Home Adobe Offers Up New Flash Version 11

Adobe Offers Up New Flash Version 11

The first major release of Adobe’s Flash Player in two years was announced today. While anyone could download a beta of v11 over the past several weeks, the finished code will be available early next month and comes packed with new features. As an indication of demand (or just paranoia about potential security exploits), the beta was downloaded a million times in its first week. Flash is used in 98% of desktops that are connected to the Internet, according to Adobe and in just about every device imaginable with the notable exception of the iOS family.

Adobe is trying with this release to unify its entire Flash ecosystem and have what it calls “one toolchain, one language, one codebase, one client.” They are also putting so much into Flash that it could be considered the next desktop OS, as I touched upon in a post last week here.

Flash 11, and the accompanying Air v3, will include support for gaming apps, TK, and TK.

On the gaming side, Adobe will try to deliver console-quality gaming experiences with 2D/3D hardware acceleration when the underlying computing platform will support such acceleration. The company claims that at least half of the Windows users have the right kinds of graphics hardware. If you don’t, you will still be able to run your Flash apps, just not very quickly. They claim ten times the rendering performance of v10 Flash Player. When a graphics processor is available and if you are running a current browser version, the Flash app will work with it natively to do tricks such as light sensors and vibration controls.

For media apps, they will take advantage of rental and subscription options and also display full frame rate video and HD quality, including 7.1 surround sound, to connected TVs.

Finally, for the enterprise users, they will leverage more open source libraries, better integrate with Outlook and other business apps, and incorporate NFC APIs. They also intend to make Flash more secure by directly leveraging better crypo and offer support for 64-bit OSs and browsers.

Obviously, this is a lot to take in, and it could be trouble down the road, as Windows developers incorporate Windows-only extensions into their apps, making it tough to deliver a single codebase for example. And while the press briefing made mention of HTML5, it isn’t clear how these extensions to Flash will play out vis-a-vis HTML5 yet or with Windows 8, as we wrote about earlier this week.

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