Adobe today announced new versions of its Flash Player and Adobe AIR across various platforms including mobile platforms like Android, iOS (AIR only), BlackBerry Tablet OS; desktop platforms like Mac OS, Windows, and Linux and other platforms.
To be publicly available from early October, Adobe claimed that this new generation of software will enable app developers to offer an immersive in-app experience across platforms and devices.
One of the key features of this release is the support for full hardware-accelerated 3D graphic capabilities along with significant enhancements to 2D capabilities, enabling 1000x faster rendering performance over its predecessors Flash Player 10 and AIR 2. Game developers can therefore deliver console-quality gaming on any platform (desktop/mobile) they prefer.
However, Adobe noted that these capabilities are still in pre-release stage on mobile platforms and a production release is expected sometime in the near future. It also said that it is currently working with Microsoft to port Flash Player and AIR to Windows Phone OS, although it didn’t commit on any specific timeline.
Another key feature in this release, is the support for native extensions wherein developers can leverage specific device capabilities (software & hardware) and native code libraries in their apps.
While gaming apps can make use of features like vibration control, magnetometers and light sensors of the device, data-driven apps can make use of thousands of existing open source libraries to deeply integrate business softwares like Excel and Outlook into their apps, along with the ability to access specific hardware APIs like Near Field Communication (NFC).
Adobe has also enabled developers to package AIR with their applications, in order to simplify the app installation and AIR distribution across platforms. Users no longer have to download and update the runtime separately. Also, developers can now manage updates to their app, independent of the regular AIR runtime updates.
In order to appeal to video publishers and app developers, the company also announced a slew of new features like:
- Content protection where premium video can be protected using Adobe Flash Access 3.
- Deliver HD quality videos within Flash based apps on iOS.
- Deliver full HD videos with 7.1 channel surround sound directly to connected TVs.
- Support for Flash Access and Adobe Pass, allowing content publishers to take full advantage of rental and subscription options to chalk out viable business models.
The company estimates that 200+ million devices, span across 130 smartphones and 85 tablets, run Flash based apps and it expects to see the number grow to one billion by end of 2015. These apps are spread across iTunes App Store, Android Market, and BlackBerry App World.
Here is a quick preview of the new features in Flash Player 11 and Adobe AIR 3: