."

    Murarka said Flash Player is supported on more than 98 percent of Internet-connected PCs today and by the end of 2011, he said Adobe expects more than 200 million smartphones and tablets, including Apple iOS devices, to support Flash-based applications via Adobe AIR. By the end of 2015, the number of devices that will support Adobe AIR is expected to increase to 1 billion.

    Adobe AIR, a superset of Flash Player, enables developers to leverage existing code to create and deliver stand-alone applications across devices and platforms. Thousands of Flash-based applications have already been created and made available on Android Market, iTunes App Store, Samsung SmartTV Store and BlackBerry AppWorld today, Adobe said.



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    Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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