Adobe have pushed their Flash Player 10.1 Beta out of the door, together with Adobe AIR 2, with the Windows version of the new Flash runtime supporting H.264 hardware acceleration. The Mac and Linux 10.1 prereleases are yet to support that, and so far there's no sign of a smartphone release as Adobe promised back in October; Adobe have confirmed, though, that the webOS beta for the Palm Pre and Pixi will appear sometime this year.
Probably the most significant aspect of the new Flash Player 10.1 Beta is that netbooks using NVIDIA's Ion GPU will now be able to use that video hardware to decode H.264 content. Previously such machines did well in terms of local HD content playback but less impressively for streaming content; now full-screen YouTube HD videos should be far more watchable.
There's also multitouch support for compatible applications (and assuming you have multitouch-capable hardware, of course). Both Flash Player 10.1 Beta and Adobe AIR 2 can be downloaded from Abobe Labs.
Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 Beta Software Now Available
New Flash Platform Runtimes Set Stage for Contextual Applications Across Devices
November 17, 2009 12:01 AM Eastern Time--Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that beta versions of Adobe® AIR® 2 and Adobe Flash® Player 10.1 software are now available from Adobe Labs for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. Flash Player 10.1 is also available for x86-based netbooks, and expected to be available across a broad spectrum of smartphones and other Internet-connected devices in 2010. Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 are easily updateable across all supported platforms to help ensure rapid adoption of new innovations that move the Web forward.
“With the beta availability of Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 today, we are taking an important step toward realizing the Open Screen Project vision to enable rich Internet experiences across any device, anywhere”
Adobe AIR 2 builds on the success of AIR 1.0, which has been installed on more than 200 million desktop computers and adopted across industries by leading companies, such as Atlantic Records, DIRECTV, FedEx, The New York Times Company and salesforce.com. With AIR 2, developers can create more reliable and feature-rich applications in the desktop context, and they can easily add AIR 2 functionality to update current AIR 1.0 applications. New AIR 2 features include enhanced support for mass storage devices and native application processes, as well as peer-to-peer and UDP networking.
Flash Player 10.1 is the first consistent browser runtime release of the Open Screen Project that will enable uncompromised Web browsing of expressive applications, content and high definition (HD) videos across the desktop and devices. Flash Player 10.1 takes advantage of new media delivery options using HTTP streaming coupled with content protection powered by Adobe® Flash® Access™ 2.0. Additionally, Flash Player 10.1 now leverages hardware decoding of H.264 video on Windows PCs, netbooks and mobile devices where available, to conserve battery life and deliver an exceptional video playback experience.
Adobe AIR and Flash Player Deliver Web Applications in Multiple Contexts
Using the Adobe Flash Platform, millions of designers and developers create rich Web content, videos and applications that deploy in the browser using Adobe Flash Player, and beyond the constraints of the browser with Adobe AIR. Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2 enable developers and designers to use the same code, assets, frameworks, tools and services to create the most expressive applications, content and video for the browser and the desktop today, as well as mobile platforms in the future.
The rise of RIAs and cloud computing, and the increased diversity of Internet-connected devices are spawning the need for contextual applications that take advantage of specific functionality offered by operating systems and devices. The Flash Platform enables developers to create contextual applications for users across a number of devices while maintaining content and a user experience that is consistent yet unique to each device. Please visit the Adobe Developer Connection for more information on contextual applications.
Multi-touch and “Gestures” Support on Touch Screens
Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 also bring innovations and optimizations from mobile devices to the desktop. For example, designers and developers can now create entirely new types of applications that use multi-touch points and gestures on touch screen devices. Instead of using a mouse, users touch the screen to interact with content and applications.
David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Adobe Platform Business Unit
“With the beta availability of Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 today, we are taking an important step toward realizing the Open Screen Project vision to enable rich Internet experiences across any device, anywhere,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Platform Business Unit at Adobe. “Content creators will provide multi-screen experiences with uncompromised Web browsing and standalone applications across desktops and netbooks, and in the near future across a wide range of mobile devices.”
“With the HP TouchSmart PC, we’re enhancing how people interact with their favorite sites and applications,” said Satjiv S. Chahil, senior vice president, Worldwide Marketing, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Now that developers can optimize Flash Player and Adobe AIR content for touch screens with multi-touch, the HP TouchSmart will be an even more compelling platform for developers to build truly distinctive touch-interactive experiences. HP and its partners have created a number of touch-centric programs such as the Time 100 and U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges using Adobe AIR. HP will continue to innovate with touch-focused solutions based on Adobe products.”
“As a user experience design and development agency, we’re focused on providing the most effective experiences on all devices users interact with,” said RJ Owen, senior software architect at EffectiveUI. “The ability to incorporate new features like microphone access or accelerometer input allows Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2 to deliver truly immersive content and apps on the desktop, in the browser and on mobile devices.”
Adobe AIR 2 and Flash Player 10.1 Availability
The pre-release beta versions of Adobe AIR 2 and Adobe Flash Player 10.1 are available immediately as free downloads from Adobe Labs.
Adobe AIR 2 beta is offered for Windows 7, Windows Vista®, Windows® XP, Windows Server® 2003, Mac OS X and Linux® operating systems.
Adobe Flash Player 10.1 is available for Windows, Macintosh and Linux desktop operating systems and x86-based netbooks. For a complete list of system requirements, visit: www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/systemreqs/.
Flash Player 10.1 is expected to be available across a broad spectrum of smartphones and other Internet-connected devices in 2010.